*We may earn money from links in this post. Learn more here.

Lungo vs Espresso

Coffee lovers love to consume espresso coffee. So, if you want to try something new, you should consider a drink called lungo. It is not all that different from espresso but there are a few differences worth looking at. The better you understand these differences, the easier it becomes to make the right choice between lungo and espresso.


Espresso coffee is rich. It is also concentrated and usually comes in shots of between one and two ounces. When an espresso machine makes coffee, it forces hot water through grounds (packed) and in the process extracts a bold flavor of coffee. The extraction process takes between twenty and thirty seconds.

An espresso shot has three different parts. The first is the dark part at the bottom of the drink. This is known as the body. Next, there is the middle part which is a lighter color and is called the heart. The third part is the cream on top that is light and foamy. It is called crema.

It is common to drink it without adding milk or sugar. However, there is nothing stopping you from adding milk and sugar to suit your taste. It has a flavor that is both bold and concentrated. It is normally served straight and is made without using too much water. The only downside is that it can be too strong for some people’s tastes.


Lungo is the Italian term for Long. There are different ways to make Lungo than espresso and its flavor is also much milder. An espresso machine makes it, but the shot takes longer to pull. In fact, it takes double the time to pull a shot of it as compared to a shot of espresso. Also, it is normally of 2 ounces (ca. 76 g) instead of the one to two ounces in a shot of coffee.

Lungo is milder than espresso and contains more caffeine. It is also made with more water and is normally served straight as is the case with espresso.

The biggest differences between the two types of coffee:

Bitter Taste

The downside of drinking lungo is its bitter taste which is not to everyone’s liking. It also contains less crema than espresso and it takes longer to pull.

Differences between Lungo and Espresso

The main difference between lungo and espresso is that it tastes different, is of different quantity. Also, lungo contains more caffeine too. Why it tastes different from espresso is because it takes longer to pull. Since the extraction time is more for lungo, it has a harsher taste. Also, the taste of a shot of it is more bitter. What’s more, the flavor is not as intense as espresso. This is because it is not as concentrated as espresso.

Bold and Rich Flavors

Espresso is well-loved because of its flavors which are bold and rich. The crema of the espresso is more likable than lungo. Why espresso has better flavors is because it is made with less water as compared to lungo.

Different Ways of Preparation

In fact, to prepare it, you need to use double the amount of water as compared to a shot of espresso. A regular lungo shot contains about two ounces of espresso while the espresso contains one ounce. When grinding espresso, be careful to use a fine grind. This makes it taste much better!


Finally, since lungo takes longer to prepare it has to contain more caffeine. This is on account of the fact that it takes longer to fully extract the coffee grounds. It contains more caffeine than espresso though the difference is very little.

Here is a rough estimate as to how much it takes to make lungo. For espresso, it is a ratio of 1:2 while for lungo it is a ratio of 1:4.

Now, that you know the main differences between lungo and espresso, it is time to learn what is the best time to drink it. It should be drunk in the morning. For many, it is the best morning staple. Lungo originated in Italy. If you want the best version, then you should prepare it in the traditional manner. Don’t use too much milk because it is better to enjoy it black.

Lungo is the perfect drink for those who want a shot of bitter coffee in the morning. It, along with espresso, can easily be prepared in a home cappuccino maker. If you are looking for more caffeine, then espressos are your best bet.

If you have never tried either of these, be sure to give it a try. It is a great drink that will give you a good head start when you drink it in the morning.