What is a Gran Lungo Nespresso? + 4 Step Easy Recipe

What is a Gran Lungo

So let’s set the scene: You’re at home with your family about to get coffee in the kitchen. The family member in front of you chooses espresso. Classic and safe. 

The machine serves up a nice 1 oz. full bodied shot of espresso with crema on top. 

And then you step up and pull yourself a Gran Lungo. 

Everyone raises an eyebrow in awe and curiosity. Why? 

Because it’s clear you’re not a typical coffee drinker. Adventurous some might say! You like to enjoy your coffee a little longer. 

A Gran Lungo is essentially a longer shot of espresso pulled with extra water. 

Unlike a regular shot, which is usually around an ounce or so, the Gran Lungo is pulled to 5 oz to create a more balanced and less bitter profile.

But what exactly is a Gran Lungo, and how do you make it at home? We will explore everything you need to know. 

What is a Gran Lungo Nespresso?

Gran Lungo Nespresso
Are you into black coffee?
Photo by Nathan Dumlao


Nespresso is a coffee capsule brand that was introduced in 1986 by Nestlé. The company specializes in manufacturing single-serve coffee machines and pods. These pods allow you to make a cup of coffee quickly and with minimal effort. The range of Nespresso coffee pods includes regular coffee capsules as well as Nespresso pods with milk.

Gran Lungo is a coffee style that was invented by Nespresso. Some say it was merely a marketing gimmick. It is Nespresso’s answer to coffee served from an espresso machine. 

But this style of brew is a thing for many coffee espresso drinkers. 

What is a Gran Lungo

Think of a Gran Lungo as a beverage that is in between an espresso and a long coffee. It is similar to a Lungo, which uses more water than an espresso. The difference is that the Gran Lungo uses twice as much water than the Lungo and even more water compared to an espresso. 

Gran Lungo Nespresso pods are typically brewed using 110ml of hot water and have a bold, rich flavor for a total volume of around 5 oz, or 150 ml per cup. 

This results in a coffee that has a more prolonged extraction time, giving it a rich, smooth flavor that is less intense than espresso. 

So how is it different from Nespresso’s other offerings?

Lungo means “long” in Italian, suggesting that the same amount of coffee is brewed, but with more water leading to a larger cup. A lungo typically contains 3-4 oz of overall beverage, while a gran lungo contains around 5 oz. By comparison, an espresso is 1 ounce. 

Flavor Profile of Gran Lungo 

Gran Lungo is a unique coffee drink that’s known for its strong, bold flavor. While it’s similar to espresso in many ways, it has a flavor profile that’s all its own. Gran Lungo coffees are typically made with high-quality, Arabica beans, which gives them a smooth and refined taste. 

Some drinkers enjoy the complex aroma and long finish of a Gran Lungo. But on the other hand some coffee enthusiasts are not very impressed with the Gran Lungo, calling it over extracted water. Pretty tough criticism right?!

Is Gran Lungo Coffee or Espresso?

The Gran Lungo is somewhere in between. It’s a larger drink than espresso, but it’s still made using the same high-pressure extraction process. 

This means that Gran Lungo has many of the same qualities as espresso – such as a thick crema and a strong, bold flavor – but it also has a slightly more diluted taste. Think of it as a cross between a shot of espresso and a regular coffee.

What Size is Gran Lungo?

As we mentioned earlier, Gran Lungo is a larger drink than espresso. While an espresso shot is typically around 1-1.5 oz. in size, a Gran Lungo is 5oz. Again, a lungo is around 3-4 oz. 

This makes the Gran Lungo the perfect drink for those who are looking for a longer, more satisfying coffee experience, which is what Nespresso was probably going for.

Gran Lungo Caffeine Content

If you’re someone who loves their caffeine, you’ll be pleased to know that Gran Lungo has a similar caffeine content to espresso. While the exact amount of caffeine can vary depending on the type of coffee you’re using, a typical Gran Lungo contains around 120-200mg of caffeine. 

This means that it’s a great choice for those who need a morning pick-me-up or who want to stay alert throughout the day.

Can You Have a Gran Lungo with Milk?

You can definitely have a Gran Lungo with milk! It’s no different from adding milk or creamer to your cup of coffee. Adding milk can turn your Gran Lungo into a creamy, indulgent coffee experience. 

The best type of milk to use is up to you. For example, some people prefer whole milk for its fatty richness, while others opt for almond milk or oat milk for a dairy-free option. You can also experiment with different milk temperatures and frothed milk to create your perfect cup.

