The insiders guide to great coffee

Long Black and Americano – The Insiders Guide to Coffee #3

We’ve been through how to make the perfect Espresso, Short Black, Ristretto and Macchiato; last week it was the turn of the Latte and Flat White; this week it’s time for the Long Black and Americano to shine…

Long Black

A Long Black is a double shot (about 30–50ml) of espresso poured over about 90ml of hot water, which has usually been heated in the coffee machine too.

Some people like to have the hot water in a jug to add themselves, or extra hot water.

The espresso is poured over the top of the water (not the other way around) to preserve the crema on top better.


An Americano (or Caffe Americano), which is of Italian origin, is a bit like a long black – but with a different ratio of coffee to water.

The Americano starts off with a double espresso (about 30–50ml) which we pour over the top of about 150ml of water. Again, at Watery Mouth Café the espresso is poured over the water (not vice versa). (Although we know some coffee houses add them the other way around, this is not a universally agreed approach – and much like anything, up for debate!)

It can also be served with a splash of milk.

Did You Know?

Here are the top 10 professions by coffee consumption as quoted in the New Zealand Herald:

  1. Journalists and media staff
  2. Police officers
  3. Teachers
  4. Plumbers and trade workers
  5. Nurses and medical staff
  6. Company executives
  7. Telesales
  8. IT technical support
  9. Retail staff
  10. Drivers
  11. Does this sound right to you?


Until next time…