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Deep Dive: What Is a Long Black?

Meet the Americano's cousin from down under.

by Kayla Baird | September 09, 2020

Grab your wetsuits, we're taking a deep dive into some of our favorite café drinks. This time out, the Americano's down under cousin, the long black coffee.

Key Facts

Definition: While the exact date is unknown, the long black originated in a coffee shop and then cafes across New Zealand and Australia

First known usage: Espresso diluted with three to four ounces of hot water

What Is a Long Black?

So, what is long black coffee? A long black isn’t simply an espresso that’s been diluted with hot water, or an espresso that has been pulled extra-long. It’s a cup of hot water — no more than four ounces — with an espresso pulled directly over that hot water.

There must not be any transfer from a shot glass or another vessel, in order to preserve the crema atop the beverage. In essence, the result is a long, extra-diluted espresso without any of the over extraction, and all of the pleasant bitterness and sweetness.