My experience is the same. Higher volume (and lighter roast) the further north you get, lower volume (and darker roast) the further south.
My experience is that un cafe will get smaller and smaller as you move south. I've never ordered anything but a cafe (or cappucino...but only American tourists ask for espresso), and even in Tuscany the standard is pretty small, probably about the 1 oz mentioned above. In Sicily, you get a thick black film at the bottom of the cup.
I said ESPRESSO not expresso
Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:42 PM
Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:50 PM
I have to say you're the first person I've ever heard claim better results from singles than doubles. Most quality espresso bars in the US have standardized on double shots due to the difficulties in getting a flat pack and tamp and consistent fill. I know that my single shots are dramatically inferior to my half-double shots. Then again, my shots pulled on the right grouphead are inferior to the other groupheads, so who knows. It could all be in my head.
... or better yet, do two single shots...
Posted 26 June 2003 - 05:37 AM
You're right. The reason that there is no difference between "ristretto" and "a short shot" in Italy is that they are the same thing!
I get the impression from the discussion above that the distinction between a 'ristretto' and a 'short shot' is not one that exists in the average italian bar. Is this distinction something that is widely recognised or is it an American coffee geek term?
Ristretto is the past participle of restringere, which means "to reduce; to make smaller." Therefore, un caffè ristretto is nothing more than "a (regular) coffee that has been made smaller." Functionally, this is saying the same thing as "give me a little less than the usual amount" or, if you like, "run me a short shot."
With all due respect to the CoffeeGeekers, the idea that a ristretto shot requires an adjustment of the grinder and is somehow fundamentally different from simply stopping the machine at 3/4 ounce instead of 1 ounce is patently ridiculous. Hello? We're talking about something they do in Italy. What they do not do in Italy, in my experience, is grind their coffee on a per-shot basis or make grinder adjustments when someone requests caffè ristretto. That said, I do tend to agree that people in America who specify "ristretto" most often do so to avoid getting the typical caffè lungissimo that most places seem to serve over here. That said, I have found that the places likely to serve you something like this will only get confused if you say "ristretto " to them, not having any idea what that word means. In those cases, one is more likely to get something approaching the desired effect by saying "only fill my espresso cup 1/3 of the way when you run my shot."