The Difference Between Double Espresso And Gran Lungo Nespresso Pods

With more than 40 unique coffee blends in Nespresso's Vertuo portfolio, the possibilities are mind-boggling. Sometimes you just want a simple cup of morning or afternoon coffee — one that requires no complex decisions or degrees in food chemistry. Fortunately, Nespresso takes care of that on its end, leaving you to stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen, pop a pod into your Vertuo machine, then simply push a button. It does, however, take a bit of prior homework to determine the perfect blend for your tastebuds.

An espresso devotee typically loves the pure taste of rich, strong coffee with little adornment. If that's you, there's a world of flavors to explore in various espresso blends in the Nespresso Vertuo pods. That includes two of the most popular: the double espresso offerings and the associated gran lungo blends. It's important to note that these two specifically named pod types are available only in the Vertuo line by Nespresso, not in its Original line of capsules. 

Understanding the difference between double espresso and gran lungo Nespresso pods comes down to distinct characteristics. While they're both espresso drinks, they've been enhanced in specific ways. They both evolve from the basic single-shot Italian espresso drink, which uses pressurization to extract a thick, bold, frothy liquid. But in the double espresso and gran lungo iterations, the variations include pod size, the amount of water, and the resulting flavor concentration. 

Double espresso means double the pleasure

A double shot of espresso, also known as doppio, the Italian word for "double," refers to two shots of espresso rather than a single shot. In a Nespresso pod, that means double the amount of ground coffee and double the amount of water. Instead of using standard 1.35-ounce espresso pods, you'll be popping in a 2.7-ounce double espresso pod. At present, the Vertuo line offers three double espresso blends, each with its own unique characteristics.

When opting for this espresso style, your choices are the Double Espresso Chiaro, Scuro, or Dolce. The Chiaro features arabica beans from South and Central America and is described as dense and wild with earthy and woody notes. Darker, bolder, and more intense is the Scuro, which comes from both arabica and robusta beans with a smoky character and hints of vanilla and cocoa. The Double Espresso Dolce pod is on the other end of the spectrum, more balanced, milder, and smoother than the other doppio blends. The beans are Latin American arabicas and Ugandan robustas, providing notes of malted cereal.  

Limited Edition pods occasionally come in the same 2.7-ounce size. Though not officially named double espresso, they still pour as such. Coffee blends in this size include a light roast called Sunny Almond Vanilla Flavor Over Ice, created with arabica beans from Ethiopia and Indonesia. It's brewed in a Nespresso Vertuo machine, then served icy cold, bringing notes of almond and vanilla to your cup.

Gran lungo pods balance Nespresso boldness

The gran lungo pods from Nespresso get their name from the Italian word lungo, which translates into English as "long." The long pull is a coffee-industry term referring to the practice of "pulling" espresso during the extraction process. It essentially pulls more hot water into the espresso in order to dilute it, with the intent being a milder rendition of espresso, similar to an Americano drink.  

When it comes to Nespresso's gran lungo, the pods produce about 5 ounces of diluted espresso available in four varieties: Inizio, Arondio, Fortado, and Fortado Decaffeinato. The Inizio arabica beans come from East Africa and carry a low intensity level with floral, herbal, and cereal notes. The Arondio pods are mild and smooth, also harboring cereal notes but with a deeper intensity than the Inizio. 

The Fortado, both regular and decaf, is even more intense than the other two gran lungo offerings from Nespresso. It's considered a full-bodied cup of espresso with woody oak and earthy cocoa notes from Indian robusta and Columbian arabica beans. Also considered a gran lungo is the 5-ounce Costa Rica pod, which falls under the Nespresso category of a Master Crafted Single Origins coffee. This one has the unusual feature of being fermented in hot-spring waters for a balanced, crystal-clean taste on the palate.