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Thread: Let's talk ristrettos! :)

  1. #1
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Let's talk ristrettos! :)

    A riveting topic to me hehe, let's talk ristrettos! Riveting ristrettos run really reluctantly reduced and restricted!

    Just wondering a few things...

    1) What really is the difference between a ristretto and an overextracted shot, what makes it different, and how do you not produce an overextracted shot when brewing up a ristretto? Obviously tastewise very different, but how can you avoid overextraction when pulling a ristretto? I'm sure it would come down to the bean.. I've pulled ristrettos with some that have been heavenly, and others that were just not great and didn't seem suited...

    2) How have you found the most effective method to prepare it? As far as I know there are three main ways: Grinding finer, updosing, or pulling the shot early (Or a combo of those).

    (The most common definition I see is pulling a 1:1 ratio shot in roughly 35 seconds, which obviously entails a slower shot, otherwise can be achieved by pulling a shot shorter)

    I find that grinding finer works well, but it would probably be easier to either cut a shot short or really updosing as it can be tricky to just switch it up for the next shot and assuring you'll get the right grind fineness and also that the new grind has worked its way through (although updosing can be limited in application at times depending on current basket dose you're using..)

    Curious as to your thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    A riveting topic to me hehe, let's talk ristrettos! Riveting ristrettos run really reluctantly reduced and restricted!

    Just wondering a few things...

    1) What really is the difference between a ristretto and an overextracted shot, what makes it different, and how do you not produce an overextracted shot when brewing up a ristretto? Obviously tastewise very different, but how can you avoid overextraction when pulling a ristretto? I'm sure it would come down to the bean.. I've pulled ristrettos with some that have been heavenly, and others that were just not great and didn't seem suited...

    2) How have you found the most effective method to prepare it? As far as I know there are three main ways: Grinding finer, updosing, or pulling the shot early (Or a combo of those).

    (The most common definition I see is pulling a 1:1 ratio shot in roughly 35 seconds, which obviously entails a slower shot, otherwise can be achieved by pulling a shot shorter)

    I find that grinding finer works well, but it would probably be easier to either cut a shot short or really updosing as it can be tricky to just switch it up for the next shot and assuring you'll get the right grind fineness and also that the new grind has worked its way through (although updosing can be limited in application at times depending on current basket dose you're using..)

    Curious as to your thoughts
    Recipe varies from beans to beans... The best I've had came unintentionally, while trying to dial it in. Pull time was about a minute on a 21g in, 21g out. It took about 25 seconds before i saw any drops on my bottomless. It came about as an aborted shot (thinking that to get the 1:2 ratio I would need to continue at least another 30 seconds, and that would probably ruin the shot)
    I find basket prep more demanding for ristretto. Higher resistance in the basket required to withstand the reduced yield. Anything short of a perfectly even and well tamped basket will lead to overextracton (due to channelling). For this reason I rarely try to make one.
    Also most of my drinks have been iced lungos recently. Espresso pulled onto ice, making it 1:3 ratio, and when all ice have melted towards the end of the drink, it's more like ice Americano. Now, I tried this with ristretto, and it was a disaster. When served hot, that buttery mouthfeel of ristrettos are lovely. When done on ice, it's like greasy coffee, with a layer of lard on top

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I have personally found since buying a new grinder (that being a Eureka Zenith 65E) I have had better luck with pulling this type of shot. Before i go into more detail though, I will admit this... I was not aiming to pull such a shot as as far as i can think back I have always aimed for approx 18g ratio 1:2 out in somewhere between 25-30 secs. Anything beyond this Time wise with grinders ive had prior to the Eureka have turned out to be burnt and bitter. Im not saying any of those grinders before this are no good, im just saying ive had better sucess with this one.

    Having had a few now i feel a grinder which doesn't clump I feel helps your situation. Like mentioned ive never aimed to pull ristrettos, its just happened.

