What Is a Long Black Coffee?

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The long black is a hidden gem on coffee shop menus, often confused with an Americano or a long shot of espresso. But it’s neither! This mix-up, plus its simple name, means lots of coffee lovers are skipping a truly tasty treat. Don’t be one of them—give the rich, flavorful long black a try.

Let’s talk about why the long black deserves a spot in your favorite drinks. But first, let’s tackle the big question you might be wondering: What exactly is a long black coffee? It’s time to dive in and find out.

So, What Is a Long Black Coffee?

long black coffee

A long black is like a magic potion for coffee lovers. It starts with a double shot of espresso or ristretto. Then, you pour it over 4 ounces of hot water. The trick? Add the espresso to the water, not the other way around. This keeps the creamy, foamy layer on top, making each sip pure bliss.

Long Black Coffee vs Americano coffee

Did you think a long black was the same as a café Americano? You’re not alone. Many of us got mixed up too. But, even though they share similar ingredients, how they’re made and how they end up tasting and smelling are quite different. Let’s dive into what sets them apart.

When making these coffee drinks, the way you mix the ingredients and how much water you add usually changes. It’s all about the blend and balance!

  • Order of ingredients — With a long black, espresso is poured into the water to maintain the crema. With an Americano, water is poured into the espresso, dissipating the crema.
  • Amount of water — Long blacks are typically made with a 2:1 water-to-espresso ratio. An Americano has more water, often using a 3:1 ratio. These ratios do vary from cafe to cafe, and some use the same ratio for their Americano and long black. 

Small differences matter a lot! A long black gives you a richer aroma and taste, elevating your coffee experience.

Where Did the Long Black Come From?

The long black coffee has an interesting story. It was born from a mix-up! When Americans went to Italy years ago, they wanted black coffee. But, Italian cafes only knew espresso and cappuccino. So, the long black was created to bridge the gap.

As American tourists started asking for black coffee in Italy, local baristas noticed their espresso was too intense for them. To make it more to their liking, they added hot water to a cappuccino cup before pouring in the espresso. And that’s how the long black coffee came into existence.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Long Black?

A single espresso shot packs around 65 mg of caffeine. Double that for a long black, hitting 130 mg. That’s more kick than your average coffee’s 95 mg—making the long black 35% more buzzing!

Remember, these numbers aren’t set in stone. The caffeine in your cup can vary based on where the beans come from, the type of beans like Arabica or Robusta, how dark they’re roasted, and more. Plus, if you’re looking to cut down on caffeine, there’s always the option to go decaf.

How to Make a Long Black

Espresso dropping into hot water to make a long black coffee
  1. Add 4 ounces of water to a coffee mug. The water should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit — much hotter than that and you risk burning some of the flavors of the brew.
  2. Pull a double espresso or double ristretto. Alternatively, you can use AeroPress espresso if you don’t have an espresso machine.
  3. Carefully pour the espresso shots into the water. The gentler you are, the more of the layer of crema you will preserve. Alternatively, you can combine steps 2 and 3 by pulling the espresso directly into the hot water.
  4. Enjoy!

How to Drink a Long Black

Don’t gulp down a long black like it’s a quick espresso shot. Take your time, sip it slowly, and really taste it. Mixing milk isn’t advised because the water already balances the brew, letting you fully appreciate the distinct flavors of the espresso beans. Fancy something creamier? You might enjoy a latte or cappuccino more.

If you’re diving into the world of single-origin coffees, I can’t recommend the long black enough. It has a magical way of highlighting the rich and unique flavors of the beans, something you might miss in other espresso-based drinks. While flat whites are delicious, nothing beats a long black for truly getting to know the taste of Costa Rican coffee beans, Sumatran coffee beans, or any of your favorite beans.

Don’t miss out on classic espresso blends from Illy and Lavazza. They’re a must-try for any coffee lover!

Don’t worry about the rules. Enjoying a long black coffee your way is all that matters. Forget traditional ways or what anyone online says. Have fun with your coffee experience!

The More You Know

Dive into the world of coffee with a long black, a hidden gem among many amazing options. From Cuban delights to Starbucks’ boldest brews, there’s a whole universe of flavors waiting for you. Give it a try, trust your taste, and discover your next coffee crush.

Are you eager to explore the amazing variety of coffees worldwide, or simply searching for an affordable coffee maker that fits your needs? My goal is for this site to guide and inspire you on your coffee adventure. I hope it’s been a helpful resource!

what is a long black coffee

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