Ristretto Vs Long Shot: As you explore the world of coffee, one of the first questions you might come across is “What’s the difference between Ristretto vs Long Shot?”

As anyone who is experienced in espresso-making knows, two of the most popular types of shot are the exquisite ristretto and the classic long shot. But what is the difference between them and which one should you be making? In this post, we’ll explore both options so you can make an informed choice when it comes to crafting your favorite cup of espresso.

We’ll discuss their unique characteristics, as well as their brewing techniques so you can decide whether to go for a richly flavored ristretto or a balanced shine on your long shot. Read on for more insight into these two delicious drinks!

What is a Ristretto Shot and History?

A ristretto shot is also known as a ‘short shot’, because it uses less water and coffee than a regular espresso. It is an Italian term meaning “restricted”, referring to the limited amount of water used in the extraction process. The goal of this type of espresso is to produce a concentrated, potent drink with a strong taste and intense aroma.

The origin of the ristretto shot is not entirely known, but it is believed to have been invented by Italian coffee artisans in the 1950s. It was created as a way to provide stronger coffee with more flavor intensity without sacrificing any crema or body. The characteristics of this type of espresso have become popular among coffee aficionados who prefer a bolder, more intense flavor.

What is a Long Shot and History?

A long shot is the opposite of a ristretto. It involves using double or even triple the amount of water in relation to the coffee grounds. This creates an espresso with a slightly more dilute body and flavor.

The long shot coffee originated in France at the end of the 19th century, but has since become popular around the world. It is a common choice for those who want a more balanced cup with a milder flavor profile than its intense ristretto counterpart.

Ristretto Vs Long Shot: What’s The Difference?

Brewing Techniques

The brewing techniques for both shots are quite different. For a ristretto shot, you will need to use a finer grind of coffee and less water than usual. This is because the goal is to extract an intense flavor from the grounds using only a small amount of liquid. You should strive for an extraction time of 10-15 seconds.

For a long shot, you will need to use a coarser grind and more water than usual in order to achieve a balanced flavor with less intensity. The extraction time should be around 20-25 seconds.

Taste and Intensity

Ristretto shots are known for their intense flavor and aroma. They have a bold taste with notes of dark chocolate, nuttiness, and caramelization. The crema is rich and creamy with a velvety texture.

Long shots are more balanced in taste with notes of sweet caramel, cocoa, and honey. The crema is not as thick or rich as the ristretto, but still provides a pleasant mouthfeel.

Water volume

When it comes to the amount of water used, ristretto shots use approximately 25-30ml compared to a long shot which uses around 50-60ml.

Coffee grounds

The amount of coffee grounds used in each drink can also vary. A ristretto shot usually requires 7-9g, while a long shot will use 14-18g. This is because the long shot needs more coffee to achieve its balanced flavor profile.

Brewing time

Ristretto shots require a shorter brewing time of 10-15 seconds compared to the longer 20-25 seconds for a long shot.


Ristretto shots are known for their strong flavor and intense bitterness, while long shots tend to be more balanced and milder. This is due to the different extraction techniques used in each drink.

Caffeine content

A Ristretto coffee is less caffeinated than a Long Shot coffee. The percentage of caffeine in each drink is as follows:
-Ristretto: 0.7%
-Long Shot: 3%.

The difference in caffeine content has an impact on how each drink impacts alertness. A Ristretto will have less of an effect than a Long Shot on energy levels, but it will help to improve focus and concentration. The main difference between the two drinks comes from the impact they have on alertness. A Ristretto will make you feel more awake and focused, while a Long Shot will provide more of a general feeling of well-being.

Aroma and Texture

The aroma of the ristretto shot is intense and complex, while the long shot has a milder, more balanced smell. Ristretto shots also have a creamy texture that is not quite as thick as the long shot’s crema.


Ristretto shots have a thick, velvety crema that is rich with flavor. Long shots have a thinner crema with less flavor intensity.


Ristretto shots are usually more acidic due to their intense flavor, while long shots tend to be less acidic and milder.


Ristretto shots have a heavier body with more intense flavor, while long shots tend to be lighter in body and flavor.

Grind size coffee bean

Ristretto shots require a finer grind of coffee bean, while long shots need a coarser grind. This is because the fine grind helps to extract more flavor from the beans in the shorter extraction time used for ristretto shots.

Roasting Style

Ristretto shots work best with darker roasts due to their intense flavor profile, while lighter roasts are better suited for long shots. This is because the bolder flavors of a dark roast pair well with the concentrated extraction process used in a ristretto shot.

