Best profile for ristretto


hi, I’m drinking italian style 1:1 ratio, 12 g, thick ristretto shots. I find most of the roast profiles too sour and simply increasing temperature helps but it tends to make coffee bitter and not thick. I’m roasting with ramp profile (temperature is always increasing) for 7 mins. With this approach I aim with top temperature 260-265°C so roast ends just before second crack.
Can you tell me how can I improve the roast profile?


Well to be fair, most of the roast profiles are mean’t for the lighter side of coffee. They are using that acid as the backbone to pull longer shots to get a fruity note through and so altering the espresso recipe would be a quick remedy. But if you want to roast for an Italian style espresso recipe, than just going hotter and getting into second crack isn’t the only necessity. You also will need a robusta if you going for that authentic thickness. For now I’ll stick to Arabica beans. The bitterness is going to come from the end of the roast, particularly ending or roasting too hot, it you hit 265C in 7min that’s still too hot for too long. The thick mouthfeel is going to come from an extended period during the beginning of yellow to brown you can extend that segment for almost 60% of the roast as a maximum but going that long would mean that your ramp through 1C to 2C can be a little slow resulting in lots of molasses. To much time in brown before 1C usually makes for a meaty/savory flavor that is not good. So go from that long yellow, ideally instead of the beans being brown/tan the end of yellow is a more orangey like brown (to get those really luscious chocolate shots), from there I would try and shoot up to your finishing 1C/2C segment. Since your are roasting for a tight shot than you are going to have to (at the very least) roast until 1C stops. Now I do think you have to go to 2C
To get that high solubility for fast shots, and if you want that Italian nature than bitterness is a required flavor and roasting into 2C is also necessary. Inevitably, you will have to rest much longer. You can also check out these thread for going darker: Where is the aroma of freshly roasted coffee?

Though I should caveat that I have spent very little time roasting for espresso. I use a Robot and niche combo. There are other people here who do way more espresso than I, so please comment.


I’ve decided to roast coffee at home exactly due to that reason - almost all local coffees are too sour for ristretto shots
I brew with E61 (Quick Mill Carola PID, IMS/barista pro single dose basket) + Mignon, I had microcibmali but lever machine was too complicated for my wife, and warm up time was too long for morning coffee.
I’m considering too to mix robusta with arabica 1:3 ratio and trying out new profile from ikawa newsletter: Poaquil Guatemala espresso, with all temperature points up same amount so max reaches 265°C


Cool setup! I haven’t seen that profile yet, can you post it? I’d be interested to hear what your results are from roasting the Robusta blend.


I want to start with blends, but first I want to try out all options with 100% arabica since blending is too much work
new batch using profile from Poaquil Guatemala espresso @265° is resting:

But I wonder it there are ristretto specific profiles so far I’m using generic espresso profiles and I increase temperature till I get rid of sour taste.


I would suggest thinking of roasting coffee as all of its many physical and flavor characteristics as there own separate bell curve. At first dont try and account for everything, just the few basic things like making sure the coffee goes through normal phase changes, nothing too drastic. Too drastic, means your roast profile is too hot/fast during segments and you get things like defects (internal scorching, tipping, chipping). You want the inside of the bean to be fairly uniform in color. Using acidity as an example; my “peak” of the bell, for me, means acidity is developed so it looses its sharp/mouth puckering, sour quality. Ideally I try and roast for acidity found in ripe fruits (like a silky, juicy feeling), and diminishes when the acid turns to something tannic and tongue drying, essentially astringent. Each phase carries the coffee through various peaks and troughs like a relay race, the green hands the baton to yellow phase and so on. Determining if green was to fast/slow is based on taste, how would effects yellow is based on experience of the type of profile and the bean being roasted. Knowing that adding more heat to yellow can either add or subtract from the acidity based on the overall profile is based on tasting your roasts, either by cupping or brewing.

Your approach is currently roasting out the acidity by adding more heat at the very end, But if you change where you add the heat you can develop that acidity (and other things) to give the caramel a more savory/mouthwatering like quality {instead of caramel its like a toffee (buttery caramel) or a creme caramel (creamy caramel)} or turn it into a dark cherry, for example. This kind of profile altering requires an understanding of roasting that comes from the perspective of someone like Rob Hoos and his book Modulating Flavor Profiles and trial and error testing.

I thought the article was a good read and well done, though I’ll add that breaking down the bean structure is more of a variable of temp and less a variable of time, where flavor/chemicals are more of a variable of time and less of temp. Though they all overlap.


I also forgot to add, when I roasted Robusta. I found that i required a much higher and longer profile than the Arabicas and people recommended that it be rested at least 45days. I’ve been searching for a super clean Robusta but haven’t been successful.


You may want to try using a distribution tool rather than tamping. This will achieve two things, better tasting shots and consistency. Tamping if it is not done perfectly can result in sour tasting shots due to channeling.