Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2018 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
Ristretto for a Change of Pace

Sunday, April 29, 2018
all text and photos 2018 - All rights reserved

   With the spring seemingly winding down here I have been trying to get more outdoor work done. About two weeks ago it was in the 80's here, and now, as I type, we have had a downpour of showers over the last hour and it is 46 degrees outside at two in the afternoon. This past week (when it was quite warm) I widened one of the drainage ditches along my driveway about 10 to 12 inches, by hand, then took my garden tractor and mini scraper box and crowned that part of the drive as best I could. Add a couple of hours of weed removal with my 35 pound brush cutter (weed eater on steroids) and the early part of the morning on the day after that level of work doesn't exactly release the bonds of sleep easily. Being 66 years old doesn't help either. What to do? Same thing you do when an internal combustion engine does not want to start- add some starter fluid.

As I begin my morning routine of making 'due cappucini' for my wife and I, a few times this past week I have made myself a ristretto (in Italian it seems to be spelled “restretto” meaning restricted). In terms of coffee making, a ristretto is a shot of espresso in which the ratio of water to coffee is restricted (lowered). I normally pull a double shot (about two ounces) of espresso using 21 grams of coffee. For the ristretto I grind about one additional gram, grind about one-half “click” finer and pull just a bit more than a single shot.

If you have never done anything like that, it sounds crazy to work with the above parameters, but when done right it really is a taste treat. If you think that it would be too strong to drink and really bitter, think again. It makes a thick, rich, and delicious few sips of amazing espresso. The few I have made all exhibited increased sweetness and a different flavor profile from a “normal” extraction.” It accentuated the fruity acidity and chocolate flavors.

If you have not tried this, please do so. It is a good test of your equipment as well as your preparation, and the limiting factor may be the size of your filter basket and the accuracy of your grinder. Being able to slightly adjust the grind with the increased mass of coffee in order to pull about half the amount of espresso in the same amount of time is tricky.

Coffee Cup
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