In espresso talk ristretto, also known as a “corto”, is a very “short” shot of espresso coffee achieved by pulling the shot faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water comes in contact with the ground beans for a shorter period of time the resulting drink is a very strong concentrated espresso coffee, much bolder and fuller with more body.
The technique of pulling a ristretto results in a “restricted pour” with a smaller espresso shot (less than 3/4 of an ounce). A regular shot of espresso is pulled to one ounce or 1 and 1/4 ounce. The expert hand that it takes to make a well-crafted ristretto translates into everything from sofas to bikes to laptop bags as designers take inspiration from their morning espresso with the belief that less is more.