Everyone knows what an espresso is. We hear people ordering it all the time in coffee shops and cafes. After all, espressos are the most popular coffee drinks in the world. But what about a ristretto? Unless you are a trained barista, chances are you have probably never heard of this drink before.
What Is An Espresso?
Before diving into the differences, let’s make sure we cover the basics.
A shot of espresso is approximately 30ml of pure and concentrated black coffee. You can also have a double espresso shot, which is just essentially double the amount (60 ml). Its flavour is very strong and it’s made by “pulling a shot”.
Pulling a shot means forcing hot and pressurised water onto a tightly packed lump of coffee grounds. As a result of this process, concentrated liquid will drip downwards for about 20 – 30 seconds, creating the bold and bitter espresso we all know and love.
Espressos are made up of 3 layers. First is the “body”, which is the bottom layer of an espresso. It is the darkest in colour and has the strongest taste.
Next, we have the “heart” which is the middle part of the espresso. It is lighter in both colour and flavour when compared to the body.
And finally, we have the “crema” on top, the lightest layers, and is mostly filled with air bubbles. The crema is responsible for the mouthwatering aroma and the tasty aftertaste of drinking espresso.
There are a number of ways to brew espresso. The best way to do it is by using an espresso machine as they create the best texture, taste, and aroma.
However, not everyone has a fancy espresso machine at home. No worries! You can use other coffee makers such as a French Press, a Moka Pot, or an AeroPress to make your espresso.
What Is A Ristretto?
A ristretto is very similar to an espresso as it is made with the same ingredients and equipment. The only difference is that a ristretto is “pulled” for a shorter amount of time and uses half the water that an espresso would.
This variation in extraction time and water results in a much more concentrated form of espresso.
Differences Between Ristretto Vs Espresso
There are 3 key differences between an Espresso and a Ristretto:
- Amount of Caffeine: since they are extracted for less amount of time, ristrettos tend to have lower caffeine content than espressos.
- Quantity: a ristretto shot is smaller than an espresso shot since it uses less water. One shot of espresso is equal to 30 ml of coffee, while one shot of ristretto is only around 24 ml.
- Taste: ristrettos have a bolder and more concentrated taste than espressos. They also have a slight hint of sweet aftertaste.
|-30 ml per shot|
Uses double the amount of water needed for a ristretto shot
-A little bit more caffeine
-Longer brewing / extraction time
|-24 ml per shot|
-Uses half of the amount of water needed for an espresso shot
-Shorter brewing / extraction time
-More concentrated flavour with a sweet aftertaste