How To Make Barista-Quality Espresso At Home (No Machine Needed!)
Dropping into your favorite coffee shop for a refreshing shot of espresso isn't always possible, so how do you get your caffeine fix? Easy! Learn how to make espresso at home without an espresso machine, no fancy equipment required. For the coffee lover, learning how to make espresso is part of the essentials. You don't need an espresso machine that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars. With these affordable alternatives to cafe-grade equipment, you'll be well on your way to recreating your favorite espresso and coffee drinks right in your kitchen.
The three best machines for making an espresso shot at home are:
We'll tackle the best brewing method for each of these devices and soon, you'll know how to make espresso like a barista in no time!
How Do You Make Espresso At Home?
You might think that there's no way to pull off the magic your barista pulls behind the counter without a ton of space, money and espresso beans, but that's simply untrue. You don't need a massive espresso machine to roast coffee at home; lever espresso machines are portable and compact, so you can easily move them and save counter space. This is especially beneficial if you live in an apartment and already have limited space to work with.
How Do You Make Espresso Without a Machine?
There are several devices you can buy that work like that fancy machine you find in coffee shops and produce good coffee at home with that espresso taste. One of the most affordable and convenient espresso machines for beginners is the Flair Espresso Maker. You can brew one or two shots at once and expect the perfect creamy shot every time. It's easy to use and easy to clean, so there's no hassle involved. All you have to do is fill the basket with your preferred blend of ground coffee and add hot water. This espresso maker takes less than 60 seconds for brewing espresso without too much trouble or time!
What Ingredients Are Used to Create an Espresso?
All you really need to make espresso is ground espresso beans and hot water. We encourage you to follow instructions first but also experiment; play around with different flavors and coffee-to-water ratio. You'll ultimately strike a balance that's heaven for your taste buds and an espresso that's good for your soul. As intimidating as coffee chemistry can be, you should always strive to have fun and truly make it your own at home.
By the way, if you're wondering if you can make espresso out of regular coffee, you can, but the taste will differ and we suggest using espresso coffee beans or high-quality roasts. A dark roast is often recommended for espresso but don't limit yourself! You can buy portable coffee grinders for your home, like a burr grinder, that fit perfectly next to your maker, allowing you to ground your own coffee beans to a fine grind to ensure only the freshest, richest shot of espresso coffee.
How to Make an Espresso With a French Press
A French press like the Bodum Caffetiera creates a less concentrated shot than a moka pot or espresso machine. It's a versatile product that most people are familiar with, but you might not be sure how to make espresso with it. Can a French press coffee maker really be considered an espresso maker? Luckily, you can easily learn how to make espresso with a French press, but it does take a bit of extra finesse when it comes to brewing methods.
Step 1: Grind Your Coffee
You'll want high-quality delicious coffee beans to ensure that the final product is as rich and full as possible. Consider dark roast coffee beans and make sure you're using a burr grinder to grind your beans to the right espresso grind size. When working with a French press rather than an espresso machine, brews tend to come out with a more oily substance; grind size is even more important here than anywhere else. When you're learning how to make espresso, it's important to know that the grind size is key to good coffee taste and great espresso without a machine.
Knowing how to properly grind coffee ultimately affects the rate of extraction when making espresso, which is the time it takes for hot water to run through and draw the shot out of the coffee grounds. The extraction rate influences flavor tremendously. If you enjoy more sweetness and robust undertones, use less-fine coffee. Finely ground coffee (think small like granules of table salt) takes longer to extract and is more acidic.
For one shot, you'll want 2 tablespoons of ground coffee, preferably a high-quality espresso brand.
Step 2: Boil Water and Prep Coffee Grounds
Next, heat the water. In the kettle, bring 1 cup of water to a boil of water temperature of roughly 93.3°C. Then, add your coffee beans. Add a tablespoon of hot water to let the coffee grounds soak for around 30 seconds.
Step 3: Finish the Shot
Slowly pour the remainder of the hot water over your coffee grounds and close the lid of your French press. Press the plunger down halfway with a slow, steady hand. Then, release it and plunge it all the way down again. The key is to maintain a slow and even pressure, gradually adding more as you plunge all the way down.
Voila! You've successfully made your very own espresso with your French press. Now, enjoy it solo or add it to one of your favorite recipes. See our French Press Brewing Guide to learn more about this method.
How to Make an Espresso with a Moka Pot
The moka pot is a staple in Italy, and you'll find one in every household's kitchen. They're extremely convenient, portable and easy to use. The original Bialetti MokaPot Express has been famous since the 1930s and can create the perfect full-bodied shot of espresso right from your stovetop.
Step 1: Add Your Coffee
Measure 2 tablespoons of good espresso beans, finely ground. Then, add it to the machine's built-in filter. The moka Pot is designed to make brewing espresso a breeze.
Step 2: Add Water and Brew
Add 3 to 4 ounces of water to the bottom of the moka Pot. Screw on the top and give the pot a little shake to help the coffee grounds settle evenly. Place your pot on a burner with medium heat.
Step 3: Wait for the Right Moment
It can take a few attempts to know when the espresso is just right, but you'll get the hang of it. Stand close by and wait until the top of the moka pot is filled with delicious coffee. See our Moka Pot Brewing Guide for more info on brewing.
Making An Espresso With An Aeropress Coffee Maker
If you want to make good espresso anytime, anywhere, then the AeroPress Go is for you. The standard AeroPress takes up more space than the Go model, which is designed to be easily packed up and taken anywhere. This coffee maker was specifically designed to create the perfect pressure for extracting the best espresso shots. You can use it to make both classic espresso shots and even cold brew.
Here's how to make your espresso with an AeroPress Go machine.
Step 1: Prep the Device
Push the plunger out and add a filter to the filter cap; next, twist the filter cap securely onto the main chamber. Stand the assembled AeroPress on top of your mug.
Step 2: Add Coffee
Add 2 tablespoons of finely ground espresso or coffee beans into the filter; seal and shake to level the coffee grounds evenly throughout the compartment.
Step 3: Plunge and Extract
Heat the water. Add hot water to the top of the device. It should be at least 80°C. Stir for 5 to 10 seconds, then insert the plunger and slowly press it down for approximately 30 seconds, pausing intermittently when you feel any resistance. Continue until you reach the coffee grounds.
Once you've enjoyed your freshly brewed shot of espresso, all you'll have to do is remove the filter cap, push the plunger to eject the coffee and rinse your Aeropress. Check out our Aeropress Brew Guide for more tips.
Ready to make espresso without an espresso machine? Try a French press, moka pot or Aeropress today and shop our range of coffee makers at Barista Warehouse.