Are you a coffee lover and like to reach out to your favorite brew the moment you open your eyes?
If you answered yes, you are not alone! 62% of Americans drink coffee every day, while 7 in 10 Americans enjoy a hot cuppa every week.
Recently, all hell broke loose as my home espresso machine gave up on me.
I woke up in the morning with a nasty craving and wondered, “Can you make espresso without a machine?”
You may be a concentrated coffee enthusiast yet not know the real meaning of espresso coffee, so let’s answer a few questions.
What is Espresso?
Unlike what many people believe, espresso is not a type of coffee but a brewing style.
So, what does an espresso coffee maker do? Well, it pushes water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans.
Modern espresso machines have an inbuilt grinder that converts your roast coffee into a fine powder.
However, good espresso machines are pretty expensive.
What Is So Special About Espresso?
As espresso coffee has a typical brewing style and is also roasted and ground differently, it has an acidic and rich flavor.
Also, it is highly concentrated, and that’s why coffee connoisseurs love it.
What Is the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?
Espresso is just a style of brewing coffee.
So, there is no ‘best espresso bean’ used to make espresso.
All the coffee that we drink comes from the coffee plant.
The difference comes in how it’s prepared.
Extracting espresso will be different from that of other preparations, like drip coffee.
How Much Caffeine Is in a Shot of Espresso?
If you look at an average coffee cup, which is eight-ounce, it can provide 96 milligrams of caffeine.
On the other hand, taking a one-ounce espresso shot provides 64 milligrams of
So, if you take an espresso shot, you will consume less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee.
Can You Make Espresso in an Ordinary Coffee Maker?
According to the industry standard, espresso coffee requires a minimum of 9 bars of pressure for brewing.
At such high pressure, the water turns into steam, and when it passes through the coffee grounds, it gets a distinct flavor and aroma.
Therefore, an espresso coffee maker can create the required pressure to make rich espresso.
If you go for any other brewing method, it might not be able to brew the perfect espresso, but it can get pretty close to the original taste.
Moreover, it saves you money as espresso machines are expensive.
Grinding Coffee for Espresso
A burr grinder is used to make a fine coffee ground, and the commonly used blenders at home cannot be used to achieve the desired consistency.
Also, you cannot crush the beans with a mortar or pestle for the same reason.
A burr grinder, also called a burr-mill, contains two revolving burs for making ground coffee.
What Is the Best Grind for Espresso Coffee?
Coffee grind is one of the essential things to consider when brewing espresso.
For getting the perfect brew, you need a fine grind that is equivalent to the size of sugar particles.
But it would be best to keep in mind that the grind will vary according to the espresso grinder and the coffee bean you are using.
So, it is a good practice to keep the setting to medium-fine and adjust the grinder setting based on your results.
How Long Does the Grinding Process Take?
Some coffee machines have a timer to grind the beans for 15 to 30 seconds to get the desired result.
Some timers may be analog, whereas some are digital.
Digital timers are more accurate.
You should select the fine or superfine grind size and accordingly adjust the grinder to this setting to get the exact grind every time.
If you are grinding the beans using a manual grinder, the grinding process will take 15 to 19 seconds.
How to Make Espresso Without a Machine (5 Methods)
So, you don’t have an espresso maker?
Here are some great ways to make espresso without using a machine.
1. How to Make Espresso With a French Press
You can make espresso in a French press.
The brewing method is the main difference between an espresso and a French press.
A French press uses coarse ground coffee steeped and has a longer brewing time.
So, it makes brewed coffee that is more aromatic and caffeinated.
On the other hand, you need fine ground coffee for making espresso.
Here is a step-by-step guide that shows you how to make your favorite espresso in a French press.
Step 1: Grind the Coffee Beans Into a Coarse Powder
Ensure that you make coarse ground rather than fine espresso powder.
There is a piston at the bottom of the French press that is unable to hold the fine grounds down.
So, you will make muddy coffee that doesn’t taste good.
Remember that if you are making a cup of espresso, then you need two tablespoons of coffee.
Step 2: Boil the Water at a High Temperature
The water needs to be very hot to extract good flavor from the beans.
If you do not boil water at a high temperature, the espresso will taste bland.
So, make sure that the water is boiling hot and then cool it for around 20 seconds.
Step 3: Pour the Water on the Coffee Grounds
First, add the grounds to the press and pour some hot water on them.
There will be a fantastic aroma as the water passes through the grounds, and this process is called bloom.
Step 4: Add the Remaining Water to the Press
Now add the remaining water to the grounds and stir gently.
You just need to mix a little bit for the extraction process to begin.
Step 5: Allow the Coffee to Steep
If you want a perfect espresso drink, you need to steep the coffee in water for precisely four minutes.
If you soak it longer, it will turn bitter.
Avoid hitting the plunger at this stage, and let your coffee steep.
Step 6: Hit the Plunger or Piston
Push the plunger down lightly and if you feel some resistance, then take it back and try plunging again.
Now all you need to do is enjoy your steaming cup of espresso!
2. How to Make Espresso With a Moka Pot
Unlike what many people believe, Moka pot is not intimidating but relatively easy to use.
To make espresso in a Moka pot, first, you need to grind coffee to a slightly bigger size than granulated sugar.
So basically, it is a fine grind but not as refined as the one used in a proper espresso machine.
Fill the lower chamber of the Moka pot with water until it reaches the valve level.
Then, you can place the funnel inside the pot and fill it with ground coffee.
Put the Moka pot on a stove on medium heat.
When you get the hissing sound, remove the pot from the stove and pour the coffee gently into the mug.
3. How to Make Espresso With an AeroPress
You are right if you have heard rumors about people making espresso in Aeropress.
You can use Aeropress to make delicious espresso.
The first step is to wet the filter and make the cup warm.
Next, you can put the Aeropress upright and fill the chamber with 20 g of ground coffee.
Within 10 seconds of adding the coffee, you need to add 60g of water and stir it for another 10 seconds.
You can now remove the espresso from the scale, and it is ready to drink.
4. How to Make Espresso With a Keurig
A Keurig is a simple coffee machine with a push button.
It brews single-cup coffee and uses pods that are referred to as “K-cups.”
Your Keurig can make something close to espresso.
We recommend that you go for a dark roast to make a strong K-cup.
You can put water and coffee in a ratio of 1 to 2, which implies that you need two parts of water for one part of coffee.
Next, you can place the cup below the head of the Keurig and push the brew button.
Again, we recommend that you take a large cup rather than an espresso cup which is small as you might end up overspilling the coffee.
Can You Put Milk in a Keurig?
Keurig is great for brewing a single cup of coffee because it implies that it can hold one cup of water at a time for brewing.
However, if you put milk in place of water, some of it may get trapped in the reservoir and get spoiled.
5. How to Make Espresso With a Hand Espresso Gadget
A hand espresso gadget is simple and easy to use.
It comprises a pod for grinding coffee and an arm where you pour hot water.
You need to keep pumping the arm to build up pressure for brewing.
However, you can make great coffee in an espresso gadget with some practice.
So, now you know that you don’t require fancy machines to make an espresso.
Simpler gadgets work just fine and make great coffee without burning a hole in your pocket.
You can reference this guide whenever you need to make an espresso without a coffee machine.
Now you know that there are many ways to put espresso in you without using an espresso machine.
So, go ahead and try these different styles and let us know which one is your favorite!
Check out our brewing guides for more information about how to make perfect coffee.