Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso: The Ultimate Taste Comparison!

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Are you a coffee enthusiast? Or maybe you simply enjoy a good cup of joe like me, John Bird, who was once part of the vivacious coffee scene at the famed Boat Basin Cafe in Downtown New York, before it sadly closed its doors. After spending years in the hustle-bustle of the cafe industry, I’ve developed a particular liking for the strength of espresso and the sharp clarity of a lungo. One of the most common inquiries I’ve heard is about the difference between these two popular coffee brews.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso which is stronger?” or “What is the difference between Nespresso Lungo and Espresso taste?” Well, today, we will go on a caffeinated journey to explore the contrasts between these two well-loved drinks.

nespresso lungo vs espresso

Understanding Espresso

The allure of a strong and robust espresso is undeniably irresistible for many coffee lovers. The term espresso originates from Italian and it means ‘pressed out’, which effectively describes the brewing process of forcing hot water through tightly packed, finely ground coffee. Espresso became a popular coffee type in Italy before it spread throughout the world.

What makes an espresso stand out are its crema, fragrance, aftertaste, and its body. Espresso-based drinks like cappuccino, latte, and macchiato have adorned coffee menus around the globe, and are a testament to the versatility and robustness of espresso.

Understanding Lungo

Lungo, yet another term derived from Italian, stands for ‘long’. The lungo brewing process involves more water passing through the coffee grounds, contributing to its larger volume. Think of it as a longer espresso, not to be mistaken with an Americano, another popular coffee drink. Here’s your first tip – if you are considering “Nespresso Lungo vs Americano“, remember that an Americano is an espresso with hot water added afterwards, while a lungo involves more water passed through the same amount of coffee during brewing.

Only very specific coffee blends can withstand the extra water in lungo preparation without succumbing to a watery taste or an overly acidic profile. Lungo vs ristretto, another popular query, offers an interesting contrast. Ristretto is the ‘short’ cousin of lungo, where the brewing process uses less water, resulting in a concentrated, bold, and more intense coffee shot.

Comparison: Espresso Vs. Lungo

Coffee TypeMeaningBrewing ProcessStrengthFlavourNespresso Capsules
EspressoItalian for ‘pressed out’Forcing hot water through tightly packed, finely ground coffeeStrong, with a richer intensityRobust and vibrant“Ristretto Intenso” – robust with a touch of fruit and cocoa
LungoItalian for ‘long’More water passes through coffee groundsLighter compared to EspressoSlightly bitter due to extended extraction process“Fortissio Lungo” – offering a rich and full-bodied flavor

Now, onto “Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso which is stronger?” and “Difference between Nespresso Lungo and Espresso taste“. The primary differences come down to the brewing techniques, water volume, and therefore, the resulting strength and flavor profiles.

Clearly, espresso is meant to be stronger, richer, with a more intense mouthfeel compared to a lungo. In terms of caffeine content, generally, an espresso shot and a lungo shot will have similar caffeine content because they use the same amount of coffee grounds. The difference in caffeine content will depend more on the specific coffee blends being used rather than the brew type itself.

However, when it comes to flavor profiles, a lungo’s extended extraction process brings out more bitter flavors because it’s pulling through more parts of the coffee grind. This results in a sharper, slightly more bitter taste than the vibrant and robust flavors of an espresso.

Nespresso Capsules and Varieties

Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso: The Ultimate Taste Comparison! 1

Nespresso has revolutionised home-brewed coffee with their sleek machines and wide variety of flavor-packed capsules. Each Nespresso capsule is carefully crafted for optimal compatibility and taste with specific brew styles. I personally love using the Nespresso Essenza Mini for Espresso and Lungo for the perfect brew.

For your espresso cravings, the “Ristretto Intenso” is one of the best Nespresso capsules. Its robust coffee flavor, coupled with a touch of fruit and cocoa, is meant to bring that cafe-style espresso right into your homes. Now, if you’re wondering about the best Nespresso capsules for Lungo, Nespresso’s “Fortissio Lungo” is the one to go for. It offers a rich and full-bodied flavor that pairs well with the lungo brewing process.

