Ristretto (also called a "corto") is a very "short" shot of espresso coffee. Originally this meant pulling a hand press (shown at right) faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine extracted in reduced ratio to the flavorful coffee oils. The resultant shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. All of these flavors are usually attributed to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in ristretto. Because of this exaggerated flavor, ristretto is often preferred by espresso coffee lovers. Today, with the hand press out of favor and modern automated machines generally less controllable, ristretto usually just means less water; a normal (double) espresso shot is a 88 ml (3 fl oz), while a (double) ristretto is a 30-45 ml (1–1.5 fl oz).

One modern method of "pulling" a ristretto shot is to grind the coffee finer than that used for normal espresso, and pull the shot for the same amount of time as a normal shot. The smaller spaces between the particles of finer-ground coffee allow less water to pass through, resulting in a shorter shot. However, this can also lead to a gritty taste, if the coffee is ground fine enough that the insoluble components can pass through the filter-basket. This is often a problem in poorer grinders, where the grind is not as even.

Another modern method for pulling a ristretto is to simply stop the extraction early, so less water has time to pass through the ground coffee. This produces a slightly different taste than the fine-grinding, equal-time method, and is often preferred because it does not require the barista to change the settings on the coffee grinder.

A third modern method, that serves as a compromise between the previous two, is to prepare the shot without adjusting the grind but to use the tamp more firmly. The firmer tamp will compact the grinds in the filter basket allowing for a shot time comparable to a regular espresso. This method has the added benefit that adjusting the coffee grinder is not necessary while keeping much of the body and flavor of the fine-grinding, equal-time method.

As the amount of water is increased or decreased relative to a normal shot, the composition of the shot changes, because not all components of coffee dissolve at the same rate. For this reason, an excessively long or short shot will not contain the same ratio of components that a normal shot contains. Therefore, a ristretto is not simply twice as "strong" as a regular shot, nor is a lungo simply twice as weak.

External links

* [http://www.coffeegeek.com/opinions/aarondelazzer/02-24-2002 Coffeegeek Etiquette & The Ristretto Shot]
* [http://www.toomuchcoffee.com/ TooMuchCoffee: The European Coffee and Espresso Resource]
* [http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Ristretto-%28Espresso-Coffee%29 How to Make a Ristretto on wikiHow]
* [http://coffepedia.blogspot.com/2008/03/ristretto.html How to make your morning ristretto]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ristretto — /ri stret:o/ [propr., part. pass. di ristringere, stringere di nuovo , ma usato come part. pass. di restringere ]. ■ agg. 1. [che è messo in uno spazio insufficiente: in dieci qui dentro si è troppo ristretti ] ▶◀ costretto, pigiato, sacrificato …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • Ristretto — (ital.), 1) ein Auszug (Hauptinhalt) aus Rechnungen od. Nachrichten; daher Staatsristretto, kurze Darstellung der Staatsbegebenheiten; 2) der billigste Preis einer Waare …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ristretto — (ital.), soviel wie kurzgefaßter Inhalt, Auszug aus Rechnungen etc. (daher Staatsristretto, kurze Darstellung der Staatsbegebenheiten) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ristretto — (ital.), kurzer Auszug …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ristretto — Ristretto, ital., Auszug aus einer Rechnung; billigster Preis einer Waare …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • ristretto — 1ri·strét·to p.pass., agg., s.m. 1. p.pass. → restringere, restringersi 2a. agg. CO molto stretto: un laccio ristretto | BU serrato, chiuso: labbra ristrette Sinonimi: stretto | chiuso. Contrari: aperto. 2b. agg. LE fig., raccolto in sé: qui fu… …   Dizionario italiano

  • ristretto — {{hw}}{{ristretto}}{{/hw}}A part. pass.  di ristringere  e di restringere ; anche agg. 1 Stretto dentro, racchiuso: paese ristretto tra i monti. 2 (fig.) Specifico, circoscritto: significato, uso –r; CONTR. Estensivo. 3 Stretto, angusto, dallo… …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Ristretto — Espresso Espresso (österreichisch auch Röster) ist eine aus Mailand stammende Kaffeezubereitungsart, bei der Wasser mit hohem Druck durch sehr fein gemahlenes Kaffeemehl gepresst wird. Das Verfahren ergibt einen konzentrierten Kaffee, auf dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ristretto — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Le Ristretto est un café expresso très court. Ristretto est le visualisateur d images de Xfce. Catégorie : Homonymie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ristretto — Ri|stret|to* das; s, s <zu it. ristretto »begrenzt; knapp«, Part. Perf. von ristringere, dies aus lat. restringere »beschränken«> (veraltet) kurzer Auszug, Hauptinhalt …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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