glass filled with hot long black americano on the wooden table

What is Long Black Coffee?

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Long black coffee is a popular espresso-based drink known for its strong, bold flavor and simple preparation.

In this article, we are going to discuss everything about long black coffee. From its history and origin to how to make it, we are going to discuss lots of things.

So let's start.

What is Long Black Coffee?

Long black coffee is a popular coffee style originating from Australia and New Zealand.

It is made by pouring a double shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water, which creates a similar strength to Americano but with a different flavor profile.

The crema from the espresso sits on top of the water, giving the drink a rich and aromatic quality.

The hot water is added after the espresso, which helps preserve the crema and flavor. It's a simple yet flavorful coffee that's enjoyed for its bold taste and smooth texture.

I can remember lots of people who get confused between Long black and Americano coffee. They think these drinks are the same but no, they are different.

History of long black coffee

The history of the long black coffee is closely tied to the coffee culture of Australia and New Zealand.

While we don't know the exact origin of the long black, it is believed to have developed in the mid-20th century as part of these countries' unique coffee traditions.

Australia and New Zealand have a strong coffee culture that dates back to the early 20th century when Italian and Greek immigrants brought their coffee-making traditions to the region.

After this, espresso-based drinks became increasingly popular, with the flat white, cappuccino, and latte being among the most common choices.

The long black likely emerged as a response to the Americano, which is made by adding hot water to espresso. 

The long black, however, is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water. This method helps preserve the crema, which is the creamy top layer of the espresso, and results in a stronger, more aromatic drink compared to the Americano coffee.

Over time, the long black became a staple in Australian and New Zealand cafes.

Today, the long black is enjoyed not only in Australia and New Zealand but also in other parts of the world, where it is appreciated for its bold taste and simple preparation.

Characteristics of long black coffee

1) Bold Flavor

The long black is known for its strong, rich flavor, which comes from the double shot of espresso used to make it. The hot water used to fill the cup after the espresso is poured helps to preserve the crema, adding to the overall flavor and aroma of the drink.

2) Aromatic Crema

The crema, which is the creamy top layer of the espresso, is a distinctive feature of the long black. It adds a velvety texture to the drink and enhances its aroma.

3) Smooth Texture

Despite its bold flavor, the long black has a smooth texture, which is achieved by pouring hot water over the espresso after it is brewed.

4) Simple Preparation

The long black is easy to prepare, making it a popular choice in cafes and homes alike. It requires only a double shot of espresso and hot water, which are poured in a specific order to preserve the crema and flavor of the drink.

How to make long black coffee?

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment

  • Freshly ground coffee beans
  • Espresso machine
  • Hot water (ideally just off the boil)
  • Prepare Your Espresso:

Step 2: Grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency

Use your espresso machine to brew a double shot of espresso or ristretto.

Step 3: Heat Your Water

Heat your water to just below boiling point. You can use a kettle or a temperature-controlled hot water dispenser.

Step 4: Pour the Water

Fill a coffee cup or mug about halfway with the hot water.

Step 5: Add the Espresso shot

Then you need to carefully pour the double shot of espresso over the hot water. Pour it slowly to preserve the crema on top.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Your long black coffee is ready to be served. Optionally, you can add sugar or milk according to your preference, although traditionally it is served black. 

Wrapping up

Here, I have got you covered with important information on long black coffee.

The long black coffee is a straightforward and strong coffee drink enjoyed worldwide. It is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water, which creates a rich flavor and aroma.

While you can add sugar or milk, it is usually served black to savor its bold taste.

Whether you are at home or in a cafe, the long black is a popular choice for those who appreciate a robust and flavorful coffee experience.


1) Is a long black stronger than a latte?

Yes, a long black coffee is generally stronger than a latte. Milk is used in a latte with a shot or two of espresso, whereas long black coffee just has an espresso shot and water which makes it more flavourful.

2) Do you need special coffee beans to brew long black?

No,  you just need good-quality beans.  It also depends on your preference for flavor and taste.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...