Which is better Long shot or Ristretto

Long Shot Vs Ristretto: Understanding 7 Key Differences

Long Shot Vs Ristretto: A long shot may be twice as large or even three times as large as a ristretto, and there may also be variations in grind size, water volume, and draw time. The distinctions between a long shot and ristretto, how they differ from regular espresso, how they are made, which is preferable, and other more interesting nuances will all be covered in this essay.

Let’s get started!

Overview of Long Shot

A shot of espresso is what you get when you order a long shot. However, in order to make a long shot, you will need to use twice the amount of water. A drink with a higher water content will be less strong and more watered down than one with a lower water content.

Overview of Long Shot
Overview of Long Shot

Even though a long shot may not have quite the same intensity of flavor as an espresso, it is still highly tasty. Because there is more water in a long shot, rather than only espresso, the texture of the coffee is smoother. You might like the long shot if you find a straight shot of espresso to be too powerful or bitter for your tastes.

The flavor of a long shot of espresso falls somewhere in the middle of that of an Americano and a shot of espresso. There are a few different names for the long shot: Lungo, coffee Lungo (Italian), and café Alonge (French).

What is Ristretto?

Although both a ristretto and a long shot are considered to be shots of espresso, a ristretto is shorter than a long shot. When compared to a conventional shot of espresso, a long shot requires double the amount of water. Ristretto is made with less water and takes less time to extract than regular coffee.

When coffee is extracted with less water and for a shorter period of time, the resulting beverage is one that has a higher concentration of coffee.

What is Ristretto
What is Ristretto

The flavor of the ristretto is more concentrated than that of the long shot. Additionally, it has a little more astringent flavor. Some individuals may find that the increased flavor concentration is too much of a good thing when it comes to coffee.

If you like your espresso strong or if you like the flavor of coffee to be very prominent, you should try a ristretto. The word “limitation” in Italian is where we get the English word “ristretto.” The term “restriction” refers to the reduced amount of water that is required for the preparation of this coffee beverage.

It can also refer to the confined or condensed amount of time that is spent preparing the beverage: double shot, long shots, coffee grounds, extraction time, regular shot, regular espresso, shot coffee, coffee beans, ground coffee, ristretto shot, espresso machine, standard espresso.

6 Key Differences: Ristretto vs Long Shot

Now that you are familiar with the history of ristretto vs. long shot, it is time to examine the distinctions that exist between these two beverages.


Long shot



Flavor Milder, more bitter flavor Stronger, sweeter flavor Strong, creamy
Shot size 45 mL – 60 mL (1.5 oz – 2.0 oz) 15 mL (0.5 oz) 30 mL (1.0 oz)
Grind size Coarser Finer Normal
Coffee dose 7 g (0.015 lb) 7 g (0.015 lb) 7 g (0.015 lb)
Grounds-to-liquid ratio 1:3 – 1:4 1:1 1:2
Pull time 60 seconds (1 minute) 15 seconds 25-30 seconds.

Summary comparison table

1. Brewing Process

5 Key Differences Ristretto vs Long Shot
5 Key Differences Ristretto vs Long Shot

Both ristrettos and long shots are brewed in a distinct manner by you.

  • The amount of coffee grounds required to prepare a ristretto is equivalent to what would be used to prepare a standard shot of espresso. On the other hand, you need to use much less water, and the extraction process takes much less time. The end product of this kind of brewing is a beverage that has a higher alcohol content.
  • When making a long shot, you should use twice as much water as when making an espresso. The addition of water results in a beverage that is weaker in its effect and more watered down overall. these two alcoholic beverages.

2. Caffine Conent

It is because these two beverages require different amounts of water to prepare them. You will discover that each beverage contains a unique level of caffeine.

  • Due to its higher concentration, ristretto coffee contains a higher total amount of caffeine than regular coffee. Choose the ristretto if you want a caffeine spike that hits you harder and lasts longer.
  • On the other hand, a longer amount of time is spent extracting the caffeine from the long shot coffee, and a greater volume of water is passed over the ground beans throughout the process.

3. Type of Bean

The type of coffee bean used to prepare a coffee beverage can have a substantial effect on its taste and flavor.
For ristrettos, a darker roast is often employed. You need a darker roast since the ristretto’s shorter extraction time can make a lighter roast taste too weak.

