Lungo is Italian for 'long', and refers to the coffee beverage made by using an espresso machine to make an espresso (single or double dose or shot) with much more water (generally twice as much), resulting in a stretched espresso, a lungo.
A normal espresso takes from 18 up to 30 seconds to pull, and fills 25 to 30 millilitres, while a lungo may take up to a minute to pull, and might fill 50 to 60 millilitres.
A lungo is less strong, but more bitter, because the additional hot water passing through the ground coffee extracts components that would normally remain undissolved. The more water is passed through the coffee grounds, the more bitter and watery the shot tastes. Conversely, using less water than normal produces a stronger, richer shot known as a ristretto.
As the amount of water is increased or decreased relative to a normal shot, the composition of the shot changes, because not all flavor components of coffee dissolve at the same rate. For this reason, a long or short shot will not contain the same ratio of components that a normal shot contains. Therefore, a ristretto is not simply twice as "strong" as a regular shot, nor is a lungo simply twice as weak. Moreover, since espresso is brewed under pressure, a lungo does not have the same taste or composition as coffee produced by other methods, even when made with the same ratio of water and ground coffee.
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Espresso Twists in Naples, www.ineedcoffee.com
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