There is something extremely satisfying about sitting down to sip on a nice cup of coffee. As much as I love espresso, what I really need first thing in the morning is a coffee with a little staying power so I can mentally prepare for the day ahead. As a Nespresso user, the Gran Lungo capsules are perfect for this. They’re just large enough that I have a few minutes to collect myself while I drink, but not big enough that they require a travel mug to take with me on the go.
The Gran Lungo roasts also have the perfect amount of caffeine to jumpstart the day without feeling jittery. They fall somewhat in the middle of caffeine content, at least when it comes to Nespresso products. I’ll dive into exactly how much caffeine the Gran Lungo beverages have and how they compare to other Nespresso drinks.
What is a Nespresso Gran Lungo?
Nespresso loves using Italian words to name their products and the Gran Lungo is no different. “Gran” translates to “great” and “Lungo” translates to “long,” but when you put them together, instead of “great long,” a more accurate translation is “far.”
All this to say, the name Gran Lungo is loosely meant to represent that these capsules will brew you a drink that will last you a bit longer than a regular espresso. This is because it is brewed with more water, meaning you get a larger drink that comes with the added bonus of having more caffeine. The taste isn’t as strong as a traditional espresso, so if you aren’t a huge espresso fan, the Gran Lungo is perfect for you.
What is the difference between Lungo and Gran Lungo?
There’s a very simple difference between Nespresso’s Lungo and Gran Lungo capsules… Lungo capsules are designed for Nespresso’s original line of machines, while Gran Lungo capsules only work in their Vertuo line of brewers.
Because they’re fitted for different machines, the capsules are also different sizes that produce different-sized beverages. A Lungo brews a 3.7oz drink while a Gran Lungo makes a 5oz drink. The variation isn’t huge, but it’s enough to notice. In fact, the Gran Lungo is about twice the size of a double espresso pod, which I suppose could make it a quadruple espresso? You can understand why they named it a Gran Lungo instead.
How much caffeine is in a Gran Lungo pod?
Unfortunately, Nespresso doesn’t like to disclose exact caffeine levels for their beverages, stating that coffee is a “live” product and the caffeine content can vary from one to another. So while we don’t have the exact amount of caffeine in each of the Gran Lungo beverages, one observant Nespresso drinker was able to compile the caffeine content listed on Nespresso’s Taiwan website. Even with that resource, exact figures aren’t available for all capsules, but a range is given to still provide a good sense of how much of a buzz you can expect after drinking each particular Gran Lungo drink.
First up, the Fortado Decaffeinato is the only decaf drink intended to be brewed as a Gran Lungo. As such, it’s not going to have much caffeine, coming in at less than 12mg per serving.
What you will get out of this drink, though, is an intense cup of coffee with notes of cocoa and oak, giving it an overall earthy taste. The Fortado Decaffeinato is a full-bodied, bitter, and strong-flavored coffee you can drink any time of day.
Next is the Arondio, which we aren’t lucky enough to have an exact caffeine amount for, but it falls within the range of 120-200mg per serving. It is the perfect Gran Lungo beverage, as Nespresso literally describes it as a long black coffee.
If you aren’t a fan of taking your coffee black, don’t be afraid to give Arondio a try. It’s rated at a mid-level intensity and is considered “mild,” “smooth,” and “approachable.”
The Costa Rica blend is unlike any other on the list. To make this coffee, it undergoes a fermentation process using hot spring water, which delivers a clean and refreshing flavor. It comes in at a nice 140mg of caffeine, which is a decent amount more than your average cup of coffee.
Overall, Nespresso rates it at a 3/5 for bitterness, 1/5 for acidity, 4/5 for roast level, and 3/5 for body. It’s well worth giving this roast a try if nothing else than to taste the unique results of the fermentation process.
Nespresso’s Ethiopia blend may not be the most intense, but it has a flavor profile you don’t see every day. With only 119mg of caffeine, it is the lowest caffeinated Gran Lungo capsule on the list, with a highly drinkable flavor to match.
You’ll want to brew an Ethiopia pod when you’re looking to enjoy a tasty beverage, not necessarily when you’re in need of a quick burst of energy. With floral and fruity notes, it isn’t a classic coffee beverage, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty. If you want a light afternoon cup of Joe, Ethiopia is the way to go.
The Fortado is just like its decaffeinated counterpart in many ways, but they are on opposite ends of the caffeine spectrum. Fortado clocks in at 195mg, which tops the Gran Lungo list.
Nespresso’s description of its Inizio almost sounds more like a tea blend than a coffee. Described with, “a juiciness gleaming through toasted cereal and floral notes,” it’s not for everyone, but enjoyable nonetheless. While we don’t know the exact amount of caffeine in the Inizio, it lands somewhere between 120-200mg per serving.
A solid dose of caffeine
Aside from the Fortado Decaffeinato, a Gran Lungo blend is guaranteed to deliver a noticeable amount of caffeine without leaving you jittery and shaking. Nespresso offers a wide array of options among its six Gran Lungo blends, so no matter what you’re into, you can find a capsule to enjoy that’ll last you longer than a shot of espresso.