Overall, ristretto and long shots are two distinct types of espresso drinks that offer different flavor profiles. Ristrettos tend to be stronger and more intense, while long shots are more balanced and milder. Ultimately, the choice of which shot to make depends on personal preference.

Coffee Beans For Ristretto And Long Shots

Coffee beans offer a wide variety of flavors and aromas that can be used to create unique espresso drinks. For ristretto and long shots, it is important to select a coffee that has a pronounced flavor and aroma. Some of the more common coffee beans used for these types of drinks are Arabica, Robusta, and Brazilian Santos.

Arabica beans are typically used for ristretto because they have a light body and bright acidity. They produce a smooth, rich cup with little bitterness. Arabica beans are also well-suited for creating long shots because they provide a consistent flavor from start to finish.

Robusta beans are perfect for long shots because they have a fuller body and stronger flavor. They produce an espresso that is slightly more robust than Arabica, with less sweetness and more bitterness. Robusta beans are also well-suited for creating lattes because they provide a velvety texture and strong flavor.

Brazilian Santos beans are another popular choice for creating long shots and ristrettos. They have a sweet taste with hints of fruitiness and earthiness. They produce an espresso that is smooth on the palate with moderate bitterness.

Overall, it is important to select the right coffee beans for each type of espresso drink. When choosing beans for ristretto and long shots, be sure to consider the flavor profile, body, and aroma of each bean. This will help you create a delicious espresso that is tailored to your tastes.

The Cost And Convenience Of Brewing Ristrettos Vs Long Shots

Brewing espresso is a popular and time-consuming process that can vary greatly in cost and convenience. In this article, we will compare the costs and convenience of brewing ristrettos vs long shots.

Ristretto brewing is a type of espresso brewing that uses considerably less water than traditional espresso brewing. This results in a brew with a lower caffeine content and a thicker consistency. Ristrettos are also generally brewed at a lower temperature, which allows for more pronounced flavor profiles.

On the other hand, long shot brewing involves using significantly more water than ristretto brewing, which leads to a coffee with a higher caffeine content and a thinner consistency. Long shots are also typically brewed at a higher temperature, which results in coffee with a more robust flavor profile.

In terms of cost, ristretto brewing typically costs less than long shot brewing. Furthermore, ristretto brewing is more convenient since it requires significantly less time investment than long shot Brewing. In terms of convenience, however, long shot brewing earns the nod over ristretto Brewing.

Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between ristrettos vs long shots comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for a coffee with a bold flavor profile, then ristretto is the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer your coffee to be more balanced and milder, then long shots are probably a better option. Both methods of brewing can produce delicious espresso drinks, so it ultimately comes down to what you prefer.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of espresso drink is right for you is to experiment with different brewing methods and find out which one produces the flavor profile that you prefer.

How to Brewing Ristretto or Long Shot

Brewing Ristretto

Step 1: Grind Your Coffee Beans

The first step in brewing a delicious ristretto is to grind your coffee beans. You want to aim for a slightly coarser grind size than you would use when brewing an espresso, so make sure to adjust the settings on your grinder accordingly.

Step 2: Measure and Tamp the Coffee

Once you have your coffee beans ground, measure out 16-20 grams of coffee and make sure to tamp it evenly in the portafilter. Make sure that the grounds are tamped firmly to ensure an even extraction.

Step 3: Preheat Your Portafilter

Place your pre-tamped portafilter on the machine before you begin brewing and preheat it for 10-15 seconds. This will help to ensure that the water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds during extraction.

Step 4: Brew Your Ristretto

Once your portafilter is preheated, begin pouring your shot of espresso. Make sure to use the same amount of pressure and time as you would when brewing an espresso shot. Start by pouring ¾ ounce of espresso into your portafilter, then allow it to finish brewing.

Brewing Long Shots

Step 1: Grind Your Coffee Beans

For a long shot of espresso, you will want to grind your coffee beans slightly finer than you would for a ristretto. The finer grind size will help to create an even extraction and ensure that the flavor is balanced.

Step 2: Measure and Tamp the Coffee

Once your coffee beans have been ground, measure out 18-22 grams of espresso grounds into your portafilter and tamp it firmly. Make sure that the grounds are evenly distributed and tamped to ensure a good extraction.

Step 3: Preheat Your Portafilter

As with a ristretto, you will want to preheat your portafilter before beginning the brewing process. Place your pre-tamped portafilter on the machine before you begin and preheat it for 10-15 seconds.

Step 4: Brew Your Long Shot

Once your portafilter is preheated, begin pouring your shot of espresso. Make sure to use more pressure and time than you would with a ristretto shot in order to extract as much flavor as possible. Start by pouring 1 ounce of espresso into your portafilter, then allow it to finish brewing.

