How to Make Ristretto at Home - Coffee Recipe

What Is a Ristretto Coffee?

Ristretto coffee is an espresso shot drawn in a shorter amount of time compared to a standard shot. When making this caffeinated beverage you will need around 15 to 20 seconds, which will result in a single espresso shot – 0.5 oz (15mL). This means that the flavor of ristretto coffee will be sweeter, more concentrated, and intense compared to a regular one. 

What’s so interesting about this coffee is its name. Coming from the great Bel Paese when translated from Italian, Ristretto means restricted or shortened.
Which is exactly what this coffee is!

There are different terms used to describe this coffee, for instance, Café Ristretto, Ristretto, or Caffè Ristretto, however, they all represent the same drink. So, next time go to a coffee shop and you see some of these terms, be sure that it is all the same coffee – Ristretto!

What Are Ristretto Shots?

Ristretto shots in the glass mug on the table

The ristretto shot is a shot of ristretto coffee, but there is a little trick. If you decide to order a shot of ristretto coffee in a cafe, you will get a double shot of ristretto. This is because a single shot of ristretto is just half an ounce or 15 ml of a regular espresso.

As you can see on your own, it is a very small amount of coffee for one to enjoy. Therefore, each barista will prepare you a double shot to get an ounce or 30 ml of your desired ristretto, the way you would with a standard espresso.

How Do You Make a Ristretto Coffee?

Fresh and hot Ristretto coffee on the table - preparation method

Preparation time: 2 min
Cook time: 0 min
Total time: 2 min

1️⃣Choose and grind your coffee beans

Choose the coffee beans you would use for your espresso shot. Whether it’s Arabica or Robusta, we recommend a lighter roast to reduce the acidic taste. 

Take about 0.25 oz (7 grams) of coffee for a single or 0.5 oz (14 grams) for a double Ristretto shot. Depending on the roast and brand of beans, your machine may need a different grind. Whichever machine you are using, make sure that you grind your coffee beans more finely than you would for an espresso. A finer grind will result in less water flowing through the beans, which will reduce bitterness.

Double Ristretto Shot

The double ristretto should be one ounce (30 mL). You must use two separate espresso pucks to make a double shot. Firstly, take 7 grams of coffee and pull one 15 mL shot, dispose of it, and then use another 7 grams of coffee to pour a second 15 mL. Your double ristretto shot will be equivalent to 1 ounce (30 ml), which is different from a standard double espresso size of two ounces.

2️⃣Tamp down the coffee grounds 

Place the coffee grounds in the portafilter so that they are slightly piled on top. Press the grounds firmly into the portafilter using the tamper, until it is evenly and fully compressed. Tapping the portafilter should be done on a folded towel, or you can use a knock box to tamp and discard the grounds. To get the best ristretto shot, the grounds must be as straight and even as possible.

3️⃣Pull the Ristretto shot

Put the prepared portafilter in the espresso machine and use Manual mode to pull the shot. Make sure the shot lasts for about 15 to 20 seconds, which will result in less hot water being pushed through the grounds. Upon the finish, you will get 1 ½ ounce of Ristretto coffee with a caramel-colored crème.


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