    But now with this grinder I have been aiming for the same ratio I have always had, that being 18g with 36g coffee out in the time of 35-40 seconds. I cant explain it anymore except to say the mouth feel if far greater than any of the ones i use to pull at the lower time. I seem to see coffee start coming through at about 10-12 secs anything before that pretty much means for me the grind needs adjusting if im aiming for a "risteretto". Anything after 12 secs i start to think of stopping the shot and starting again.

    Like i said i have never aim for a risteretto, just a nice shot of coffee at the end. Im always in for changing the way i do it if there is a chance the coffee is going to be better at the end.

    Chris
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by u2jewel View Post
    Recipe varies from beans to beans... The best I've had came unintentionally, while trying to dial it in. Pull time was about a minute on a 21g in, 21g out. It took about 25 seconds before i saw any drops on my bottomless. It came about as an aborted shot (thinking that to get the 1:2 ratio I would need to continue at least another 30 seconds, and that would probably ruin the shot)
    I find basket prep more demanding for ristretto. Higher resistance in the basket required to withstand the reduced yield. Anything short of a perfectly even and well tamped basket will lead to overextracton (due to channelling). For this reason I rarely try to make one.
    Also most of my drinks have been iced lungos recently. Espresso pulled onto ice, making it 1:3 ratio, and when all ice have melted towards the end of the drink, it's more like ice Americano. Now, I tried this with ristretto, and it was a disaster. When served hot, that buttery mouthfeel of ristrettos are lovely. When done on ice, it's like greasy coffee, with a layer of lard on top
    Ahhh a minute long ristretto, that's gotta be juicy haha.

    Yeah I've noticed it's tricky to get an even flow through the basket, and I always really focus on prep as best as I can if doing ristrettos. Even if I do though, it doesn't ever really (or it rarely) seem to go central in a naked pour.

    And interesting about the cold version being not great..

    It's just interesting what a ristretto is, and why it's different to simply an overextracted shot. I might play with it a bit and see what taste differences arise from pulling a ristretto via different ways of getting there (updosing vs grinding finer vs pulling a normal shot out early)

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    I have personally found since buying a new grinder (that being a Eureka Zenith 65E) I have had better luck with pulling this type of shot. Before i go into more detail though, I will admit this... I was not aiming to pull such a shot as as far as i can think back I have always aimed for approx 18g ratio 1:2 out in somewhere between 25-30 secs. Anything beyond this Time wise with grinders ive had prior to the Eureka have turned out to be burnt and bitter. Im not saying any of those grinders before this are no good, im just saying ive had better sucess with this one.

    Having had a few now i feel a grinder which doesn't clump I feel helps your situation. Like mentioned ive never aimed to pull ristrettos, its just happened.

    But now with this grinder I have been aiming for the same ratio I have always had, that being 18g with 36g coffee out in the time of 35-40 seconds. I cant explain it anymore except to say the mouth feel if far greater than any of the ones i use to pull at the lower time. I seem to see coffee start coming through at about 10-12 secs anything before that pretty much means for me the grind needs adjusting if im aiming for a "risteretto". Anything after 12 secs i start to think of stopping the shot and starting again.

    Like i said i have never aim for a risteretto, just a nice shot of coffee at the end. Im always in for changing the way i do it if there is a chance the coffee is going to be better at the end.

    Chris
    Ah that's really interesting mate.. Yeah I would imagine clumps would affect ristrettos bigtime and cause major channelling and general unevenness in extraction (although some don't consider clumps an issue which is fair enough).

    And very cool about extending the shot time, so slower shots you like better, yeah I'm really experimenting more with this, particularly with different roast depths and beans what suits them better. I know I've generally experienced as well as others that a shorter shot times work better for darker roasts (even going a bit faster in flow, but lower brew ratio so as to not encourage/risk excess bitterness), and lighter roasts liking longer shot times but more slower flow to encourage the acidity.

    But yeah very much seems to come more down to the particular bean, and I would imagine ristrettos would be the same in that not all beans are suited to them.

