Beginners Brew Guide: Long Black

Beginners Brew Guide: Long Black

The Long Black is a beverage created with Espresso and hot water. Pouring freshly extracted Espresso over hot water tends to create two distinct layers, with the Espresso crema sitting towards the top of the brew. The result? A punchier tasting coffee with a slightly heavier mouthfeel than that of the Americano.
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Discovering an Espresso recipe which you’re happy with is a fantastic way of venturing into home brewing. Having an established recipe opens up a world of possibilities for creating a range of coffee beverages and cocktails. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you can even level up your home baking!

But let’s keep it simple to begin with - the Long Black is an easy yet exceptional beverage to get started with. 

The Long Black is a beverage created with Espresso and hot water. Although similar to the Americano, the Long Black originated from the New Zealand and Australian coffee scene. While the Americano is typically created by adding hot water over Espresso, the Long Black is reversed. Pouring freshly extracted Espresso over hot water tends to create two distinct layers, with the Espresso crema sitting towards the top of the brew. The result? A punchier tasting coffee with a slightly heavier mouthfeel than that of the Americano.

Need an Espresso recipe to get you started? We have a fab one right here.


YOU WILL NEED

  • 16g of your chosen coffee. Depending on your setup, you’ll either be grinding this yourself or popping it into your machine. Either way, you’re looking for very finely ground coffee, roughly a powder-like consistency.
  • An Espresso machine.
  • A grinder, if your machine doesn’t include one.
  • A tamper, if your machine doesn’t include one.
  • A set of scales, ideally to 0.1g accuracy.
  • A timer (phones are fab too).
  • Your favourite cup to drink from.
  • Hot water.
  • (optional) Your choice of milk.

METHOD

  1. Start off by tapping out any old coffee grinds from the portafilter and wipe with a dry cloth. Give your grouphead a quick flush to ensure there is no residue from previous uses, as this will impact the overall quality of your resulting brew!
  2. Weigh out your coffee and grind this very finely into your portafilter basket. Remember that you’re looking for your grind to be a powder-like consistency.
  3. Gently tap the side of the basket to ensure your grounds are evenly distributed. Rest your portafilter on a flat surface. Using a tamper, apply even pressure without pressing down too hard, ensuring that you have a nice level surface. This may take a bit of practice so don’t get frustrated - take your time and keep at it!
  4. Once tamped, gently wipe away any excess grounds from the side of your basket. Give your group a quick flush to ensure there is no residue from previous uses, as this will impact the overall quality of your resulting brew! Reattach your portafilter to your machine, being careful not to disturb your tamped grounds.
  5. Pop some hot water, just off the boil, into your cup of choice. We recommend filling it to about ⅔’s of the way to leave room for your extracted Espresso, but this can be made longer or shorter depending on personal taste.
  6. Begin extracting your Espresso by pressing the button on your machine to start the water flow. Simultaneously, start your timer. For this recipe you’ll be working with a 1:2 yield ratio - a 16g dose of ground coffee should produce 32g yield of Espresso. We recommend that once your scales hit 29g you stop the extraction to allow for a bit of overflow.
  7. Once happy with your result, kick back and enjoy - you deserve it. Your Long Black can be either enjoyed as is or with a splash of your chosen milk.

Fancy experimenting further with your Espresso recipe? We have plenty of other brew guides and recipes here to follow to utilise your newly-found brewing skills!

TOP TIPS

Tasting too sour or weak? Try grinding your coffee slightly finer to extend your extraction time.

Tasting too bitter? Grind your coffee slightly coarser for a shorter extraction time.

Where possible, try and grind your beans as and when needed. This will ultimately help to keep your coffee as fresh as possible and your brew tasting delicious!

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