What Is a Long Black Coffee? A Brief Explanation

If you're a coffee lover, then you've probably heard of, or even had, a long black coffee. It's a popular drink made by pouring hot water over a double shot of espresso, creating a deep and strong flavour that's favoured by many coffee enthusiasts. But what exactly is a long black coffee, and how does it differ from other popular coffee drinks?

In simple terms, a long black coffee is a concentrated shot of espresso that's been diluted with hot water. Unlike an Americano, which is made by adding the hot water first and then the espresso, a long black coffee involves pouring the espresso shot first and then adding hot water to the cup. This creates a rich and full-bodied flavour that's distinct from other coffee drinks. A long black coffee is a popular choice for those who prefer a strong coffee flavour without the added milk or sugar of other coffee drinks.

The Origins of Long Black Coffee

Long black coffee is a popular type of coffee in many countries, especially in Australia and New Zealand. It is believed to have originated in these countries, but the exact origins of the drink are not clear.

Some possible theories about the origins of long black coffee are:

Regardless of its origins, long black coffee has become a popular coffee drink around the world.

AustraliaVery popular
New ZealandVery popular
United KingdomIncreasingly popular
United StatesGrowing in popularity
ItalyNot commonly found
FranceNot commonly found
GermanyNot commonly found

Today, many coffee shops serve long black coffee as a standard menu item, and it has become a staple beverage for many coffee drinkers. Long black coffee is known for its rich and bold taste, and its simplicity makes it easy to enjoy on its own or with any number of delicious accompaniments.

Long Black vs. Americano: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to coffee, there are countless variations, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. Two of the most popular choices are the Long Black and the Americano. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences to be aware of.


A Long Black is a coffee beverage that originated in New Zealand and Australia. It is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water, which creates a strong and flavourful coffee. An Americano, on the other hand, is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, creating a slightly milder coffee than the Long Black.


The preparation methods for these two drinks are slightly different. To make a Long Black, you pour the espresso shot into a cup of hot water, while for an Americano, you add hot water to the espresso shot. This may seem like a small difference, but it can have an impact on the final taste of the drink.


One of the biggest differences between these two drinks is the taste. Because the Long Black is created by pouring espresso over hot water, it has a strong, rich flavour that is slightly sweet. The Americano, meanwhile, has a milder taste and is less sweet than a Long Black.

Caffeine Content

While both of these drinks contain caffeine, the Long Black includes more espresso and therefore has a higher caffeine content in general. The exact amount will depend on the amount of coffee and water that is used in each drink.

DrinkAmount of EspressoAmount of WaterApproximate Caffeine Content
Long Black2 shots100-120 ml120-200 mg
Americano1 shot150-180 ml77-150 mg


While the Long Black and Americano may seem similar, there are a few key differences in terms of preparation, taste, and caffeine content. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but knowing these differences can help you make an informed decision the next time you visit a café.

How to Make a Perfect Long Black

Making the perfect long black coffee can be a bit tricky, but with the right technique, you can achieve a full-bodied and flavourful cup. Below are some tips and guidelines to help you master the art of making a perfect long black:

  1. Start with freshly roasted beans: The key to any great cup of coffee is using freshly roasted coffee beans. The beans should be ground just before use to ensure maximum flavour and freshness.
  2. Preheat your cup: Before brewing your coffee, it’s a good idea to preheat your cup. This helps to maintain the temperature of the coffee and ensures that it stays hot for longer.
  3. Preheat your machine: Just like preheating your cup, it’s also important to preheat your machine before brewing your coffee. This helps to ensure that the water is at the ideal brewing temperature of around 93-95°C.
  4. Grind your coffee to the right consistency: Long black coffee is made using finely ground coffee, so make sure your grinder is set to the appropriate level.
  5. Use the correct ratio of coffee to water: For a long black coffee, the ideal ratio of coffee to water is 1:2, so use around 14-16g of coffee for a 28-32g shot of espresso.
  6. Brew your coffee for the right amount of time: The brewing time for a long black should be between 20-30 seconds. This ensures that the coffee is full-bodied and flavourful without being too bitter.
  7. Pour the coffee over hot water: Once you’ve brewed your espresso, it’s time to add the hot water. For a long black coffee, you should pour the espresso over hot water in a ratio of 1:2.
  8. Serve immediately: Long black coffee should be served immediately to ensure that it retains its heat and flavour.

By following these guidelines, you can create the perfect long black coffee every time. Experiment with different types of coffee beans and brewing methods to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.

The Best Coffee Beans for Long Black

When it comes to making a delicious long black coffee, the type of coffee beans you use can make all the difference. Here are some of the best coffee beans to use for a perfect long black:

1. Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee beans are known for their sweet, fruity flavour and low acidity, making them a great option for long black coffee. They're also less bitter than other coffee beans, which can help highlight the subtle flavours of the brew.

