For many coffee connoisseurs, a ristretto is the holy grail of all coffee. It is a short shot of espresso that only the most “in the know” coffee houses serve and only the most “in the know” coffee drinkers ever request. Whereas a regular espresso is a 1 oz shot (not including crema), a ristretto is .75 oz of pure coffee experience – bolder, fuller and with more body.
To prepare a ristretto with a manual espresso machine, pull the hand press faster so that the coffee comes less in contact with the water. Another method is to simply stop the extraction early – though purists would never dream of preparing a ristretto this way.