Coffee Types

Why is it called long black?

Suppose you’re in a bustling café, eyeing the menu for a pick-me-up. Among the lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos, you come across something intriguing – the “long black.” But wait, what exactly is a long black, and why the curious name? Well, let’s dive into the delightful world of coffee culture to uncover the mystery behind this enigmatic drink.

Origins of the Long Black

The long black is a beloved beverage that hails from Down Under – Australia and New Zealand, to be precise. Aussies and Kiwis take their coffee seriously, and the long black is a testament to their passion for a good brew.

Imagine it’s a scorching summer day, and you’re craving a satisfying caffeine kick without the heaviness of milk. Enter the long black. This beverage is essentially a double shot of espresso poured over hot water, creating a long, black coffee with a rich, aromatic flavor.

The Art of the Long Black

Now that we know what a long black is, let’s delve into why it’s prepared the way it is. You see, making a long black isn’t just about combining espresso and hot water – it’s an art form.

Baristas carefully pour the espresso over the hot water, allowing the crema – that golden layer of froth on top of freshly brewed espresso – to remain intact. This method preserves the bold flavor and aromatic oils of the coffee, ensuring a sublime drinking experience with every sip.

Why the Name?

Ah, the million-dollar question: why is it called a long black? Well, the answer lies in the unique coffee culture of Australia and New Zealand.

In these countries, coffee lingo is a bit different from elsewhere in the world. When you order a “long black,” you’re essentially asking for a double shot of espresso topped with hot water. The “long” refers to the volume of the drink – it’s larger than a standard espresso but retains the intense flavor and strength.

As for the “black” part, well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. The absence of milk distinguishes the long black from its creamy counterparts like lattes and cappuccinos, giving it a bold, robust profile that’s perfect for those who prefer their coffee straight-up.

Long Black vs. Americano

You might be thinking, “Isn’t a long black just like an Americano?” While they may seem similar, there are subtle differences between the two beverages.

Both the long black and the Americano consist of espresso and hot water, but the preparation method varies. In a long black, the espresso is poured over hot water, preserving the crema and intense flavor. In contrast, an Americano involves adding hot water to espresso, which can sometimes dilute the flavor.


And there you have it – the intriguing tale of the long black. From its origins in the coffee-loving lands of Australia and New Zealand to its unique preparation and curious name, this beverage is a testament to the artistry and creativity of coffee culture.

So, the next time you find yourself in need of a caffeine fix, why not give the long black a try? Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite drink in the process.

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