How to Make Espresso at Home Without an Espresso Machine

Have you ever wondered how to make Espresso at home? We provide a guide for making the perfect cup!

Whether it is the enticing aroma or the need for a midday caffeine boost, espresso is loved by many for its versatility and signature taste. Fortunately, you don’t have to be at a coffee shop to enjoy a shot when an espresso craving hits. There are many options for home brewing espresso without an espresso machine. Today we share our tips, tricks and recommendations on how to make espresso at home with no machine. Read on to learn more! 

Are you interested in the best espresso brewing machines? If so, check out Cozy’s picks of Best Automatic Espresso Machines. 

Picking the Beans

Before you jump into how to brew, you need to decide on the most important element of the espresso brewing experience – the beans! The first and most important thing you will need in order to make the perfect cup is good coffee. 

For a complete list of the best espresso beans on the market today, click here!

We recommend the following coffee bean options for brewing espresso at home:

1. LaVazza Super Crema Espresso
2. Coffee Bros Espresso Roast Coffee
3. Death Wish Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
4. Kicking Horse Whole Bean Espresso
5. Café de Loja Medium/Dark Roast Single Origin Coffee

LaVazza Super Crema Espresso 

This mild and creamy medium roast espresso blend is made of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta beans. This is a full bodied blend that has notes of brown sugar and roasted hazelnut, and will provide you with a traditional Italian espresso flavor in your cup. 

LaVazza, a four generation family owned Italian brand since 1895, is known for being a premium coffee brand that masterfully roasts their beans to perfection.  This is a great option to consider if you are seeking a classic espresso taste.

Coffee Bros Espresso Roast

This vibrant and smooth espresso roast coffee highlights all of the natural sugars and sweetness of their 100% Arabica coffee beans. With notes of strawberry, sugar cane and vanilla these beans will result in a vibrant and round bodied cup. This is a great option for those who prefer a sweeter cup minus the bitterness of traditional espresso beans. 

These beans are hand roasted in small batches by Coffee Bros and are roasted to perfection in order to preserve the delicate and sweet flavor of their beans. You won’t regret this sweet delicate brew in your cup!

Death Wish Dark Roast

As they say get busy living or get busy dying! Death Wish Dark Roast Coffee is known as the world’s strongest coffee bean transforming your espresso into a bold, intense and energizing cup. If you are looking for delicious flavor combined with maximum caffeine content then this is the bean for you.

This Arabica and Robusta blend offers a smooth, cherry and chocolate flavor minus any bitterness. Each roast is organic and comes with a no questions asked money back guarantee. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose!

Kicking Horse Coffee Espresso

This Kicking Horse Coffee recipe is a vibrant combination of fruity and chocolate flavors with a decadent taste and a silky texture. A hint of wild berry syrup gives it a bright note that fuses well with an aroma of milk chocolate, brown sugar, and blackcurrant.

Cliff Hanger is 100% Arabica beans from Africa, Indonesia, and South and Central America. These beans benefit from roasting in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which gives this blend a subtly rich flavor. 

Kicking Horse Coffee focuses on ethical farming with organic and fair trade methods that support the local environment and community.

Café de Loja Medium/Dark Roast

These 100% whole Arabica beans come from a single origin in Ecuador and have a full-bodied, fruity flavor. The beans are grown and handpicked at a high altitude for a livelier taste. Growing at high elevation allows the coffee plant to grow slower, boosting the flavor of the beans.

Café de Loja concentrates on roasting the beans to perfection, so you never get the bitter aftertaste of burned coffee. Their innovative roasting process combines traditional cupping techniques with scientific testing of the roast profile to guarantee a consistently delicious taste.

Many coffee companies practice fair trade methods, but Café de Loja takes it one step further. The owner of the company dedicates resources to supporting the local community through education and jobs.

Tools For Brewing Espresso

Before you begin the brewing process, there are a few tools that will make brewing your espresso easier. If you plan on brewing at home without a machine, we recommend the following tools:

1. An electric kettle with temperature control 
2. A conical burr grinder for an even and consistent grind
3. A scale with a timer for coffee measuring

Electric Kettle 

An electric kettle will ensure you have the ability to heat the water used to brew your espresso to the optimal brewing temperature of 205°F (96°C) which is just shy of boiling. The proper water temperature is critical to the brewing process.

With quick heating, a real-time temperature display and a count-up timer that assists in keeping track of the brewing process the  Bonavita 1.0L Variable Temperature Electric Kettle is a practical choice. 