2. Ethiopian Coffee Beans

Ethiopian coffee beans are another great option for making long black coffee. They have a unique, floral aroma and a sweet, berry-like flavour with a hint of chocolate. These beans are less commonly used in blends, so if you're looking for something a little different, give Ethiopian coffee beans a try.

3. Colombian Coffee Beans

Colombian coffee beans are a classic choice for making strong, rich coffee. They have a full-bodied flavour with a slightly sweet finish, making them perfect for adding milk or sugar if desired. Colombian coffee beans are also widely available, making them easy to find in most grocery stores or coffee shops.

Coffee BeansFlavor Profile
ArabicaSweet, fruity, low acidity
EthiopianFloral, sweet, berry-like, hint of chocolate
ColombianFull-bodied, slightly sweet

Remember, no matter what type of coffee beans you choose, always opt for freshly roasted beans and grind them just before brewing for the best flavour. Happy brewing!

Brewing Options for a Long Black Coffee

When it comes to brewing a perfect long black coffee, there are a variety of options and techniques you can use. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

1. Pour Over Method

The pour over method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans in a filter, allowing it to drip through into a cup below. This method creates a clean, smooth taste, perfect for a long black coffee.

2. French Press Method

The French press method involves steeping ground coffee beans in hot water, then pressing down a plunger to separate the coffee from the grinds. This method can create a slightly bolder taste, perfect for those who like their coffee stronger.

3. Aeropress Method

The Aeropress method involves using a manual brewing device to extract the coffee. It involves pressing the coffee through a filter under pressure, which creates a strong, full-bodied taste.

4. Espresso Machine Method

The traditional method of brewing a long black coffee is by using an espresso machine. Simply pull a shot of espresso, then add hot water to create a long black coffee. This method creates a stronger, more intense flavour, perfect for those who like their coffee bold.

Brewing MethodStrength of Coffee
Pour OverMild
French PressMedium
EspressoVery Strong

Experiment with different methods to find the one that suits your taste buds the best. Whichever method you choose, remember to use quality beans and hot, filtered water for the perfect long black coffee experience.

Long Black Coffee: A Perfect Pairing

Long black coffee, with its intense flavour and full-bodied texture, can be the perfect pairing for a variety of foods. Here are a few pairings that will complement the unique characteristics of a long black:

Long black coffee's robust taste and creamy texture make it a versatile beverage that can easily substitute tea or even a cocktail. Experiment with different pairing options, and you'll find an unexpected flavour match that you never knew existed.

What Gives Long Black Its Unique Taste?

Long black coffee is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts for its bold flavour and unique taste. Here are a few factors that contribute to the distinctive taste of a long black coffee:

In summary, a long black coffee's unique taste comes from the combination of a double shot of espresso, hot water, crema, and the coffee bean's roast level. These factors work together to create a bold, flavourful coffee that is beloved by many.

Espresso ShotHot WaterCremaRoast Level
Provides a rich, intense flavourDilutes the strength of the espresso and releases the coffee's flavourAdds complexity and depth to the coffee's flavourDarker roasts produce a more robust, bitter flavour, while lighter roasts have a brighter, fruitier taste

Does Long Black Coffee Have Any Health Benefits?

Many people enjoy drinking coffee daily, and the good news is that long black coffee has several health benefits. Let's take a look at some of them below:

It's important to note that long black coffee should be consumed in moderation, and excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects like anxiety, sleep disturbances, and increased heart rate. Additionally, adding sugar and cream to your long black coffee can offset any potential health benefits.

The Art of Enjoying a Long Black Coffee

Long black coffee, also known as Americano, is a classic coffee beverage that is popular all around the world. But, as simple as it may seem, there is an art behind enjoying a perfect long black coffee. Here are some tips to make the most of your long black experience:

Here are some interesting facts about long black coffee to help you appreciate it even more:

Long black coffee was created during World War II by American GIs
The name "long black" is used in Australia and New Zealand
The water used in long black coffee should be between 190-200°F
Long black coffee is less acidic than drip coffee

Now that you have all the information you need, grab a fresh cup of long black coffee and enjoy it like a pro!

Conclusion: Sipping on a Long Black Coffee

In conclusion, a long black coffee is a simple and delicious way to enjoy your caffeine fix. This popular drink is made by pouring two shots of espresso over hot water, allowing the flavours to blend and create a smooth, bold taste.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this article:

If you're a coffee lover, we highly recommend trying a long black for yourself. Whether you're seeking a morning pick-me-up or a mid-afternoon treat, this timeless beverage is sure to satisfy your cravings. So take a sip, relax, and enjoy!

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