What Is a Long Black?

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The prevalence of coffee culture in the modern world has gifted us with numerous types of coffees.

From the popular coffee-that-doesn’t-taste-like coffee drinks to milk-based beverages, you can find one that fits your tastes.

Despite that, there seems to be a scarcity of options for those looking for a simple cup of joe.

How about adding the long black to your list? This article will list down all the information you need to know about this simple yet satisfying drink. 

Origin 

The Long Black originated from Australia and New Zealand, a result of Italians settling in these places.

With its espresso base, the long black is often confused with the Americano and the Short Black.

However, as you read on, you realize these are three different coffee drinks. 

 

How is it made?

Simply put, the Long Black is a diluted form of espresso.

This drink is made by pouring two shots of espresso over a cup of hot water. Take note that you should first pour in hot water then the espresso.

Otherwise, it would not be considered as a long black. 

As a result of this method, the drink will have two separate layers with the visible cream layer on top. It’s called long since the drink’s volume is increased due to adding water. 

Modern long blacks can now be made using two shots of ristretto. Others even modified the number of espresso shots used. 

long black coffee in a cup

Flavor Profile

Long black coffees have stronger and “fuller” flavors compared to the Americano.

Because of its brewing method, this drink lets the drinker enjoy and savor the roast used. 

However, if the drink contains ristretto rather than espresso, the long black provides bolder and stronger flavors and aroma.

You’ll also notice that there’s lower acidity and a more “syrupy” mouthfeel. 

 

Differences With Other Types of Coffee

Due to its espresso component, the long black is often confused with other espresso-based drinks, mainly the short black and the Americano.

However, there are differences between these drinks. 

 

Long black vs. Short black 

Short black coffees are essentially a simple shot of espresso.

Here, only the water required for the drink to brew is added, resulting in a thick crema and stronger and more concentrated cups. 

On the other hand, long black coffees are a diluted version since it also contains water.

Adding water prevents the drink from over extracting and removing the tell-tale “bite” found in short black coffees. 

As such, you get to taste more and enjoy the pleasant sweetness and bitterness of the roast used. 

 

Long black vs. Americano 

An Americano is made by adding espresso shots first before pouring hot water.

cafe americano

While it still creates two layers, there’s often little crema in the Americano and it’s usually found between these two layers. 

Moreover, this results in a thinner flavor since it slightly decreases the espresso’s bitter notes yet retains more of its natural sweetness.

However, you have to be careful in making the Americano as there’s a possibility of the shot getting burned. 

On the other hand, long black coffees pour hot water first then adds the espresso or ristretto shots.

As a result, the drink has bolder and more concentrated flavors. 

Adding the ingredients in this order also means that the long black has a more distinct layer of crema, giving the drink a prettier appearance. 

coffee long black

Long Black Recipe

Charles Vallena
Try this easy to make long black recipe at home.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Espresso Machine
  • Coffee grinder
  • Kettle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 shot espresso
  • 150 ml water

Instructions
 

  • 1. Prepare the Ingredients.
    Long black coffees only use two ingredients: water and coffee beans of your choice.
    Moreover, you should have your espresso recipe down pat.
    Most long blacks typically use a ration of one-fourth espresso to three-fourths water. 
    Of course, you can adjust this ratio according to the preferred strength and flavor of your drink. 
  • 2. Heat the water. 
    Using a kettle or stove, heat the water to approximately 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 91 to 96 degrees Celsius.
    If you have an espresso machine, then you directly get water from its spout.
    Pour the hot water into your cup. 
  • 3. Make and Pour the Espresso
    Drinkers with espresso machines would find this an easy step.
    For those who don’t, grind your beans and prepare an espresso shot.
    Let the water cool down for a bit before pouring your espresso over it. 
Keyword black coffee, coffee, coffee recipe, long black

Conclusion 

Who says simple black coffees are out of style?

With the long black coffee, you get to enjoy a simple cup of joe with its bold and full flavors and rich aroma. 

Charles Vallena
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.

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