What is a Lungo?

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Lungo coffee is a type of Italian coffee made with more water than traditional espresso. The result is a longer, more diluted coffee with a smoother and less intense flavor. “Lungo” means “long” in Italian, referring to the longer brewing time required to make the coffee.

The word “lungo” is pronounced “loon-goh” in Italian, emphasizing the first syllable. In English, “lungo” is often translated as “long espresso.”

Key Takeaways:

  1. Lungo is an Italian coffee made with more water than a traditional espresso.
  2. “Lungo” means “long” in Italian, referring to the extended brewing time used to make the coffee.
  3. In English, “lungo” is often translated as “long espresso.”
  4. Lungo coffee is typically weaker and less intense than traditional espresso, with a smoother and more balanced flavor.
Lungo | Photo by Pixabay


Lungo coffee likely originated in Italy. Since Italy is known for its espresso culture and high-quality coffee, it likely originated there. However, the drink’s origins are unclear and may have originated elsewhere.

Lungo vs. Espresso

Lungo and traditional espresso coffee are similar in that they are both made using the espresso brewing method, but there are several key differences between the two.

Amount of Water Used

One of the main differences is the amount of water used to make the coffee. Lungo coffee is made with more water than traditional espresso, resulting in a longer, more diluted drink. As a result, it’s typically weaker and less intense than conventional espresso.

Cup Size

Lungo coffee is also typically served in a larger cup than traditional espresso, which allows for the additional water used in the brewing process. In contrast, traditional espresso is served in a small, demitasse cup.

Overall, the main differences between lungo and traditional espresso coffee are the amount of water used, the strength and intensity of the flavor, and the size of the cup in which it is served.

A Double Shot Of Espresso In A Demitasse Cup
Espresso | Photo by Igor Starkov

Flavor & Characteristics

Lungo coffee has a softer and more level flavor than traditional espresso. Because it is made with more water, it is less intense and has a milder, less acidic taste. In addition, the flavors of the coffee beans used in the brewing process are more noticeable too, as the added water dilutes the bolder flavors of the espresso.

Classic Italian vs. Modern Methods

In Italy, it is common to drink Lungo coffee with a pastry or sweet snacks, such as a croissant or biscotti.

There are also several popular modern variations of it as well, including adding flavors such as vanilla or caramel to the drink or using different types of beans to create distinctive flavor profiles. In addition, some people enjoy mixing it with milk or cream to create a creamy, lattΓ©-like drink.

Overall, there are many ways to enjoy this drink, both traditional and modern. It is a versatile and enjoyable drink that can be enjoyed in various settings and with various accompaniments.

Pexels Manousos Kampanellis 12532399
The Colloseum in Italy | Photo by Manousos Kampanellis

How to make a lungo at home

To make a Lungo coffee at home, you will need the following ingredients and equipment:

Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. First, fill the water tank of your espresso machine with fresh, cold water.
  2. Grind your espresso beans to a fine consistency and tamp them firmly into the espresso machine’s portafilter.
  3. Place the portafilter into the espresso machine and press the brew button to begin the extraction process.
  4. When the brew button is pressed, the espresso machine will begin to extract a shot of espresso. However, instead of stopping the extraction after the usual amount of time, allow it to continue for longer to create a Lungo.
  5. After the desired amount of time has passed, stop the extraction process and pour the lungo into a tall glass or mug.
  6. Serve the lungo immediately, either on its own or with milk or cream if desired. Enjoy!


Is a Lungo same as an Americano?

No, Lungo and Americano are different. Lungo is made with more water than traditional espresso. Americanos are made by diluting espresso with hot water, resulting in a more assertive and intense flavor.

What is the difference between espresso and lungo?

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans at high pressure, resulting in a concentrated and intense coffee. Lungo is made by allowing the extraction process to continue for longer, resulting in a longer and more diluted drink with a smoother and more balanced flavor.

What is the difference between coffee and lungo?

Coffee is a general term for a brewed beverage made from roasted and ground coffee beans. Lungo is a type of Italian coffee made using the espresso brewing method but with more water added to the shot.

What are lungo coffee pods?

Lungo Pods

Lungo coffee pods are single-serving capsules of ground coffee that are specifically designed for use in espresso machines. They contain a pre-measured amount of ground coffee that is sealed in a foil or plastic pouch and intended to be placed in an espresso coffee pod holder for easy brewing. Lungo coffee pods are convenient and easy to use and are a popular choice for those who want to quickly and easily brew a cup of Lungo coffee at home or in the office.

Can lungo capsules be used for espresso?

No, Lungo coffee capsules cannot be used for espresso. Lungo coffee is made using the espresso brewing method but with more water added to the shot. Therefore, the amount of coffee in a Lungo capsule is insufficient for a traditional espresso shot. Espresso capsules should be used for brewing traditional espresso.


Lungo coffee has recently become a refreshing and enjoyable alternative to traditional espresso. Its smooth flavor and versatility in terms of flavor variations and ways to enjoy it make it a popular choice among coffee lovers.

Overall, Lungo coffee is a growing presence in the world of coffee, and its popularity is likely to continue to grow in the coming years. It is a delicious and enjoyable alternative to traditional espresso that is sure to be enjoyed by many coffee lovers.

Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
Kelsey brings over 20 years of hands-on experience in the coffee industry, having honed his craft as a professional barista in both Seattle and Santa Barbara. He is an accredited member of The Coffee Association of America and holds an active membership in The Baristas Guild. Beyond his practical experience, Kelsey is deeply committed to the academic study of coffee history and its cultural impact. Outside of his professional pursuits, he enjoys quality time with his family and shares his extensive knowledge of coffee through insightful articles on this blog.