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How to Make Espresso Without a Machine

How to Make Espresso Without a Machine

If you are like most people, you believe that the perfect espresso requires an espresso machine and that buying a cup of this black magic will cost an arm and a leg. If you have been substituting your favorite espresso for any other coffee, you will be glad to know that you can make your espresso at home without an espresso machine. It is possible to caffeinate at a lower price than the actual espresso cost.

What makes Espresso Perfect?

The most important aspects to consider when making your machineless espresso are the grind, roast, and brewing pressure required for the coffee. Once you understand these three aspects, you are well on your way to making the perfect espresso without a machine at the comfort of your home while saving on those dollars.

Espresso Roast

Espresso has a much stronger flavour than your regular coffee. The dark finish of the coffee when roasted is what makes lots of people fall in love with espresso. Roasting your coffee beans longer makes them more absorbent, increasing the flavour compounds you can easily extract when the beans are ground. The roasting makes espresso beans different from regular coffee beans. Standard coffee beans are usually lightly roasted, and they lack the sheen finish visible on roasted espresso beans. It is possible to use regular beans to make espresso, but this is not recommendable as it would cause a less flavorful espresso. To make the perfect cup, stick to the beans that are roasted specifically to make espresso.

Espresso Grind

Upon roasting the espresso, the coffee beans are then ground into a very fine powder, which slows the penetration of water, causing an increase in the pressure required to push water through the filter when making the perfect shot of espresso. It’s important to note that if your coffee is too fine, it may block the coffee filter and ruin your coffee and your day. With a basic coffee grinder, it is possible to grind coffee beans at home. You can also hand-grind your beans to the fine consistency required to make espresso, although this is time-consuming and requires a lot of stamina. 

Espresso Pressure

To make the perfect espresso, the espresso machine forces hot water through the ground coffee at a pressure of nearly 130 pounds/square inch. Although man can’t generate this kind of force by hand,  it is possible to mimic this process to create the perfect Espresso at home.

Ways to Make Espresso Without a Machine

Making Espresso with an Aeropress

The Aeropress is perfect if you want a double shot of espresso. But if you want only one shot, you can make it by cutting the amount of water and coffee by half.

What you need

  • Aeropress
  • A burr coffee grinder
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • An electric kettle
  • A scale or tablespoon


  1. Heat a cup(8 ounces/234ml) of water to between 85°C and 96°C
  2. Grind your freshly roasted espresso beans to a fine powder. You will require two tablespoons of the powder.
  3. Position a filter inside the Aeropress drain cap and use hot water to rinse it. If possible, you can use more than one filter to slow down water flow when pressing.
  4. Attach the drain cap onto the Aeropress and place it directly onto your mug. It is essential to use a sturdy mug because of the pressure it will handle.
  5. Pour your ground coffee onto the Aeropress and use a cylindrical item or an espresso tamp to tamp down the powder.
  6. Add the hot water, stir and wait 30 seconds before you plunge with your hand. Keep pushing until the plunger is fully depressed, keeping in mind that the perfect espresso depends on pressure. Then remove the press from your mug.
  7. You can now transfer your fresh espresso to your favourite cup and enjoy the work of your hands.

Cleaning the Aeropress is easy. Remove its drain cap and hold it over your trash can to pour the coffee powder. Push down the plunger to remove the powder, and then rinse your equipment with hot water. Your Aeropress is ready to make another shot of goodness.

An Aeropress is an excellent investment if you are a coffee lover. It’s a powerful and convenient tool for all your coffee needs. The texture of your espresso will be different from that of espresso brewed with a machine, but the flavour will be the same.

Make Espresso with a Moka pot

If you cannot afford an espresso machine, consider investing in a Moka pot. The pot adds the much-needed pressure to the process through steam, ensuring your coffee gets that distinctive espresso taste.

What you need

  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • A Moka pot
  • An electric kettle
  • A spoon for stirring
  • A burr coffee grinder
  • A scale or tablespoon


  1. Measure your coffee beans and grind to a fine powder. You will need about two tablespoons of the coffee powder.
  2. Add water to your Moka pot up to the fill line. Overfilling your reservoir can waterlog your coffee, causing it to have a nasty flavour.
  3. Add the coffee powder to the built-in filter basket and attach the Moka pot’s spouted top tightly
  4. Place your pot on a burner over medium heat. As the water in the lower chamber boils, the pressure pushes a stream of coffee through the filter into the upper chamber. You will notice a hissing sound and hazel brown foam that appears before your coffee is fully brewed.
  5. When the upper chamber is filled with coffee, remove your Moka pot from the burner.
  6. Stir the coffee using a spoon and serve.