The sleek looking Cosori Electric Gooseneck Kettle is another great option that comes in a variety of colors making heating water an easy and stylish experience. With 5 Variable Presets to make sure your brewing temperature is exactly what you need it to be and a 60 minute keep warm function this electric kettle is a great pour over coffee option.  

Conical Burr Grinder

For a consistent, even grind you will want to invest in a good quality grinder.  Burr grinders produce a consistent and even grind, which is one of the key factors in making good quality coffee. Conical burr grinders grind coffee beans by using a serrated ring that moves against another ring that has jagged edges or teeth. As coffee beans fall between the two rings, they are ground to a consistent size providing you with uniformly ground coffee. 

The Krups Precision Grinder is a great economically priced burr grinder to consider. The precise grinder allows you to perfect your coffee with 12-grind size options that are great for use in a variety of drinks. Avoid any waste by selecting between 2 to 12 cups at a time  when grinding.

The Mr Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Coffee Grinder is another popular grinder. With 18 custom grind settings, a removable bean hopper and the ability to hold up to half a pound of coffee beans there isn’t much not to like about this grinder. 

If you are in the market for a commercial grade grinder, we recommend the Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. With a wide grinding range from ultrafine to coarse, you have the ability to grind your beans to the optimal texture. A large 8.8 ounce bean capacity and 4 ounce ground coffee container gives you the ability to ground large or small batches. 

A Scale With a Timer

A scale with a timer will perform two functions for you: 1) Weighing your coffee beans and 2) Timing your brews. This gadget can be very handy in helping  you to brew the perfectly measured and timed cup.

The ERAVSOW Coffee Scale with Timer has a high precision sensor that measures to the 0.1 gram along with a built in timer. With an easy backlit LCD screen this scale is easy to use and extremely useful.

How To Make Espresso: Brewing Methods

There are three methods we recommend for brewing espresso at home without a fancy machine. Today we will take you through each method and the tools we recommend you have on hand to perfect your espresso:

Method # 1 – The Aeropress

The Aeropress side by side with freshly roasted coffee beans ready to brew espresso.
The AeroPress is used to brew espresso style coffee.

The Aeropress is a new kind of coffee press that has become extremely popular worldwide. The Aeropress uses a rapid, total immersion brewing process to produce delicious, smooth and full flavored coffee without the bitterness that can occur when using a French Press. 

The AeroPress can brew espresso style coffee for use in cappuccinos, lattes and other espresso based drinks. As an added bonus it can also brew 1 to 3 cups of coffee per pressing in about a minute. The AeroPress comes with a paper microfilter that eliminates grit in your coffee and results in easy clean up. This gadget is perfect for use at home or on the go with many using it as their preferred coffee brewing option while traveling, camping, on RV trips and more!

How do I use the AeroPress?

You will need the following tools in order to brew with the AeroPress:

1. AeroPress
2. Coffee Beans (Medium or Dark Roast Recommended)
3. Scale
4. Grinder
5. Electric or Stovetop Kettle

Once you have all your brewing tools within arms length, you are ready to brew your espresso:

Step # 1 – In your electric or stovetop kettle heat one cup of water to the optimal temperature of 205 degrees fahrenheit (96 degrees celsius).

Step # 2 – Grind your coffee beans to a fine, salt like consistency. You will need 1 ounce or 28.3 grams of coffee.

Step # 3 – Place a filter in the AeroPress drain cap and rinse with warm water.

Step # 4 – Put the drain cap on the AeroPress and place it directly onto your coffee cup. Since you will be applying pressure to it, you will want to make sure you use a strong, sturdy cup.

Step # 5 – Place your ground coffee into the AeroPress and tamp down the grounds. You will want to create a round puck of coffee that is neat and compacted. An espresso tamp is a great option to create a puck, but any tool with a flat bottom and cylinder shape will work well. 

Step # 6 – Measure ½ cup of the hot water and pour into the Aeropress. 

Step # 7 – Plunge the Aeropress, you will feel some resistance but keep pushing. Once fully plunged you can then remove the press from your cup.

Step # 8 – Transfer your freshly brewed espresso to the cup of your choice, relax and enjoy!

One other advantage of the AeroPress is its easy to clean design. When you are done using it, remove the drain cap from the AeroPress, hold it over your garbage can and push the plunger down to remove the coffee grounds. Then simply rinse the AeroPress under hot water and clean up is complete!

High convenience, portable design and excellent flavor are all reasons you should seriously consider investing in the AeroPress. The AeroPress is Cozy’s preferred method for brewing delicious espresso without a machine.

