Decoding Caffé Lungo: What Does it Mean?

Welcome to the fascinating world of coffee! In this article, we are going to unravel the mystery behind the term “Caffé lungo.” If you are a coffee aficionado or just starting your coffee journey, understanding the meaning of this phrase will surely enhance your coffee tasting experience. So, let’s dive right in and learn all about Caffé lungo!

What is Caffé Lungo?

Caffé lungo is an Italian coffee term that translates to “long coffee.” It is a type of coffee that is made by extracting a small amount of water through a longer brewing process than usual. The result is a longer and milder coffee which holds a distinctive flavor profile. People often confuse it with an Americano, but the brewing methods and taste differ significantly between the two.

The Brewing Process

Now, let’s take a closer look at the brewing process of Caffé lungo. The concept is to increase the extraction time while using the same amount of coffee grounds. Listed below are the steps involved:

  1. Grind coffee beans to a coarser consistency compared to espresso.
  2. Use the same amount of coffee grounds as you would for an espresso shot.
  3. Apply a longer extraction time, which usually lasts 1.5 to 2 times longer than a regular espresso shot.
  4. Allow the extraction to produce more volume while keeping the same amount of solids, resulting in a longer cup of coffee.

The longer brewing time gives the coffee a distinct taste that sets it apart from other types of coffee.

The Unique Characteristics of Caffé Lungo

Caffé lungo offers a distinct set of characteristics that make it different from other coffee varieties. Here are some notable features:

  • Flavor: Caffé lungo typically has a milder taste compared to a regular espresso shot. Its flavor is less intense and less acidic.
  • Aroma: The aroma of Caffé lungo is more pronounced due to the extended brewing process. It often offers rich and complex aromas.
  • Strength: While the taste is milder, Caffé lungo still provides a stronger caffeine kick as the longer extraction time extracts more caffeine from the grounds.
  • Volume: Caffé lungo yields a larger cup of coffee, making it a suitable option for those who prefer a more extended drinking experience.
CharacteristicsCaffé LungoRegular Espresso
AromaRich and complexFragrant
StrengthStrong caffeine kickVigorous
VolumeLarger cupSmaller shot

The Perfect Serving

Serving Caffé lungo requires attention to detail and a little experimentation. Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of this delightful coffee:

  • Use a lungo cup: Opt for a larger cup or mug to accommodate the increased volume of coffee.
  • Enjoy it as is: Caffé lungo is prepared to be enjoyed without the need for additional milk or sugar. However, if you prefer, you can add a small amount to suit your taste.
  • Pair it wisely: Since Caffé lungo has a milder flavor, it pairs well with lighter pastries, such as croissants or biscotti.

Exploring Caffé Lungo Variations

Caffé lungo serves as a base for various coffee creations. Let’s explore some exciting variations:

  1. Affogato Lungo: A delightful combination of Caffé lungo and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  2. Lungo Macchiato: A lungo shot topped with a small amount of milk foam, a twist on the traditional macchiato.
  3. Lungo Americano: A longer version of the traditional Americano, using a Caffé lungo as a base.
  4. Lungo Misto: A mix of Caffé lungo and hot milk, creating a creamy and satisfying drink.
  5. Lungo Cortado: An espresso shot with a small amount of milk combined with a Caffé lungo.

These variations offer exciting ways to enjoy the unique taste of Caffé lungo, allowing you to experiment and find your perfect coffee match.


By now, you should have a good grasp of what Caffé lungo means in the coffee world. It is a coffee that offers a milder taste, complex aroma, and a larger serving size than a traditional espresso shot. Whether you enjoy it as is or explore the various creative variations, Caffé lungo promises a delightful coffee experience. Now go ahead, brew yourself a cup of Caffé lungo, and embark on your coffee adventure!