Making a perfect coffee shot using the Moka pot is an art that will require brewing a couple of pots before achieving excellence. But once you master this art, you are on your way to enjoying a classic espresso right at your home.

Making Espresso with a French Press

If you do love coffee, you may already own a French press. You can use it to make your favourite espresso.

What you will need

  • A French press
  • Freshly roasted beans
  • An electric kettle
  • A burr grinder
  • A scale or tablespoon


  1. Using your grinder, grind the freshly roasted coffee beans to a very fine powder. You will need two tablespoons of powder for every cup of water.
  2. Fill your electric kettle and let the water boil. Then let it sit for 30 seconds before brewing.
  3. To your French press, add the ground coffee. For a brew that’s darker and stronger in flavour than your regular coffee, use double the amount of coffee.
  4. Add a little water from your kettle into the french press and let it rest for a few seconds. This is called blooming, and it ensures your coffee releases its aroma and oils.
  5. Now add the rest of the water and do not stir, as this may ruin the extraction of the flavour and richness of your coffee.
  6. Close the lid and let your coffee steep for around 4 minutes. If you want a stronger espresso, you can let your coffee steep for a few minutes longer. But if you let it steep for too long, there will be over-extraction which will cause your espresso to have a bitter and dry taste.
  7. Now press the plunger slowly and steadily, ensuring the pressure is even. Plunge halfway down, then raise it back up before pushing it all the way down for a complete press. Ensure you use even pressure.
  8. Transfer your coffee to a serving pot to stop extraction and preserve the flavour you have achieved.
  9. Serve your coffee immediately and enjoy.

Although the French press method is the least effective of the four methods, you can still use it if you do not have any other equipment. It is, however, an easy way to brew a stronger cup of coffee if you follow the procedure to the letter, but the concentration will not be as with the Aeropress or Moka pot.

Making espresso with a manual machine

The manual machine is ideal for espresso traditionalists and people who need precision when making the espresso. Traditionalists believe it’s the only method to achieve the perfect espresso without an automatic machine.

What you need

  • A manual espresso machine
  • A burr grinder
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • A scale or tablespoon


  1. Put 2-3 cups of water in the machine’s reservoir and let the machine heat the water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Grind your freshly roasted beans to a fine powder. You will need about 20 grams.
  3. Add the coffee powder to the portafilter and tamp it. Tap the filter on the counter and tamp it again.
  4. Attach the portafilter to the brew head and slowly raise the lever to the top. Then wait a few seconds and lower the lever.
  5. Pour your espresso in prewarmed cups and enjoy.

This method is, however, not ideal for beginners as you may experience several rounds of terrible espresso before you master the art to brew the espresso in the strength and flavour you desire. But the method is worth trying if you want to up your coffee-making game.

Can you make espresso with a regular coffee maker

It is possible to make your favourite espresso using the regular coffee maker with some adjustments to achieve a strong and flavorful brew.

  • For every tablespoon of ground coffee, use 2 ounces of filtered water
  • Consider the grind size of your coffee. You will require a medium to fine grind for the best espresso. A coarse grind produces a weak flavour, while a too fine grind may produce a bitter-tasting flavour.
  • Fill your coffee machine reservoir with warm water to ensure the water heats to the appropriate temperature to brew the perfect shot.

However, you require extensive experimenting to achieve the perfect ingredient combination for the ideal shot of espresso. Take note of the variant water to coffee ratios you use until you get the balance that produces the most delicious espresso. You can make the perfect shot any time using your regular coffee maker.

Can you make Espresso in a French Press

It is possible to make espresso in a French Press though it is the least effective method. You can use the method discussed above or any of the three discussed below.

