What is The Difference Between Ristretto And Long Shot?

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Ristretto and Long Shot are both espresso drinks, but they have different ratios of coffee to water. What’s the difference between ristretto and long shot? If not, don’t worry. This informative blog post will teach you everything you need to know about ristretto vs long shot.

Ristretto is an espresso that has been brewed with less water, while a long shot is just a regular espresso. Both drinks have their unique flavor profile and benefits, keep reading to learn more.

What is a Ristretto?


A Ristretto is a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water. The word ‘ristretto’ itself means ‘restricted’ in Italian, alluding to the smaller quantity of water used.

This method of extraction results in a coffee that is bolder and fuller-bodied, with the flavors and characteristics of the beans more densely packed into a smaller volume.

What is a Long Shot?


A long shot, also known as ‘Lungo,’ is an espresso shot that is extracted with more water than usual.

The term ‘Lungo’ comes from the Italian word for ‘long.’ This extraction method uses the same amount of coffee grounds as a standard espresso shot but doubles the amount of water. The result is a larger, more diluted espresso that tends to be less concentrated and less intense than a standard espresso or a ristretto.

However, it’s important to note that more water doesn’t mean a weak coffee; instead, it simply allows different flavor notes to emerge, providing a unique tasting experience.

Ristretto vs Long Shot: What is the Difference Between Them?


Ristretto shots are made with less water, resulting in a more concentrated coffee. This means that the flavor is more intense and robust. On the other hand, long shots use more water, resulting in a less concentrated coffee with a smoother flavor.

How much caffeine do they have?

A Ristretto, often described as a ‘short shot’, is the first 15-20ml of espresso in an extraction, making it the most concentrated and traditionally, the most flavorful part of the espresso. Despite its intensity, a Ristretto tends to contain less caffeine, because the water has less contact time with the coffee grounds.

On the other hand, a Long Shot, or ‘Lungo’, is an extraction that takes twice the amount of time as a Ristretto, resulting in 50-60ml of espresso. This longer extraction time allows more caffeine to be released from the coffee grounds.

In summary, while a Ristretto may taste stronger due to its concentration, a Long Shot generally contains more caffeine due to the extended extraction time.

What is the calorie count?

When it comes to the calorie count, both the Ristretto and the Long Shot have negligible amounts in their pure form. An average shot of Ristretto has around 1 calorie, while a typical Long Shot has around 3 calories. 

These counts can significantly increase when additives such as sugar, cream, milk, or flavored syrups are included. Therefore, if you’re watching your calorie intake, drinking these espresso shots in their purest form is recommended.

How to Make a Ristretto Shot?

A ristretto is an espresso coffee made with a smaller amount of water, resulting in a more concentrated shot. To make a ristretto, start by grinding your beans to a finer consistency. Then, place the grounds in your espresso machine‘s filter and tamp them down. Next, brew your espresso for a shorter time than you normally would. Finally, enjoy your ristretto or add some steamed milk and sugar to taste.

How to Make a Long Shot?

To make a long shot, you’ll need about double the amount of coffee grounds as you would for a regular cup of coffee. For a long shot, the water-to-the-coffee ratio should be about 1:2.

Start by heating your water to just below boiling. Then, grind your coffee beans to a medium-fine grind. Next, add the coffee grounds to your filter and pour half of the hot water. Allow the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds, then finish pouring in the rest of the water. Allow the coffee to brew for 3-4 minutes, remove the filter and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Difference Between Ristretto and Long Shot

Is it a flat white made with ristretto?

No, a flat white is not made with ristretto. A flat white is made with espresso and steamed milk.

Do ristretto shots taste better?

Ristretto shots have a higher concentration of coffee oils and caffeine, which some people believe makes them taste better.

Which one tastes better?

This is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the stronger flavor of ristretto, while others prefer the weaker flavor of a long shot.

Which one should I order at a coffee shop?

Again, this is a matter of personal preference. If you want a stronger cup of coffee, order a ristretto. If you want a weaker cup of coffee, order a long shot.

Is there a price difference?

No, there is no difference in price. Both types of coffee cost the same.

Final Verdict on Ristretto vs Long Shot

So, what is the difference between Ristretto and Long Shot? While both are types of espresso, they differ in terms of the amount of coffee used and the grind size.

Ristretto is made with less water and a finer grind, resulting in a more concentrated shot. Long Shot uses more water and a coarser grind, resulting in a less concentrated shot. So, when choosing between the two, it depends on your personal preference.

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