The Easiest Ristretto Coffee Recipe

What is a Ristretto Coffee?  

A ristretto is a short espresso. It contains the same amount of coffee as an espresso, but is made with half the water and in half the time. It is the smallest of all coffees and has the highest concentration of flavor and aroma.  

The meaning of ristretto is “restricted” or “limited” and since the extraction takes half the time of espresso, it contains all the ingredients that are extracted first.  

So when you order a ristretto, you get a 15 ml shot of concentrated coffee with strong flavors, less acidity, less bitterness, and less caffeine than an espresso. These last three components are extracted in the second part, obtained in espresso but not in ristretto.   

The ristretto is characterized by a dark chocolate color, due to the high concentration of coffee in little water. With only 15 ml, it is also called an espresso shot because it contains the full flavor of coffee in one sip.  

Do you know there is another ways to enjoy an espresso?

Why try a Ristretto? 

You get the highest concentration of flavor with less bitterness. Many people dislike espresso because it has bitter notes. However, in a ristretto, these are softened by the coffee’s original flavors and a little more sweetness. Another way to experience new taste sensations!  

Differences between Ristretto and Espresso  

Ristretto and espresso are often confused. In reality, they are very easy to distinguish. Here are the most important characteristics.   

  • Ristretto uses half as much water as espresso. It is much more concentrated and its flavor lingers longer on the palate.  
  • Ristretto is less acidic and less bitter than espresso.   
  • Ristretto has a darker color. Because espresso is slightly more diluted than ristretto, it has a softer color.   
  • Ristretto is more concentrated in flavor but has lower caffeine content. Caffeine is a compound that is extracted more slowly. The ristretto, which is extracted quickly, therefore does not have the same caffeine content as an espresso.   

Ingredients for Ristretto Coffee  

How to make Ristretto Coffee?  

There are two ways to brew ristretto: in a traditional espresso machine or with a coffee capsule in a capsule coffee maker, of course. Let’s take a look at each method. 

Ristretto coffee in the espresso machine:  

  1. Take the ground coffee and put it in the portafilter of the espresso machine.  
  2. Press the coffee and put it into the machine.   
  3. Place the cup ready, warmed if possible.  
  4. Turn on the coffee machine and wait for the drink to flow out.  
  5. After 15 to 20 seconds, when about 15 ml of coffee is brewed, stop the coffee machine.   
  6. You can now enjoy Ristretto!  

Ristretto coffee with a coffee capsule:  

The system of coffee capsule coffee machines has become very popular. The main reason is that it is very fast, but most importantly, easy to use. The machine does almost everything by itself. If you have such a device, you just need to buy the ristretto flavored coffee capsule and follow the steps below.   

  1. Insert the coffee capsule into the coffee maker.   
  2. Get the cup ready, preferably warmed up.  
  3. Start the machine.  
  4. Stop the machine when you have the appropriate amount of coffee.  
  5. Your Ristretto is now ready to be enjoyed!  

Tips to make a good coffee 

The coffee 

Even when we follow the instructions step by step and we have an excellent coffee maker, if we do not have a good base coffee, it will not be as we expect it to be.

For this reason, it is important that the coffee we use is fresh, is of a good variety (preferably Arabica), and has a reliable origin. 

On the other hand, remember that the ideal way to make coffee is by using freshly ground beans. Therefore, it is guaranteed that you will have a fresh beverage, of good flavor and with delicious aromatic notes. For this, you can grind it yourself at home with a coffee grinder. Currently, you can find models that are very practical and quick to use. 

Regarding the use of coffee capsules, some people are more skeptical to use them. However, we believe that they can also be an excellent option. Although the coffee comes already ground, the brands have been increasingly concerned about sealing them perfectly so that they do not lose their freshness. In addition, they are much faster and easier to use.   

The coffee maker 

When we already know that we have a good base coffee, we have to look at the best coffee maker to brew it. Here we really recommend using the traditional espresso machine. 

Although it is possible to do something similar in other types of machines, the one that achieves the perfect extraction is the espresso machine. Not only because the water temperature is at the ideal point, but also because it exerts the adequate pressure to extract the aromas.  

If, on the other hand, you decide to do it with coffee capsules, make sure you use a proper coffee capsule machine.