Ristretto or espresso?

Learn more about the two popular coffee drinks

Ristretto and espresso certainly occupy a prominent place among the most popular coffee drinks, along with cappuccino and latte macchiato. On the other hand, fewer people know that, in addition to their many common characteristics, what really makes them different from each other. If you want to know more about what goes into your coffee cup, stay with us!

The ristretto, which is very popular in cafes, is often called piccolo (it means "small" in Italian), although this name is not entirely correct. It is indeed true that the amount of coffee beans used is the same in the case of espresso and ristretto, they are made in the same arm, with the same pressure and temperature, but it would be frivolous to say that ristretto is actually a piccolo, i.e. a "reduced copy" of espresso.

The real difference is in the length of the extract, which is 15-25ml depending on the coffee shop and the barista, and here is the biggest difference: various flavors and aroma compounds are released during the coffee extraction phases. First the pleasant sweet taste, then the fruitiness, the acidity and finally the bitterness. If we shorten this extraction process, we get a coffee with a very sweet tone, with strong acids, in addition to a very intense taste. (In the case of darker roasted coffees, the bitterness may be more pronounced).
In addition to the taste experience, the color of the ristretto is also special, as it reminds of dark hazelnuts and nougat, which, when properly prepared, also appears to have a creamy density.

However, due to changes in consumer habits, many places do not even offer "real" ristretto; for the sake of safety, it is immediately offered to the guests in a double portion, which can be misleading for the layperson: this is also why there may have been a misunderstanding about the two drinks. Espresso is the popular basis for lattes, cappuccinos, various latte drinks and flat whites.

In summary, we could say that ristretto is a concentrated espresso, but the amount of caffeine is more restrained thanks to the shorter extraction, so it contains less caffeine than espresso.

Are you in the mood for a sublime ristretto? - This is the easiest way to make it at home!

There are many ways to prepare ristretto coffee, the most popular of which is the previously mentioned shorter extraction process. Use the same amount of coffee to make an espresso, but note that the coffee machine must be turned off between 15 and 20 seconds to achieve the perfect acidity and sweetness.
Since the ristretto is prepared earlier, the hazelnut and chocolate flavor tones cannot develop.

Experimentation is currently the biggest trend in the world of ristretto coffees, so we encourage you to do the same! Choose from our selection, for example, our NEW YORK CITY or EL SALVADOR coffees, and feel free to experiment with the combination of grinding thickness, water ratio, temperature and length of extraction time.

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