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Here Is The Only Ristretto Explanation You’ll Ever Need

Here Is The Only Ristretto Explanation You'll Ever Need

If you ever wonder what a Ristretto is, you will never do it again after you go through the end of this page. The thing that gives us such confidence is we are going to reveal the only ristretto explanation that you’ll ever need. 

At the same time, we will provide the best Ristrettos recipes that you will not just explore what the Ristretto is, but also know how to prepare the Ristretto by yourself.

To ensure you get a clear understanding of the Ristretto, let’s differentiate between the Espresso and the Lungo first. Basically, three of them are one family. They are a type of espresso but they have very unique characteristics. Each of those drinks got an, unlike manifestation.


The Meaning of a Shot of Espresso

The word “A Shot of Espresso” is often heard most of the time at almost all local coffee shops. But, do you know what exactly that means? Bingo! A standard espresso shot is a small 30 ml of coffee that has been brewed in extremely hot and high-pressure (9 bars of pressure) water through finer dry coffee grounds within 25 to 30 seconds. 

The Meaning of a Shot of Espresso

This cup of coffee is a both rich-intensity and rich-bodied drink. It has a bold and rich flavor with a bitter taste and acidity. 

Drinkers can enjoy drinking the shot directly or pouring it into any other coffee beverages for a jolt of caffeinated to your drink. The espresso is usually made in an espresso machine that contains 3 ingredients including espresso, foam, and steamed milk. The proportions of these 3 ingredients are the key differences between the Lungo and the Ristretto.

The Explanation of The Lungo

The Explanation of The Lungo

In Italian, Lungo refers to “long”, whereas in an espresso term means “long shot”. The Lungo is made similar to a common espresso, yet it uses more hot water and spends more than 30 seconds on the extraction to go on. 

A standard shot of Lungo is usually 45-60 ml, approximately double the volume of a shot of espresso. It is known as longer extraction espresso shots. Also, it has more solubles and more caffeine compared to both the espresso and the ristretto. The Lungo has a smokey flavor. It has a thin body with a dry and acid taste.

The method of preparing the Lungo is also prepared in an espresso machine by adding a double normal water amount. This means that there will be more caffeine extracted. Due to the extra added water, the Lungo doesn’t have the strong flavor as an espresso. 

However, it is bitter and more acidic since the extraction time. If you prefer either to maximize caffeine intake or dislike flavors at a short extraction process, lungo probably be your incredible beverage.

The Espresso Ristretto Explanation

The Ristretto has a more concentrated, sweeter, richer flavor and darker compared to a shot of espresso. In a simple word, it is a short shot of espresso that uses the same amount of finely ground coffee with half of water. 

The Espresso Ristretto Explanation

Coffee connoisseurs tend to be in love with a Ristretto shot in obtaining the perfect and great aromatics and flavors of the espresso. A shorter extraction time is a special characteristic of the Ristretto. It means that drinkers will experience a strong, sweet, and fruity taste even if it has not had a much-rounded balance.

Usually, when we brew Ristretto, we use 7-9 grams of ground coffee with only 0.5 oz or 15 ml of hot water. Therefore, the difference in the strength of an espresso shot with a ristretto is less than espresso and Lungo. 

If you prefer a strong coffee for your latte, it does not really matter whether you ask for either ristretto or espresso. The matter is whether you are looking for more double or triple shots. The 2 main points make the Ristretto unique from many other popular coffees. The Ristretto:

  • Is More Concentrated

The 1st extraction part of the coffee is the most concentrated. As a result, the shorter shot as the ristretto is more concentrated in a comparison with a long-brewing time coffee.

  • Has a Special Balance with Caffeine

The compounds of the different chemicals have different rates in their dissolving process. Similar to the ristretto, it has quick extracting compounds which creates a special balance. Moreover, there is less caffeine extraction in a ristretto.

The Taste of Ristretto

The Taste of Ristretto

The ristretto can be described as a bold, flavorful, and sweet coffee. There is a decrease in bitterness because the extraction method by requiring less water than a regular espresso. 

On the other hand, some of the necessary chemical compounds in coffee dissolve at different rates, the water temperature has an impact on the preparation. That means at a specific temperature we use less water, the bitterness will not come through before the brewing process is stopped.

