June 30, 2021

Ristretto Espresso or Lungo?

Espresso, ristretto, lungo text design

Ristretto, Espreso or Lungo?

You might wonder what the difference is between these three types of espresso-shots? They are all, in fact, espresso shots, but with variations in the way it's prepared. That's why on our coffee capsules we indicate what capsules are best suited for the different types of espresso-shots. Our Everyday Espresso is better suited to make an Espresso or Ristretto shot, whereas the Weekend Espresso is better suited for an Espresso or Lungo. Still confused? Okay we have tried to break it down for you.


Espresso “shot” is the coffee shot we all know by name. The beans used for making an espresso shot is not different from the bean you use for your filter coffee machine. Yes there's difference in the roasting etc, but that's a different story. Essentially espresso is a method of preparing coffee. A small portion of water that is forced through tightly packed and finely ground coffee beans. You get a concentrated, flavourful dose of coffee with delicious crema on the surface of the shot. On a Nespresso machine simply press the "small cup" button to create a delicious espresso.


Ristretto is a variation of the espresso shot, where you are restricting the water supply by about half. A ristretto is a smaller drink than an espresso and since it’s more concentrated, it is richer and slightly sweeter. A ristretto also tastes stronger because there’s less water diluting the flavour, but there’s the same, if not less, caffeine in a ristretto shot. The easiest way to make a ristretto shot on a Nespresso machine is to simply stop your shot sooner than you normally would with a Espresso shot. If you make an espresso shot for 25 seconds, try it at 15 seconds.


Lungo is another method of preparing coffee using an classic espresso machine or your Nespresso machine. It is based, again, on changing the amount of water used in the typical espresso shot. The lungo has double the amount of water as an espresso. By using double the water, you will extract more caffiene and that will create “deeper” notes of the coffee. Most, if not all, of the high notes of the coffee will be complete dissolved away through the longer extraction. On a Nespresso machine simply press the "big cup" button to create a delicious Lungo.