How to Make Espresso Shots at Home (Even If You Don’t Have an Espresso Machine)


Are you a coffee lover? Are you wondering how you can enjoy those favorite espresso shots without having to drive to your nearest coffee shop? If you have an espresso machine at home, then you are in luck.

Americans’ love affair with coffee continues to blossom. Data reveals that around 150 million Americans drink coffee daily. Moreover, 30 million of them go for specialty coffee beverages like your favorite espresso.

What if you don’t have an espresso machine at home? Do you know how to make espresso shots using other methods?

Continue reading below as we teach you how to make an espresso-style drink at home without relying on an espresso machine. However, if you want to save time, you can always opt for Coffee Geek’s recommended espresso machine.

Stovepot Method

The first method you can try is the Stovepot Method or the Moka pot. This is one of the cheapest systems for brewing espresso. It doesn’t require any electricity.

As a result, about 90% of kitchens in Italy use the Moka pot.

To create espresso shots using this method, you will need a Moka pot, a coffee grinder, water, a stovetop, and of course, your coffee beans. The first step is to grind around 20 to 22 grams of coffee beans. The key to making that perfect espresso shot is to grind the beans to the right consistency.

Grinding the beans finely allows the pressure from the steam to pass the water with ease. This equates to more flavorful results.

Next, you need to boil some water. You may also pre-heat your water before pouring it over to the bottom portion of the Moka pot. Make sure not to overfill the Moka pot’s bottom chamber; stop just below the level of the valve.

After the water, you can now add some coffee grounds into the filter basket. Shake the grounds gently until they settle evenly. Next, screw on the top spout. If you’ve used pre-heated water, it’s best to use a towel as the bottom section will be very hot.

Place the pot on the stove on a low-to-medium heat. Keep watching, and you will eventually see the pressure pushing the coffee out slowly.

When the stream turns honey-yellow, you can remove the pot from the stove. If the stream starts to gurgle, remove from the heat. Now you can enjoy some homemade espresso shots.

The French Press

Another option to consider is the French Press method. A French Press is a beaker that is the size of a thermos. It comes with a piston that goes through the middle of the beaker and the lid.

As for the ingredients, all you need is the French Press, some ground coffee beans, and hot water. To make your French Press espresso, start by grinding your beans. But unlike with the Moka pot method, you don’t need to grind them finely.

Finely-grounded beans are not compatible with the French Press. This is because the piston cannot hold down the fine grounds. In turn, your espresso shots will become muddy. Instead, use coarser grounds for this method.

The computation is four tablespoons of beans for around two espresso cups.

Next, boil some water using a kettle. Also, you want to swirl some hot water around the glass container. This will keep it from cracking once you pour the hot water later.

The rule of thumb for your water is to reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After boiling, add your grounds to the French Press. Thereafter, pour some hot water into the French Press.

Make sure to let the water cool for about 25 seconds before pouring. Let the beans release the aroma. After a few seconds, pour the remaining water into the French Press.

Next, steep your brew. Ideally, 5 minutes should be enough time for steeping. Now you can now press the piston.

Pour the coffee and enjoy!

The Aeropress

Last but not least is the Aeropress. It features a cylinder, a plunger, and a filter at the bottom. Compared to the French Press, it is lightweight and easy to carry anywhere.

It’s also relatively cheap.

To create your espresso using the Aeropress method, you will need an Aeropress, your coffee grounds, a coffee grinder, and some water.

The first step is to grind your beans. About two tablespoons of beans will give you a shot of espresso. Much like the Moka pot, you want to grind the beans as fine as you can.

Next, assemble the Aeropress. Place the filter into the small basket. Pour a small amount of hot water through the filter.

This pre-rinsing process will keep any paper flavor at bay. Put back the basket into the bottom chamber then start pouring in your ground coffee.

Give the tube a little shake to settle the grounds. You can now start adding your hot water at 200ºF – 208ºF.

Fill with water until you reach your desired taste. For 20 grams of grounds, you need to reach the level two marking of the Aeropress with water.

Press the plunger slowly and enjoy your espresso.

The great thing about these alternative methods is that they retain all the goodness and health benefits you can enjoy from drinking coffee.

Additional Tips

Knowing how to make espresso shots takes time. There are best practices that may seem simple but go a long way. Here are some of them:

  • Never forget to pre-heat your equipment
  • Try using bottled distilled water
  • If the espresso doesn’t suit your taste, change the grind size
  • If the coffee is sour grind finer, if it’s bitter grind coarser
  • Grind your beans only when you’re about to make espresso shots
  • Use the right espresso cup size

These simple tips will help improve the taste and quality of your espresso shots.

Now You Know How to Make Espresso Shots

Learning how to make espresso shots at home is one of the best skills you can learn as a coffee drinker. It will save you a lot of money without compromising taste and quality.

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