How to Order Ristretto? All Tips You Need to Know!

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A ristretto coffee on a saucer, ordered with expert advice.
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A ristretto coffee on a saucer, ordered with expert advice.


Are you a coffee lover looking to try something new and intense? Meet Ristretto, the less diluted, more concentrated sibling of your beloved espresso. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of ordering Ristretto at Starbucks or your favorite local café, ensuring you get it perfectly suited for your taste buds each time.

Ready to elevate your coffee experience like never before? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Ristretto is a concentrated espresso shot that has a stronger and bolder flavor compared to regular espresso shots.
  • To order Ristretto at Starbucks, simply ask the barista for a Ristretto shot instead of a regular espresso shot. You can also specify if you want it in a specific beverage like a flat white or latte.
  • If you prefer ordering through the Starbucks app, you can customize your drink to include a Ristretto shot by tapping on “Customizations” or “+ Add Shots”, then selecting the number of shots you want.

What is Ristretto?

Ristretto is a concentrated espresso shot that is smaller in volume and richer in flavor compared to regular espresso shots.

Definition and characteristics of Ristretto

Ristretto is a kind of coffee. In Italian, the word means “restrict”. This refers to how we make it. We use less water and more ground coffee than in normal espresso shots. The result is stronger, bolder coffee with a big taste.

It is full-bodied but soft and sweet at the same time. You can have Ristretto on its own, or you can add it to other drinks like milk-based ones! Making a good Ristretto takes skill: there is art in choosing just how much water goes in with each shot of 7 grams of coffee grounds!

How it differs from regular espresso shots

Ristretto shots are different from regular espresso shots in terms of strength and flavor. While both are made with the same amount of coffee grounds, Ristretto shots use less water during the extraction process.

This results in a more concentrated and intense taste compared to regular espresso shots. Ristretto shots have a stronger flavor profile, with bolder notes and a thicker texture. They also tend to be shorter in volume, providing a quick burst of rich coffee goodness.

So if you’re looking for an extra kick and a unique coffee experience, ordering Ristretto is the way to go.

The Basic Order

Ordering a drink at a coffee shop might seem straightforward, but when it comes to specialty drinks like the ristretto, a little knowledge goes a long way in ensuring you get exactly what you’re craving.

  1. Standard Request: At its essence, the ristretto order is uncomplicated. A simple, “I’d like a ristretto, please,” will often suffice. Remember, you’re essentially asking for a concentrated espresso shot, so the barista will understand you’re looking for that robust burst of flavor.
  2. Quantifying Your Order: If one shot isn’t enough to satiate your caffeine needs, you can always up the ante. A “double ristretto” is essentially two ristretto shots. For those particularly intense mornings, you might even venture a triple!
  3. Sizing It Right: While the ristretto is by definition a short shot, you might be in a coffee shop that offers it in various sizes. If that’s the case, specify if you want a single or double shot, or if you’re aiming for a larger drink size altogether.
  4. Clarifications: Given that not every barista might be familiar with the ristretto, especially in regions where it’s less common, it’s always a good idea to clarify. You could say, “I’m looking for a short espresso shot, more concentrated than the usual.” This ensures there’s no mix-up, and you get the rich, concentrated shot you’re seeking.

While the ristretto is a specialty drink, ordering it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Clear communication, coupled with a bit of coffee know-how, will ensure you have the perfect cup in hand in no time.

How to Order Ristretto at Starbucks

To order a Ristretto at Starbucks, simply inform the barista that you would like a Ristretto shot instead of a regular espresso shot.

In-store ordering process

To order a Ristretto shot at Starbucks, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the cashier and let them know you want to order a Ristretto shot.
  2. Specify if you want a single or double shot.
  3. You can also mention if you’d like it in a specific beverage, like a flat white or latte.
  4. Pay for your order at the cashier.
  5. Wait for your drink to be made by the barista.
  6. Enjoy your Ristretto shot!

Ordering through the Starbucks app

Ordering Ristretto shots through the Starbucks app is quick and convenient. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Starbucks app on your smartphone.
  2. Sign in to your account or create a new one if you don’t have an existing account.
  3. Tap on the “Order” tab at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select your preferred location from the list of nearby Starbucks stores.
  5. Browse through the menu and find the beverage you want to order with a Ristretto shot.
  6. Once you’ve selected your drink, customize it to include a Ristretto shot by tapping on “Customizations” or “+ Add Shots”.
  7. Choose the number of shots you want, keeping in mind that a single Ristretto shot is made with 7 grams of coffee grounds.
  8. Review your order details and make any additional customizations or adjustments as needed.
  9. Proceed to checkout and choose your payment method.
  10. Confirm your order, and it will be prepared for pick-up at your selected Starbucks location.

