So much of our espresso terminology has been given to us by the Italian coffee culture. The reason for this is because Italy is where this concentrated coffee form was originally launched, and eventually sophisticated. Once the 1980's Espresso Revolution began on the West Coast, many Italian roasters shared their knowledge and terminology to help us produce better espresso through better extraction. So to better understand espresso, we can look to the Italian roots. Espresso has now become internationally popular.
Ristretto in Italian means ristricted. Water is the espresso component that we restrict when pulling an espresso ristretto. So we are dosing with slightly less water in order to gain body and strength. This is related to the old Italian expression, Less is more! Lungo in Italian means long, or long pour. Again, water is the component that is being changed. In this case, to dose slightly more water during the extraction.
In the Seattle and Portland markets, as well as other espresso markets, most of the high volume, high profile espresso bars and coffee houses have the habit of pouring all double ristretto shots.
The water calibration for ristrettos goes like this: First remember that once the water doasge has been set, a portion of the water remains in the spent grounds and never reaches the pouring glasses. To better understand the process, lets begin with the water dosage only, no coffee. Prepare the water calibration by using a double portafilter and pour in to two 2 ounce shot glasses, which will be marked with a white one ounce measuring line. Adjust the water dose to pour exactly one and a quarter ounces in each shot glass. The results will produce a total of two and one half ounces of water from the amount of both shot glasses.
Once the water calibration is completed and the shot glasses are cleaned and preheated, add coffee to the double portafilter. So that we are all on the same page, and argument sake, lets run a test using approximately 16 grams of coffee, dose up or fill and scrape method ok, grind the coffee to the consistency that will permit a 25-30 second pour.
Pull your shot. You should see nice thick crema over heavy bodied shots equal to 3/4 ounce of espresso per shot glass. This results in one and one half ounces of ristretto espresso into the drink.
The drink that I most enjoy is a double ristretto espresso, macchiato. A double short pull of espresso (3/4 ounce per shot) marked with a small amount of textured milk foam. Or one can certainly order and enjoy a double ristretto short, tall, or grande mocha.
Rule of thumb on length of time on a shot is to go with the apprpriate time guidelines( 25-30 seconds). These are generally suggested by the roaster, as they know their coffees better than you or I. However if your shot begins to thin out, stop the extraction. This means that you have extracted all of the good oils and flavors.
Order up! One double espresso macchiato to GULP!
hmmm... thought another minute and this is not totally true. The volumetric definition does give us some useful info. However I do still feel like the conceptual definition is much more useful and flexible for this discussion.Agreed with Jason, again, especially since the standard volumetric definition does not address the subject of the original post - the nature of an updosed shot.
I'd say "you are forgiven", but I do not assume the authority to do so. ;)Brady said:hmmm... thought another minute and this is not totally true. The volumetric definition does give us some useful info. However I do still feel like the conceptual definition is much more useful and flexible for this discussion.Agreed with Jason, again, especially since the standard volumetric definition does not address the subject of the original post - the nature of an updosed shot.
(Curses! Caught violating my own rule about not posting before finishing my first cuppa, again.)