Any type of roast may be used to create a long shot. The most typical roasts are light and medium. The addition of water can make a dark roast taste excessively harsh.

Also important is the acidity of the coffee bean used for ristrettos and long shots. Beans with less acidity and cultivated at lower altitudes typically produce superior ristretto. Low-acidity beans typically have a milder, sweeter flavor. Since ristrettos are concentrated, beans with a high acidity can produce an unappealing shot.

Meanwhile, beans with a higher acidity are more desirable for long shots. Higher acidity beans are more difficult to extract flavor from, but because long shots utilize more water, you can achieve the desired flavor.

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4. The Grind

  • Ristrettos require finely ground coffee for optimum flavor. Since you are using such a small amount of water, you should use a fine grind to optimize the coffee grounds’ surface area.
  • Also necessary for long shots is a fine grind. Even while long shots use more water than a pour-over or equivalent coffee, the difference is negligible.

The water is able to make the most possible contact with the coffee grinds when a finer grind is used. The more finely the beans are ground, the more flavor you will extract from them.

5. Crema

Espresso preparation requires crema, a thin froth layer on top of an espresso shot. The crema is formed by emulsifying oils, sugars, and brewing carbon dioxide. It shows the flavor profile and strength of an espresso shot and is the most crucial aspect in its quality.

The crema layer distinguishes ristretto from long shot coffee. Ristretto shots have denser crema than Long Shots. Ristretto shots are concentrated because they use less water and a smaller grind size. Thus, it is called a “shot” rather than “coffee.” Coffee oils and taste components are concentrated due to the shorter extraction time and reduced water volume. This makes the crema on the ristretto shot denser and more substantial.

6. Taste and Aroma

The most obvious distinctions between ristrettos and long shots can be found in the flavor and scent of the beverage. These beverages are very different from one another in terms of their flavor, texture, and aroma.

Aroma and Taste

  • The flavor of the ristretto is stronger than that of the long shot. Additionally, it is more bitter. Some individuals may find the increased concentration of coffee flavors to be overwhelming. If you love pure espresso or robust coffee flavors, try a ristretto.
  • The flavor of the long shot is more mellow. The flavor is muted because the shot was diluted with water. Since more water is used, the long shot has a smoother texture. If you desire a less potent cup of coffee, opt for the long shot.


  • As a result of its decreased water content, ristretto typically has a robust and fragrant scent. The aroma of ristretto precedes the sight of it. Moreover, ristrettos tend to accentuate the fruity characteristics of coffee beans.
  • On the other hand, long shots typically have a richer and more traditional coffee aroma. Long shots might have a tinge of smokiness to their aroma.

7. Serving Sizes & Presentation

Long Shot Ristretto
Serving Sizes A long shot is typically made using a double shot of espresso extracted for a longer period than usual, resulting in a larger volume of liquid. The typical serving size for a long shot ranges from 3 to 5 ounces. A ristretto iis made using the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso, but with less water. The typical serving size for a ristretto ranges from 0.5 to 1 ounce.
Presentation Long shots are served in larger cups than espressos to accommodate the extra liquid. It is usually eaten without milk, although sometimes with a little. A 2–3-ounce demitasse holds a ristretto. It’s usually drunk plain.


Which is better: Long shot or Ristretto?

After going over all of those comparisons and highlighting the significant differences, you might be wondering which option is the best. Which one do you prefer, the ristretto or the long shot? Or is classic espresso just superior?

Which is better Long shot or Ristretto
Which is better Long shot or Ristretto

In the end, which coffee preparation you go for—a long shot or a ristretto—comes down to your own particular preferences. Although there are those who enjoy the sweetness and acidity that ristretto imparts, there are also those who yearn for the depth and a more subdued flavor that long shot provides.

Therefore, it is probably best to sample each one to determine which one is most agreeable to an individual’s taste buds.

Factors to consider when choosing

To choose between Long Shot and Ristretto, consider serving size, flavor intensity, acidity, brewing method, and personal preference. Long Shot has a larger serving size and lower acidity, while Ristretto has a stronger and more concentrated flavor. The brewing method also affects the taste. Ultimately, it’s best to try both and see which one you prefer.

Personal preferences and taste

When it comes to choosing between a long shot and a ristretto, it all boils down to personal preferences and taste. Do you like a larger serving size and a milder flavor? Or Do you prefer a stronger and more concentrated flavor?

