Ristretto vs Long Shot | How Are They Different? 

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Are you an avid coffee drinker or barista looking for some new knowledge on the differences between ristretto vs long shot? If so, then keep reading! Ristretto and long shot are two common espresso brewing styles. Though different in size, they still have some important similarities worth exploring. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the main characteristics defining each brew style, detailing process differences and flavor distinctions. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to determine which is right for your next caffeine fix – whether it’s a short-term energy boost or a longer-lasting classic pick me up. Get ready to compare these two coffee options with us now!

Ristretto vs Long Shot: What Are The Differences?

At a basic level, ristretto and long shot are two different types of espresso extraction. Both cases involve forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans under pressure. However, there are several notable differences between the two brewing methods.

The Differences Between Ristretto vs Long Shot
Ristretto Vs Long Shot: Water Ratio Is An Obvious Difference At The First Glance.


The main difference between a ristretto and a long shot is quite apparent when it comes to size. A ristretto is a small-sized espresso that is crafted with significantly less water than a traditional espresso, typically using only about half the amount of water as a regular shot. This results in a concentrated and intense flavor profile that is truly unique.

On the other hand, a long shot is an espresso that is brewed with twice as much liquid as its smaller counterpart, creating a more diluted and milder taste. Both variations offer distinct experiences for coffee enthusiasts to explore and savor.


The contrast is quite remarkable when it comes to the taste difference between a ristretto and a long shot. With their shorter extraction time, Ristrettos showcase a higher concentration of flavors, resulting in a bolder and slightly bitter profile compared to the classic espresso.

On the other hand, long shots offer a smoother and more nuanced flavor experience, with a milder intensity of bitterness. This makes them often favored for leisurely sipping, as they provide a more balanced and gentle taste sensation than their shorter counterparts.

Roasting Process

The roasting process plays a crucial role in distinguishing between ristrettos and long shots. When it comes to ristrettos, a darker roast is typically employed, as its robust flavor harmonizes perfectly with the concentrated taste profile of this type of espresso. The deep, rich notes of the darker roast intensify the overall experience, creating a bold and satisfying sip.

On the other hand, long shots often call for lighter roasts to be used. This choice enhances the subtler flavors present in the coffee, allowing them to shine through. The lighter roast brings out delicate nuances and intricate undertones, resulting in a more intricate and layered taste experience. The balanced and smooth flavor of a well-executed long shot is a testament to the barista’s artistry and the coffee beans’ quality.

Grinding Level

The fineness of the grind is another key factor in the distinction between ristretto and long shots. Ristrettos require a finer coarse than their longer counterparts, allowing for an even extraction throughout the shot. The finer texture ensures that more flavor-packed components can be pulled out from the beans to create a bolder espresso experience.

You can use a coarser grind or fineness for long shots, as the extended brewing process allows for a more gradual extraction of flavor compounds. The coarser grind gives each sip more complexity and texture than you get with an ultra-fine texture, resulting in a smoother, longer-lasting taste sensation.

Brewing Method

The brewing method employed can also be a factor in distinguishing ristrettos from long shots. For ristrettos, baristas usually employ the traditional espresso machine method of pressurized extraction 1. This process requires greater skill and attention to detail, as it calls for exact timing and intricate temperature adjustments to achieve an optimal result.

You can also make long shot coffee with a traditional espresso machine, but many baristas prefer to use alternative brewing methods. The most popular is the pour-over method, which involves slowly pouring hot water over the grinds to create an extended extraction period. This gives the barista more control over the flavor profile of their long shot and can result in a smoother and more balanced espresso experience.

Level Of Caffeine

The level of caffeine in a ristretto versus long shot can be a potential indicator. Ristrettos usually have less caffeine, as the short extraction process does not extract enough of the coffee’s bitter compounds. On the other hand, long shots have a higher level of caffeine due to the extended brewing period, which allows for more of these compounds to make their way into your cup.

In details , the level of caffeine in a ristretto will be usually around 60-80 mg whereas for long shots it can be as high as 100 mg. This difference can provide an extra energy boost to those who need it, or simply add more flavor complexity and richness to your espresso experience.


The acidity level of a ristretto shot is usually higher than that of a long shot, due to the shorter extraction period. This means that ristrettos can have an intense flavor profile with citrus and dark chocolate notes, making them ideal for those who want a bolder espresso experience.