Espresso with hot milk/cream

  1. Pour half a cup of milk into a saucepan and heat it over low heat until the milk is not let the milk boil. When it begins to bubble, turn off the heat. For thicker foam, your cream or milk needs to be thick. If you will be frothing by hand, it is advisable to use low-fat milk as it is easier to froth. In addition, low-fat milk is rich in whey proteins that are important milk foam stabilisers.
  2. As your milk heats, you can prepare your espresso in your french press, as discussed earlier. As the brew steeps, remove the milk from the heat and place it on a cool surface.
  3. Blend your milk using an immersion blender at high speed for about 3 minutes or until the foam holds. Alternatively, you can use a whisk to blend the milk until it is frothy and bubbly.
  4. When you reach the perfect froth, pour your frothy milk into a jar and close it tightly, and then shake it vigorously. Shaking will ensure the milk foams. Ensure you fill the jar halfway to allow the milk enough room to foam. Shake until the milk is foamy, then place the jar inside your microwave for about 30 seconds to enable the foam to rise to the top of the jar.
  5. Pour your French pressed coffee into your mug, and pour a spoon of the frothed milk on top of your coffee. Savour the brew.

Espresso with cold milk/cream

  1. Pour half a cup of milk into a stainless steel bowl and place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the temperature inside your freezer reaches above freezing. For thicker foam, use thick milk or cream. Also, use low-fat milk because of its whey proteins that are milk foam stabilisers. Ensure your milk has not frozen.
  2. Prepare your French pressed espresso as the milk chills. As the coffee steeps, you can make the milk foam.
  3. Remove your chilled milk from the freezer and set it on your counter. You can then make the milk foam by blending the milk using an immersion blender at high speed until you achieve a stiff froth. You can also use a whisk instead of an immersion blender.
  4. Fill a jar halfway with the frothy milk and give it a vigorous shake. This allows the milk to foam. You can leave the foam as it is or place your jar in your microwave for 30 seconds for extra foam.
  5. Pour your espresso into your favourite mug and pour a spoonful of froth over your coffee. For extra flavour, sprinkle cinnamon over your coffee.

Espresso with whipped cream

  1. To make whipped cream, you will need a half-pint of chilled heavy cream, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of powdered sugar.
  2. Using a blender or whisk, whip the chilled heavy cream until you notice soft peaks. You can add a little sugar to your cream to help it clump.
  3. Add your vanilla and sugar and continue beating the mixture until you achieve a fluffy consistency that is not runny, and place the cream inside your freezer.
  4. Prepare your French pressed espresso and let it steep as the cream chills.
  5. Pour the freshly brewed espresso into your mug and add the whipped cream until you achieve the beverage consistency you desire. Enjoy the goodness therein.

Is espresso just finely ground coffee?

The grind size of the espresso coffee will affect the way water passes through the coffee and will impact the taste of your espresso. A coarse grind results in a weak flavour, while a very fine grind could lead to a bitter taste. The perfect-tasting espresso requires a medium to fine grind, much like your regular table salt grind. 

An espresso also requires extremely high hot water pressure. So, combine pressure and the ideal grind size, and you have the perfect shot of espresso. Therefore, espresso is not just finely ground coffee but the end product of passing extremely hot water under high pressure through finely ground coffee.

Make Espresso in a Pan

Granted, coffee makers are pretty expensive. This should, however, not deter you from enjoying your espresso at home. You can use the Stovetop method to make your espresso if you have a limited supply of coffee-making equipment.

What you need

  • Water
  • A small saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Mug
  • Spoon 
  • Ground coffee


  1. Pour enough water for your espresso into your saucepan. Because the water will boil and will also soak the ground coffee, you can increase its quantity, so you are left with the right amount you want for your espresso.
  2. Stir the coffee grounds into the water. Use two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 2 ounces of water.
  3. Place your saucepan on a burner on medium heat and bring to a boil. You can stir to prevent the coffee grounds from burning at the bottom of your pan.
  4. Bring your coffee to a boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove your pan from the burner and let it rest for about 4 minutes to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of your pan for easy serving.
  6. With your ladle, scoop the coffee into your favourite mug, ensuring you do not take any coffee grounds as you scoop. If you do not have a ladle, you can pour the coffee into your mug directly from the saucepan.

Best inexpensive Espresso Machines

De’Longhi Espresso Maker

A quality espresso maker ensures your espresso is delicious and frothy. The De’Longhi espresso maker is just the equipment you need. It makes frothy lattes and espressos just how you want them and allows you to make more shots of the black magic because of its large water tank.

It lets you test with ground coffee and pods. Its two thermostats that separate water and steam ensure that you make your espresso at the right temperature.


