Sunday, December 3, 2023

What Is a Gran Lungo? Everything You Need to Know

by Mads

Change the water ratio in your coffee drink, and you get a whole new coffee beverage.

The beauty of coffee is that everyone has their way of drinking it. Take espresso, for example. It is a drink that every coffee lover adores and is common to order at coffee shops. Add more water to the espresso, and you get an Americano.

Then, there is the lungo. Lungo means “long” in Italian. It is a beverage that is made from the espresso machine, but with a different ratio of water. As the name suggests, it takes longer to pull it, up to a minute at max. The espresso takes 20-30 seconds max pulled in comparison.

More time means more time given to the water to run through the grounds. This makes lungo a bigger drink than espresso, and simultaneously gives it a milder flavor than a regular espresso.

You may have had the Lungo, or heard about it, but what is a Gran Lungo?

Nespresso had a huge demand to introduce its version of a lungo. A gran lungo is their answer to that demand. The size of a gran lungo is a little over 5 ounces, which is almost double that of a regular lungo. 

The reason for a bigger lungo by Nespresso is the taste preferences of American consumers who prefer a more watery coffee.  

A gran lungo with milder coffee flavors and undertones but a flavorful cup was an insightful creation by Nespresso for its American consumers.

Have Americans Always Preferred a Milder Coffee?

To understand a pre-dominant American inclination with a milder coffee beverage, you’ll have to turn to the WW II era. The American soldiers stationed in Italy used to hang out with their Italian peers and used to have coffee together.

Italian soldiers soon realized that the Americans couldn’t handle a lungo, much less a regular espresso shot. So they came up with an altered version of the espresso for Americans, the Americano.

The Americano was created by pouring hot water over an espresso shot, giving it a milder flavor acceptable to the American taste palette.

The Gran lungo’s success is a testament to this American preference.

What Size Is Nespresso’s Gran Lungo?

Nespresso’s Vertuoline is an innovative way to deliver a cup of tasty capsule coffee. Instead of keeping it one size, the Vertuoline has a lot of different sizes of capsules, each suited to different types of coffee.

There are five different sizes available, each satisfying the needs of various consumers.

The single espresso size is 1.35 ounces, while the double shot espresso is 2.7 ounces.

Then there is the Gran lungo, with a 5.07 ounce or 150 ml size. It is a size you can sit and enjoy when you’re not in a hurry.

Finally, there is a coffee size of 7.77 ounces and an Alto with a 14-ounce size.

Looking at Gran lungo from a size perspective, you’ll realize that it navigates expertly through the lungo and Americano lines, giving the American taste palettes the best of both.

The Gran lungo is available in Nespresso’s Vertuoline and can be made with any Vertuoline machine.

Can You Make a Lungo With an Espresso Machine?

Yes, you can. Let the water run through the coffee grounds in your espresso machine for a little longer to get a lungo. Lungo will be bigger than an espresso shot.

Lungo is an expert shot between the espresso and Americano. It’ll have less crema, but it’ll be bitterer than a regular espresso due to the pull time.

Note that a lungo is larger than espresso but has the depth of an espresso’s flavors. It’ll also take more time to consume a lungo than espresso, so it is best for when you are looking to relax and sit for a while.

How Does a Gran Lungo Taste?

Because water runs for a longer time in a lungo than espresso, it gives the drink a bitter taste. The water ratio is higher than a regular espresso, so the flavors are muted, but you’ll find a lungo’s overtones to be smokier and roasted.

Many people prefer the bitterness in taste, hence the popularity of this drink. But there is a big segment of coffee lovers who have lungo at the bottom of their list due to the bitter flavor it carries.

Caffeine Content

The gran lungo has an intense smoky and roasted overtone and takes a longer time to brew. This gives rise to a perception among many people that a gran lungo has more caffeine content than a regular shot of espresso.

However, that is not the case. The overtones and the time taken to brew a cup of coffee don’t affect the amount of caffeine in them. The properties of the coffee beans brewed in an espresso machine determine the level of caffeine.

It is important to note that the same quantity of coffee beans are used to brew both, so the caffeine content won’t depend on whether you pull an espresso or a lungo.

Expect a little more caffeine content in lungo than espresso.

A capsule of Gran lungo contains between 120mg to 200mg of caffeine.

Can You Add Milk to Your Gran Lungo?

You can. It’ll also help lower the bitterness and acidity

But we’d prefer not to add milk. You can pick up and appreciate some very subtle flavors of coffee in a lungo when consumed in its original form.

Is a Lungo the Same as a Long Black?

A long black beverage is made when the espresso shot follows water in the preparation process. Lungo, on the other hand, is a long espresso. While espressos are extracted for 25-30 seconds, lungo takes almost double that extraction time.


A gran lungo is an excellent drink to try if you’re looking for those smokier and roasted overtones in your coffee.

There is a fan base for bitter coffee taste, and it is a way many people prefer their drink to be.

If you like Americano or want a milder coffee than espresso, lungo is the way to go.

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