How To Make The Best Long Black Coffee
Making a long black is one of the fundamental barista skills that you'll always be able to fall back on. Black coffee is the bread and butter of the coffee world. There are many different types of options out there, but whatever beans you choose, you'll need to know the right way to brew and roast them if you want a steaming cup of classic coffee.
You might be interested in deviating beyond the latte and explore other ways to enjoy coffee. Or you could be interested in learning how this staple is made and figure out new ways to incorporate it into all your caffeinated concoctions. Either way, read on to discover the secret to making a long black.
How Is a Long Black Made?
First, a bit of history. The long black is an espresso-based coffee popular in cafes throughout Australia. Down under, hot water is mixed with espresso or ristretto to create a flavorful, strong coffee that can be savored longer than a traditional shot of espresso. You drink these coffees without milk, and it's similar to an Americano. Anyone who loves black coffee will likely find the long black to their liking.
Long blacks became popularized throughout coffee houses around the world as American tourists in a café began to request "black coffee" instead of the more common espresso. To accommodate customers, baristas would pour a shot or double shot of espresso into a cup of hot water, which emulated the type of black drip coffee many Americans prefer back home.
How to Make a Long Black Coffee
To start making long blacks, follow this guide. In three easy steps, the average coffee drinker will be able to make a long black like a professional barista in no time.
1. Get Your Measurements Correct
You only need two things to make a long black coffee: hot water and your espresso bean of choice. The Arabica coffee bean is popular in many blends and produces an aromatic, flavorful brew that is well suited to this type of drink.
Recipe: The typical ratio is 3/4 water to 1/4 espresso. We suggest approximately 100 to 120 ml of water for one espresso shot per cup.
2. Prepare the Cup
If you have an espresso machine, then you can use the hot water from its spout to fill your cup. If you're making yours with a coffee machine, then you'll want to use a electric kettle or the traditional stove to bring water to a temperature of approximately 195 degrees Fahrenheit or 91 degrees Celsius. Take a look at our Espresso Machine Buying Guide if you're in the market for a new coffee machine.
3. Make Your Espresso
Those using espresso machines will have the easiest time with this step. Just let your machine work its magic, then pour the espresso shot over your water. If you're using coffee beans, ground them and prepare a shot as you normally would before adding them to the hot water.
How Much Coffee Is in a Long Black?
The type of beans you use will influence the quality and caffeine level of your drink. The most common is Arabica coffee beans, but you can try other types of coffee bean as well. An average shot is 30 ml and has 60 to 80 ml of caffeine. If you have a double shot long black, then you'll have around 80 to 120 ml.
The amount of espresso should not exceed the volume of water in your drink. Black coffee is naturally designed to be sipped and savored, so you don't want to over-caffeinate your long black and have it be too short. If you think you have too much coffee, then add some more water. Experiment until you find a blend that suits your taste.
What Is a Long Black Coffee With Milk?
Traditional long blacks are served without milk and designed to be more flavorful and potent than a cappuccino but weaker than a shot. If you find that yours is still a bit too strong, you can add some milk to soften the taste. By adding milk to a long black, you'll create what5 the Italians call a "macchiato" coffee, which means "stained." It was meant to describe an espresso that had a splash of milk added in, but the exact amount you add will vary based on personal taste. A flat white coffee, on the other hand, is an espresso shot with milk that's stronger than a latte.
Is Long Black the Same as Americano?
Although similar, the difference between a long black coffee and the ever-popular Americano lies in their preparation and the crema. With an Americano, hot water is added to the coffee after it's been poured into the cup. The opposite is true for a long black. Why does this matter? It's all about the crema.
Crema is the light brown froth created by air bubbles that comes at the end of an espresso extraction. The crema settles at the top of the cup, and it's what a skilled barista considers to be a good sign of the ingredients' quality.
Tips on Making the Best Long Black Coffee
Now that we've covered how to make your long black coffee, we'll leave you with some tips on how to perfect your next brew.
Buy High Quality Ingredients
You won't want to use cheap espresso for a long black because it will ultimately dilute the flavor and create a lackluster final result and crema. The long black is designed to give the drinker an experience they can savor, so the products should be top-notch. If you are new to drinking espresso, this is an ideal drink to try different types of beans and practice identifying different flavor notes. Water is another factor that will affect the quality of the final cup.
Ready to make an amazing long black? Barista Warehouse has all you'll need to get started on your perfect cup.