Espresso Vs Ristretto

by Jack Foster May 16, 2016

Espresso Vs Ristretto

The Ristretto shot is one of the most widely debated types of coffee. It was originally produced on a traditional hand pumped espresso machine, similar to the LaPavoni. The handle was simply pulled twice as fast for a normal espresso shot. Ristretto translates to “restricted” from Italian. A Ristretto shot produces a more concentrated shot with a bolder less bitter flavour.

There are two methods for producing Ristretto shots, both can only be done on traditional espresso machines as the Ristretto relies on the high pressure extraction that can only be achieved with these machines.

The short shot method follows all the guidelines for a normal espresso shot but the extraction time is reduced by around 25%. This method is less popular as it excludes some of the soluble materials that contribute to the overall taste.

The slower extraction method is preferred by many barista’s myself included. Again this method follows the guidelines for classic espresso except a slightly finer grind or larger dose is used. I personally use the larger dose method, this will slow down your extraction meaning that your finished shot will be shorter (restricted) than a standard espresso but also more intense and dark. Say for example you use 16g extracted for 25 seconds for espresso, try 18g extracted for 30-35 seconds. A true Ristretto should drip from the group head and look almost syrup like at the beginning of extraction. Why not have a tasting session and compare for yourself?

We recommend our espresso blend for a rich fruity Ristretto shot.

So who wins, you decide!

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Jack Foster
Jack Foster


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