Nespresso Lungo Vs Nespresso Espresso [A Detailed Comparison]

Published: 08/11/22 •  8 min read

If you are new to the coffee world, you might get confused about the details and differences between the types of coffees and the coffee language. To understand what type of coffee suits your taste buds, there are just a few things to figure out. Nespresso coffee comes in various serving sizes, each with a different flavor, aromas, and intensities.

If we compare types of coffee, they may seem similar, but all have minimal differences that make them stand out from the other. If we talk about an espresso shot and lungo, espresso is loved globally, but not many people know about lungo. Espresso and lungo have lots in common but are still two different coffee drinks. Espresso is bold and intense, while lungo is the less concentrated coffee.

Read till the end to know how espresso and lungo differ in their brewing process, taste, quality, and texture. From the basics to their details, we will cover it all for you.

What is an Espresso Shot?

With its origin in Italy, espresso soon became the base for various coffee drinks. An espresso shot is concentrated coffee with rich flavor and thicker texture. A variety of brewing methods and coffee beans can make an espresso shot. Mild to dark roast coffee beans are specified for espresso to minimize acidity and give it a rich and intense flavor.


Using espresso machines  is the most popular and easiest brewing method. The espresso machines use a coffee pod, forcing boiling water through the pod to extract an espresso shot within seconds. The volume of an espresso shot is around one ounce.

An espresso shot is loved on its own but can make the most delicious coffee drinks when combined with other ingredients. If it seems too strong for your taste buds or you are a fan of milk-based coffee, you can make lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, and several other beverages using a single or double shot of espresso.

How to make Espresso?

To keep it easy and quick, let’s learn to make espresso using an espresso machine.

What you will need:


  1. Switch on the coffee makers and let it warm up for 25 seconds.
  2. Add water to the water tank.
  3. Open the lever and insert a pod.
  4. Press the brew button.
  5. Wait for the machine to stop brewing, pick up your cup and enjoy your espresso!



👍 It's a great-tasting drink with a bold flavor.

👎 It might be too strong for you if you have not developed a taste for it.

👍 A quick caffeine fix.

👎 The espresso machines and pods are expensive.

👍 It works as a base for various beverages.

What is Lungo?

In Italian, Lungo means long. This term does not indicate the volume of the coffee but rather the time it takes to brew. If we compare it to an espresso shot, a lungo takes a longer time of up to one minute. The same espresso machine uses lungo pods containing ground coffee beans to dispense a cup of coffee with a unique texture, taste, and quality than an espresso.


The espresso machine uses double the amount of water for a lungo capsule. As the volume of lungo is more than that of an espresso shot, put a larger cup under the spout of your coffee machine. Once you insert the lungo capsules, 100 ml of hot water pierces the coffee pod and brews two ounces of great-tasting coffee.

As the volume of lungo is more than that of an espresso shot, put a larger cup under the spout of your coffee machine. You may think a lungo has a subtle flavor because we use more water, but that’s not true. A lungo is more bitter and has less crema because its brewing process takes a long time to extract the flavors from the coffee beans resulting in a strong cup of coffee.

How to make Lungo?

The brewing process of lungo is the same as espresso, with just a few adjustments.

What you will need:




👍 The serving size is good.

👎 Lungo coffee has lighter crema

👍 It has more caffeine.

👎 It takes a long time to brew.

Espresso vs Lungo: A comparative analysis




Brewing Time

 1 minute

20-30 seconds

Brew Ratio




2 oz

1 oz


  • More bitter

  • Subtle flavor

  • Less bitter

  • More intense

Caffeine Content

80 mg per capsule

60 mg per capsule

Water Usage

60 ml

30 ml


  • Less Crema

  • Lighter

  • Regular Crema

  • Rich texture


The types of coffee capsules you use for brewing coffee will have the ultimate effect on the taste but extraction time also plays a vital role in taste. For preparing Lungo, coffee beans are extracted for a longer time using more water, which gives it a bitter and strong flavor.

On the other hand, espresso takes less water, has a shorter extraction time, and produces less bitter and more intense tastes. The taste is rich and robust but leaves a sweet aftertaste.

Caffeine Content

Using the suitable Nespresso pods will identify the caffeine content in your coffee. Even if you prepare both, Lungo and Espresso using capsules of equal caffeine content, the lungo will tend to have more caffeine content in the brew because it takes longer to pull.


The caffeine content eventually depends on the type of coffee you are having. A lungo will always contain more caffeine content than espresso because that is how its coffee capsules and extraction makes it be.


Lungo takes double the amount of water as compared to espresso, hence the volume of a lungo is more than that of an espresso shot. The amount of water determines the intensity and flavor but has no influence on the caffeine content.


There is a visible difference between the appearance of both beverages because of their volume and appearance.

A Lungo contains twice the volume of espresso and has a light brown color, a light texture, and thin crema. On the other hand, an espresso is darker, it comes with a thick crema and takes about an ounce of space in a cup.

Final Verdict

Now that you know the similarities and differences between Lungo and Espresso, you can easily differentiate between the two and choose your favorite. If you want a quick caffeine fix, an espresso shot will do the job with its intense flavor. You can make a double espresso shot if you are an espresso fan. It has two espresso shots, hence double the taste and caffeine content to cater to your cravings. If you wish to have a slightly high caffeine content and intense taste, a lungo coffee can be your choice. You can try both if you still haven’t because Lungo and espresso have unique yet delicious flavors that will make you a coffee lover. Grab a cup! 


What is a latte?

A Latte is a milk-based beverage with one or two shots of espresso as its base. To make a latte, steamed milk is added to espresso shots making a thick layer of foam on it. You can add additional toppings like Vanilla syrup according to your taste. 

What is the difference between a lungo and a latte?

Lungo is just an espresso shot run longer. On the other hand, a latte is a milk-based beverage with espresso as its base. You can add any milk of your choice to make lattes and add other condiments, while lungo doesn’t require the addition of those ingredients.

What is the difference between a lungo and americano?

Americano is a plain black coffee without any foam or crema. It is a concoction of espresso and hot water, so you can make it using espresso capsules. You can add hot water first and then espresso or the other way around. On the other hand, Lungo is the concentrated traditional espresso that requires a longer brew time.

What is a Gran Lungo?

Gran Lungo is almost double the size of a Lungo. A gran lungo pod makes a 5 oz drink with about 150 to 200 mg of caffeine content. It consists of single or double lungo shots where the same beans take double time for extraction.

Can I make a lungo using a Nespresso espresso capsule?

Nespresso doesn’t recommend using an espresso pod for lungo and vice versa because each Nespresso coffee has a specific brewing method within a set extraction time. The taste and quality will not be as great as it is supposed to be if you brew an espresso pod for longer to make a lungo.

How many coffee shots can you get from one Nespresso capsule?

Each single shot Nespresso pod will make a single espresso shot. If you want two, try double espresso pods that can brew up to 2.7 oz. We don’t recommend using Nespresso pods twice for a double shot. The pods lose all their flavors in the first extraction.

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Hans Mast

Hans loves coffee and loves teaching about coffee