But let's face it - espresso is not always accessible. Getting one from a nearby coffee shop can be quite troublesome while owning an espresso machine will require you to shell out a lot of money.
Fortunately, there are more affordable alternatives that can help you create a decent cup without breaking the bank. In this article, we'll show you how to make espresso without a machine. You'll be surprised that there are three ways to do so, and they're quite easy to do. Read on to find out more about these alternative methods.
How is Espresso Made?
Before diving into each method, it’s important to know what espresso is first. Simply put, espresso is extra strong coffee that’s made through forcing highly pressurized hot water into finely ground coffee beans.
Because of its concentrated nature, espresso is preferred when creating coffee-based drinks because it adds a richer flavor compared to ordinarily-brewed coffee.
With that in mind, we can now discuss how to make espresso without a machine in three ways.
Use an AeroPress
One of the most common ways to make espresso without a machine is by using an AeroPress. All you need for this method are your coffee grounds, hot water, and your AeroPress.
The first thing you have to do when you’re making espresso with an AeroPress is to heat water. If you have a thermometer lying around, make sure that it reaches a temperature of about 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, count thirty seconds after turning off the heat once the water starts to boil.
With the hot water ready, you can now set up the AeroPress. To do so, simply put a filter onto the drain cap, which cap will also be placed onto the AeroPress. With that setup, mount the AeroPress on top of your cup or mug. As a precaution, make sure that your cup or mug can withstand the pressure being exerted onto it.
With the AeroPress securely mounted on your mug, you can now fill it with around two tablespoons of coffee ground. Then, slowly pour about half a cup of hot water into the AeroPress. Don’t hesitate to stir it if necessary to allow the water to seep into the coffee grounds. Wait for about thirty seconds to allow the water to sit into place.
After 30 seconds, you can now begin pressing down with the plunger to extract the espresso. And that’s it - you can now enjoy your nice cup of espresso.
Use a French Press
Another alternative that can make a decent cup of espresso is the French Press. This item works best with coarse-ground coffee beans, but it still produces a decent shot with fine-ground beans.
Scoop around two tablespoons of ground coffee beans into your French Press. Bear in mind that this is merely just the deal measurement to create a rich and flavorful shot. You can add more if you prefer a stronger espresso.
Next, pour in really hot water into your French Press. As previously stated, the ideal water temperature is around 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. But when you’re using the French Press to brew espresso, you can also use water that’s freshly boiled.
Also, make sure to pour it slowly and stir to allow it to settle with the coffee grounds. Repeat this process until you pour in around 8 ounces of hot water into it. Again, this amount of water is merely a basis to give you that rich cup. This may change depending on your preferences, or how many cups you plan to make.
Before pressing down with the plunger, wait for around 4 minutes to make sure that the coffee grounds are fully submerged in water. After 4 minutes, you can now begin pressing down to extract the espresso from the mix.
Since the ideal type of beans used for the French Press is coarse-ground, they're generally harder to press down. As a tip, experts advise that in case this happens, don't hesitate to lift the plunger for a bit before continuing to press down again. Repeat this process until you have fully extracted the espresso.
And with that, you already know two ways to make espresso without a machine. These two previous steps are among the easiest, while the third one involves a lot more work. Nevertheless, it similarly produces a great brew that you’ll surely enjoy.
Use a Moka Pot
The third method by which you can make espresso without a machine is with the help of a Moka Pot, otherwise known as the traditional coffee maker. Before espresso machines were invented, a lot of European households used this device to make their morning espresso.
Even if you would need a stove to brew with this pot, you can easily brew up to four shots with it, so it's convenient for families or groups of people who'll be drinking espresso at the same time.
The first step is to fill the Moka Pot with water. Most of these Moka Pots come with labels that tell you up to where you can fill it with water. Make sure to keep a close eye on that marker to keep the boiling water from spilling out, or to make a brew that’s too watery.
In most Moka Pots, the bottom chamber is where you put the water in.
Now, grab the tube part of the Moka Pot and fill the basket with espresso grinds. Also, make sure to fill it properly so that it provides you with the rich and strong flavour that espresso is known for.
Once you’ve stuffed the tube and basket with coffee grinds, you can now place it inside the bottom chamber. Once these parts are securely in place, you can now mount the top chamber and make sure that it’s properly sealed.
Now, you can put the pot on your stove and wait for it to boil under medium to high heat.
And finally, wait until you hear a bubbling noise before turning off the heat. When brewing with a Moka Pot, all the espresso will move into the top chamber, and the boiling sound will signify that the bottom chamber already ran out of water.
After you turn off the heat, you can now enjoy your steaming cup of espresso that can be shared with friends and loved ones.
And with these methods, you already know how to make espresso without a machine.