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+ servings

How to Make Ristretto

Author: Jee Choe
A quick guide to making ristretto at home.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving



  • Remove portafiter from espresso machine and run the water through the grouphead to remove any leftover coffee grounds.
  • Grind and fill dry portafilter with finely ground coffee.
  • Level and tamp filled portafilter. Clean loose ground coffee off the portafilter.
  • Put portafilter into the grouphead and pull ristretto shots.
    There should be less water in a ristretto shot so pull a shorter shot than you would an espresso. The drink should be about ½ an ounce.
  • Place cup under the portafilter.
  • After pulling shots of ristretto, remove the portafilter and flush grouphead.


  • The easiest way to pull a ristretto shot without a scale is to simply stop your shot sooner than you normally would. If you pull a shot of espresso for 25 seconds, try it at 15 seconds.
  • Bitterness comes out at the end of an espresso shot, so when you pull a shorter shot, you're getting slightly sweeter, less bitter flavors.
  • In general, most coffee shops pull double ristretto shots for all drink sizes, instead of single. Starbucks starts with a single ristretto shot, adding more shots as the drink size gets bigger.
  • The opposite of a ristretto shot is a “lungo,” which usually means allowing more water to go through the espresso shot than normal. A lungo is referred to as a long shot and ristretto is a short shot.
  • A ristretto shot will look much darker than a regular or lungo shot. That’s because much of the dark brown coloring of the espresso comes out in the early parts of the shot.
  • What’s fun about ristretto shots is that they’re easy to pull and compare to a regular shot. If you’re not sure what the differences are, pull two shots—one regular, one ristretto—and taste them side-by-side.


Sodium: 4mg | Calcium: 3mg
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