Espresso To Water Ratio: Forget About Bitter or Sour Taste and Pull Delicious Shots

While making espresso, coffee to water ratio plays a significant role in pulling a great shot. In general, there are many types of espresso-based coffee drinks. For this article, we will use three types of espresso: Ristretto, Espresso (Regular), and Espresso Lungo.

You can follow the following Espresso to Water Ratio while brewing:

  • Ristretto ⇒ 1 ∶ 1 or, 1 ∶ 2
  • Espresso (Regular)⇒ 1 ∶ 2 or, 1 ∶ 3
  • Espresso Lungo ⇒ 1 ∶ 3 or, 1 ∶ 4

Only an experienced barista knows how crucial the brew ratio is when it comes to producing flavorful Espresso. Just a slight adjustment can bring a dramatic change to your final output.

So in this guide, we will learn what is the perfect espresso to water ratio whether you are making Ristretto, regular Espresso, or Espresso Lungo. We have spent hours organizing this guide so that you make no mistake in getting the desired espresso.

Make sure to read all the way to the end in order to get a clear understanding.

Let’s get started…

Espresso Brewing Ratio

You might have already got a brief concept of espresso brew ratio from the beginning segment. Let’s illustrate the topic a little bit.

Well, you know, there are usually many types of espresso. And all of them have their own taste profile. You have to stick with certain Brew Ratios in order to pull excellent shots of espresso. Not all three types of espresso follow the same ratio.

measuring coffee grounds in weight machine


Ristretto is an Italian word that means shortened. Some people prefer Ristretto because of its more concentrated and sweeter taste. The ideal ratio for a Ristretto or a short shot of espresso is usually 1 ∶ 1 to 1 ∶ 2. Most folks follow the 1 ∶ 1 ratio. However, depending on the roast level you can adjust this for getting the perfect taste.


Normal espresso is what most people love to consume. When talking about the espresso brew ratio, most folks may tell you to stick with a 1 ∶ 2 ratio. Some people love to make espresso following this ratio. Again, it’s important to not stick within this ratio. We would recommend you play with this ratio range and try to get such an output that will match your preferences.


As an espresso lover, you might know the birthplace of Espresso. Yes, Italy! In Italy Espresso is served in a different manner compared to what is served in the US or Europe. They use to produce espresso by following a 1 ∶ 3 to 1 ∶ 4 ratio.

This particular type of espresso is called Lungo. For pulling this long espresso shot, you need to add more solvent (in this case: water). And one important thing is that The More Solvent You Use the More Extraction You Can Expect. Hence, we would say that ristretto dissolves very few soluble materials into the final shot. On the flip side, espresso normal is standing in a balanced position between ristretto and espresso lungo.

In short, More water = More extraction = Decreased shot strength

Therefore, Ristretto is the strongest type, and then respectively comes the name of espresso and Lungo.

Last but not least, forget about measuring espresso in Millimeters as you will never get an accurate reading because of the Crema. So, we strongly suggest you purchase a scale.

With the help of the scale, measure the right amount of ground coffee, place the shot glass over that scale, and after getting the measured amount of liquid cut off the flow of Espresso. This is the most convenient way to get a desired and consistent shot of Espresso.

Espresso Brew Ratio Calculator

espresso water ratio chart

Well, let’s make your task even more convenient. You don’t need to open the calculator app on your smartphone by spending some time thinking of the perfect measurements. We have talked quite a bit about the ratio and now we would like to jump into the real journey. Before that, let’s measure how much ground coffee and water we need to pull an outstanding shot of espresso.

Types of EspressoRatioSingle/Double ShotGround Coffee (gm)Water (gm)
Ristretto1 ∶ 1Single77  
Espresso (Regular)1 ∶ 2Single714  
Espresso Lungo1 ∶ 3Single721

Note: Regular espresso cup offers 21 grams of drink that consist of 7 grams of coffee and 14 grams of water.

How To Make A Perfect Espresso

making espresso with espresso machine

Let’s take the ratio thing aside and see how to make espresso real quick. This section is solely dedicated to homemakers.

