What is a Ristretto Shot?
A ristretto shot is a concentrated shot of espresso. It uses half the amount of water but the same amount of ground espresso. The Italian translation of ristretto is “concentrated” or “limited.” Properly pulled ristretto shots will have a layer of crema, just like a regular espresso.
- A ristretto is made using half the amount of water but the same amount of ground espresso as a regular shot.
- Ristretto and espresso shots have almost equal caffeine.
- Ristretto shots can be either caffeinated or decaf.
- Like espresso shots, Ristretto shots are served in a demitasse cup with a sugar cube and a spoon.
- Ristretto shots have a layer of sweet crema on top.
Taste & Flavor:
Flavor-wise, a ristretto shot is more intense yet slightly sweeter than a shot of espresso. This is due to the smaller amount of water used to pull the ristretto shot—less water = more concentrated flavor.
Uses for Ristretto Shots:
A ristretto shot is classically served in an espresso cup with a sugar cube on the side. They’re also used in various drinks such as lattes, mochas, americanos, flat whites, white chocolate mochas, etc.
And if a ristretto shot is added to an espresso beverage, the intense flavor will be offset by the amount of milk and/or chocolate in the drink.
Do ristretto shots Have Less Caffeine than Espresso Shots?
There is only a 1mg difference between espresso shots and ristretto shots. One shot of espresso has 64mg of caffeine, and a ristretto shot has 63mg of caffeine.
Ristretto vs. Espresso
A single espresso shot is 1.5 fluid ounces. A ristretto shot is .5 fluid ounces. Also known as a “short shot,” ristretto uses less water but the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso shot (a jigger).
Ristretto vs. Lungo
The Lungo espresso is a shot that is pulled for about 60 seconds. It is twice the volume of regular espresso, at 3 ounces, and is generally milder in flavor. In Italian, lungo means “long.” A ristretto shot is the opposite of a long shot. It’s pulled in about 20-30 seconds, is only .5 ounces, and has a very robust flavor.
Ristretto vs. Cortado
A cortado is two shots of espresso with equal parts steamed milk. A cortado tends to be around 4.5 ounces. A ristretto is .5 ounces of a concentrated espresso.
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