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Topic: Proper Ristretto (5 msgs / 109 lines)
1) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
What is the CSA opinion on the best method that results in a cup of "proper
ristretto"? I read some instructions in few books and some discussions
elsewhere on the net -- all were eighteen months old or older. As I
understand it:
1. Ristretto isn't primarily defined by volume or crema variables, but by a
target taste profile. However, they are generally accepted guidelines that
lead to the correct taste profile.
2. You do NOT need a different (home) roasted coffee for a ristretto.  Roast
and blend that is good for espresso is also good for ristretto.
3. Use the same amount of coffee and tamping technique you use for espresso.
4. Adjust the grind a little finer than for espresso so that you get 25ml in
25 to 30 seconds.
I believe that those are generally accepted facts, correct? -- What is you
opinion on the following?
5. One also needs to lower the temperature of the brew water, because as the
flow volume of the water is lower and hence the contact time of each water
molecule with the (now also finer) grind is longer, you would otherwise
extract the undesirable solubles, but by lowering the brew temperature, you
can slow down this extraction of undesirable components and clearly get a
more "balanced" ristretto.
6. We should include with the coffee in the portafilter basket a pinch of
salt for the real proper ristretto.
Regards, Lubos
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2) From: Andrew Thomas
Never heard of number 1. It was always my understanding that ristretto IS defined by volume, namely about half to three-fourths the volume of a regular espresso. Number 2, 3 and 4 seem right according to what I've read here and elsewhere. Number 5 -- maybe, but seems obsessive to me. Maybe I'm not CSA enough ;-). Also never heard of putting salt in espresso, or any other kind of coffee, but if it works, why not? You first.   Andy
--- "Irene and Lubos Palounek"  wrote:
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3) From: Dan Bollinger
Also never heard of putting salt in espresso, or any other kind of coffee,
but if it works, why not? You first.   Andy
Andy, a pinch of salt is an uncommon recipe for making coffee.  I used to do
it to improve the flavor when using bad tasting or flat tasting water.
Conditioned water is often flat tasting and a pinch of salt improves the
brew.  Try it. I stopped doing it when I switched to RO water. Dan
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4) From: NOEL HONG
The only common definition I've come across for ristretto is basically a 
short shot pulled using a double shot volume/mass of coffee. My "ristrettos" 
usually result from too fine a grind.  The shots outside of being less than 
30 ml(my normal shots are ~40ml) tend to have a higher % of crema & seem to 
be closer to that sought after "God Shot".  For my taste I tweak my temp 
based on the type of straight or blend being used.  Lighter roasts&/or 
brighter blends/beans seem to require temps more on the higher end (95C). 
Lower temps IMO for bright/lighter roasts seem to bring out an undesirable 
sour hint.  These same higher temps seem to flatten out the taste of darker 
Noel V. Hong
email: nhong32590
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5) From: Dan Bollinger
Hmm...  I was thinking, wouldn't a PF loaded with more than the usual amount
of coffee yield a ristretto of sorts because of the additional hydraulic
resistance of the added coffee would mean less fluid would pass through in
30 seconds?  If so, this would be a work-around of resetting the grinder
when asked to make a ristretto.  Dan
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