Anyone who loves the Italian type of coffee will also appreciate the Caffè Lungo. This typically Italian preparation is roughly the same as that of German filter coffee in terms of its tradition, but it has significantly more aroma and variety in taste. A lungo is a classic espresso , which, however, is prepared with significantly more water. On the one hand, this extends the processing time in the espresso machine and thus tickles other aromas out of the coffee beans. Coffee preparation is drunk directly, among other things, but also forms the basis of other popular coffee specialties such as the latte macchiato.
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What is a Caffè Lungo actually and what makes it so special?
Are you wondering what a Caffè Lungo should be? Lungo means “long” in Italian, a lungo is accordingly an extended espresso. Such a drink is very popular on a wide variety of occasions and is increasingly offered both in restaurants and at the afternoon coffee table.
Those who love the intense and at the same time diverse taste of a good espresso can often experience real surprises with a lungo. The longer time spent in the espresso machine means that completely new and undiscovered aromas can be extracted from the coffee bean or the coffee grounds. Accordingly, not every coffee that is aromatic and tasty as an espresso is also suitable for a lungo in the classic sense.
The aromas resulting from this process must be able to meet the taste of the gourmet. Accordingly, it can be important to test such a preparation with different types of coffee that are specialized for this type of coffee enjoyment; the aim here is to find the individually suitable brand .
Just like a good espresso, however, a lungo also offers a full and beautifully shiny crema. This means that the high-quality products can be distinguished from the less good ones in the cup. The right combination of espresso machine, processing and bean quality ensures a perfect cup of lungo. This is extremely widespread in Italy.
Very popular not only in Italy
At least since the arrival of the many guest workers after the Second World War, the Italian coffee tradition has continued to gain popularity in other countries. Even if the classic filter coffee was still considered to be the measure of all things for many years, a classic espresso after dinner was a welcome change. So it is not surprising that the Caffè Lungo has also become increasingly popular with many Americans. This was mainly due to the fact that a larger amount of aromatic drinks could be produced without increasing the caffeine content. After all, the amount of ground coffee stays the same even if the amount of water is increased.
The correct preparation of the Caffè Lungo
Even if purists may disagree, there are still two ways of preparation. For example, if you have a Nespresso machine, you can easily adjust the amount of water in many areas. Other fully automatic coffee machines and espresso machines also allow an exact specification and dosage of the amount of water. This means that you can dose the Lungo coffee accordingly. For example, if you take 7g of ground coffee and 30ml of water per cup for a classic espresso, you get a lungo if the amount of water doubled, i.e. 60ml of water, for the same amount of coffee.
When preparing the lungo, however, as with many things, personal preferences and taste are important. Many people probably hear lungo in connection with the ristretto. The ristretto is the opposite of the lungo. This is achieved by reducing the amount of water and is very close to the mocha in its crema and creaminess.
However, if you don’t have a coffee or espresso machine, you can use the second option. With this preparation method, you extend the classic espresso with the appropriate amount of hot water only after the machine. This variant is not called lungo, but the so-called Caffè Americano. The Americano usually tastes a little milder than a lungo. With some beans, the weakened aroma is definitely an advantage. Because the longer time in the machine and the resulting longer brewing process can quickly turn a lungo into bitter, if the beans are not suitable for this type of preparation. The second preparation variant can help here.
A lungo can also be prepared with a capsule machine. Coffee capsules have the advantage that they already contain the ideal amount of coffee powder and your coffee can be prepared at the push of a button. There are numerous coffee capsules for making lungo, e.g. from the brands Gourmesso, Café Royal or Dallmayr . These are compatible with a Nespresso machine, for example.
Which beans are preferable?
Both Arabica and Robusta beans can be used for lungo. It depends above all on the quality of the beans whether they can survive such a preparation method without changes in taste. The Robusta beans are usually a little more frugal and patient and cope with the changes in preparation times particularly well. But very good Arabica beans from different regions of the world can also be processed into a wonderful Caffè Lungo. In any case, it is important to try different beans and countries of origin and regions in order to find the right and ideal bean for your own taste.