Tips for Brewing a Perfect Ristretto or Long shot

When it comes to espresso, there are countless variables that can affect the final product. Temperature is one of the most important factors, as too high or low temperatures can result in an uneven extraction. Additionally, water quality and pressure play a significant role in creating a great espresso.

To ensure that you’re making the perfect ristretto or long shot, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Make sure your water is at the right temperature. Cold water will result in a harsher espresso, while boiling water will produce a more mellow drink. If you’re not sure how hot your water is, use a thermometer to test it before starting to brew.

2. Use fresh beans for the best results. Coffee beans start to lose their flavor and characteristics after around two weeks of storage, so make sure to use them as soon as possible if you want optimal results. Store them in an airtight container away from heat and light to prolong their shelf life.

3. Grind your beans correctly. Using too fine of a grind will result in weak coffee, while using too coarse of a grind will give you an overly-strong cup of joe. Start with around medium ground and adjust according to your preference.

4. Pay attention to the pressure and time. If you’re using a manual machine, make sure that you use enough pressure when tamping your portafilter and watch the timer to ensure that you don’t over-extract your espresso.

5. Clean your machine regularly. Keeping your machine clean is essential if you want to make great espresso. Make sure to clean all parts regularly and descale your machine if necessary to ensure that it’s working optimally.

By following these tips, you can be sure that you’ll brew the perfect ristretto or long shot every time! So go ahead and get started on making the most delicious cup of espresso.

How to Serve Ristretto or Long shot?

Ristretto or long shots are perfect for making cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. You can also serve them straight as an espresso or with a splash of milk as a cortado.

When serving directly in the cup, make sure to use an espresso cup or small demitasse cup that’s been preheated. This helps to keep the drink warm and prevents it from cooling down too quickly.

When making milk-based drinks, use a pitcher to steam your milk with an espresso machine and create beautiful latte art. Start by pouring 1 ounce of espresso into the cup and then adding between 3-4 ounces of steamed milk depending on your preference.

Differences Within More Espresso Variants

In addition to the technique of making espresso, there are also various types of espresso drinks that you can make with different ingredients and levels of intensity. Here’s a look at some popular espresso variants:

1. Ristretto – This is a shorter shot of espresso made with half the amount of water usually used. The result is a more intense and concentrated shot of espresso.

2. Lungo – This is the opposite of ristretto, with double the amount of water used to make a longer, less concentrated espresso.

3. Macchiato – This is an espresso served with a small dollop of foamed milk on top. Often served with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, it’s more mild than other espresso variants.

4. Americano – An americano is an espresso served with hot water added to it for a longer, but still intense shot.

5. Cappuccino – A cappuccino is a combination of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

6. Latte – A latte is a combination of espresso and steamed milk with only a small amount of foam on top.

By understanding the differences between these espresso variants, you can choose the one that suits your taste best! Now that you know how to make espresso, why not put your newfound knowledge to the test and make yourself a cup!

How to Store Leftover Ristretto or Long shot?

It’s easy to make a delicious cup of ristretto or long shot. But what do you do with the leftovers? Here’s how to store your leftover brew so it stays fresh and flavorful.

Ristretto and long shot are both espresso-based drinks, so they should be treated similarly when it comes to storage. Espresso is best when it’s fresh, so it’s important to store your leftovers in an airtight container. If you have a coffee carafe, that’s ideal. Otherwise, any airtight jar or container will do.

Once your coffee is in an airtight container, put it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to drink it again, reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Add a little bit of water if necessary to thin it out. Enjoy!

How to Store Your Coffee Beans?

If you’re like most coffee drinkers, you probably tend to store your beans in an airtight container. But what if you want to keep your beans fresher for longer? Here are four ways to store coffee beans:

1. In a Cool, Dark Place: Store coffee beans in a cool, dark place where they will stay fresh for up to two weeks. This could be in the pantry, on the basement shelves or even in a cool, dry cupboard.

2. In the Fridge: You can also store coffee beans in the fridge, although this isn’t recommended for more than a week as moisture and humidity can cause them to go stale faster.

3. In a Vacuum-Sealed Container: If you want your beans to last longer, sealing them in a vacuum-sealed container is the best way to go. This will keep them fresh for up to four weeks and also preserve their flavor better than other methods.

4. In the Freezer: Another option is to freeze your beans in a sealed plastic bag or container. While this isn’t recommended for drinking coffee, it’s a great way to store your beans for up to three months.