Method # 2 – The Moka Pot

The Moka Pot with coffee beans ready to brew espresso style coffee.
The popular Moka Pot is used to brew espresso style coffee at an affordable price.

The Moka Pot is a tiny kettle that provides an affordable, traditional way to make espresso-like coffee. Moka Pots are popular around the globe!

There are a variety of Moka Pot brands available for purchase. To make choosing a Moka Pot easy we have provided a list of our top five favorite Moka Pots:

Bialetti Moka Espresso Stovetop Espresso Maker (Top Pick)
De’Longhi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Pot
Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Maker
Bialetti Elegance Venus Induction 10 Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

The coffee brewed in a Moka Pot is a hybrid, “middle”option between coffee and espresso. The Moka Pot will produce coffee that is not as strong as espresso but not as mellow as drip coffee. 

It is important to note that the coffee brewed in a Moka Pot is not an actual espresso but being it brews coffee that is 2-3 times stronger than traditional coffee it is a very close copy. The Moka Pot is Cozy’s 2nd favorite option for brewing espresso at home without a machine.

How do I use the Moka Pot?

In order to brew with a Moka Pot you will need the following:

1. A Moka Pot
2. Coffee Beans
3. Burr Coffee Grinder
4. Scale to measure your coffee
5. Electric or stovetop kettle
6. Spoon for stirring 

Once you have all your tools ready to go, you are ready to use your Moka Pot:

Step # 1 – Measure and grind 20 to 22 grams of coffee. You will want your coffee to be grinded into a very fine, salt like texture.

Step # 2 – Using the fill line, aed water to the bottom of your Moka Pot. Be careful to not overfill as too much water can affect the taste of your brew. 

Step # 3 – Add the coffee to the filter basket and attach the Moka Pot’s top.

Step # 4 – Place the Moka Pot on the burner of your stove top on medium heat.

Step # 5 – Keep an eye on the Moka Pot, a brown foam will appear a few seconds before the coffee is done. 

Step # 6 – When the top of the Moka Pot is full of coffee remove it from the stove.

Step # 7 – Give the coffee a quick stir, pour, savor and enjoy!

The Moka Pot is a traditional way to enjoy espresso like coffee at the fraction of the cost when compared to purchasing an espresso machine. We hope you enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the end result in your cup!

Method # 3 – The French Press

The French Press filled with espresso style coffee being poured into a cup.
The French Press is used to brew espresso style coffee.

The popular coffee brewing French Press can also be used to make a concentrated brew. We recommend the following French Press options:

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker (Top Pick)
Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
SterlingPro DoubleWall Stainless Steel French Coffee Press
Yama Glass 6 Cup Coffee/Tea French Press

Although the French Press can be used to make espresso like coffee it does have some downsides to be aware of. The French Press isn’t able to provide you with the concentrated brew that the AeroPress or Moka Pot can create. The coffee shot produced in the French Press will also be more oily and will also require a few more steps to create your final product. For this reason, the French Press method for Espresso drinks is our least recommended option.

Nonetheless, the French Press can give you the drink you are desiring. It will just be a bit more of a tedious process than other home brewing espresso making options. 

How do I use the French Press?

Before brewing with the French Press you will want to gather the following:

1. French Press
2. Coffee Beans (We recommend dark roast or espresso beans)
3. Burr Coffee Grinder
4. Coffee Scale
5. Electric or Stovetop Kettle

Once you have everything you will need to brew with your French Press you can get started:

Step # 1 – Grind your coffee very fine. For every one ounce of water you will need 1 ounce of coffee beans.

Step # 2 – Using your kettle, heat the water to a boil.

Step # 3 – Add coffee grounds to your French Press. 

Step # 4 – Add the boiled water to your french press and close the lid. Allow the coffee to steep for a couple of minutes. 

Step #5 – Apply slow but steady pressure to the plunger, plunge halfway, raise it back to the top and then bring the plunger all the way down.

Step # 6 – Your coffee is ready to be poured and served. Enjoy!

Although not our favorite method for brewing espresso, the French Press offers a fair alternative for brewing a very strong shot of coffee when needed. 

Cozy’s Bottom Line

Brewing espresso at home without an espresso machine is possible with several affordable and alternative options. Whether you decide on the popular AeroPress, the traditional Moka Pot or the readily available French Press you will be able to create your favorite espresso drinks easily and conveniently.

Sending you a strong, espresso-y cheers! 

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