The best way to make a decision is to try both long shots and ristretto. Then you will see which one appeals to your taste buds the most. Your preferred brewing method, grind size, and overall experience can also influence your choice. Remember, the perfect cup of espresso is a matter of personal taste. Therefore feel free to experiment until you find the one that satisfies your cravings.

Occasions and settings

Occasions and settings can also influence your decision when choosing between a long shot and a ristretto.

A long shot may be a great choice for a leisurely brunch or afternoon coffee break, while a ristretto may be a better choice for a quick pick-me-up or after-dinner drink.

The setting in which you enjoy your espresso can also affect your choice. A cozy coffee shop or home setting may be better suited to a long shot, while a busy café or on-the-go setting may be better suited to a ristretto.
Ultimately, while personal taste is key, considering the occasion and setting can help you enhance your overall espresso experience.

Some Drinks Are Best For Long Shot and Ristretto

Espresso and its variants not need to be sipped straight. While some individuals prefer them straight, others desire them as a base for various coffee beverages.

Frequently, ristretto and long shot are not consumed strictly straight or as intended. There are certain beverages, such as latte or cappuccino, for which ristretto may be preferable since it enhances the flavor. In contrast, a long shot is appropriate for large beverages like Americano or long black.

Some individuals may prefer ristretto as the base for an Americano or latte. For Americano and long black, ristretto is diluted with additional water.

In the meantime, milk is added to dilute ristretto for latte and cappuccino. The flavor of these beverages would be more pronounced and powerful than usual.

In the meantime, a long shot may also be utilized to prepare an Americano. A long shot is shorter than a long black or an Americano and should not be substituted for either.

If a long shot is not long enough, there is also caffè crema, a coffee that is more popular in Europe than other regions. It is similar to a longer long shot; therefore, it would have more volume and a different flavor profile.

Best coffee beans for long shot, Ristretto

Types of coffee beans

If you own an espresso machine and want to try preparing a ristretto or long shot, you may wonder if there are coffee bean varieties that are more suited for one or the other.

  • Arabica coffee beans

For ristretto, it is recommended to use beans with low acidity, such as those from Brazil or Nicaragua.

  • Arabica coffee beans from Brazil.

As previously mentioned, ristretto extraction tends to accentuate acidic and sweet flavors, and employing these coffee bean varieties will help you to reduce the sourness of your beverage.

  • Espresso coffee beans

Meanwhile, you might give denser beans a try as a long shot (or pull rather).

The tastes of these beans are difficult to extract using ristretto or conventional procedures, but the lengthy process employed for a long shot may be able to coax out those tenacious chemicals. This may provide your coffee with a more intriguing and unique flavor character.

  • Arabica coffee beans

While I recommend coffee beans for long shot and ristretto, I suppose I should also recommend them for espresso. Although any type of coffee bean can be used to produce espresso, espresso blend coffee beans have been developed specifically for this purpose.

These beans are typically roasted darker than other beans, allowing them to retain their flavor when combined with milk.


What Is Coffee and What Are Its Characteristics?

As you presumably already know, espresso serves as the foundation for numerous coffee beverages. Ristretto and Lungo (also known as long shot) are two of the available espresso beverages. But before we delve into the Ristretto vs. Long Shot debate, we must first discuss the foundation — Espresso.

The espresso brewing process involves pressure, namely quite high pressure. Therefore, it can yield lesser quantities of caffeine per serving than other coffee-related beverages brewed using procedures that require a longer brewing period.

8 to 10 grams of finely ground coffee are used to make one espresso. Some Italians feel that it ought to be lower. Approximately 6.5-2 grams. Regardless, it should be served in a 50ml cup divided in half.

Why Do Ristretto Shots Have a More Sweet Flavor?

When a smaller amount of hot water is poured over finely ground coffee beans, the resulting flavor is more concentrated than when more water is used. Because of the shorter amount of time spent in the extraction process, the coffee has a taste that is less bitter and sweeter.


A ristretto or lengthy shot of espresso can add new flavors to a coffee. Try one! Long shots have a smoother, bitterer, more nuanced aftertaste. After that, ristrettos taste sweeter, sourer, and more concentrated. Since they may be drank alone or used as a base for other cocktails, don’t be scared to try other flavors that you might like better.

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