In short, your Nespresso machine and capsules can help you easily whip up the perfect espresso or lungo at home. The choice between espresso and lungo often comes down to personal preference. Whether you like robust and strong or nuanced and detailed, Nespresso’s coffee capsule range ensures you will find your match.

Now, I can’t wait to share with you some tips on how you can enjoy these brews at their best. But… we will embark on that journey in the next post! Trust me, it’s going to be a fun, caffeinated learning experience!

Are you excited to delve deeper into the coffee cosmos with me, and explore the best brewing techniques for a fantastic lungo or espresso at home? Until then, keep brewing and keep exploring – the world of coffee is vast and full of flavor! And do keep those questions coming, as they fuel these in-depth explorations.

Remember, coffee is more than just a beverage – it’s an experience. Its aromatic pull takes us across continents and through centuries. Whether you’re a pure espresso enthusiast, a lungo lover, or still caught in the “Lungo vs Ristretto” debate, coffee has a way of bringing us together. So here’s to more cups of beautifully brewed coffee and stimulating conversation.

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Which One Should You Choose?

So, you ask yourself, “should I go for an espresso or a lungo?” The answer is simple yet subjective: it depends on your personal coffee-habits and taste preference.

Espresso, the heart and soul of so many different drinks, revolves around intensity and robustness. It serves as a canvas for diverse flavor paints – a base for your latte, Americano, or macchiato. Consider this: if you enjoy tasting the profound depths of your coffee, an espresso may be your go-to.

On the contrary, lungo is bound to offer you something different; it’s like a diluted version of espresso, with a smooth, accommodating taste, subtly revealing delicate flavors otherwise overpowered in an espresso. If you favor something crisp, substantial, and less intense, you may find yourself gravitating towards lungo flavors.

For those adventurous souls who fancy crafting a unique cup of java at home, Nespresso has a range of carefully selected espresso and lungo capsules. Some of my top picks are Ristretto intensities for a strong espresso or the Fortissio Lungo, as already discussed, for a beautiful lungo.

How to Enjoy Espresso and Lungo

Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso: The Ultimate Taste Comparison! 2

What’s better than making your favorite coffee at home? Immersing yourself in the pleasures of personalized servings unlocks the joy of freedom and the art of brewing for coffee enthusiasts.

With espresso, it’s all about that intense flavor served in a small cup, which often carries the mantra: sip it slow, savor it fast. One of my favorite ways to enjoy a Nespresso espresso at home is using my Nespresso Essenza Mini to extract a smooth, creamy espresso shot. I then add a hint of cocoa powder on top for an extra layer of richness.

As for lungos, the extra water washes over a broader surface area of the coffee grinds, extracting a more varied range of flavors. Creating a lungo with the Nespresso Creatista is my go-to method, employing the machine’s ability to control the amount of water used. It’s an enjoyable way to kick off your day or a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.


The journey from Nespresso Lungo vs Espresso has been an enlightening expedition. While espresso is well-renowned for its strong and bold flavours, lungo provides an excellent alternative for those who prefer the strength of a black coffee but with a lighter body.

Brewing great coffee is an art, an indulgence, a meditation, all rolled into a cup. My years at the Boat Basin Cafe have taught me that it is about finding joy in every cup, experimenting with flavors, and creating your personal coffee paradise.

Why not play with your choice of beverages and break the monotony? Try switching between an espresso and lungo, test various Nespresso capsules, and you may surprise yourself. After all, life’s too short for bad coffee.

So, whether you’re a first-time brewer or a seasoned coffee connoisseur, enjoy the journey through coffee grounds. Pursue your taste, extend your experience, and remember, every cup has a story.

Happy brewing!


  1. Spence, C. (2017). Coffee brewing: Science, quality, and consumers. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
  2. Caporale, N. (2018). The New Home Barista: How to Make Perfect Espresso at Home. Murdoch Books.
  3. Hoffmann, J. (2020). The World Atlas of Coffee: From beans to brewing – coffees explored, explained and enjoyed. Octopus Publishing Group.
  4. Specialty Coffee Association. (2020). Espresso Coffee: The science of quality. Academic Press.

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