Lungo Recipe

Lungo Coffee Recipe

As a coffee aficionado, I’ve always been captivated by the allure of the lesser-known lungo shot.

In a world where ristrettos and standard espressos reign supreme, it’s time we shed light on the lungo – the enigmatic sibling and its hidden potential.

Join me on a journey of discovery as we compare three popular methods, unlock the secrets of extraction percentages, and unearth the untapped possibilities the lungo shot offers.

Here is a quick rundown of the 3 lungo coffee recipes we’ll be comparing in the article.

MethodBrew TimeYieldGrind AdjustmentTaste ProfileExtraction Percentage
Hybrid Method~30 secDouble the outputCoarserMild, sweet, balanced23.48%
Brew Ratios Method~45 sec1 to 3 ratioFinerHerbal, flat, bitter23.15%
Wiki Lungo Method~60 sec130-170 gramsMuch coarserOver-extracted, thin24.13%

The Hybrid Method: A Modern Twist on a Classic

Doubling Yield and Adding Brew Time

As a barista, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various espresso methods, and I must say, the hybrid method for brewing a lungo shot has piqued my curiosity. By doubling the yield and adding 10 seconds of brew time to the standard espresso, this method manages to strike a delicate balance between intensity and nuance.

For this experiment, I chose a washed single-origin Ethiopian coffee from my friends at Wonder State Coffee. In my experience, fruity and floral-forward coffees like these are perfect for lungo shots, as the longer brew time allows the flavors to unfold and shine.

Puck Preparation and Brewing Process

When it comes to puck preparation, I stick to the same routine as for a standard espresso shot. However, there’s a small adjustment needed to the grind: make it a bit coarser to speed up the flow.

The goal here is to achieve a 68-gram yield in roughly 30 seconds.

Personal insight: I find that the hybrid method works wonders for enhancing the natural sweetness and pleasant acidity in the coffee, while maintaining a well-balanced flavor profile. It’s like discovering a hidden treasure in your cup!

Extraction Percentage and Flavor Evaluation

For this method, the average extraction percentage came out to 23.48%. Although higher percentages are expected for longer shots, it’s important to note that it’s not over-extracted and falls within the sweet spot for this coffee.

The result is a palatable shot with a surprisingly decent body and juicy mouthfeel, and a lovely aftertaste that doesn’t leave a drying sensation.

The Brew Ratios Method: The Art of Precision

Balancing Ratios and Brew Time

Now, let’s dive into the brew ratios method, which is based on the established ratios for ristretto and espresso shots. To achieve a lungo shot using this method, we’re aiming for a 1:3 ratio. So, for 17 grams of coffee, we want an output of 51 grams in about 45 seconds.

This requires grinding the coffee a bit finer than in the hybrid method.

Personal insight: The longer overall shot time, combined with the lower output compared to the hybrid method, can make dialing in the grind a bit trickier. But I relish the challenge!

Puck Preparation and Flavor Analysis

With puck preparation remaining consistent, it’s all about finding the right grind size for this method. Once you’ve got it dialed in, the results are interesting, to say the least.

The front of the shot is surprisingly flat, lacking the floral or fruit notes one might expect from an Ethiopian coffee. Instead, it comes across as more herbal. The acidity is mild, but without the vibrant flavors, the shot doesn’t quite live up to its full potential. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter and astringent.

In terms of extraction percentages, the brew ratios method clocks in at 23.15%. This illustrates the importance of even water flow through the puck, which can lead to better extraction both in terms of numbers and taste.

The Wiki Lungo Method: Pushing the Boundaries of Extraction

As a seasoned barista, I’ve pulled countless shots, but I must confess, the Wiki Lungo Method is truly an adventure in coffee extraction. With a brewing time of 60 seconds and a jaw-dropping yield of 130 to 150 grams, this method takes the lungo shot to its extremes. Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the longest shot I’ve ever pulled!

Getting the Grind Right

To achieve this gargantuan output, I had to adjust my grind much coarser than my previous pulls. You see, the key to hitting that targeted 130-gram output in just 60 seconds is to speed up the flow of water through the puck. It took a few attempts, but soon I was on the right track, and boy, was it a sight to behold!

A Messy Affair

Here’s a word of caution for my fellow coffee enthusiasts: Wiki lungo shots can get really messy. They may start out clean and proper, but as you venture into the 30, 40, and 60-second range, things can go haywire. Spurting and general nastiness become the norm, so keep a towel handy – you’re going to need it.

Tasting the Wiki Lungo

Let’s be honest; the wiki lungo shot is quite the spectacle. However, when it comes to taste, this method falls short. The over-extracted coffee is bitter and thin, with little to no trace of the Ethiopian berry that we know and love. The aftertaste leaves much to be desired, and the overall experience is, well, not pleasant.

I have found that chasing high extractions can be a double-edged sword. While the wiki lungo boasted the highest extraction percentage of the three methods at 24.13%, it lacked in every other department.

The overwhelming bitterness overshadowed any sweetness, creating a chaotic and unpalatable concoction.

Comparing the Three Methods: Which One Takes the Cake?

  1. The Hybrid Method: A balanced, sweet, and nuanced shot with a decent body and a juicy mouthfeel. The extraction percentage landed well within the sweet spot for the coffee at 23.48%.
  2. The Brew Ratios Method: A surprisingly flat and herbal shot with mild acidity and a bitter, astringent aftertaste. The extraction percentage was slightly lower at 23.15%.
  3. The Wiki Lungo Method: An over-extracted, bitter, and thin shot that failed to deliver any of the coffee’s inherent flavor complexities. The highest extraction percentage of the three at 24.13%, but lacking in taste.

In my experience, the Hybrid Method takes the crown.

It successfully captures the essence of a great shot of espresso while adding its unique twist.

However, as with any coffee endeavor, personal preferences and coffee types play a huge role in the final outcome.

Embracing the Lungo Shot: A World of Possibilities

The lungo shot is the dark horse of the espresso family. While it may not be as versatile as the standard espresso or as concentrated as the ristretto, it has its own charm and potential. And a lungo is definitely not an Americano.

Why not try all 3 methods, and see which you prefer? Let me know in a comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. As someone who has been in the coffee industry for over a decade, I must say that the Hybrid Methodyou’ve described does indeed offer a balanced extraction, especially with single-origin Ethiopian beans. The decision to aim for a 23.48% extraction hits the sweet spot by not over-extracting, yet fully exploring the coffee’s natural profile. This perspective often gets overlooked in favor of stronger ratios, but you’ve showcased its merits well.

  2. Just tried the Brew Ratios Method after reading this. Wow, never thought I’d enjoy a lungo this much, went a bit finer on the grind, and the flavors really hit differently. Though I got a bit more bitterness than expected, is there a trick to avoid that, or is it just the nature of a lungo?