So, first thing first, purchase a nifty espresso machine and a burr grinder. We would recommend you purchase a semi-automatic espresso machine if you are not too busy to spend some time brewing.

Besides, for getting consistent tastes and even extraction use a burr grinder in order to grind beans to a fine setting. We have a complete guide on the best home espresso machines. So make sure to check that out as well to avoid any confusion while picking the right device.

After grinding the beans to a fine size setting, put them into the portafilter. Now, lock the portafilter with the group head of the machine. One thing that needs to mention is to run a blank shot before placing coffee into the portafilter. It will heat up the machine and will make a suitable environment for pulling the perfect espresso.

After locking the portafilter with ground coffee place a scale underneath the Group Head and place 1 or 2 shot’s glass over the scale. The reason behind all these is to pull the right amount of liquid espresso according to the Espresso to Water ratio.

You can start the flow of espresso just by pressing or touching a certain button. Operating an espresso machine is pretty effortless. However, if you find it confusing make sure to read the instruction manual for better understanding.

That’s pretty much it. We have talked about the amount of ground coffee and water in previous parts so make sure to follow everything right and enjoy a richly flavored delicious espresso.

Different Types of Espresso Drinks

making different espresso based drinks with espresso machine

Espresso is one of the most popular coffee brewing methods all over the world. Moreover, it’s the base of several popular drinks such as Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha, etc. In this segment of this guide, we will look at some famous espresso beverages that people love to drink.


According to Specialty Coffee Association and Square’s joint research, Latte is the most popular coffee drink in the US. Within June 2017-2018, Latte had been ordered 67M+ (Approximately). This particular Espresso drink is made with a shot of Espresso and topped with steamed milk and foam.


Cappuccino is another Espresso beverage folks love to drink. Basically, It’s prepared with a shot of espresso and topped with some steamed milk.


Another extremely popular espresso drink. Americano is made with just an Espresso shot and hot water. The percentage of espresso and hot water is 50% to 50%. Folks make Americano by following 33.33% espresso shot and 66.67% hot water as well.


Macchiato is an espresso based drink where the ratio of espresso and steamed milk is 1 ∶ 1. Meaning half espresso and half steamed milk = Macchiato.


Mocha is a delicious type of espresso beverage. It’s used to make 4 ingredients: espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, and whipped cream.


How Many Grams In A Single Shot Of Espresso?

7-9 grams depending on your preferences. Most Baristas find this amount is pretty good in pulling nice and properly tasted single shot Espresso. Make sure to measure the amount of coffee with a scale before putting them into the portafilter of your machine.

What Does A Good Espresso Shot Look Like?

A great Espresso shot should look golden brown to dark brown with brown-colored crema on top. If you are using fresh and good quality coffee beans you will get more foamy crema. In order to get a superior espresso shot, cut off the flow between 25-30 seconds time range.

What Does A Double Shot Of Espresso Mean?

A double shot of Espresso means using double the amount of ground coffee you would use for a single shot. Typically the amount of ground coffee for the double shot is between 14-16 grams. Nowadays, most people think that espresso means a double shot of espresso. According to the National Coffee Association report, a double shot of Espresso contains 60-100 mg of caffeine.

What Is The Perfect Grind For Espresso?

For producing delicious shots of espresso, use coffee grounds that are slightly finer than granulated sugar. If you find that the flow of espresso is too fast grind the beans finer. On the flip side, if you see that the flow rate is too slow go for a little coarser grind settings. To get an even extraction and consistent taste make sure to use a handy burr grinder.


Hopefully, this comprehensive guide will help you to get a better understanding of the espresso to water ratio. We have tried to make this guide easy to understand so that you can implement the process while making espresso. You can also bookmark this guide so that you can open it real quick when you want to make espresso.

Lastly, if you have any kinds of queries regarding this guide feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We would love to answer all of your questions. Also, don’t forget to share this guide with your Espresso Lover friend who you think might be struggling to make deliciously flavored espresso.

Happy Brewing!

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