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How To Make An Espresso At Home

Making coffee at home is easy and inexpensive. It's also a great way to save money and reduce waste. Learn how to make an espresso at home with this step by step tutorial! Everything you need to know...

how to make an espresso at home from thegadgetspy

Table Of Contents;

Coffee is a great way to start your day, but sometimes you just need something stronger. This article will show you how to make a perfect cup of espresso at home.

Making a great shot of espresso requires an initial commitment, but once you put in the time and the practice, it's immensely rewarding to pour your first great-tasting shot. Follow our recipe to make espresso at home.

Three Methods for Making Espresso at Home

Unlike more common coffee brewing methods, the key to creating a good espresso is all about leveraging as much pressure as possible, so without having an espresso maker handy, there are three different coffee brewing methods at our disposal in order to achieve this.

1. The AeroPress Method | Using An Espresso Machine

The AeroPress is an ideal coffee brewing machine that can approximate espresso. That being said the coffee’s texture may differ, however, the caffeine content and flavor profile align closely with that of a traditional espresso machine.

Step One

  • Stack your AeroPress. After placing your filter (if possible) use more than one drain cap to slow the flow of water. Lightly rinse your filter and place your drain cap along with the filter inside the compartment of the AeroPress. Place the AeroPress on a stable cup or similar coffee mug.

Step Two

  • Grind about two tablespoons of your roasted coffee to about a fine grind size. After grinding, place the coffee ground to your AeroPress filter.

Step Three

  • Add approximately 3- and one-half fluid ounces of water that’s been heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius). Stir the coffee and press hard down on the AeroPress plunger (remember that pressure is key)

How To Make An Espresso Without A Machine

2. The Moka Pot Method

The Moka Pot is like the Swiss army knife of coffee brewers. This kettle is so handy in so many situations and making an espresso is just another one of those situations. While using this method is not the most ideal, you’ll still be guaranteed an espresso-like pour!

Step One

Finely grind two tablespoons (20-20 grams) of your roasted coffee.

Step Two

Pour 3- and one-half fluid ounces of 200F water in the Moka Pot and pour your coffee grounds into the built-in filter. Shake the pot to settle the coffee grounds to the bottom. After that, screw the lid back on and place your Moka Pot on a stove-top burner with medium heat.

Step Three

Like waiting for a tea kettle to whistle, wait until your coffee begins to seep and foam up into the upper level of the Moka Pot. The hot water will create the pressure needed for a concentrated coffee shot like espresso. After the top of the Moka Pot is filled with your coffee, pour into your coffee mug.

3. The French Press Method

Without trying to assume anything, more serious coffee enthusiasts should have the ubiquitous French Press. This method is perhaps the “least far” from what an espresso is and because of this fact, this method is third of our list because it lacks the concentrated caffeine amounts and will come out slightly oily. As such, we recommend this method as the absolute last resort to making a homemade espresso.

Step One

  • Grind at minimum two tablespoons of your roasted CBC coffee beans, the reason being is that unlike the AeroPress and Moka Pot, the French Press method will not create the necessary froth and adding some richness to the brew.

Step Two

  • Heat a cup of water to 200F and while that is happening, add your coffee grounds to your French Press.

Step Three

  • Add a splash hot water and allow the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds.

Step Four

  • Add the rest of the hot water and steep your coffee grounds for about four minutes.

Step Five

  • Press down the plunger slowly with even pressure. Pour out the “espresso” in your favorite coffee cup and enjoy!

The Basics of Making Coffee At Home

If you're looking to start making coffee at home, there are several things you need to consider before getting started. First, you'll need to decide what kind of machine you'd like to use. There are two main types of machines: manual and automatic. Manual machines require you to grind beans, tamp them down, and then pour hot water into the filter. Automatic machines do all of these steps automatically. You can choose between using a French press (which requires less cleanup) or a drip brewer (which uses more water). Next, you'll need to buy some equipment. A grinder is used to pulverize the beans, while a scale helps measure out the right amount of ground coffee. Finally, you'll need a container to store the coffee in.

