How to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine



For those who love good coffee, espresso is an indulgent luxury. It generally requires a high-priced maker or a visit to a coffee shop.

How to make espresso without an espresso machine?

What if you can’t take advantage of these possibilities? With a bit of originality and using an older-style coffee machine (which you likely have around), you can get something that tastes just like espresso. In case you can’t afford the expensive ones, here are four methods for making espresso without an espresso machine.

What’s an espresso?

Most coffee shops serve espresso, but surprisingly, it doesn’t have a universal definition. It is easier to reach a consensus about what espresso is not. Nevertheless, no one disputes these basic principles.

Espresso is a coffee beverage with high concentrations consisting only of coffee and water. It’s generally made in a maker that uses increased pressure to push hot water over a short period through a narrowly packed container of finely ground coffee.

The resulting drink has a spumy surface layer called the crema, which with different brewing methods, is challenging to obtain.

The details, such as exact pressure, water temperature, and grams of coffee, are different between devices, baristas, and meanings. Most of them agree that an espresso brewing force requires a specialized machine with a minimum pressure of 9 bar (130 psi).

According to different sources, it has an intense taste because of coffee and a solid coffee-to-water ratio.

Are you following me? So, if you can push a small amount of hot water through a large amount of coffee in a short amount of time, you can make a coffee that is similar to espresso. Without any further delay, here are a few quick tricks.

Making Espresso With A Moka Pot / Stovetop

Even though it does not render genuine espresso, the Moka pot is sometimes referred to as a stovetop maker. Water is pushed through the coffee powder under high pressure in a machine, culminating in the coffee we know.

moka pot
Moka pot

The resulting stovetop beverage is intense and flavorful, similar to espresso, but excludes the typical crema when served. You can get a lovely golden layer on top of the pot if you use the beans, ground just before making the coffee, but it doesn’t move to the cup.

On the other hand, a Moka pot is an easy and economical way to make espresso-style coffee at home. Over-extraction and burnt-tasting coffee are the two main concerns with a Moka pot, but both can be prevented with a little care and practice.

Items needed

  • Espresso beans
  • Grinder
  • Moka pot
  • Cold filtered water
  • Warm cup


  • Finely grind the beans for espresso.
  • Fill the Moka pot’s lower chamber with cold filtered water.
  • Add ground beans into the filter basket, then screw on the water chamber top.
  • Place the pot on a heat source, i.e., a hot plate, stovetop burner, or campfire if you are backpacking, and allow it to boil.
  • Pay attention to the distinctive sound that allows you to identify the top chamber loaded with coffee. Immediately pour the liquid of the Moka pot into a mug.

Making Espresso With French Press

You’ve got a massive problem if all you have is a french press and you want an espresso. However, the French press is an immersion form of brewing that lacks the force required for espresso. But there is a way to make espresso that almost tastes authentic.

french press
French press

You can brew a single cup of espresso with a French press using this minor fix called double brewing.

Items needed

  • Espresso beans (or any dark roast coffee beans)
  • Burr grinder
  • French press coffee maker


  • Grind your beans for French press to a medium coarser grind.
  • Using your french press, brew your coffee as you ordinarily would.
  • Pour your coffee into a canister or jug through a filter or sieve.
  • Start brewing another french press coffee right away, but this time use the coffee you just made to brew instead of water. This is a two-step brewing process.

You won’t get any crema, but you will get a pretty potent, espresso-like coffee. To make a latte, cappuccino, or other beverage, froth your milk.

Making Espresso with An Aerobie AeroPress

The AeroPress, like an espresso maker, uses pressure to extract the most flavor from your coffee beans. The AeroPress, unlike an espresso machine, is inexpensive, lightweight, compact, and does not require electricity. It quickly gained popularity among travelers and campers. However, although an AeroPress makes excellent coffee, it cannot make espresso in the traditional sense. You’ll need to be inventive and use some muscle power.

aerobie aeropress
Aerobie AeroPress
  • Espresso beans
  • AeroPress with two filters
  • Coffee grinder
  • Kettle
  • Tamp
  • Coldwater
  • Pre-warmed mug


  • As usual, put a coffee filter in your AeroPress.
  • Coffee beans should be ground to a fine powder.
  • Add coffee and tamp it down.
  • On top of the tamped grounds, place another coffee filter.
  • Pour in some hot water and push with your muscle power.

Mind that for this to work, your espresso must be well tamped.

Making Espresso With A Lever Machine

Manual machines require a higher level of skill to be effective, are complex, and elegant in design. However, once you have mastered this skill, the resulting product is extraordinary.

Automated machines tend to have multiple advantages, but there are some excellent reasons to use a manual one instead. Manual devices allow you to personalize your espresso to every single detail. You can fine-tune any of these features to your tastes.

lever machine
Lever machine

Using a manual machine, you are more interested in the process of making coffee instead of simply pressing a button. The satisfaction of finally completing a task and being rewarded is equal to that of the best espresso, if not greater.

Items needed

  • Manual lever machine including portafilter
  • Grinder
  • Cold filtered water
  • Tamp
  • Espresso beans
  • Pre-warmed mug


  • Start machine and allow it to come to operating temperature.
  • In a burr grinder, grind the beans to a perfect grind.
  • Fill the portafilter halfway with coffee grounds and tamp down. Thirty pounds of pressure is suitable for pressing.
  • Place the portafilter in the unit and preheat the cup. Incrementally lift the lever. When you arrive at the peak, wait ten seconds before releasing the lever slowly. Approximately this should take around 20 seconds and 45 pounds of force.

Now you can have perfect espresso anytime, regardless of whether you own a fancy machine or not! The described alternatives include ways to enjoy it even when you don’t have an electric power source or electric pump.

Whether it is a lever machine in your little cottage, a Moka pot in the outdoors, or an AeroPress by the campfire, you should never be without quality espresso.

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