Understanding Coffee Shop Menus

Navigating a coffee shop menu can sometimes feel like deciphering a complex puzzle, especially with the plethora of terms associated with espresso-based drinks. For the uninitiated, let’s decode some of these terms:

  1. Espresso: The foundation of most coffee drinks. It’s a concentrated coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. A typical espresso shot is about 1 oz (30 ml).
  2. Lungo: Translating to “long” in Italian, a lungo is an extended espresso shot. Instead of the standard 1 oz, it might be around 1.5 oz, diluting the taste a bit.
  3. Cortado: An espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk to reduce its acidity.
  4. Americano: An espresso shot with added water, making it less concentrated and closer to a drip coffee in strength.
  5. Macchiato: An espresso marked or stained with a drop of milk foam.

Amidst this lineup, you might be wondering, where does the ristretto fit in?

The ristretto is essentially a “restricted” shot of espresso, brewing the same amount of coffee but with half the amount of water, making it more concentrated. It extracts the coffee’s sweetest flavors, offering a smoother, more robust taste than a standard espresso.

The catch is, not every coffee shop menu will list ristretto explicitly. It might be categorized under specialty espresso shots or, in some cases, you’ll need to ask the barista directly.

Knowing how to spot or inquire about a ristretto amidst these terms is key. If you’re unsure, always engage with the barista. Their expertise can guide you to your desired coffee experience.

Order and Drink a Ristretto

To fully enjoy a Ristretto shot, savor the intense flavors by taking small sips and allowing the rich aroma to fill your senses.

Best practices for enjoying a Ristretto shot

To fully enjoy a Ristretto shot, follow these best practices:

  1. Sip slowly to savor the rich flavor and intense aroma.
  2. Take small sips to appreciate the concentrated taste without overwhelming your palate.
  3. Notice the velvety crema on top of the shot, which adds a smooth texture.
  4. Experiment with different coffee beans to find your preferred flavor profile.
  5. Pair a Ristretto shot with a glass of water to cleanse your palate between sips.
  6. Enjoy the subtle sweetness and boldness of the shot without adding any sweeteners or milk.
  7. Consider trying a Ristretto shot as an afternoon pick-me-up for an extra boost of caffeine.
  8. Share your love for Ristretto with other coffee enthusiasts and engage in conversations about its unique characteristics.

Pairing options with milk-based beverages

When enjoying a Ristretto shot with milk-based beverages, you have a few delicious pairing options:

  • Flat White: The velvety texture of a flat white pairs perfectly with the concentrated flavors of a Ristretto shot. The rich and creamy milk helps balance the intense coffee taste.
  • Cappuccino: The frothy and airy milk in a cappuccino complements the strong and bold flavors of a Ristretto shot. The combination creates a well-balanced and satisfying drink.
  • Latte: If you prefer a milder and smoother taste, pairing a Ristretto shot with steamed milk in a latte is a great choice. The milk adds creaminess while allowing the coffee flavors to shine through.
  • Mocha: For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness, adding chocolate to your Ristretto shot in the form of a mocha can create a delightful treat. The combination of coffee, chocolate, and milk creates a harmonious blend of flavors.

Final Thoughts and Tips for Ordering Ristretto

Ordering a Ristretto at Starbucks is simple. Just ask the barista for a Ristretto shot in your favorite espresso-based beverage or enjoy it on its own. Remember, Ristrettos are known for their strong and concentrated flavor, so if you love bold coffee, give it a try!


Ordering Ristretto at Starbucks is easy and can add a new dimension to your coffee experience. Whether you prefer it solo or paired with milk, knowing how to order this concentrated shot will impress your barista and fellow coffee lovers.

So next time you’re at Starbucks, don’t hesitate to ask for a Ristretto shot in your favorite espresso-based beverage. Enjoy the rich flavor and strong aroma that Ristretto brings.

Happy sipping!


What is Ristretto and how can I order it?

Ristretto is a type of coffee shot that’s brewed, using a portafilter and tamp. You can order it at home or from any coffee shop.

Can I make Ristretto at home with milk?

Yes, you can make your own milk-based Ristretto at home using the right scale for brewing coffee and then adding milk to taste.

How do I order Ristretto shots on the Starbucks app?

To order Ristretto shots on the Starbucks app, look up Holiday Spice Flat White or Americano options as these often use Ristretto in their recipe.

Is there a guide to help me understand how to order different types of coffee like Ristretto?

Yes, there are many good coffee ordering guides online that show you how to order specific drinks such as Ristrettos, filter coffees and others.

Are there tips or tricks shared on Reddit about ordering Ristrettos?

Sure! Many users share their experiences on “How To Order Risetettro” threads on Reddit where tips range from making it at home or getting the best results when ordering out.

About the Author:
Emily Thompson is an enthusiastic guide in the world of coffee, sharing her expertise in flavors, brewing techniques, and cultural significance. Her journey, fueled by a deep love for coffee, involves educating coffee enthusiasts of all levels to enhance their coffee experiences. Emily's content spans from brewing guides to the cultural importance of coffee, emphasizing ethical sourcing and sustainability.