5. In an Airtight Container: An airtight container will help preserve coffee beans for up to six months. To make sure your beans are sealed well, use a vacuum sealer or wrap them in plasticwrap.

6. In the Roaster: If you plan on roasting your own beans, store them in the roaster after roasting them for best results. This will help keep their flavor and freshness intact.


Are ristretto shots stronger than long shots?

Ristretto shots are typically stronger than long shots because they use a smaller amount of water and a higher temperature when brewing. This results in espresso with more intense flavors and aromas, as well as a richer body. Long shots use more water and are brewed at lower temperatures, which results in espresso that is less intense and has a smoother texture. Therefore, ristrettos tend to have more of a “kick” than long shots.

Ultimately, it is all about personal preference – some people prefer the bolder taste of ristretto shots, while others enjoy the lighter flavor profile of long shots. The best way to decide which type of espresso drink is right for you is to experiment with different brewing methods and find out which one produces the flavor profile that you prefer.

What is the best way to choose between a Ristretto and Long Shot?

The best way to determine which type of shot is right for you is to experiment with both. Start with a ristretto and see if it meets your expectations in terms of flavor, aroma, and body. If it does, stick with that shot. If not, try the long shot and compare the two. Ultimately, it’s up to you which one you prefer!

Ristretto is a type of shot in espresso drinks, typically made with less water than other shots. It has a delicate and short flavor profile, making it an ideal choice for drinks with strong flavors, such as cappuccinos and lattes. Its name comes from the Italian word “ristretto,” which means “short.”

To answer this question, it’s important to understand how each style of coffee tastes. A ristretto is made from less water than a long shot, resulting in a more concentrated flavor. This means that a ristretto has less sugar and more acidity, making it well-rounded and refreshing. On the other hand, a long shot contains more water and sugar, which gives it a sweeter taste and greater caffeine content.

Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for in your coffee. A ristretto will give you a consistent flavor throughout every cup, while a long shot can be more variable – perfect for those who like their coffee to taste different every time they drink it.

Milk has long been a popular addition to espresso drinks, but some baristas debate whether or not it belongs in ristretto. Ristretto is a short shot of espresso, typically measuring around 60 ml (2 fl oz) and made with less than 8 grams (0.3 oz) of ground coffee. Some argue that adding milk to a ristretto will result in a thicker drink and slowdown the extraction process, ruining the delicate balance between crema and bitterness that makes this drink so unique.

Others simply say that milk is a natural complement to espresso and enhances the flavor profile. Whether you choose to add milk or not is up to you – just be sure to enjoy the unique taste of a ristretto without ruining its delicate balance.

Many people enjoy a ristretto because it has a lighter, refreshing taste than other coffee drinks. It is also popular among coffee drinkers who want to reduce the amount of caffeine they consume. Ristretto is often served as an after-dinner drink or as part of a light breakfast.

Latte art is a passion for many baristas, and ristretto is a popular coffee variant. Ristretto is made by reducing the volume of coffee during the brewing process, resulting in a less-extended flavor and a lighter, more syrupy texture. Some people believe that using ristretto for latte art enhances the richness and complexity of the espresso flavor. Others argue that it simply reduces the quality of the final drink. If you’re interested in trying out this unique coffee variant, be sure to ask your barista how they prefer to make it!

To calculate how many seconds in a ristretto, take the total amount of coffee used in the drink and divide it by the number of seconds in a ristretto. So, if you use 3 ounces of coffee and want your drink to be served in 2 seconds, your drink would come out at 60/2 or 30 seconds.

If you’re looking for a more precise answer, most espresso bars will have a machine that can measure how long your drink has been brewed based on the weight of the water used.

Assuming you are using an espresso machine with a single group portafilter, pulling a ristretto is relatively easy. Simply insert the filter at the top of the portafilter, place the coffee puck on top of the filter, and turn the espresso machine on to its lowest setting. Hold down the button on the front of the machine until the puck has been pulled through, then release it. Keep in mind that you will need to use more pressure to pull a ristretto than a lungo; consequently, it’s important to use a finely ground coffee.
If you don’t have a single group portafilter, you can also pull a ristretto using an espresso pot with two group ports. First, place one coffee puck in each portafilter. Then, turn on the espresso machine to its highest setting and wait until both pucks have been pulled through.


Now that you know the difference between a ristretto and a long shot, head to your nearest coffee shop and order one of each. Be sure to pay attention to how the two drinks taste different from each other. If you’re still not sure which drink is right for you, try ordering a few more of each until you find your perfect coffee match.Do you have a preferred coffee drink? Let us know in the comments below!


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