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As I understand it, a standard espresso shot is about 40 mL in volume, and a lungo/allongé is 100 mL or more. They start with the same amount of ground coffee, but the lungo is made by putting more water through the grounds. (This is assuming a standard portafilter machine.)

So... if I have two Nespresso capsules in front of me, and one says "espresso" and the other says "lungo," shouldn't they have the same amount of coffee inside? Is there an actual difference between them?

Update

The two kinds of capsule weigh the same (6g), so it appears that there is no actual difference between them, unless there's something I'm not thinking of...

  • I know this does not affect the question or answer but regarding the definition of espresso and lungo, the accepted volumes are mostly 30 ml and 150 ml, respectively. You may see the previous discussions on them here: coffee.stackexchange.com/questions/2959/… – MTSan Apr 18 '18 at 11:18
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Well, as you have yourself conclude that they have no difference regarding the amount of coffee (6 g). I just gonna put there an important note that some people miss.

Espresso capsules are made to be extracted as espressos and lungos, as lungos. The point of this is that Nespresso's lungo coffees are supposedly designed to have a more balanced flavor over a longer extraction/more diluted in contrast to the espresso which was made and evaluated to be drink in a single, stronger shot.

As for myself, I had both ways already and I do believe that at least for the espresso capsules, stick with espresso size (especially if you are using a 3rd party capsule). Nespresso's lungos are often too watery, in my opinion.

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