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How To Make Espresso Without An Espresso Machine | Top 3 Methods

Espresso is a great beverage indeed. Given that the craving for it might strike at any time, you definitely want to know how to make espresso without an espresso machine. This is to take care of emergency situations and those locations that are detached from the mainstream.

We have carried out in-depth research into the field. We are going to lay bare the research findings in the discussions that follow. We are going to start off by defining an espresso, examining what an espresso shot is and the top three methods which may yield you the espresso without using a machine at all.

For a start, espresso is a special kind of coffee flavor. It is manufactured by streaming a jet of pressurized steam through finely-ground coffee. This kind of coffee is smooth to taste, has a great aroma, and is very refreshing indeed.

What is an espresso shot?

An espresso shot refers to a serving of the espresso. A typical shot fills a small cup and measures 2 ounces, give or take. It is the standard against which all the subsequent quantities of espresso coffee servings are measured.

If you feel the process of making espresso without an espresso machine is going to waste your time then you can go with this list of espresso machines.

1. How To Make Espresso With A Moka Pot

On the whole, Moka pots produce espressos that are very strong. Your pot takes quite a long duration of time to brew your coffee. It nevertheless generates strong pressure that is well able to generate the awesome outcomes within the shortest duration of time.

how to make espresso with a moka pot

For a start, a Moka pot is an electric or stovetop coffee maker. It plays the role of brewing coffee by way of passing some boiling water that is pressurized by steam through finely-ground coffee. It is also called a Mocha pot and it closely resembles a small kettle or a big mug. It does have a small capacity, usually 1 mug and is thus only suited for individual use.

By generating strong pressure, your pot is potentially hazardous in nature. As such, you have to exercise great caution indeed while handling it lest you inflict harm to yourself.

how to make espresso with a moka pot

Tools and Materials Required

  • Moka Pot
  • Boiler
  • Mug
  • Screwdriver
  • Coffee Basket
  • Cleaner

Step-By-Step Procedures

Step i: Grind your coffee beans

You should grind your coffee beans as finer as possible. This is to enable the pressure that is generated by the lower chamber of your Moka pot to percolate through the water seamlessly. This results in espresso that is strong and well-extracted.

 Step ii: Fill the lower chamber of your Moka pot with water

You may choose to or not to pre-heat water before pouring the same in your Moka pot. The choice is entirely yours. While at it, take care that the water level does not exceed the valve that is located on the water chamber’s side. This is to prevent your pot from exploding in case there is a buildup of pressure.

Step iii: Fill your coffee basket with coffee grounds

Be sure not to overfill your coffee basket. Do not also attempt to push or level your coffee grounds. It is unlikely that the water will pass through them unhindered as is required. This, in turn, will bring about a very weak espresso.

Step iv: Screw your Moka pot together

Before attempting to do this, clean your coffee grounds that may hinder your pot from screwing correctly. This way, you will get to prevent your pot from being a hazard especially when there is a buildup of pressure.

Step v: Heat your Moka Pot on very mild heat

Boil the mixture some mild instead of excessive heat.

If you place your Moka pot on excess heat, the interior pressure shall arise to fast. This will make it impossible for your espresso to mature up. The pressure shall also blow off the sprout and let it spit the contents. You should thus prefer moderate heat.

It’s pretty simple to determine whether the heat is too little or too excess. If it is too little, the coffee will scarcely pass through the sprout. If it is to excess, on the other hand, the coffee shall flow very fast. This means you have to set the right temperature appropriately.

Step vi: Remove your Moka pot from heat

If you don’t want to get a bitter outcome, remove your pot from the stove just before your coffee rises and bubbles. As soon as the process of brewing has come to an end, pour your espresso. Do this into either a cup or several cups, depending on the overall size of your Moka pot.

Step vii: Clean your Moka Pot thoroughly

Use your hands only while cleaning your Moka pot. Your Moka pot is very delicate and prone to damages when cleaned using the dishwasher. There is also the likelihood of patina forming on the surface of your pot.

In closing, your Moka pot is by far the best appliance for making espresso. It generates a lot of pressure and is also inexpensive. This is not to mention that it lasts long courtesy of the stainless steel construction.

2. How To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

Aeropress closely resembles a French press. It is, however, more portable and quite new (it was only invented in 2005.) It also functions much like a French press by virtue of using the same principles.