Long shots tend to have lower acidity levels, as the extended extraction period allows for more of the coffee’s non-bitter compounds to be released. This results in a rounder and smoother cup of espresso with more subtle notes such as nutty or caramel flavors.

Ristretto vs Long Shot: Which One Is For You?

A Cup Of Ristretto
Pick Ristretto If You Like Bold Flavor

When choosing between a ristretto and a long shot espresso, the decision ultimately hinges on the specific flavor profile you’re seeking. For those who crave an espresso experience that is intense and bold, with a delightful acidity and pronounced flavors, the ristretto is a perfect choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a more mellow cup of coffee with subtle and nuanced notes, the long shot is the way to go.

Both options offer their unique charm and can be thoroughly enjoyed according to personal preference. To truly discover your ideal espresso experience, we highly recommend trying both and exploring the delightful nuances they offer. Happy sipping!

How To Make A Cup Of Ristretto?

Making a ristretto shot of espresso isn’t difficult, but it does require precision.

Step 1: Start by tamping the grounds in your portafilter with the appropriate pressure and then insert it into your espresso machine.

Step 2: Set the timer on your espresso machine to 15-25 seconds, depending on desired strength and preference.

Step 3: When extraction is complete, carefully remove the portafilter from the machine and enjoy your delicious ristretto shot!

It is best to practice several times before mastering the technique. Make sure you use fresh, high-quality beans and grind them immediately before extraction for optimal flavor. Doing so will ensure that your espresso is as delicious as possible! And most importantly – don’t forget to enjoy it!

How To Make A Cup Of Long Shot?

Making a long shot of espresso is just as easy as making a ristretto. All you need to do is follow the same steps above, but extend the extraction time to 30-35 seconds. This will result in a cup of espresso with a full body and an intense flavor profile.

As always, using fresh beans and grinding them right before extraction will ensure you get the most out of your espresso. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make an incredible cup of long shot espresso every time! However, some non-professional espresso machines may not have the capability to make a long shot, so make sure to check your machine’s capabilities before trying.

Can you Make A Cup Of Long Shot From Ristretto?

Yes, you can indeed make a cup of long shot espresso from a ristretto by following a few steps. To extend the extraction time of a ristretto shot, you can add more grounds and tamp it again. This allows for a longer extraction process, resulting in a longer shot without the need to adjust your machine settings.

However, it’s important to note that this method is not recommended for beginners. It requires some practice and experimentation to achieve the desired taste and avoid over-extraction, which can result in a bitter flavor. So, before attempting this technique, it’s best to familiarize yourself with your machine’s settings and gain some experience with different extraction methods.


Riistretto vs long shot? The answer is up to the individual’s preference. Both drinks offer a unique flavor and benefits, making them worth trying. If you’re looking for an intense, full-bodied flavor, then a long shot espresso is the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer something more subtle and sweet, then a ristretto might be your best bet. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.


Is Long Shot Considered As Lungo?

No, a long shot is not the same as lungo. A long shot espresso uses more grounds and a longer extraction time than a normal espresso, while a lungo is simply an extended version of a regular espresso. It uses the same amount of grounds and extraction time as a normal espresso, but with more water.

How Much Coffee Should You Use For Long Shot?

The amount of coffee you use for a long shot espresso will depend on the strength and flavor profile you’re looking to achieve. Generally, it’s recommended to start with around 18-20 grams of coffee grounds per shot and adjust as needed. It’s important to remember to use fresh, high quality beans for the best results.

Can You Make a Long Shot Cold?

Yes, you can make a long shot cold. The process for making cold brew espresso is the same as for hot extraction, but with cold water instead. For best results, use coffee grounds that are specifically designed for cold brewing and grind them to a medium-fine consistency. This will ensure that all the flavors are extracted properly and the drink isn’t too bitter. Additionally, cold water should be used for extraction and left to steep for at least 8-12 hours. After that, strain the grounds out and enjoy your cold brewed long shot espresso.

Can You Add Milk To a Long Shot?

Yes, you can add milk to a long shot espresso. Many people prefer adding steamed or frothed milk as it helps balance out the intense flavor of the espresso and gives it a smoother texture. Additionally, it’s easy to create latte art with this combination, so if you’re looking for something more creative and aesthetically pleasing, this is a great option.

Can You Stay Awake By Drinking Long Shots?

Yes, long shots of espresso can help increase your energy and alertness. The high caffeine content in the espresso helps stimulate your nervous system and provide energy for up to four hours.

  1. The first espresso machines was created in 1822 by a French person

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