Post By Dimal
Post By GregWormald
Extraction time for ristrettos
Hi guys, help a rookie out!
When extracting a ristretto, should I set my grind to extract a regular shot over the 25 sec, and just cut the shot short, or should I be trying to extract my ristretto volume over the 25 seconds?
Try both, see what works for your taste buds.
Welcome to the forum by the way.
Ristretto means "restricted" I think, referring to the flow rather than the volume (although the volume is restricted too, because the extraction is thicker and slower). IMO you should be grinding finder or dosing slightly higher and tamping harder to achieve vs a regular shot.
I believe there is also a name for a regular espresso cut short but it escapes me at the moment.
Most commercial outlets obviously don't change their grind for a ristretto (but you have the opportunity to). Why not have two cups ready and switch cups at the point at which you want to define your ristretto (and you could do this at the start and end of the pour if you're from that school)? Taste the ristretto cup, then chuck the 'dregs' cup in and see what difference you can taste.
I'm no expert, but I find that best answer to the issue that you're referring to varies by bean/roast level (and obviously your palate).
i think a run of the mill ristretto is your normal grind and tamp but stopping when the pour is still a dark brown usually around the 10-15 sec mark.
well that's how i do my ristrettos anyway and they taste gd. this method should in theory, yield better (as in consistent) results as you're simply cutting the extraction time short while keeping your other variables constant, and that's key to making a gd coffee each and every time.
I had a laugh... thats funny... I just have a chat with the barrista I normally pick up my afternoon coffee fix yesterday as to what a Ristrettos is...
he's an old italian guy... gave me the "WTF" look... proceed to explain to me how he makes it... which pretty much as "Tamp harder, and cut short your espresso at just over half a shot... ... thats it... and then he grumbled about how its just something fancy arty farty people made up as he never seen it been made in the "old country"
Originally Posted by okitoki
Ahh, you see I've met a couple of old Italian guys (actually maybe it's only one) who also let the 1st few drops go into the drip tray...horses for courses I guess.
Can recommend cutting shot at different times and tasting them. You'd be amazed at how a few seconds past the optimal point of extraction can ruin a straight espresso (less hurtful with milk and sugar, though). But it's educational.
Originally Posted by Darkfalz
Ha! ;-D good one Mal!
Me? …………...I thought it was ristretto.
A 'regular' espresso 'restricted' (ri´stretto) to the first 15 seconds.
If you google it, ('definition of ristretto') it seems pretty rubbery, tho' the finer grind thing
seems to be popular in the USA.
A ristretto should be cut when blinding occurs. If running one spout it depending on dosage it should run for 11-14 seconds . Double ristretto running a double for 17-19seconds should produce a much deeper flavour.
But where is it? I can't see……………
Originally Posted by DoubleRiz
Coffee definitions and terminology gets more rubbery………...
Blonding, auto correct can be a nuisance
First off, one can't argue with the people who have told you, "experiment, taste the shots, and decide for yourself." If you have plenty of time and an indefatigable curiosity, this may be the most educational path. There are, however, certain strategies that may cut down on the trial and error component.
Originally Posted by WillyWill
Most folks find that espresso tastes the most balanced (ie, the sour, sweet and bitter components complement each other best) when 19-20% of the soluble solids present in the dry coffee end up dissolved in your demitasse. Using a numerical example, one could imagine a theoretical "normale":
16g dose yielding
32g beverage at
9.5% TDS ("Total Dissolved Solids" also known as "beverage strength").
9.5% TDS x 32g beverage = 3.04g dissolved solids / 16g dose = 19% "extraction yield."
A true ristretto might look somewhat different:
20g beverage at
15.2% x 20g beverage = 3.04g dissolved solids / 16g dose = 19% extraction yield.
These are just examples; everyone's idea of what a ristretto is and what a normale is may vary. But the conventional wisdom is that a normale or ristretto should extract the same percentage of dissolved solids from the original dose in order to taste balanced. For the ristretto to extract the same amount of solids using less water, the ristretto grind must be considerably finer to expose more coffee surface area. This finer grind increases the shot time considerably. So it's not uncommon for a ristretto to taste great after running 35-45 seconds (at a slower than normal flow rate).
That's the conventional wisdom, but more recently it's been challenged by Scott Rao's somewhat controversial "Double Hump Theory." You can read more about that on James Hoffmann's blog, but the gist of it is that there are alternate good-tasting extractions to be had under certain conditions when the extraction yield is only 15-16%.
What that means is if one cuts a shot off "early" but not TOO early, it could end up around 15-16% yield and taste pretty good. But there's definitely a trial and error process to be explored in knowing when to cut it off. Alternatively, one could make a super-updosed ristretto using 22g of coffee to make ~18-20g of espresso at a 15-16% yield IF you hit it just right. I believe the best shot of espresso I ever had was made that way, but it was not easy to do and the barista tried four times before he nailed the shot.
If you have some good scales and a coffee refractometer with filters, you can explore these concepts and see if they work for you.
I hope this post was helpful -- or at least interesting -- in your quest to make a delicious ristretto.
Thanks guys, I've really enjoyed reading your responses!! Was sort of hitting middle ground today between a normale and a ristretto, which I guess makes it a normetto… Around 15g in and 26 out over 35 seconds, not sure where that would sit with the coffee cognoscenti, but I was happy with the taste...
For cryin' out loud--don't ask that question!
That's like asking "What's the best oil?" on a motorcycle forum.
Everybody (including the old Italian baristas) have their own definition. Questions like this will show you why Italy has over 50 political parties. So don't expect **one** answer, except--Suck it and see (how you like it.)