A ristretto is an even more concentrated and intense coffee shot than an espresso. It is made by using less water to extract the coffee, resulting in a richer, more robust flavor.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a great ristretto:
Ingredients and Equipment:
Fresh coffee beans (specifically roasted for espresso)
Demitasse cup or small glass
- Prepare Espresso Machine:
Ensure that your espresso machine is clean and properly preheated. It’s crucial for maintaining consistent water temperature and pressure during extraction.
- Grind the Coffee:
Grind your coffee beans to a finer consistency than you would for espresso. The grind should be slightly finer than table salt.
For a ristretto, you’ll typically use a single or half of a single espresso shot’s worth of coffee, which is approximately 7-14 grams.
- Dose and Tamp:
Place the ground coffee in the portafilter basket and distribute it evenly.
Tamp the coffee grounds down firmly with a tamper. Make sure the surface is level to ensure even extraction.
- Extract the Ristretto:
Start the extraction process. Since a ristretto uses less water, you’ll extract less liquid. Aim to extract around 0.5 to 0.7 ounces (15-20ml) of coffee.
The extraction time should be shorter than that of an espresso, typically around 20-25 seconds. The slower extraction allows you to capture the first, most concentrated portion of the coffee.
- Serve and Enjoy:
Your ristretto is now ready to be enjoyed. It should have a more intense and concentrated flavor compared to a regular espresso. The smaller volume enhances the richness and body of the coffee.
Use freshly roasted coffee beans specifically meant for espresso. These beans will have the right flavor profile and roast level for a great ristretto.
Experiment with the coffee-to-water ratio and grind size to find the balance of strength and flavor that suits your taste.
Serve your ristretto in a small demitasse cup or glass, and enjoy it without any added milk or sugar to fully appreciate the intense coffee flavor.
Ristrettos are a treat for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy the purest and most concentrated coffee experience. Because of their strong and bold flavor, they’re often consumed in small quantities. Adjust the grind size, extraction time, and coffee dose to achieve the ristretto flavor that you find most appealing.