  • 1.3 litre (44 0z.) removable water tank
  • 15 bars and pump-driven
  • Patented filter holder
  • Unique no-drip design
  • Manual frother
  • Two thermostats
  • Three-in-one filter holder
  • Stainless steel boiler


  • Easy to use as it is pump-driven
  • It allows you to make more than one cup of espresso because of its 1.3-litre capacity tank. The tank eliminates guesswork because it has an easily visible water level line.
  • It allows a meticulous process whether you want a single or double espresso, latte or cappuccino. You can enjoy the java kind of coffee.
  • Its manual frother mixes your milk and steam, producing a creamy froth that adds texture to your drink.
  • It has a rapid system that ensures the temperature remains the same, making it brew cup after cup instantly.
  • It has two thermostats that ensure you brew your espresso at the right temperature.
  • The filter holder has a holder for one, two and three shots- whatever your preference.
  • Its 15-bar pressure ensures that your espresso is the same quality every time.
  • Its adjustable controls ensure you brew your espresso according to your personal preferences.
  • It is convenient as it allows you to use pods or ground coffee because of its patented filter holder.
  • Its unique no-drip design eliminates messes as you brew your coffee and eases the cleanup process.
  • The removable water tank makes cleaning it easy.
  • It has a durable boiler made from stainless steel to ensure you enjoy many years of rich and delicious espresso

Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Maker

Breville Espresso Maker is equipped with a frother to ensure you achieve just the proper froth for your espresso, has a measuring spoon for your ground coffee, a tamping tool so that you do not use cylindrical items to tamp, and a cleaning tool that makes cleaning your equipment a tad bit easy.


  • 15 bar thermoblock pump
  • Dual-wall three-in-one filter
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Warming tray
  • Selector dial


  • Its three-in-one filter allows you to brew one, two or three shots simultaneously-whatever you desire.
  • The dual-wall filter ensures you achieve a smooth and rich flavour through its unique Crema technology.
  • The dual-action selector dial makes the equipment easy to use. When you turn the dial to the right, you activate the steam wand for texturing milk. When you turn it to the left, you extract espresso. How cool can brewing an espresso be!
  • The warming tray allows you to heat up to six cups of espresso.
  • The thermoblock pump ensures that you extract your espresso at the right temperature.
  • The 15-bar pressure enables you to brew an espresso not only rich in taste but also aroma.
  • It is made of stainless steel, making it durable so you can enjoy many years of making espresso
  • It has a frother that makes frothing and foaming effortless.

Mr Coffee Espresso/Cappuccino System

Mr Coffee brags of consistently serving its customers with a cup after cup of delicious coffee. And because they know how vital the perfect espresso machine is, they have made a state-of-the-art machine to ensure effortless espresso brewing and bring the ideal espresso experience right into your home.

Mr Coffee is a dual shot machine that allows you to brew two single shots of a rich, dark espresso instantly-just the way you want it. With Mr Coffee, you are assured of a creamy top for every espresso you make, thanks to its frothing arm. The machine guarantees a brew that is bold and authentic, like that of espresso in your favourite coffeehouse. It is the perfect gift for an espresso lover.


  • 15-bar pump
  • Thermoblock heating system
  • Frothing arm
  • 40 oz. water tank
  • Tamping tool


  • The 15-bar pressure pump ensures your espresso extraction is effortless while still achieving a dark rich brew. The pump has an indicator light that will alert you once the process is completed.
  • Its dual-shot feature makes brewing espresso fast.
  • The thermoblock heating system allows you to brew your espresso at the perfect temperature and lets you heat water instantly.
  • The frothing arm makes it easy and fast to steam the milk, and its milk frother nozzle produces a foamy layer that adds to the texture and flavour of your drink.
  • The removable water tank makes filling and cleaning it easy.
  • The tamping tool allows you to even out the ground coffee layer in the portafilter.
  • For serving options, you can choose either a double or single shot portafilter

Check this too: Mr. Coffee how to & troubleshooting guide


It is possible to enjoy the perfect shot of espresso without breaking the bank and at the comfort of your home. You can improve or adjust the methods discussed above to achieve the perfect cup of espresso and enjoy java in your living room. Regardless of your coffee-making skills level or budget, you can learn how to make your perfect shot of espresso right in your kitchen as long as you get the right equipment and the ideal quality of coffee.