Lungo, or long in Italian, is a type of Espresso-based coffee drink. As the name suggests, this type of coffee is longer than the traditional espresso; requiring a larger coffee to water ratio. Since the Lungo is larger than a regular espresso, the pull (the espresso machine pull) that is needed to extract the coffee grounds into the cup is also larger.
The lengthened pull back for the Lungo is about 30 seconds longer than that of a regular Espresso. Although, the extraction time can differ based on the type of coffee beans that are used, for example making Arabica or Robusta beans.
Unlike the Espresso that holds a reputation for being very strong, the Lungo is known for being less strong, but for having a more bitter taste instead. Since the Lungo is made with a larger amount of water, the actual amount of coffee beans that are extracted are dissolved in larger amounts of water, making the drink more bitter. The more water there is in a brewed cup of coffee, the more coffee grounds are dissolved within the cup, leaving a watery and bitter brew.
A Ristretto is the opposite of a Lungo, for it uses less water and ultimately makes the brew that much stronger.
How is Lungo made?
The Lungo is prepared by using a larger coffee-to-water ratio within each cup, almost double that of a typical Espresso. Typical Lungos can most often hold around 40 ml of brewed coffee, where the majority of that 40 ml is water. Unlike the Ristretto, which is made with a 1:1 ratio of coffee and water, the Lungo has about 3x as much water compared to its coffee cousin, or a 1:3-1:4 ratio between the two.
How much Caffeine is there in Lungo?
Because a Lungo has double the amount of portions from those that are found in an Espresso, the caffeine content will be that much greater as well. Essentially, there is more coffee in a Lungo than there is in an espresso; there is higher level of caffeine inside each mug.
Lungo can carry anywhere from 77-110 ml of caffeine per cup. The caffeine spectrum for the Lungo varies based on how much coffee is actually added to the brew as opposed to its water levels.