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Having roasted my own coffee for some time now I've been able to experiment with darker roasts which you would think naturally have more chance of coming out burnt and bitter when trying to push shots longer. I have had some good results with the darker roasts as much as I've had good results with lighter roasts. I cant say which i prefer more as i pretty much have as many espressos as i do milk based drinks. I will say though with the ristrettos ive had where i have added milk, its really shown in the body and mouth feel of the coffee.

    As always though, I believe when it comes to coffee there are so many variables its hard to to always find something we all agree and like. It might be what keeps it interesting for us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ahhh a minute long ristretto, that's gotta be juicy haha.

    Yeah I've noticed it's tricky to get an even flow through the basket, and I always really focus on prep as best as I can if doing ristrettos. Even if I do though, it doesn't ever really (or it rarely) seem to go central in a naked pour.

    And interesting about the cold version being not great..

    It's just interesting what a ristretto is, and why it's different to simply an overextracted shot. I might play with it a bit and see what taste differences arise from pulling a ristretto via different ways of getting there (updosing vs grinding finer vs pulling a normal shot out early)
    I find cutting it off early is sometimes ok but mostly less sweet and can even verge on salty. You missed out on a couple of other (admittedly fiddly) knobs to tweak. Reducing pressure to reduce flow. Reducing temperature for slightly slower extraction :-)

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbilleter View Post
    I find cutting it off early is sometimes ok but mostly less sweet and can even verge on salty. You missed out on a couple of other (admittedly fiddly) knobs to tweak. Reducing pressure to reduce flow. Reducing temperature for slightly slower extraction :-)
    Ah right less sweet, yeah it's worth experimenting ay, that's good info to add to the thread!

    Ah cool thanks for that, I guess I don't have those options and didn't know them ones for getting ristrettos hehe

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Well there you go - there's always lots to learn on here.
    I thought a Ristretto was just a shot that you shut off earlier.
    On a Sunday morning I treat myself for morning tea with a Piccolo Latte and an Espresso.
    I shut the Espresso pour down as soon as it loses the "thick,dark" look.
    So much more to it.
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Well there you go - there's always lots to learn on here.
    I thought a Ristretto was just a shot that you shut off earlier.
    On a Sunday morning I treat myself for morning tea with a Piccolo Latte and an Espresso.
    I shut the Espresso pour down as soon as it loses the "thick,dark" look.
    So much more to it.
    Yeah ah nice! Yeah a 'true' ristretto is one that's a much slower, drippy, goopy pour, 1:1 ratio in 35ish seconds. Some cafes actually only pull double ristrettos into all their drinks which is interesting! I think the slower pour really makes a difference to the body... I remember trying a really low yield slow pour double riz from Coffee Cartel here in Breakwater, Geelong awhile ago, it was potentially the most incredible coffee I'd ever tasted... I believe it was an Ethiopian Guji, was so thick that I could almost chew it, but it was just bursting with flavour... that one really stays with me and honestly that very drink kickstarted alot of my motivation in pursuing coffee, wanting to recreate THAT haha

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=simonsk8r;618605]Yeah ah nice! Yeah a 'true' ristretto is one that's a much slower, drippy, goopy pour, 1:1 ratio in 35ish seconds.

    Do you have a reference for this? Just interested to know of industry 'standards' and where 'true' definitions come from. Helps me in my work. Cheers!

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=chokkidog;618607]
    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Yeah ah nice! Yeah a 'true' ristretto is one that's a much slower, drippy, goopy pour, 1:1 ratio in 35ish seconds.

    Do you have a reference for this? Just interested to know of industry 'standards' and where 'true' definitions come from. Helps me in my work. Cheers!
    G'day! Nope don't have anywhere particular but it's really just something I keep seeing written around, that that is what a properly made ristretto is. That's sorta why I put the quotation marks around 'true' hehe.

    Just had a quick squiz around and Wikipedia is a proponent of that hehe:

    "Ristretto*is traditionally a short shot of espresso*coffee*made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water*in the same amount of time*by using a finer grind. Ristretto means restricted. This produces a concentrated shot of coffee per volume. Just pulling a normal shot short will just produce a weaker shot and is not a Ristretto as some believe.[1]"

    Although I wouldn't say that pulling a shot short would make it weaker at all but anyways.

