Q&A: ESPRESSO VS RISTRETTO
What is ristretto? does it taste better? will I sound cooler if I order it? read on to decode the myth & mystery of the fabled rizz-bomb:
Q: I’ve heard all the cool kids ordering “ristretto” (or double-rizz, rizz-bomb, rizz-banger, etc), what is it?
A: It’s a short shot of espresso (it means “restricted” in Italian). Made using the same amount of ground coffee as a standard espresso, with half the amount of water run through it. In terms of measurement, an espresso is usually around a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water (e.g. 20g coffee to make 40g of espresso), where a ristretto would be 1:1 (e.g. 20g coffee to produce 20g)
Q: OK, so it’s just a stronger espresso then is it?
A: Yes and No. It is more concentrated, but the smaller quantity of water also extracts a different balance of flavours from the ground coffee. Along with being thick & syrupy, a ristretto will highlight the fruit acids which extract first, while a standard espresso (apart from being less heavy) will bring in more of the sweet and bitter compounds which extract later.
Q: Enough fancy talk, just tell me which one tastes better?
A: Sorry, that depends on preference: Some people love the whisky-like intensity of a ristretto, while others find it to be salty & dry. Some people love the ‘balance’ of a standard espresso, while others find it (comparatively) thin. There’s really only one way to work that out for yourself…
Q: If I ask for ristretto, will the coffee I get at my local cafe taste even better?
A: Probably not, there is no magic coffee order.
Q: But they’ll think I’m cool though, right?
A: It’s unlikely, unless you give them a tip.