There are a number of different espresso drinks that you can choose from and many of them are very similar.
This post will show you the differences between two of those drinks which are the Americano and the lungo.
So, what is the difference between Americano and lungo? Americano is where hot water is added to espresso. Lungo is an espresso that has been made with more water than usual. Lungo has a stronger and slightly more bitter taste than americano which has a similar taste to brewed coffee.
They can actually both vary greatly in the way that they taste depending on how they are made and there are actually a number of different ways to make them.
Differences Between Americano and Lungo
Below, I will show you the differences between Americano and lungo, how they taste, ways to make them, what impacts their taste, drinks that are similar to them and questions people ask about them.
Americano is where hot water is added to espresso with a ratio of 4 parts water to one part espresso. It has a similar taste to black coffee but it is slightly sweeter.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It has a very rich, dense and strong taste that is also often slightly bitter.
Espresso also has a “Crema” on top which is a foamy substance that is bitter. Some people like to keep the crema while others prefer to remove it with a spoon.
By adding hot water to the espresso and not the other way around it causes the crema to get dissolved into the hot water helping to reduce the bitterness of the drink.
How Americano is made
To make americano you just add hot water to espresso.
There are three main ways to make espresso which are to either use a traditional espresso machine, a pod machine or to use a stovetop espresso maker.
To make espresso using a traditional espresso machine you need to get the coffee beans, grind them, put water in the machine, press the grind into a container called a portafilter and then to put the portafilter into the machine and turn it on.
Traditional espresso machines can have a steep learning curve, they require the most work on your part in preparing the espresso and cleaning the machine and it will likely take you a number of tries before you make an espresso that you like.
However, traditional espresso machines make espresso of the highest quality and, since you have full control over all of the different factors, you should be able to make an espresso that you really like with it (after some trial and error).
The traditional espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon. It is one of the most highly rated machines that has proven to be highly reliable.
Here is a video showing how to make espresso using a traditional espresso machine.
To make espresso using a pod style espresso machine you just need to fill the espresso machine with water, put the water into the machine and to press a button.
Pod-style espresso machines won’t give you a truly authentic espresso. However, they will consistently give you a good tasting espresso, you won’t have to put much effort into making it or cleaning the machine and they have a lot of different flavors that you can choose from.
The pod espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
To make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker you put water into the pot, then put ground coffee above it and heat it up.
The video below shows you hot to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
The advantage of using a stovetop espresso maker is that they are the cheapest option and they are a good option to trial with in order to see whether or not you would get full use out of an actual espresso machine.
However, the espresso that they produce won’t be of the same quality as with a traditional espresso machine.
The stovetop espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
What impacts the way that Americano tastes
There are a number of things that will have an effect on the way that Americano tastes.
If you add a lot of water to the espresso then it will reduce its bitterness but it could result in it tasting too watery. If you don’t add a lot of water then it will give it a stronger taste that could also be slightly bitter still.
The way that the espresso is made will also likely have an impact on the taste of the Americano.
If it is made using coffee beans from a single origin then it will normally give it a sharper taste but it can also cause it to taste sour. If the beans are sourced from multiple origins then it will normally have a more balanced taste.
The way that the coffee beans are ground will also impact the taste. If the beans are ground too finely then it will cause it to taste more bitter since the water will take longer to pass through it causing more of the coffee to mix with the water. You want some of the coffee to mix with the water but not too much.
The roast of the beans will also impact the way that the espresso tastes. If the beans are lightly roasted then it will normally cause the espresso to have a more sour taste. If the beans have a darker roast then it will give it a more bitter taste.
Similar drinks to Americano
There are a number of drinks that are similar to the Americano in addition to the Lungo.
The long black is very similar to Americano. It is made by adding espresso to hot water instead of adding hot water to espresso. By making the long black this way it preserves the crema giving the long black a slightly more bitter taste.
Black coffee is also similar to Americano. Black coffee is just brewed coffee with nothing else added to it. They taste similar but Americano is slightly stronger.
Questions people ask about Americano
Does Americano have milk? No, if milk is added to it then it would make it a latte or a cappuccino.
Does decaf Americano have caffeine? Decaf does not mean that all of the caffeine has been removed from the coffee beans. This means that decaf Americano will still have some caffeine.
Lungo is an espresso that has been made using more water than usual. By using more water it reduces the bitterness of the espresso but it is still quite strong.
It has a similar taste to Americano but lungo is stronger and it also keeps the crema which is very bitter.
The things that impact the way that the lungo tastes are the same things that impact the way that a normal espresso tastes as mentioned in the section above.
Questions people ask about lungo
Is lungo a double shot?
Does lungo have milk?
Similar drinks to lungo
There are a number of drinks that are similar to lungo including:
This is an espresso that has been made using less water than usual. It has a very rich and bitter taste.
- Double espresso (doppio)
This is an espresso that has been made using twice the amount of ingredients as usual. It tastes exactly like a regular espresso but there is more of it.
- Long black
This is where espresso is added to water. By adding espresso to the water it preserves the Crema on the espresso. Long black tastes similar to lungo but it is slightly weaker as more water is used than with a lungo.
- Black coffee
Black coffee is brewed coffee that hasn’t had anything else added to it. Black coffee has a sweet taste but it is weaker and less bitter than lungo.