For a start, an aerospace is a cylinder or a tube that comprises a filter at one end. To prepare coffee using it, you have to insert coffee grounds at the bottom, add hot water, and then push a plunger into it to generate pressure. In so doing, you also get to filter your coffee in the cup. 

how to make espresso with an aeropress

Tools and Materials Required

  • Aeropress
  • Plunger
  • Cup
  • Filter/Sieve
  • Boiler

Step-By-Step Procedures

Step i: Grind your coffee beans

Start off by grinding your coffee beans finely. Refrain from generating coarser grinds as this might not yield the awesome outcomes that are necessary. (Espresso is ordinarily very reliant on the size of the grinds irrespective of the appliance utilized).

how to make espresso with an aeropress

Step ii: Insert your grounds in the Aeropress

You will now proceed to insert your coffee grounds in the Aeropress. Before you embark on this exercise, you will first of all have to place a sieve in the lower cap. Be sure to wash the filter thoroughly before using it to removing any stuck debris.

Next, shake the tube slightly to even out your grounds. To prevent your coffee from sticking between the two filters, place an extra paper filter on the plunger’s lower end.

Step iii: Push down the plunger

Push the plunger gently and consistently. Once you have hit the bottom, retract it to the top and repeat the cycle a second time. Do this repeatedly till your coffee grounds resemble a hockey puck.

You require two filters; one on either side of the coffee grounds. This is necessary so as to make the grounds settle at the bottom of the Aeropress.

Step iv: Add hot water and then press again

For optimal results, the temperature of the water has to be around 100°C at all times. See to it that you maintain this temperature at all times. It is up to you to determine the strength of the brew.

The strength of the brew depends on the concentration of your coffee solution. By way of illustration, in case you have 20-21 grams of coffee grounds, your level of water ought to be at the “2” mark.

As soon as you have poured the right amounts of water, you should thereafter press the plunger slowly one more time. You will now obtain your coffee.

By using the Aeropress, your coffee need not necessarily steep. This means you will take a shorter duration of time to generate the needed outcomes.

3. How to Make Espresso with a French Press

French presses are generally cheaper than most other appliances. You can find one for only $30 or even less. The size of the press is what determines the actual cost.

On the whole, a French press is shaped more like a thermos flask. It has a piston in its central axis running through to the lid. It is hence more straightforward and efficient than most other appliances. Moreover, it only requires hot water and coffee grounds to generate the necessary brew.

Tools and Materials Required

  • French Press
  • Boiler
  • Filter/Sieve
  • Plunger
  • Mug

Step-By-Step Procedures

Step i: Grind your coffee beans

Unlike the two other appliances, your grounds which you are to utilize in this method have to be coarser. This is to ward off the possibilities of the end results getting muddy. It is also necessary to facilitate the actions of the pistons as they pass coffee through the sieve.

Step ii: Boil the Water

Boil some water hot enough to guarantee awesome tastes. The hot water will also aid in the extraction of your coffee. After hitting the boiling point, leave the water to cool for some 20-25 seconds.

Step iii: Pour your coffee grounds into your French Press

Now proceed to pour your coffee grounds into your French press. Follow this by pouring some hot water over them for some time. This shall give rise to some fantastic smells as your coffee assumes the appearance of a geyser. This appearance stems from the release of the essential oils and rich substances they have.

Step iv: Fill your French Press with the remaining water and then stir

Next, stir your coffee grounds thoroughly but gently. This is to let it mix well with the water. Do not hasten the process as this may interfere with the extraction process.

Step v: Let your coffee steep

To obtain the best ever results, you have the let your coffee to steep. To do this, leave your coffee untouched for exactly 4 minutes. While at it, take care not to press the plunger at all lest you compromise the taste and aroma.

Step vi: Press the piston or plunger

Press the plunger or piston in one motion. Do so very gently and steadily. You may encounter some resistance as the plunger goes downwards. To deal with the issue, pull it backward and then redo the plunging. Retract it fully as soon as you hit the rock bottom.

NB: As soon as you have finished brewing your coffee, pour it right away to avoid bitterness and sharp tastes.

Closing Remarks

As you may well have noted, it is indeed possible to make espresso coffee without necessarily possessing an espresso machine. The methods above are indeed simple, direct and to the point. Moreover, they may be accomplished in just about any place. For this reason, you will also enjoy the benefits of not being restricted geographically as is the case with using machines.

Learning how to make an espresso shot without a machine in and of itself is not enough. It pays to take the extra step to implement the lessons you have learned in real life. This is why we now challenge you t consider trying out one of the steps we have mentioned and discussed above. We wish you all the best in your pursuit.


Ignatius is the Editor of Best Coffee Hut, who considers himself as a coffee lover. He is passionate about learning the art of brewing amazing coffee since he has the most experience as a barista. He would love to help you to make a better cup of coffee every single time.

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