    And that's the thing, in a cafe environment it's far too difficult to adhere to this method, you'd have to adjust the whole grind JUST for the ristretto, wasting alot of coffee in the process, then dial it back for the standard shots. In my cafe work years we just pulled them short, much easier and created a similar drink.

    And also tricky with industry standards, as the standard and beverage definition varies soooo much from cafe to cafe...

    But I do feel there's a difference in the beverage result of a super slow (finer grind) ristretto compared to a shot pulled short.. But I need to experiment more methinks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Some cafes actually only pull double ristrettos into all their drinks which is interesting!
    hehe
    I'd imagine (I've never had an authentic Italian 7g) a single ristretto you'd not be able to drink it. It would be more like French kissing the shot glass!

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Ahhh, this old chestnut. This is where it can all start to get a little silly though…

    I love a good ristretto from my naked triple basket. I grind the same, tamp the same, pour the same as I would a longer shot. It's always thick, slow, gloopy goodness when it comes out - no over-extraction. But that's partly the grinder and the way I roast my beans.

    If it's my morning shot, I might pull it a little early (about half way up a 90ml clear shot glass with crema, which settles to about 1/3 glass). This will be be thick, oily, zingy, potent goodness – especially from a nice Ethiopian Sidamo Guji like I have at present! If I feel like a bit more liquid, I'll fill to 3/4, getting about 2/3 settled. More traditional expresso 'figures' and lighter to drink, cleaner, more mild.

    Ris' are the best though - but yes - can be gone too quickly!

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by u2jewel View Post
    hehe
    I'd imagine (I've never had an authentic Italian 7g) a single ristretto you'd not be able to drink it. It would be more like French kissing the shot glass!
    Hahaha.. But I always end up French kissing all my shots... REGARDLESS of what was in there

    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Ahhh, this old chestnut. This is where it can all start to get a little silly though…

    I love a good ristretto from my naked triple basket. I grind the same, tamp the same, pour the same as I would a longer shot. It's always thick, slow, gloopy goodness when it comes out - no over-extraction. But that's partly the grinder and the way I roast my beans.

    If it's my morning shot, I might pull it a little early (about half way up a 90ml clear shot glass with crema, which settles to about 1/3 glass). This will be be thick, oily, zingy, potent goodness – especially from a nice Ethiopian Sidamo Guji like I have at present! If I feel like a bit more liquid, I'll fill to 3/4, getting about 2/3 settled. More traditional expresso 'figures' and lighter to drink, cleaner, more mild.

    Ris' are the best though - but yes - can be gone too quickly!
    Ohhhhhh Gujiiiiiiiii..... and yes it can all get a little silly hehe. And YES they just are gone so very quickly... hehe
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    I'm not convinced you can get an over extracted ristretto unless things go quite wrong. Your dancing at the under extracted end of the spectrum at a 1:1 ratio. It's much more likely you'll get an under extraction.

    Certainly a shot where your grinder earns its keep.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I'm not convinced you can get an over extracted ristretto unless things go quite wrong. Your dancing at the under extracted end of the spectrum at a 1:1 ratio. It's much more likely you'll get an under extraction.
    .
    That's true if you simply cut the shot early.

    But if you adjust grind /dose etc to get the shot pouring in close to 'standard' time, then things are quite different.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    That's true if you simply cut the shot early.

    But if you adjust grind /dose etc to get the shot pouring in close to 'standard' time, then things are quite different.
    Sure but you're still not putting the volume of water through to release the bitter compounds as you would normally. You'll pick up some bitters through exposure time especially with the fines in an even finer grind but that's where I'm not convinced. You're relying so heavily on the caramels to balance the acidity that I feel if we all got together and made ristrettos more would be underextracted than over. Not saying it can't happen Barry, you're quite right, but a good ristretto is a big ask. Which is why I haven't run one for a long time! Maybe it's time.

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