Ristretto Taste Vs Espresso Taste

Ristretto Taste Vs Espresso Taste

Both the ristretto and the espresso’s taste is so different. That is because the less water used to make the ristretto, it has the stronger taste. However, if you use the same amount of grounds to produce these two kinds of coffee, you have to focus on the amount of water. 

If you add a small amount of water to produce coffee, the liquid that goes through the coffee beans will bring more flavor which results in a more robust coffee.

The Ristretto seems to have a less bitter flavor. That means a shot of ristretto is finished in the halftime of the espresso required. The longer water goes through coffee beans, the worse extract the coffee is. The Ristretto is sweeter and has darker flavors than espresso.

Caffeine In Ristretto

Each kind of coffee, the method to prepare, and the coffee beans types have an impact on identifying caffeine in the brewing result. According to the research, 30ml (one ounce) of espresso contains about 47-64 mg of caffeine. Due to less extraction time, there is less caffeine in a single shot of ristretto compared to espresso. There is approximately 33 mg of caffeine in a single shot of ristretto.

Caffeine In Ristretto

Since the ristretto stops being extracted before caffeine comes out from the grounds, it makes the ristretto contain less caffeine. The degree of grinding beans identifies the amount of caffeine in the ristretto. 

Note that the finer the ground is, the less caffeine included. It’s because it has a long extraction. However, double shots of ristretto include less caffeine compared to a single cup of espresso. If you do not enjoy serving strong coffee, this ristretto is a great choice.

Brewing Guides for Ristretto Shot

To meet the best-expected results, the Ristretto tends to brew with an espresso coffee machine. Besides that, it is also prepared with a Nespresso coffee machine which is usually seen at almost peoples’ houses. 

Brewing Guides for Ristretto Shot

The Ristretto is espresso-based, hot water will go through a filter with finely ground coffee at high-pressure temperature. You can follow the 3 simple notes below in order to become a Ristretto barista at home.

1st Note: Grind Coffee Beans

Remember to grind your fresh coffee beans down to fine size first for making a great coffee.

2nd Note: Fill and Tamp the Porta-Filter

The Ports-Filter is a thing for holding coffee grounds both before and during a coffee preparation. Note to fill the porta-filter to the line and tamp the grind harder.

3rd Note: Extraction of Coffee

Begin the brew on the coffee machine then shut it after 15 seconds or approximately 15ml of liquid. It is usually an espresso extracted half time.

Summary Lists

1. Grinds fresh coffee beans to whether the fine or normal size

2. Tamp the grind

3. Begins the brewing process with 15 to 25 seconds (Extraction Process)

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Is ristretto stronger than espresso caffeine?

The answer is “No” in terms of caffeine. Even the ristretto is far stronger than espresso in flavor, it has weaker caffeine compared to the espresso. That is because of the technique that we brew the ristretto. Its specialty prepared method can lead to a decrease in a negligible amount of caffeine.

Is ristretto stronger than Lungo?

Yes, it is. The ristretto has a stronger and more concentrated taste than the Lungo. It is because the Lungo needs a greater amount of water for preparing. Hence, the Lungo doesn’t have as strong a flavor as a ristretto. Yet, it is bitter and more acidic since the longer extraction time

What is a Ristretto Coffee and how to make one?

A Ristretto Coffee is a really short or restricted shot of espresso. It is not much different for making the Ristretto Coffee when compared to the traditional espresso making. It requires the concentration of pouring, timing, and grinding. You can move on to our 3 brewing methods on the list to grab the best technique in preparing one.


All of the coffee drinks come out to fulfill your personal preference. If you prefer a convenient drink as a form of espresso, the ristretto is an incredible choice. That means it has sweetness as well as high intensity with less caffeine included. 

Moreover, you can drink it in multiple styles including drinking in black or adding it with milk. Try the ristretto that is made of various types of beans or at different coffee shops, then note the most perfect one for yourself. Trust me, you’re gonna fall in love with the ristretto taste at the first sight.


When you step into the coffee world, there will be experimenting. Of course, both Ristretto and espresso are popular drinks in the coffee circle. If you are a fresh coffee lover and prefer the most convenient coffee at your own home, the Ristretto should be your first consideration. 

To become a master Ristretto, there are essential things to focus on including the pressure of temperature and the extraction time. All of these points, we have already mentioned on the list above. In short, if you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment box below. We will answer all of your questions as soon as possible with the most effective answer.


Check out: Espresso vs. Ristretto vs. Lungo: Caffeine Levels And Ratio Pours by Roasty Coffee