Choose The Right Coffee Beans.

You can choose between two different types of beans when brewing an espresso. If you're looking for a strong, bold flavor, then use a dark roast bean. Dark roasts contain more caffeine than light roasted beans. On the other hand, lighter roasted beans tend to produce a milder taste with less caffeine.

Grind Them Properly.

The first thing you need to do is grind the beans properly. This will ensure that the water reaches every part of the grounds evenly. A burr grinder works well for this purpose. Once you've ground them, put them into the filter basket.

Prepare The Grinder.

Next, add hot water to the machine. You should use between 1/2 cup and 2 cups of water per 12 ounces of coffee. If you're using an automatic drip coffeemaker, fill the reservoir with water until it's just below the top line. Then turn the knob to "on" and wait for the machine to heat up.

Measure And Mix The Ingredients.

Once the water is heated, pour it into the filter basket. Place the filter under the spout and screw it onto the machine. Pour the ground beans into the filter basket and then place the plunger underneath the basket. Screw the plunger down firmly so that it seals the coffee grounds inside the filter.

Pour Into The Filter.

Now, turn the lever on top of the machine until the steam starts coming out of the spout. This will indicate that the machine is ready to make an espresso drink.

Must Have Espresso Machine

Before you go any further, this is probably the overall first step you have to consider! Why? Well, because; how are you going to make anything espresso without this step?

You definitely need the equipment first. Which of course is a no-brainer, "YOU NEED AN ESPRESSO MACHINE." Start Shopping Espresso Machines Now

how to choose the best espresso machine to buy from thegadgetspy

This article explains the best espresso machines to buy for your home. Everything you need to know before you choose the best espresso machine for your home. Detailed information on every espresso machine. Take a look! Read Article Now >>> How To Choose The Best Espresso Machine To Buy Today

Once you've decided on the type of machine you'd like, you'll need to find the right one. Look for a model that has a good reputation and is easy to clean. Also, make sure the machine comes with a timer so you can set it up to turn off after brewing.

"The better the machine, the BETTER THE ESPRESSO!!! You get what you pay for ." – Don George (Coffee Loving Maniac)

Brewing Methods

There are two main methods of making coffee: manual and automatic. Manual machines require you to grind beans, measure out water, and then manually pour the grounds into the filter basket. Automatic machines do all of these steps automatically. They also tend to be more expensive than manual models.

Grinding Beans And Extracting the Flavor

If you’re looking for a good quality machine, consider buying one that has a burr grinder. This type of grinder uses sharp blades to cut through the bean, creating small particles called “coffee dust.” These particles are what give coffee its flavor. A burr grinder will produce a finer grind than a blade grinder.

coffee grinder from thegadgetspy

You can also use a French press to make espresso. Simply place the beans into the bottom of the pot and add hot water. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes before pressing down on the plunger.

Grinding the beans is especially important as it directly affects the rate of flavor extraction. In short, the finer the grind size, the quicker this process happens. In the coffee industry, grinding your coffee beans to what is considered either a fine grind or an extra-fine grind will be required and usually this type of coffee grind is preferred when using an espresso maker.

To ensure you have a proper grind size, its best practice to use a conical burr grinder.

Assuming you do not have espresso maker handy, a coarse grind coffee will suffice for the three brewing methods that we will outline later. Because of differences in coffee grind size, if you find your espresso either too bitter you can try again with a coarser grind, and if your espresso is a bit too acidic try grinding your coffee beans a bit finer. Part of the fun is experimenting and figuring out how to create your homemade espresso.

The Best Espresso Recipe Using A Machine

Prep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 2 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes

the best espresso recipe using a machine at home from thegadgetspy


  • Espresso Machine: Because of the pressure required, you need a top notch espresso machine that can get up to pressure and produce consistent hot water.

