LONG BLACK: A SIMPLE GUIDE TO SAVORY COFFEE
Many people in the coffee community make a variety of coffee drinks. There are options like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, and Frappuccino. But what if you enjoy having your coffee black? Are there other coffee options for lovers of back coffee? The answer is Yes. A long black is a perfect option.
Whether you are a lover of plain black coffee or you are looking for a spunky drink, the long black is what you should brew. Read on to find out more. If you have not brewed or ordered the long black to taste its bold flavors, then you are not alone.
Most of the coffee drinks that are enjoyed in Australia and New Zealand originated from Italy. Before now, there were just two options of taking coffee in the Italian coffee culture- espresso or cappuccino. But with time, the request for a larger cup of plain black coffee increased (especially from American tourists).
As the owners of coffee shops noticed this trend, they had to look for a way to adapt, so they started pouring espresso into the water. They found this useful because it was similar to the classic espresso, but the strength was diluted for people that couldn't accommodate the bold flavors of the espresso. And that's how the long black was created. Currently, the long black is a popular way of having coffee in Australia.
The name "long black" refers to the color of the resulting drink, rather than its length. The color is a dark brownish-black, as opposed to the lighter brownish-black of an Americano. A long black is similar to a café macchiato or café crème. The only difference being that a long black is made from a shot of espresso rather than a single serving of filter coffee.
WHAT IS LONG BLACK?
Long black coffee is mixed with hot water. It is sometimes called an Americano. A long black is not the same as a shot of espresso, which is served in small cups, drunk quickly, and has more caffeine than the stronger long black.
A long black has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. It is the traditional way coffee used to be made in Australia, however, it has fallen out of favor in recent years. We don’t know where the name came from, but one theory suggests that ‘black’ comes from how dark the coffee looks when mixed with hot water, and ‘long’ refers to the drink lasting longer without refills.
A long black is sometimes made with instant coffee or espresso coffee powder but if you want to make it properly you use freshly ground beans.
HOW TO MAKE LONG BLACK
To make this delicious coffee, you’d need espresso and water. For the espresso, you need freshly roasted beans, filtered water, and a good espresso machine.
- Grind the coffee (fine grinds), put it into your portafilter, and brew a shot of espresso. The long black is about 4-6 ounces. The normal ratio is ¼ espresso and ¾ water. You can tweak the ratio depending on your preference.
- Start by pouring the hot water (the water should be around 90-96 degrees) into a mug. If your espresso machine has a water spout, then you are good to go.
- When you’ve put the water into the cup, pour the espresso you just brewed into the water. That's all.
IS THE LONG BLACK NOT JUST AN AMERICANO?
It's not the same thing although most people use the names interchangeably. The drinks are similar, but the long black still packs a lot of the strong flavors of the espresso, this is one feature that sets it apart. Let's tell you the difference, the Americano is made when a shot of espresso is made and filled with hot water while the long black is the exact opposite.
Another difference between both drinks is that the long black still preserves the crema of the espresso.
WHAT IS CREMA?
The crema is known as that light brown layer of foam that develops when espresso is extracted. It always settles on the surface of the dink. It is similar to what happens when you pour beer into a glass.
In other words, the crema in espresso is created by air bubbles that blend with oils and fats from finely ground coffee when water is poured and a certain pressure is applied. If you are an average coffee drinker, you may not really be interested in the outcome of the cream, it is not a must-have before you can enjoy a great cup of coffee.
For black coffee drinkers, the crema is a very important factor because it says a lot about the kind (quality of espresso that was made). Also, it has a lot to do with the freshness of coffee beans that were used. Although the crema doesn't produce a flavor that is different from the rest of the espresso, most coffee experts say it highlights all the flavors of the espresso and helps to preserve its after-taste.
WHAT ABOUT THE CREMA OF THE LONG BLACK?
As we previously mentioned, the Americano does not retain crema like the long black. This is because the water is added first, then the espresso so the crema is protected, unlike the Americano where the hot water destroys the drink.
TIP: When making the long black, hold the cup closer to the espresso, this way, the cream will form easier because it has a closer range with the cup.
HOW MUCH COFFEE GROUNDS IS IN THE LONG BLACK?
The quality of your drink and caffeine levels is dependent on the type of beans used. The most common type of coffee that is sweet is the Arabica beans. The average shot will have 30ml and has about 60 to 75ml of caffeine. So if you prefer a grande size (double long shot), then the caffeine levels will be around 80 to 100ml.
Note that the amount of espresso shouldn't exceed the volume of hot water. The classic espresso is designed to be sipped little by little, so since you are making the long black, you wouldn't want to over-caffeinate it. If you’ve already made too much coffee, then add more water.
Just like any coffee drink, the long black requires experimentation till you find a sweet spot (something that suits your taste).
CAN I HAVE LONG BLACK WITH MILK?
Normally, long black is served without milk and is made to be very flavorful and contain more caffeine than the cappuccino but a weaker taste than the regular espresso. If after brewing, the drink is too strong for you, you can create what we call the ‘macchiato’ which means ‘stained’ in Italy.
It is a term used to describe a cup of espresso that has a splash of milk foam on it. The exact amount to be added is dependent on your personal taste.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHORT BLACK COFFEE AND LONG BLACK COFFEE?
Both of these drinks are similar, the short black is another name for espresso shots. The only time water may be added is when you don't want to add milk. The name black comes from the color of the coffee itself. While the long black as you know is made when espresso is added to hot water.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT LONG BLACK
You’d want to use high-quality coffee to make the long black and a good espresso machine. Using other machines, may not produce really strong coffee or have any crema on it. The long black was created to give the drinker a savoring experience so all equipment and ingredients used should be top-notch.
If you just started drinking espresso, this will be a good option. Remember, the water to be used should be tasteless and colorless. Avoid using tap water because it may contain dust or other minerals that could clog your coffee machine and ruin the taste of your brew. We advise that you don't use distilled water because it is pure for drinking, but it may not turn out right in the coffee.
This drink is a favorite for many, and it is now a popular choice in Australia for enthusiastic black coffee drinkers. So if you are looking for a new coffee drink to try, go for the long black, it won't disappoint.
Just make sure you are using fresh coffee beans to brew, so you can get all the aromatic and flavorful compounds. Stale coffee beans will ruin the taste of the coffee. So go ahead, order the beans HERE and brew your long black.