Certain coffee preparation methods are familiar to many of us already, such as lattes or cappuccinos. But if there's one fact about coffee that can't be denied, it's that it's dynamic; it can be prepared and enjoyed in seemingly endless variations.
We often like to dive in and explore some of our favorite coffee preparation methods. Today, we'll identify three methods of brewing that belong to a category that's beloved around the world and even attributes to the base of many of your favorite coffee recipes: espresso.
While Espresso, Lungo, and Ristretto are similar, they represent three very different methods of "pulling" those delicious espresso shots. Let's take a look.
In general, espresso is the process of forcing about 25-30 ml of high-pressured hot water through 7 grams of coffee ground so fine that it resembles a powder. This brew method extracts or "pulls" a shot of espresso into a small glass or mug and gives drinkers the bold and strong flavor they enjoy.
Due to their strong flavor, espresso shots also make the perfect base to many coffee beverages such as lattes, Americanos, macchiatos, and more.
For those looking for an even bolder taste with their espresso, and often more caffeine, Lungo is the way to go. Lungo is the Italian word for "long" and represents a much longer espresso preparation method that involves forcing about 50 ml of high-pressured hot water through 7 grams of finely ground coffee. By using more water for brewing, the espresso "long pull" allows for more caffeine and richer flavors to be extracted, resulting in an incredibly bold and rich shot of espresso.
Ristretto, also known as a "short shot" or "short pull," is the opposite of Lungo as it involves less water being used. When pulling a shot of Ristretto, generally 12.5-15 ml of hot water is forced through 7 grams of coffee. While this espresso brewing process often features less caffeine, it has a wonderful way of highlighting more aromatic notes of the coffee and really bringing out the nuanced and individual flavors of the coffee being brewed.
*Brewed ratios reflect the grams of ground coffee you begin with to the grams of liquid your espresso brew yields.