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What is Long Black Coffee

While writing my previous post about the specialty coffee milks available in New Zealand that are formulated for superior taste and frothing qualities for making coffee drinks such as latte and flat white, I also made reference to a post at singing the praises of coffee in Auckland. In his post the writer mentioned how he was a little lost because of the different coffee terminology used in New Zealand, and one of the coffee drinks he referred to while scratching his head was a "long black". It seems that by the end of his visit he still didn't know quite what the heck a long black was, so let me answer the question for him and anyone else out there in cyberspace.

A long black is a double-shot of espresso pulled over hot water. Take note: the espresso is pulled into the hot water so as not to break the crema; there should be crema floating on the top of a long black.

As a matter of convenience, the hot water is typically taken from the espresso machine itself rather than from a separate hot water source. In a way, a long black is similar to an Americano, but Americano is typically a single shot of espresso with more hot water, and it is likely in the U.S. that the espresso will be extracted separately into a small pitcher and the espresso then poured into the hot water. Oh what a shame; crema down the drain!

Long black's partner is the "short black" coffee which is simply the traditional shot of espresso coffee served in a demitasse cup.

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