Nespresso Espresso vs. Lungo: Your Guide to Better Coffee

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on August 6th, 2023

Stepping into the world of Nespresso can be a little intimidating. With all the different options at your fingertips, you may be wondering how to choose between their lungo and espresso offerings. Having spent plenty of mornings testing, comparing, and perfecting my own coffee routine, I’ve come to understand these two popular Nespresso beverages inside and out. Here’s what I’ve learned.

The Basics: Nespresso Espresso and Lungo

The first thing to know is that espresso and lungo are both types of coffee drinks that originate from Nespresso’s range of coffee capsules. The espresso is a small, robust drink – a 1.35 oz serving of concentrated coffee. On the other hand, the lungo, which means ‘long’ in Italian, is a larger, more diluted version, offering 3.7 oz of coffee.


Let’s Talk Numbers

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s size up these two options side-by-side.

Size3.7 oz (110 ml)1.35 oz (40 ml)
Intensity4 to 104 to 13
Price/pod$0.85$0.80 to $1.10
TasteSubtle and mellowIntense and strong

What Makes a Lungo?

The lungo is a delicate balance of volume and flavor. With 3.7 oz of water poured over the same amount of coffee as an espresso, the result is a less intense taste with lower acidity. This makes the lungo a great choice for those who want to enjoy their coffee over a longer period or prefer a milder experience.

In contrast to espressos, lungos can also be brewed with Nespresso’s Vertuo machines. However, these yield a slightly larger beverage, referred to as a gran lungo.

What About Espresso?

Espresso is a classic coffeehouse staple. Made with a concentrated amount of coffee, it delivers a full-bodied flavor in a small package. You can expect a 1.35 oz serving of robust coffee, complete with a nice crema, especially when brewed with the newer Vertuo machines.

Not All Pods are Created Equal

The newer Vertuo pods and OriginalLine pods from Nespresso offer different brewing options. For lungos, you will need an Original Nespresso machine. Vertuo machines, however, offer the slightly larger gran lungo option. Both types of machines can brew espressos.

Here’s a quick breakdown of which Nespresso machine you’ll need for each coffee type:

Coffee TypeCup SizeNespresso Machine Needed
Ristretto0.85 oz (25 ml)Nespresso Original
Espresso1.35 oz (40 ml)Nespresso Vertuo and Original
Double Espresso2.7 oz (80 ml)Nespresso Vertuo
Lungo3.7 oz (110 ml)Nespresso Original
Gran Lungo5.7 oz (150 ml)Nespresso Vertuo
Signature7.77 oz (230 ml)Nespresso Vertuo
Carafe18 oz (535 ml)Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso Lungo vs. Espresso: Taste Test

Where the two drinks really diverge is in their taste profiles. The espresso’s higher coffee-to-water ratio packs a punch, delivering bold, robust flavors. Meanwhile, the lungo, with its more water-diluted extraction, offers a milder flavor. It’s still intense but with less acidity, offering a slightly sweet, full-bodied experience with floral and nutty notes and caramel nuances.

So, Which is Better?

The answer is: it depends!

If you prefer a more intense flavor, the espresso might be your cup of coffee. However, if you’re looking for a more mellow flavor, then the lungo could be the perfect choice. Price-wise, there’s not a significant difference, so you can make your decision based purely on your personal taste.

From my experience, the lungo works great if you enjoy sipping your coffee leisurely. Meanwhile, the espresso’s strong flavors come alive when mixed into a cappuccino or an Americano.

The Bottom Line

In the battle of Nespresso espresso vs. lungo, there’s no clear winner – it’s all about personal preference. Whether you want a robust, intense shot of caffeine or a longer, mellower coffee experience, Nespresso has you covered. I hope this guide helps you find your perfect coffee match!

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.