How to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine

Make Espresso

There is nothing quite like the energizing jolt of espresso. But espresso machines can be a bit pricey. Fancy, high-tech models can cost well over $100. If you want to indulge in your favorite espresso on a Monday morning without spending money on an espresso machine, you came to the right place. 

Did you know that there are plenty of ways you can enjoy espresso without using fancy machinery? Today we will be sharing some of the top ways to make espresso without an espresso machine. Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think.

Table Of Contents

Use a French Press

A French press is typically an item one will have in one’s home. Even if you don’t, most French presses run somewhere between $10 and $20. You won’t be breaking the bank to get one, and you can use the product to create whipped cream, juiced berries, and yes, espresso. 

Now, a French press utilizes an immersion style of brewing. There is no pressure involved, which is necessary for creating a shot of espresso. So how can you use a French press to create delicious, energy-bursting espresso shots? It’s actually quite simple – double brew.

What You Will Need

To make espresso using a French press, you will only need five items:

  • French Press Coffee Maker
  • Espresso Beans 
  • Grinder
  • Water
  • Mug

How to Make Espresso Using a French Press

The steps are just as simple as the items you need. You can create espresso using a French press in just a few short minutes. Follow these steps:

  1. Begin by grinding your espresso beans down to a very fine ground. This should not be anything “new” to those who use a French press on a regular basis. You must grind your beans before using this type of equipment.
  2. Brew the espresso beans as normal. Simply brew the beans as you would for regular coffee. There are no special buttons or gimmicks needed.
  3. Filter the espresso beans. Once the coffee is finished, you will need to filter it thoroughly. You can do this by using a sieve. You can also filter into a coffee mug. 
  4. Brew another cup of espresso beans. Use the coffee instead of water. You will be using the coffee you just brewed as a replacement for the water typically needed for brewing “regular” coffee. This is what will allow for double brewing, which is the necessary process for creating an espresso shot.
  5. Pour and enjoy! You can take the espresso shot or create delicious lattes or cappuccinos using your freshly brewed espresso shot.

Use a Moka Pot

The Moka Pot is probably the most commonly used item to create espresso without an espresso machine. In fact, it’s used so regularly that many people call the Moka Pot the “stovetop espresso machine”. Using a Moka Pot, you still get the same great concentrated flavor of a regular espresso without the crema. 

The good news about using a Moka Pot is that it’s relatively inexpensive. You can pick up a Moka Pot for as little as $5 in some locations, although most of the time they are around $20 or less. However, those making espresso with a Moka Pot should be extra careful to avoid unwanted burns that will leave your coffee tasting repulsive.

What You Will Need

There are a few items necessary to make espresso in a Moka Pot, including:

  • Moka Pot
  • Espresso Beans
  • Grinder
  • Water
  • Mug

How to Make Espresso Using a Moka Pot

  1. Start by finely grinding the espresso beans. You want to grind them down to be as fine as possible for the best results.
  2. Fill the lower chamber of the Moka Pot with water. You want to use water that is filtered and cold. This type of water will offer the best-tasting espresso in the end.
  3. Place the ground espresso beans into the filter basket.
  4. Reassemble the Moka Pot. To reassemble, you will simply need to place the filter onto the lower chamber that is filled with water. Twist until the two elements are secured.
  5. Heat the Moka Pot. There are a few ways you can heat the Moka Pot. Most will use the stove. If no stove is available, you can also use a hot plate or open fire.
  6. Wait for the water to come to a boil. This should only take a few minutes.
  7. When the Moka Pot makes a gurgling noise, remove the Moka Pot from the heat. Moka Pots make a very obvious and interesting sound when the coffee is ready. When you hear this noise, remove the Moka Pot immediately.
  8. Pour espresso into a mug and enjoy.

