how to make ristretto coffee


Ristretto: Your Guide to Making the Perfect Ristretto Shot

Welcome to our Five Star Coffee at Home Series, showing you how to make the best coffee from the comfort of your own home.

Today, we're diving into ristretto – an espresso variation known for it's bold flavor and velvety texture. 

What is ristretto? Ristretto, an Italian word meaning "restricted" or "limited," refers to a shorter and more concentrated espresso shot.

Unlike a traditional espresso (aka espresso normale), which is extracted using a standard amount of water, ristretto is a brew ration of about 1:1 to 1:1.5. This results in a smaller volume of liquid with a more intense flavor profile.


Crafting the Perfect Ristretto at Home:
Making ristretto at home is a straightforward process:


  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Filtered water


  • Espresso machine
  • Coffee grinder
  • Tamper
  • Scale
  • Timer


  1. Grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency, similar to table salt. Aim for a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:1 or slightly higher, up to 1:1.5.
  2. Preheat your espresso machine and portafilter to ensure optimal extraction temperature.
  3. Measure out the desired amount of coffee grounds using a scale. For a single shot of ristretto, you'll typically need around 7-9 grams of coffee.
  4. Distribute the coffee grounds evenly in the portafilter and tamp them down firmly with a tamper.
  5. Place the portafilter into the espresso machine and start the extraction process. Use a shorter extraction time than you would for a traditional espresso shot – around 15-20 seconds.
  6. Watch closely as the rich, concentrated coffee flows into your cup. ristretto shots are smaller in volume than traditional espresso shots, with a thicker, creamier consistency.
  7. Once the extraction is complete, admire the golden crema atop your ristretto shot and savor the intense aroma.
  8. Serve your ristretto immediately and enjoy it as is or use it as the base for your favorite espresso-based drinks.

    You can experiment with different coffee beans, grind sizes, and extraction times to tailor your ristretto to your taste preferences. With practice and patience, you'll be able to master the art of making ristretto at home and impress your friends and family with your barista skills.

    Ristretto offers coffee enthusiasts a unique and flavorful espresso experience. By understanding its characteristics and mastering the brewing process, you can enjoy the rich flavors and velvety texture of ristretto right in the comfort of your own home.

    Get started with some of our favorite blends and single origins to use on espresso here and let us know how yours turns out. 


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    Five Star Coffee Roasters exists to disrupt the coffee supply-chain across countries and cultures by supplying relationship-based coffee. We empower coffee drinkers, coffee farmers, and their communities.

    We do this by expertly roasting and directly sourcing coffee from our family farms in Honduras as well as partnering with other coffee producing families around the world. We believe good coffee starts at origin and hope you'll notice the Five Star difference. 

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