When you’re learning how to pull the perfect shot of espresso, the technicalities can seem daunting. Terms like dosage, crema, doppio, and portafilters can be overwhelming — and that’s not even getting into the dozens of espresso drinks you can make!
That’s why we’re starting with the basics, like how many ounces are in a shot of espresso. We’ll answer that question and cover a lot of other espresso-related things you’ll need to know By the end of this article, you’ll practically be a professional barista!
How many ounces in a shot of espresso?
Espresso is an extremely concentrated type of coffee, made using machines that combine high pressure, hot water, and tightly packed (tamped) coffee grounds. Pulling a single shot of espresso takes one fluid ounce of water (that’s 30 milliliters, not the 28 grams of a non-fluid ounce). You’ll also need 7 grams of finely-ground coffee beans.
What about other types of espresso?
A ristretto shot is even more concentrated than regular espresso. To make a ristretto shot, you only use half an ounce of water with the same amount of coffee (7 grams) — producing a shot that’s about twice as strong. If you make a double ristretto, you’ll use one fluid ounce of water — and get a doubly strong full shot of espresso. The idea behind ristretto espresso is that the best flavors come out of the beans at the beginning of the shot — the first 15 milliliters — so a double ristretto has all of the tastiest compounds and oils but none of the bitterness extracted later.
A double shot of espresso uses the same ratios as a single shot — but doubled! That’s two ounces of water and 14 grams of coffee.
How long does it take to pull a shot?
Pulling a single shot should take about 20 to 30 seconds. If your shot is taking more or less time than this, you’ll want to check that your grind size and tamping is right. No one wants an under-extracted or over-extracted shot of espresso!
Pulling a double shot takes the same amount of time as a single shot (about 25 seconds) because the double portafilter basket is designed differently. It has more holes to allow the added water through a little faster.
There you have it: a shot of espresso is one fluid ounce. If you opt for a double, you’ll get two ounces, and a ristretto is half an ounce. Now get out there and start pulling (or ordering) some espresso shots!
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