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How to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine

Espresso made in a drip coffee machine

Lots of people love espresso. It’s a very common coffee drink to enjoy by itself or in the numerous other cafe drinks made from espresso. Unfortunately, not all of us espresso lovers have the option of buying an espresso machine to enjoy our favorite caffeine punch at home. But don’t worry, you can still make your favorite drink at home. We are giving you three methods to make espresso at home without an espresso machine. After reading all of them, pick your favorite and master that method. Enjoy your homemade espresso!

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The 3 Easiest Ways to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine:

1. Using an AeroPress

We highly recommend this technique because it’s easy and fast, and the result is concentrated, espresso-like coffee. The AeroPress method works by using pressure to brew coffee, just like espresso. Here are the steps for brewing espresso in an AeroPress:

Push plunger down AeroPress

  1. Add your filter to the drain cap of the AeroPress before starting. You can use more than one filter if you want to slow the extraction.
  2. Measure two tablespoons of fine coffee grounds and put them into the tube. Then place another filter on top of the grounds.
  3. Use the plunger to press down (tamp) the grounds underneath the second filter.
  4. Add half a cup of hot water (200 degrees F) to the tube on top. Pour it slowly, so the puck of ground coffee at the bottom isn’t disturbed too much.
  5. Let it steep for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Position the tube directly over your mug. Push the plunger down and the espresso-like, concentrated coffee goes straight into your cup. Enjoy!

SEE ALSO: Our complete guide to AeroPress brewing


2. Using a Moka Pot

Stovetop espresso makers are an easy alternative to an espresso machine. They cost much less, and are pretty easy to use. If you’re curious about using one of these, try it! It doesn’t have a lot of steps and can make you strong coffee, similar to espresso, in about 10 minutes:

Moka pot coffee

  1. Separate the parts of the Moka pot. The bottom chamber is where the water goes. Fill the bottom reservoir with filtered water.
  2. The middle reservoir with the mesh is for the grounds. Fill it with coffee grounds, always fine grind. Don’t worry about measuring; just fill it to the top. Tamping isn’t necessary.
  3. Put the grounds reservoir onto the water reservoir and screw on the top portion. This is where the coffee will fill after brewing finishes.
  4. Turn your stove on medium heat and place your stovetop espresso maker directly on the burner. When the water starts to boil, it will rise through the grounds as steam and condense as coffee in the top. You can tell it’s done when the top has filled with coffee and you see steam rising. The whole process will take about 10 minutes, and then you’re free to drink all the espresso you want!

3. Using a French Press

This method will work, but we recommend it as a last-resort option. It will get you the least espresso-like result, and it’s the easiest method to mess up. Don’t worry, though, we will walk you through the steps:

French press espresso

  1. Heat one cup of filtered water to 200 degrees F.
  2. Add two tablespoons of coffee grounds to the french press.
  3. Add a splash of your hot water and let it soak for 30 seconds. This helps “bloom” the coffee, or release its flavor.
  4. Pour the rest of the hot water over the grounds. Stir to make sure all the grounds are wet.
  5. Put the lid on the French press without pushing down and let the mixture steep for four minutes.
  6. Now it’s time to plunge. First, push the filter down about halfway to create some extra pressure. Pull it all the way back up. Then push it all the way down, this time with some force. Now you should have a concentrated brew ready to enjoy!

Need a French press? Check out our 10 favorites!

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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