Use a Drip Coffee Maker

Any coffee lover is likely going to have a drip coffee maker in the home. But did you know that you can use this type of coffee maker to make your beloved espresso shot? It might seem like a weird way to indulge, and you will be using your coffee maker unlike you ever have before. It’s well worth it, though, to get your hands on that energizing espresso.

What You Will Need

  • Drip Coffee Maker
  • Espresso Beans
  • Grinder
  • Water
  • Filter

How to Make Espresso Using a Drip Coffee Maker

  1. First things first – ignore the water tank. Typically, when making a cup of joe, you will need to fill the tank that holds water. From there, the machine will filter and drip coffee into the pot. This is entirely too slow for espresso-making. Completely ignore the water tank when making espresso. It will be of zero use to you.
  2. Grind the espresso beans. The espresso beans need to be very fine in order to work. Measure accurately. You want 2 ounces of hot water per 2 tablespoons of ground espresso beans.
  3. Place the coffee filter inside of the drip coffee maker as usual and add ground espresso beans. 
  4. Heat the water on the stove. Typically you would use the drip coffee maker to heat the water up, but we are avoiding this feature. Instead, heat the water on the stove. It shouldn’t be boiling, but near boiling.
  5. Add a bit of water to the ground espresso beans. This will allow the oils to start releasing from the beans. Let this water sit on the beans for 30 seconds.
  6. Add your mug underneath and quickly pour in the rest of the water. The espresso will start coming out from the filter into your coffee mug. It’s not “true” espresso, but it’s extremely close. 

Use an AeroPress

Last but not least we have the AeroPress. Since espresso needs to be firmly “pressed” in order to make the final product, it’s no secret why the AeroPress is commonly used to make espresso without a fancy machine. You can typically get an AeroPress for around $30, which makes it a more cost-effective solution for espresso lovers. 

Using an AeroPress instead of an espresso maker comes with a slew of other advantages, too. It’s incredibly lightweight – unlike hefty machines that can be fairly heavy. It’s entirely portable for espresso on the go. It also requires no electricity, which saves you money in the long run. 

What You Will Need

There’s a few more items necessary for making espresso in an AeroPress. These include:

  • AeroPress
  • Two Filters
  • Espresso Beans
  • Grinder
  • Tamp
  • Kettle
  • Water
  • Mug

How to Make Espresso Using an AeroPress

  1. Start by adding a filter to the AeroPress. This should be done as you normally would for any other type of coffee product.
  2. Grind the espresso beans. Remember, the finer the espresso beans are, the better outcome you will have. Keep grinding until they are super fine.
  3. Add the ground espresso beans and tamp into the AeroPress.
  4. Add an additional coffee filter on top of the ground beans and tamp.
  5. Add water and press. Keep in mind that the water needs to be hot in order for this to work. You can heat water on the stovetop or campfire. Pressing will require a bit of muscle work. 
  6. Pour and enjoy.

Tips for Making Espresso Without an Espresso Machine

Here are a few handy tips for making espresso without a fancy piece of equipment:

  • Don’t go cheap on the grinder. A quality, delicious espresso needs to be finely ground. A bladed grinder can work, but they pale in comparison to a burr grinder. A burr grinder is a bit pricey, but it will offer the finest ground espresso beans. 
  • You can use regular coffee beans. If you don’t have any espresso beans on hand, then you can use regular coffee beans. The flavor will be slightly different. It may even be sour. Consider using the darkest type of roast coffee beans. 
  • Use a scale when measuring. Scales will provide the most accuracy.
  • Don’t use boiling water. None of these methods should utilize boiling water. The water should be piping hot, but not quite boiling. Timing is key!
  • Consider purchasing a milk frother. Having a milk frother can change the way you drink homemade espresso. You can easily find a product for around $10 and use it to make all of your favorite beverages like cappuccinos and lattes. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a fancy espresso machine. Opt for a cost-effective Moka Pot or AeroPress and you can indulge in quality espresso shots. Even your trusted, convenient drip coffee maker can make you a delightful energy-boosting espresso shot!

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