Comparing Gran Lungo to Other Drinks

Comparing Gran Lungo
Coffee drink comparison.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Let’s break down some of the key differences between Gran Lungo and other drinks.

What is Gran Lungo vs. Coffee?

While both Gran Lungo and coffee are made from coffee beans, they differ in the brewing process, flavor, and strength. Coffee is brewed by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans, whereas Gran Lungo is typically brewed using a pod based Nespresso machine. 

The flavor of coffee largely depends on the roast and origin of the beans, while the flavor of Gran Lungo predominantly comes from the intensity of the roast. Gran Lungo is brewed for a longer duration than regular espresso, which gives it a smoother and slightly weaker flavor profile than strong coffee.

Gran Lungo vs. Double Espresso

The difference between a Gran Lungo and double espresso lies in the size and strength of the drink. A double espresso is two shots of espresso separately pulled on top of each other for a total volume 2 oz. 

On the other hand, a Gran Lungo uses the same amount of coffee beans and is brewed past the standard 30 seconds for a total volume of 5 oz. giving it a smoother and less intense flavor compared to double espresso.

When it comes to caffeine content, Gran Lungo and double espresso are comparable, but Gran Lungo tends to be slightly higher. 

How to Make a Gran Lungo

How to Make a Gran Lungo
Aside from Gran Lungo pods, how do you make a Gran Lungo?

Even though Nespresso has pods for Gran Lungo coffee, you can still make your own if you so choose. 

Step 1: Grind your coffee

Select your favorite high-quality coffee blend. Grind 2 oz of it coarsely and put it into your filter basket. Make sure your machine is clean, and the water is fresh to prevent any residual flavors that could interfere with the taste.

Step 2: Prepare to brew

Similar to espressos, the ideal water temperature for brewing a Gran Lungo is 195°F to 200°F. Be sure you are using filtered water. The taste difference is huge. 

For the volume of water, aim for 5 ounces (150 ml) of water to 2 ounces of coffee. This ratio will give you a well-balanced taste.

Step 3: Begin to brew

Assuming you know how to use your espresso machine, go ahead and pack in your portafilter, tamp your grounds, insert into brew head and begin brewing. 

To pull a nice Gran Lungo, focus on an extraction time of around 60 seconds, or until you’ve extracted about 5 ounces of coffee.

Because it’s a longer extraction time, there may be traces of bitterness in your shots.

Step 4: Enjoy your brew

Once your Gran Lungo is brewed, take a moment to appreciate the aroma, then enjoy! 

Feel free to add milk, creamer, syrups and whatever you like to make it your own.

How to Drink a Gran Lungo

How to Drink a Gran Lungo
Savor the moment.
Photo by Enes Dincer

When you’re making Gran Lungo, consider using a coffee that has a heavy body and a slight acidic finish, which will showcase the signature bold and smooth profile of a Gran Lungo.

You can also adjust the volume of the water that you use to create different strengths and flavor profiles. Adding more water will create a weaker and smoother taste.

Enjoy your Gran Lungo as it is or pair it with something sweet to balance the boldness. Also, you can try to pair with foods that have crisp flavors. For those that love a “watered-down taste”, try adding flavored syrup to your Gran Lungo to sweeten things up.

Final Takeaway

A Gran Lungo is a different way to enjoy your espresso. Depending on how much of a coffee snob you are, you may think the Gran Lungo is over extracted bitter coffee or you may really like it as a nice smooth low intensity larger volume version of espresso. The fact that it’s convenient and easy to brew in a Nespresso machine, makes it even nicer. 


What is the point of a Gran Lungo?

A Gran Lungo is a perfect balance between the strength of espresso and the larger size of a regular cup of coffee. While an espresso shot is perfect for a quick pick-me-up, Gran Lungo is great for sipping and enjoying over a longer period.

What is the difference between espresso and Gran Lungo?

A standard single shot of espresso is one ounce or 30 ml. In comparison, a Gran Lungo coffee is larger, at around 5 ounces (though this can vary). The brewing time for a Gran Lungo is also longer compared to espresso, which means you get a more full-bodied taste from the coffee beans.

What is Gran Lungo fortado?

Gran Lungo Fortado is a unique, bold blend that is created from a blend of strong coffee beans. This coffee is made with Indian Robusta and South and Central American Arabicas. 

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