Ristretto is a short espresso shot with a sweeter and more intense flavor! This coffeehouse special is a total treat.
- Grind the coffee: Grind the coffee until it’s very fine ground. Different roasts and brands of beans will require a different grind for your machine. You may need to do a few test runs to get it dialed in just right.
- Pack and tamp the coffee grounds: Add the coffee grounds to the espresso basket (portafilter) until it’s slightly heaping over the top. Use the tamper to press the grounds evenly into the portafilter, pressing very firmly until it is fully compressed. It’s useful to have something to press onto for tamping so that you don’t damage the counter or filter. Place the portafilter on a folded towel before tamping, or the best tool is the ledge of a knock box (you can also use it to discard the used grounds). It’s important for the coffee grounds to be as even and straight as possible to get the best espresso shot.
- Pull the shot: Place the portafilter in the espresso machine and press the button to pull the shot using Manual mode. This is the most important part of pulling a ristretto shot. Make sure it lasts 15 to 20 seconds, resulting in 1 1/2 ounces coffee for a double ristretto, with a caramel-colored crema (compared to 25 to 30 seconds for a standard espresso doubleshot).
- Consider any adjustments: It takes a while to hone in the grind of the coffee and the tamping process. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly right the first time! If you find that the shot is watery, use slightly more coffee grounds or use a finer grind on the coffee.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Espresso
- Cuisine: Coffee
- Diet: Vegan