the art of self encouragement

ristretto – italian for restraint

cafeA Ristretto is a short pull on a double espresso shot giving just the first 30mls of intense syrupy black coffee.

Whenever I order it the barista glances my way. It’s a silent code but I know he knows that we know our coffee.

Sometimes it will excite him enough to mention its’ single origin and citrus notes.  I could mention that I don’t give a shit about his fruity undertones, I’m just here for the hit, but like my coffees’ namesake I smile, nod politely and practice restraint.

I have a few dealers around town depending on my location but the ritual is always the same.

Firstly it has to be consumed seated.

I used to be one of those paper cup, I’m so busy I can’t even swallow stationary kinda gals until I noticed the growing number of coffee stains down the front of my tops was looking suspiciously similar to the cigarette burn holes that dotted my outfits before I gave up smoking.

I’m always more motivated to change when things go public.

Once seated they bring me a tiny ceramic cup on it’s tiny ceramic saucer and a little stainless steel jug of hot water.  It’s really not kosher to have DIY water with your espresso as it messes with the baristas art form but I like to have control.

Some places serve the side of water in little white ceramic bottles that are so hot you can’t actually pick them up without scolding your fingers. The more discerning cafes have developed a fiddly little napkin necktie to assist the handling, disguising both the crap design and the fact they fell for the wank and bought them in the first place.

Occasionally a perky young hipster who has just managed to get his beard through will want to educate me about the ristretto and question my side of water. I could educate him about a few things but like my coffee’s namesake I smile, nod politely and practice restraint.

© all images and text carole migalka

9 comments on “ristretto – italian for restraint

  1. liz Graham
    February 2, 2015

    Awesome Carole – I’m off to have a coffee !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracesofthesoul
    February 4, 2015

    I came here to thank you for visitng my blog and I learned someting new!! I am a coffee drinker…and have a special caffé near work where I shall ask for this…I too like to have my scalding water next to an espresso to control the taste. Ristretto! well, now I look forward to this experience:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tracesofthesoul
    February 6, 2015

    I did not get to the coffee shop yet…I have trouble with a bad knee and my fav café is hard to get to in this snow. I`ll let you know though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hannahmillerick
    February 9, 2015

    wow. yes. more

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kutukamus
    March 13, 2016

    Seems ‘double-tough’.. Still barking at times, maybe i ain’t ready for this just yet. 🍸
    (PS: been awhile, I hope you’re doing OK)


  6. Rosemary Cardone
    March 4, 2018

    I Love this article, Carole…Love your “ristretto”!

    Liked by 1 person

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