How to make a long black Coffee

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Not to be confused with a Lungo (an espresso shot that has been extracted for a longer period, weighing about 60ml), the Long Black combines freshly extracted espresso with hot water. The result is a drink that retains most of the complexity of an espresso shot but with less bitterness and is able to be enjoyed for a longer period.

It has the advantage of appealing to both espresso lovers and those who want a more watered-down drink like a black filter coffee.

Making a long black is easy. Below, we walk you through what you need and the steps for making one at home. We also answer some commonly asked questions relating to this popular coffee drink.

How to Make a long black

What you need:

  1. Water
  2. A kettle
  3. A coffee mug
  4. Two shots of espresso (preferably extracted from a machine)
  5. Milk (optional)

Step 1: Heat Water and Extract Espresso

Heat the water in your kettle and wait until it is almost at boiling temperature (around 92 degrees Celcius). While your water is heating, brew two shots of espresso and set them aside.

Note that some espresso machines produce instant hot water which you can use in your Long Black preparation.

Step 2: Combine Water and Espresso

Pour between 100 – 120 millilitres of hot water into a cup and then pour the espresso shots on top. A layer of coffee crema should remain at the top of your brew – this is the main difference between a Long Black and an Americano.

Step 3: Add Milk (Optional)

If desired, add some milk to your coffee and stir (I prefer not to stir it).

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Long Black Coffee Tips

  • A coffee like the Long Black is meant to be enjoyed without adding anything else (milk or sugar), so you can appreciate the body of the drink. However, some people do add these things, or even extra water to make it less strong, and that is okay!
  • If you do not have a measuring cup around, just remember that the common ratio for a Long Black is 3/4 water and 1/4 espresso.
  • Good quality coffee is always important. In order to make an espresso, the grind of your coffee must be very fine. Make sure your coffee is fresh as well.
  • If you want a cooler drink, make a regular long black and then pour it over a cup of ice. This will make a nice cup of iced coffee that has the same taste profile as the hot version.
  • Don’t let your water boil, always turn it off before that point. Using boiling water might burn your coffee and affect the flavour. It also means that you will have to wait for your coffee to cool down and nobody likes to wait to be able to drink coffee.

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Long Black vs Americano

A cup of long black might look similar to an Americano for most people since both are drinks combining hot water and espresso.

The preparation is where the long black becomes unique. In Australia and New Zealand, where Long Black are most commonly consumed, the drink is made by pouring a double espresso shot over 100 – 120ml of hot water.

A Long Black tends to have less water than the Americano, making it a more concentrated drink. I tend to navigate towards a Long Black when I want a black coffee drink that involves espresso but without the same strength.

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FAQ

What is the difference between an Americano and a Long Black?

Both the Americano and the Long Black coffee have two shots of espresso. The difference is that with the Americano, the espresso shot is added first and then the hot water, creating a more homogenous brew. In a Long Black the order is reversed. You pour the two shots of coffee on top of hot water, ensuring the crema stays on top. The Americano also has a higher water ratio.

What is the difference between Short Black and Long Black?

The difference between the two is that a Short Black is just an espresso shot with no extra water (usually about 30ml), whereas a Long Black involves pulling a double shot of espresso on top of hot water. The Long Black method ensures that the crema remains on top, creating a coffee that has a smoother mouthfeel and as well as a more diluted drink compared to the short black.

Do you stir a long black?

You can stir a long black coffee in order to incorporate the espresso shots with the water. However, doing this might make the crema disappear a little faster. I personally like to stay away from stiring my long black but it is up to personal preference.

How much coffee is in a long black?

A long black contains a double shot of espresso. Usually, a single shot of espresso can go up to around 30ml in volume, so a Long Black can include around 60ml of coffee. Each espresso shot has around 64mg of caffeine so the total amount of caffeine in a Long Black is around 128mg.

How do you get crema in long black?

Good crema can be achieved by using fresh coffee, correct grind settings, correct pressure and machines temperature, and by serving immediately. For a Long Black, gently pour the double shot of espresso over your hot water, ensuring that it remains on top of your drink.

Is short black same as espresso?

Yes, a short black is exactly the same as the espresso. This drink is made with an espresso machine and a very fine grind. It involves a lot of pressure in order to produce an even extraction of espresso, usually around 30ml in volume. Espresso should have a balanced taste and not be too bitter. In Australia, espresso often goes by the name of “Short Black”.

How do I know if I will like a Long Black?

If you like either espresso-based drinks or black coffee, you will most likely enjoy it. Some people like drinking an Americano but want something stronger and this beverage is perfect for those cases. This type of coffee has a smooth mouth feel and has the advantage that, since it is watered down, most coffee drinkers can enjoy it. It has that caffeine punch without being too overwhelming.

Recipe Summary

How To Make A Long Black Coffee

Not to be confused with a Lungo (an espresso shot that has been extracted for a longer period, weighing about 60ml), the Long Black combines freshly extracted espresso with hot water. The result is a drink that retains most of the complexity of an espresso shot but with less bitterness and is able to be enjoyed for a longer period.

Type: Beverage

Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: Coffee, Espresso, Long Black, Americano, Short Black

Recipe Yield: 1 Serving

Preparation Time: PT0H5M

Cooking Time: PT0H5M

Total Time: PT0H10M

Recipe Ingredients:

Recipe Instructions: What you need: - Water - A kettle - A mug - Two shots of espresso (preferably extracted from a machine) - Milk (optional) Step 1: Heat Water and Extract Espresso Step 2: Combine Water and Espresso Step 3: Add Milk (Optional)

Editor's Rating:
5