Then the Lungo becomes an experience that you can enjoy with all your senses. In addition to the types of beans, the water naturally also plays a decisive role. As with espresso, the water should be as fresh as possible and not stale. If possible, you should set the optimum water hardness of 7 – 8 ° dH using the water filter.This is especially important if the lungo is to be prepared in the classic way. Here the water has more time to come into contact with the coffee powder and thus also to transfer its own taste to the end product. And neither Arabica nor Robusta beans are particularly fond of this.
Which drinks can be designed on the basis of Lungo
If you want to enjoy “La Dolce Vita”, you are well served with a Lungo coffee. Use about 60 ml of fresh water for 7g of coffee and enjoy a real Italian coffee classic. This coffee can also be used to prepare various other drinks and foods. For example, many cooks use the lungo to prepare a tiramisu, as the slightly less intense lungo is much easier to portion and distribute. A latte macchiato or a cappuccino benefit from the much more rounded aroma of such a preparation.
Anyone who owns the appropriate machines to be able to make a ristretto or lungo shouldn’t do without this pleasure. With little effort per cup, a drink can be created which in its variety of flavors leaves normal coffee far behind. Arabica and Robusta beans for Caffè Lungo are optimized for preparation and offer a rounder even with the somewhat longer brewing time in the machines and above all, only moderately bitter enjoyment. Offer your guests a view of La Dolce Vita and serve a real coffee specialty, which is characterized by its taste and unique crema. A lungo is part of the Italian way of life and means relaxation and enjoyment at the same time.
If you can’t handle the strong taste of an espresso, then a lungo may be just the thing for you. Translated from Italian, lungo means “long”. This creates a mild espresso variation with a leaner body.
Basically, the preparation of a lungo is the same as for espresso. But there is one crucial difference: the extraction time is longer with the lungo than with espresso. Accordingly, more liquid is extracted. Due to the slightly longer contact time of the water with the coffee powder, other aromas (especially bitter substances) are released compared to variants with a shorter contact time such as espresso or ristretto.
Lungo is milder in taste
The longer brewing time means that a lungo is not as strong. Compared to espresso, a lungo tastes milder. However, the drink is a bit bitter. This is due to the fact that bitter substances are only dissolved at the end of extraction. To get a taste that is not too bitter, it is worth trying different types of espresso for the extended version of the espresso.
For the lungo, we recommend using lightly roasted espresso beans. Fruity aromas and pleasant acids are in the foreground with lighter roasts, while the bitter substances predominate in dark roasts. Besides, the beans should be ground a little more coarsely than with an espresso with an espresso grinder to avoid over-extraction. If the powder is ground very finely, the lungo often tastes very bitter.
Lungo recipe (60 ml)
February 09, 2018
Recipe Category: Coffee specialty
Keywords: Lungo, Caffè Lungo, Lungo preparation
Description: A lungo is an espresso with longer processing time. Here you can find our recipe for Lungo for 1 cup (60 ml).
Nutritional information (60 ml):
0.1 grams of fat
– 7 – 10 g fresh espresso beans
– hot water (90 – 94 ° C)
Instructions for the preparation of 60 ml Lungo:
- Step 1: Preheat the lungo cup or small cappuccino cup on the espresso machine or with hot water.
- Step 2: Finely grind 7-10 g espresso beans directly into the portafilter.
- Step 3: Level and tamp the espresso flour in the portafilter.
- Step 4: Clamp the portafilter in the brew group and start the cover.
- Step 5: Stop dispensing after approx. 50 seconds when approx. 60 ml of Lungo have been brewed.
- Step 6: stir & drink.
You can find more coffee specialties and their preparation here:
- Prepare espresso
- Prepare cappuccino
- Graef CM 800 test
- Severin milk frother SM 9684 test
- Prepare the latte macchiato
- Prepare the caffè latte
- Prepare flat white
- Prepare Cafe Americano
- Prepare the ristretto