If you’re familiar with coffee, you’ve likely heard of Nespresso. This top-of-the-line espresso machine defines luxury and convenience in one combination package.

With its Original line of classic espresso drinks, Nespresso is designed to provide perfect flavor and strength each time.

Quick Answer: What are the differences between Nespresso lungo vs. espresso?

The main difference between a Nespresso lungo and an espresso is the coffee size and flavor. A lungo is a longer shot of espresso with a 3.7 oz serving, while an espresso is a 1.35 oz serving of coffee with a more intense flavor profile.

Nespresso Lungo vs. Espresso: How Do They Differ?

In this article, it’s time to explore all the differences between a lungo and espresso drinks from Nespresso’s selection – what makes them unique, how they’re made, and which coffee may be better suited for satisfying your caffeine craving!

Nespresso lungo vs. espresso, what are the differences?

Before getting into detail about each of the differences, you can have a look at a quick overview of them below:

Coffee size3.7 oz (110 ml)1.35 oz (40 ml)
Intensity level4 to 104 to 13
Price per pod$0.85$0.80 to $1.10
Flavor profileSubtle flavor and mellow acidityIntense flavor with a strong aftertaste

As you can see, a lungo and espresso from the Nespresso range are quite different in many ways.

Let’s get into more detail about each of these coffee pods below:

What is a Nespresso lungo?

A Nespresso lungo is similar to an espresso but with double the amount of water used for brewing—about three times as much (3.7 oz).

This results in a larger cup size and less intense flavors, producing a longer-lasting taste that many find more pleasant than espresso.

Nespresso Cape Town lungo brewed coffee with the pod next to it.

The extra water also lowers the acidity levels, making it smoother on the palate.

Lungos are best suited for those who prefer milder coffees or don’t want their cups too strong.

Nespresso lungos can also be made with the newer Nespresso Vertuo machines, although this version is slightly larger than the original lungo.

I’ll cover the gran lungo in-depth further down in the article!

What is an espresso from Nespresso?

An espresso from Nespresso is an easy-to-make, full-bodied coffee beverage that has become a staple in many households worldwide.

Nespresso Cosi espresso with the coffee pod next to it.

A cup of Nespresso espresso is made from a coffee pod that will brew the espresso in just under 30 seconds; no grinding or special equipment is required!

The espresso will have a nice crema, with the newer Vertuo machines having an even thicker crema on top:

Nespresso Altissio brewed espresso with coffee pod next to it.

The unique feature of the Nespresso machine is its simplicity – all you need to do is insert your pre-filled pod into the slot on top of the machine, select your desired size, and press go!

You can learn more about why Nespresso is so popular in this article!

Is there a difference between Nespresso Vertuo and Original pods?

There is quite a difference between the newer Nespresso Vertuo pods and the OriginalLine pods from Nespresso.

To make things easy for you, you can have a look below at all the coffee pod sizes available and which Nespresso machine you’ll need:

Type of coffeeCup sizeType of Nespresso machine
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

As you can see, you can only make a lungo with an Original Nespresso machine. If you have a Veruto machine, you can only brew a slightly larger gran lungo instead.

You can read all about the gran lungo in this article, but it’s basically the same coffee, except that it’s an even longer pull than the regular lungo:

However, you can brew espressos with the Vertuo and OriginalLine machines.

A brewed Fortado gran lungo from Nespresso.

You can learn more about the differences between these machines in this article.

What is the flavor difference between Nespresso lungo vs. espresso?

The flavor difference between Nespresso lungo and espresso is quite distinct. An espresso shot is a small, concentrated drink that is intended to be served in one or two quick sips.

This tiny cup of coffee packs a punch with its bold intensity and robust flavors from the higher coffee-to-water ratio.

On the other hand, Nespresso’s lungo is a longer version of espresso that has been given more water during extraction to create a larger cup size with weaker strength and milder flavor.

The result is still intense, but it has less acidity than espresso, so it may be more agreeable for those who prefer less bitter coffees or are sensitive to caffeine levels.

Its aromas are exquisite, featuring hints of sweet floral and nutty notes as well as caramel nuances while its body remains full-bodied.

A side-by-side comparison between the Nespresso lungo vs. espresso.
Nespresso lungo on the left, espresso on the right

Overall, there can be no doubt that both coffees have their respective advantages when it comes to taste, aroma, body, and balance.

Even though they differ significantly, Nespresso lungo’s delicate sweetness allows it wonderful versatility, whereas espresso’s power creates an incomparable experience!

Which is better, a Nespresso lungo or espresso?

When it comes to deciding between a Nespresso lungo or espresso, the answer will depend upon what your needs are and personal preference.

  • An espresso is generally more intense than a lungo. An espresso has a much higher concentration of flavor since less water is used in the brewing process.
  • On the other hand, a lungo will have a more mellow flavor due to longer extraction time and more water being used for extraction.

Price-wise – both options are very similar, with little difference between them in cost per pod.

So, whichever option you choose should be based on how intense or mild you would like your coffee without worrying too much about their price differences!

A batch of Nespresso Vertuo pods.

If you’re not quite sure which would fit you the best, I recommend the following:

  • Go with a Nespresso lungo if you like to sip your coffee slowly and like a milder flavor.
  • If you like strong coffees, an espresso from the Nespresso range will suit your needs the best!

I usually like to drink the lungos as is, while I can appreciate the espresso’s taste more when it’s made into a cappuccino or an Americano.


The advantages of a Nespresso lungo and an espresso each have their own unique characteristics that will help you decide the best beverage for you.

It’s important to understand what each drink has to offer and the flavor differences so that you can choose how you want your flavor profile to be.

Depending on what experience you’re looking for—a dose of caffeine or a bolder yet mellow flavored cup of coffee—you can pick out your preference.

Whether it be a lungo or an espresso, they both encompass some distinctive tastes and aromas that make them worthy contenders.

In either case, I hope this article is useful in finding the perfect brew!

Learn more about Nespresso

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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