(Looking for recommendations? These are our picks for the best espresso machines.) If you don’t have an espresso machine or the budget for one, jump to How to Make Espresso Without a Machine.

  • Burr Grinder: In the espresso world, our magic word is consistency. A great burr grinder is going to be the most consistent source of even, finely ground coffee.


  • Filtered Water: You want to use filtered water, especially if you have hard water. Coffee is mostly water, so quality water is a must!

  • 18 to 20g Coffee: Any coffee will work, but we recommended these coffee beans for espresso.


Step 1: Turn on your espresso machine and give it time to warm up.

Step 2: Once your machine is heated and you're ready to start brewing, place your portafilter on the scale and tare out the weight.

Step 3: Grind the coffee into your portafilter until you reach your desired weight, 18 to 20g for a double shot.

Step 4: Even out the bed of coffee in your portafilter, either through a distribution tool or with your index finger. The goal is to make sure the coffee is level and evenly distributed across the whole basket.

Step 5: Use your tamper to compress your coffee down with a fair amount of pressure. It's very important that you tamp straight down in order to achieve an even puck. If you tamp at an angle, the extraction of your coffee will be compromised.

Step 6: Pull your shot!

Step 7: Taste your coffee and determine if you need to change any variables to improve the quality of your cup.

Tasting your coffee and deciding what to change is the hardest part of mastering espresso and takes time to learn. If your espresso is tasting under extracted (sour), try making your grind a bit finer. Bitterness is indicative of over extraction and requires a coarser grind.

Types of Espresso Drinks

If you’ve ever stared slack-jawed at the coffee shop menu wondering what the difference was between all the espresso drinks, well, you're in the right place to know the differences! Here's an overview of the different types of espresso drinks:

  • Single Shot: It's simple and delicious.

  • Double Shot: This is the most common shot, as most baristas pull double shots and dump out half if someone orders a single.

  • Americano: An Americano is water poured over espresso. Think of it as a more intense cup of drip coffee.

  • Macchiato: A macchiato is espresso with steamed milk foam. Surprised that it’s not a caramel-infused sugar bomb? It’s cool if you like that, too, but that's not a traditional macchiato.

  • Cappuccino: Your average cappuccino is equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk.

  • Flat White: The is espresso with micro-foam poured over it. Micro-foam is steamed milk filled with small, fine bubbles that give it an ultra smooth consistency. Yes, it’s different from a latte.

  • Mocha: Mochas are delicious and surprisingly, not overly sweet.

  • Latte: A latte is espresso with lots of steamed milk and very little foam.

  • Ristretto: This is a concentrated shot of espresso, for when you don’t want to blink for a few hours or commit to anything longer than a sip. After all, you’ve got places to be and things to do.

What is a Blonde Espresso?

A blonde espresso, popularized by Starbucks, is simply an espresso made with light roast coffee as opposed to a traditional espresso, which uses medium or dark beans.

What is an Espresso Powder?

Some baking recipes call for espresso powder, which is made from darkly roasted, finely-ground coffee beans. You can buy espresso powder at the supermarket or make it on your own at home. It's not meant to be used to make an actual espresso drink, however.

Final Thoughts

As you can see espresso-making is both art and science. Essentials such as water temperature, the quality of the coffee bean, and grind size are important factors to take into consideration, and it may take a bit of time and experimentation to achieve the results you are looking for when using these alternative methods for making espresso at home.

The upside of trying these methods is a financial one as all these coffee makers will cost way less than a traditional espresso machine and who does not love saving money! These methods are just as efficient in making a concentrated coffee shot to start your day.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks can be used to help you further develop your coffee brewing skills and give you a greater appreciation at the amount of effort, care, and dedication is behind creating an espresso, whether it’s from a coffee shop or homemade.

Our recommendations are our own, and never sponsored. If you see something you love and buy it through our links, we may receive an affiliate commission (thankyou for that!).

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