Long Black Coffee (A Fun Twist To Espresso)

Do you like your coffee no-frills and straight to the point? You may be a long-time fan of black coffee, but did you know that there’s another spin to the classic version?

Long Black is an espresso-based drink made by pouring espresso over hot water. It has the all quintessential ingredients of an Americano but the difference lies in the preparation.

Americano is typically made by doing the opposite: hot water over espresso. Because of this, long black retains more foam than an Americano and has a stronger, more concentrated flavor.

As someone who usually likes a sweet and creamy cup of coffee, I was a little bit apprehensive when I first stumbled upon long black coffee. But let me tell you, the flavor really is something and it perfectly captures the richness of the blend.

So, I bet you’re quite interested now.

In this article, I will be exploring the process of making long black coffee and how you can easily recreate it!

How Do You Make Long Black?

A long black needs to be prepared precisely in order to get the firm and strong flavor in your mouth.

Each time you want to prepare long black coffee, you’ll need to start with hot water. Make sure to have water within 95 degrees Celsius temperature, not much more or not too less.

This is because coffee is fragile in texture and a temperature of 95 degrees Celsius is enough to burn and brew it to release its delicacy into the beverage.

How To Make Long Black With Coffee Maker

Long black can be easily made with a coffee maker and here are the basics:

  • Take 20 to 22 grams of dosing as well as coffee in the portafilter. Make sure that the coffee doesn’t cross the brim of the portafilter.
  • After ensuring the evenness on the surface, set the portafilter with the machine, and let it brew. This is called the espresso or short black coffee.
  • Once brewing is done, it’s time for the hot water. Make sure not to fill a cup with more than 80% of water.

And your freshly made hot long black is done!

How To Make Long Black Without Coffee Machine

Making long black without a coffee maker is a bit time-consuming but easy to do if you know all the steps.

However, it might taste a bit different than the machine-made long black because the brewing process is entirely different.

The yield or the concentrated coffee is dense, thick, and bitter. It needs to be made with a 1:1 ratio of coffee and water for the liquid become concentrated.

Here’s how to make long black without a coffee machine:

  • Take about 4 tablespoons of coffee in a cup and pour 4 tablespoons of hot water in it. Give it a nice stir with a spoon. The coffee should be dissolved in no time.
  • Once you’re done mixing, take a frother and whisk the yield till crema forms and the yield is lighter in color. It will take about three to seven minutes to reach the designated texture.
  • Don’t stir the mix as you slowly pour the yield into the hot water.

To know more, watch this video on the specifics of dosing, yield, and time when preparing coffee.

Watch and learn how dose, yield, and time work.

What’s in a Long Black?

A long black is an espresso-based beverage that contains plenty of water and coffee which is also the traditional way to drink it.

Long black contains about 86.79 mg of caffeine per 100 ml water which is less caffeine than most coffee-based beverages.

You can definitely add sugar, honey, stevia, milk, or even cream to your long black according to your taste but remember, your long black will lose its structure if you go outside the traditional ways of drinking it.

Can You Add Milk To Your Long Black?

Long black is traditionally made from coffee and water only. So, you should not add milk to it if you want the genuine taste of your hot brewed beverage.

It is named long black because it is an expresso mixed with hot water making the beverage longer to drink. Black because no milk or any kind of whitener is added, therefore, the drink remains black. Hence, the name ‘long black.

However, some people do add a dash of cold milk to their Long Black. Be careful, though, adding too much will make the beverage taste different.

Long Black VS Americano

Long black and americano are almost the same because they contain a similar amount of dosing and caffeine.

Here is a table to help you better understand the difference between the two:

ContentsLong BlackAmericano
Preparation Processhot water poured on expressoexpresso poured on hot water
Cremacrema forms on the top of the pourcrema cannot really form
Tastestronger, fuller, and bitterstrong like black coffee
These differences may be small, but they really do make the outcomes radically different.

Long Black VS Short Black

While long black takes quite a while to finish, short black comes in a smaller amount and takes only a few moments to finish. But what is a short black?

A short back is actually the expresso that is drank as coffee shots are poured on hot water to make the long black.

Some basic differences are mentioned in the table below.

ContentsLong BlackShort Black
Caffeine85 to 120 mg 60-80 mg (1 shot)
Coffee To Water Ratio1:1
(20 grams of dose in and 20 grams of yield out poured to a cup 80% filled with hot water)
(20 grams of dose in and 40 grams of yield out which is divided into two cups. So, 20 grams of yield is a single shot.)
SipsA lot.3 sips only!
Tastebitterextremely bitter
Effectskicks in a bit later after drinking itkicks in faster as you drink it
Long Black VS Short Black

Is Long Black Good For You?

Long black is good for you and it’s no less than a black coffee in terms of health benefits.

In fact, it is also a good source of antioxidants and chlorogenic acids.

Antioxidants, in particular, have these benefits:

  • reduce risks of physical diseases like heart diseases, and cancer
  • increase cell repairing rate
  • boosts you psychologically

On the other hand, chlorogenic acids have their benefits too such as:

  • reducing the extra creation of glucose in your body to balance sugar level
  • helps reduce body fat by not allowing the fat cells to grow
  • helps you lose weight

You should try drinking long black after your meal or supper if you want to get effective results.

There are many other elements like theophylline, theobromine, amino acid, and other vitamins present in coffee that is good for both your physical and psychological health.

Does Long Black Have Any Health Risks?

Long black does not pose any health risks unless you consume too much.

Overconsumption of coffee can lead you to addiction, be it long black or any other coffee beverage. Excess consumption of caffeine will create an uncontrollable dependency on it.

As mentioned earlier, long black contains less amount of caffeine. If you drink long black twice a day, you’ll consume about 240 mg of caffeine daily which is not harmful to the human body.

According to physicians, you can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine without causing any harm to your health.

The best way to avoid the risks is to drink long black and other caffeinated beverages in moderation.


Long black is a great twist to the classic black coffee. If you prefer the strong, unadulterated taste of your coffee blend, then long black may be the right fit for you.

It uses less water than a cappuccino and therefore retains the true essence of coffee. It’s less bitter than an espresso shot, too. However, you can still add a splash of milk to make it more interesting taste-wise.

Despite the strong concentrated flavor, long black contains less caffeine than your usual caffeinated drink.

However, it’s still important to be wary of your caffeine consumption. Don’t go overboard with your long black shots!

Still, a long black is another exciting variation to try.

Now, off you go to enjoy your cup of long black coffee!

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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