The ultimate long black coffee guide

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The ultimate long black coffee guide

Long Black Guide

If you prefer your coffee tall, dark and intense then a long black is almost certainly your favourite item on the coffee menu.

But what is a long black? What food pairs well with long black coffee? And, most importantly, how do you make a delicious long black at home? Our ultimate long black coffee guide has everything you need to know about this deliciously intense drink.

What exactly is a long black?

A long black is black coffee combined with hot water. It's that simple.

What's the difference between long black and espresso?

Long black coffee and espresso are similar drinks in that they don't contain milk. However, they are also quite different in terms of intensity and volume. An espresso is a short and intense drink, only 40ml in volume.. Whereas, a long black has a greater volume of hot water for a larger cup. A long black is considered an intense coffee in comparison to its milky counterparts such as lattes, cappuccinos or flat whites, but is a much less intense option than an espresso.

What food does a long black pair well with?

When pairing food and coffee, matching the notes of your coffee with the flavours of your food is our top tip. Every coffee has a unique taste profile, so familiarising yourself with the notes of your coffee will allow you to pair it with complementary foods. Variables such as acidity, brew methods, extraction time, and the region that your coffee is grown in, will all impact on the overall taste of a blend . See our Ultimate Coffee Bean Guide for more.

It's good to experiment with different foods as a good pairing really comes down to personal preference. Each delicious note and flavour within your coffee can be enhanced or amplified when paired with the right food. 

Why not try your long black with a bacon and egg sandwich, a toasted croissant, or perhaps with a nice cheese board. Check out our article Coffee and food pairings that please the palate to begin exploring the world of coffee and food and to discover more flavour combos - some of them may surprise you.

How to make a delicious long black at home

One of the most important steps to making a delicious long black coffee at home is your coffee selection. Each of our capsules contain specially selected ground coffee from coffee origins around the world. We only choose the best quality coffee beans from across the globe and each blend provides a unique experience and tells a different story. Once you have chosen your coffee, the rest is easy.

The best long black experience can be created using one of our Vertuo coffee machines. The 230ml mug coffee offers a smooth and strong coffee experience in an even bigger cup. Because sometimes, bigger really is better. 

The long black recipes you have to try

Sometimes the best coffee recipes are the simplest. Our Nespresso Vertuo Long Black and Long Black on Ice recipes are coffee creations that you and your guests will love. Make yours in two steps or less with a Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine.

Nespresso Vertuo Long Black

Long Black


  • Nespresso Vertuo mug coffee of choice


  1. Extract 230ml or 150ml of coffee straight into your favourite coffee mug or glass.

Nespresso Vertuo on Ice

Long Black Recipe on ice

The long black recipe that's just a little bit cooler.


  • Nespresso Vertuo mug coffee of choice
  • 180g ice


  1. Add ice cubes into your coffee mug/glass
  2. Extract 230ml or 150ml of coffee on top

Which coffee should you use in a long black?

The beauty of using one of our dedicated coffee machines is the flexibility to adapt your coffee to every occasion. Feeling like something intense? Then our Vertuo Intenso coffee is the perfect choice. Perhaps you feel like something lighter? Our Soleilo coffee is our lightest mug coffee. It has a gorgeously delicate red fruit aroma and is a great choice for anyone seeking a lighter approach to long black coffee.

We suggest keeping a selection of your favourite coffee blends to hand. That way, you'll be able to create your preferred coffee every single day, no matter your mood or preference.

Need some inspiration?

Here are some of our suggested coffee blends.


Dark and intense.

Intenso is unexpectedly thick and has a deliciously dense aftertaste. Brown sugar and strongly toasted notes bring a singular signature to this dark roasted coffee made of Guatemalan Robusta and Central and South American Arabicas.


Smooth and balanced.

Our most smooth and balanced blend of Arabicas.

Fine quality Brazilian Bourbon and Central American Arabicas are lightly roasted to create a rounded coffee that is smooth and perfectly balanced.


Floral and cereal.

Inizio is split roasted. The Ethiopian Arabicas get a lighter, shorter roast to keep those floral notes alive. A longer, darker roast of the Kenyan coffee adds body to this Vertuo coffee capsule. The brewing is also designed to bring out great crema while keeping the floral aromatics intact.

Costa Rica

Malty and cereal.

Costa Rica is a single origin coffee split-roasted in two batches. The first is roasted in medium temperatures to reach a medium-dark colour and develop sweet malty notes. The second is roasted slightly more intensively to reach a darker color and the desired intensity.


Distinct and woody with cereal notes.

Highly roasted Nicaraguan and Guatemalan Arabica coffee beans induce spicy, woody and cereal notes.

Nespresso coffee is sourced from some of the best coffee growing regions from across the world. This includes Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Kenya, India and Mexico.

A world of coffee is at your fingertips

The final word on long black coffee

Our dedicated Vertuo coffee machines will help you to create the perfect long black coffee from the comfort of your own home at work.

Which coffee machine is right for you?

Use our Coffee machine buying guide to find your perfect match.

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