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Americano vs Long Black

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

These two are mistaken as the same drink, almost every time. If you have been to a cafe for black coffee, you will usually see americano, long black or both in the menu.

I believe if you are curious enough, you would actually ask the barista, what's the difference? Usually, their answer would be: they are the same. Americano is made by adding hot water to an espresso (usually double shot). Whereas long black is the other way round - which makes both drinks the same thing, only with different names.

But no, there is actually a difference.

Americano is a double shot espresso with hot water, no matter the sequence. On the other hand, long black is pulled by almost three times longer than your usual espresso. Coarser coffee grounds are used to brew it to allow a faster flow rather than using your usual espresso grind size. This is to prevent an over-extracted cup - burnt, ashy, astringent. You name it. As it is a "long" pull, it will result in a stronger cup and heavier body as compared to an americano. On a side note, the word "lungo" means long in italian, and what is the colour of the coffee? Black. Therefore, this is how long black came upon.

Here's a video to help you visualize better.

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