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less caffeine in ristrettos?

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  • less caffeine in ristrettos?

    I recently figured out that ristrettos have minimal caffeine. A cafe operator here in Hobart who doesnt do decaf suggests ristrettos to customers requesting decaf. Ive been having to cut down caffeine and got excited about this "solution." Has anyone else had similar experience?

  • #2
    Re: less caffeine in ristrettos?

    Ive heard the same story - ristrettos have less caffeine, but I have never actually found any evidence to support it. Also, Ive never looked. ;D

    Honestly though, I do wonder if this is another coffee myth.

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    • #3
      Re: less caffeine in ristrettos?

      Supposedly...the first 5 ml of a pour does not have any caffeine in it. Now, if that has been scientifically proven or not, I couldnt tell you. But if we have run out of decaf and I have a customer requesting a decaf, that is what I tell them because that is what Ive been told over the years, so I couldnt actually cite my source and let you know if it is a proven one or not.

      The only way I think you could honestly test it, is to try for yourself what the affects of coffee are on you if you drink a ristretto over an espresso.

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      • #4
        Re: less caffeine in ristrettos?

        I heard that the more water that goes through the grinds the more caffeine--that seems to be the principle.

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        • #5
          Re: less caffeine in ristrettos?

          It would be a pretty easy experiment for an analytical chemist.  Im sure someones done it.

          Caffeine is water soluble so I would assume the first drop of coffee extracted contains it. The amount extracted would depend on the length of time the coffee is in contact with the water.

          A ristretto probably would contain less caffeine if it is pulled in say 15 seconds instead of 25.

          I would also assume that plunger and other methods, where the coffee is in contact with water for longer periods, would contain more caffeine.

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          • #6
            Re: less caffeine in ristrettos?

            from here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ristretto

            Ristretto (also called a "corto") is a very "short" shot of espresso coffee. Originally this meant pulling a hand press (shown at right) faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine is extracted in reduced ratio to the flavorful coffee oils. The resultant shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. All of these flavors are usually attributed to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in ristretto. Because of this exaggerated flavor, ristretto is often preferred by espresso coffee lovers. Today, with the hand press out of favor and modern automated machines generally less controllable, ristretto usually just means less water; a double espresso shot is typically around 60 ml (2 fl oz), while a double ristretto is typically 45 ml (1–1.5 fl oz).

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