How to make Espresso at home, coffeelifious thumbnail

How to Make Espresso at Home

Here’s how you make espresso at home:

  1. Turn on your espresso machine and let it warm up.
  2. Place your portafilter on the scale and zero out the weight.
  3. Grind the coffee into the portafilter until you reach your desired weight, 9-10g for 1 shot.
  4. Even out the bed of coffee in your portafilter (e.g. with your index finger).
  5. Use your tamper to press down on the coffee grounds with a lot of pressure.
  6. Pull the shot.

Making espresso at home is not as hard as you might think.

In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about making espresso at home, including how to make espresso at home without a machine.

We’ll cover topics such as choosing the right equipment, grinding the beans, and brewing the perfect cup.

So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced barista, read on for some essential tips on how to make espresso at home!

How to make Espresso at home, manual grinder (1)

What You’ll Need to Make Espresso at Home

  • An espresso maker
  • Coffee beans
  • A coffee grinder
  • A tamper (optional)
  • Milk (optional)
  • Aeropress (if you don’t have a machine)
  • Stove (if you don’t have a machine)
  • French press (if you don’t have a machine)

The Basics of Making Espresso

These are the 3 important basics of making delicious espresso:

1. The Espresso Machine

If you want to make espresso at home, you’ll need an espresso machine for the best results.

Machines come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs. For example, if you’re only making espresso for yourself, then a small machine will work well.

But if you’re making espresso for a lot of people, then you’ll need a larger machine.

2. Grinding the Beans

The next step is to grind the beans.

Espresso is made with coffee beans that have been ground very finely. You can use a regular coffee grinder to do this, but it is better to get a dedicated espresso grinder.

This will make sure that the beans are ground evenly, which is essential for making a good cup of espresso.

3. Brewing

Once the beans are ground, it’s time to brew!

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through the grinds quickly.

This process extracts all of the flavors and aromas from the beans, resulting in a strong, flavorful cup of coffee.

How to make Espresso at home, a cup of espresso

Delicious At-Home Espresso Recipes Using a Machine

A good espresso is all about good chemistry.

The pressure of water, the quality of beans, the machine you use, the temperature you maintain, everything is critical when trying to get that kick from your espresso shot. Without further wait, let’s see how you can prepare a basic shot of espresso.

1. Ristretto – the Basic Espresso Recipe

Hold on. Let’s break it to you right here. If you’ve seen those tiny, mysterious shots of black coffee being served with a glass of water and wondered what it is, your suspense ends here. It’s called a Ristretto, which is just a fancier, professional word for espresso.

While espresso is used as a base for many coffee recipes, the Ristretto denotes espresso as a complete recipe itself. The water is provided to make the Ristretto more drinkable.

Now that you’re in on the secret, here’s the recipe:

  • Time needed: Two minutes.
  • Level: Easy.
  • Ingredients: Ground coffee and water.
  • Serving: One ounce.


Step 1

Pick the ideal dose you’re willing to try. Mostly baristas go anywhere between 7 and 14 grams of coffee to yield a perfect one-ounce shot of espresso. The lighter your roast, the more ground coffee you might want.

Step 2

Warm water between 190°F to 200°F.

Step 3 

Using your espresso machine, project the water jet on a pressure of nine bars (nine atmospheres) for not more than ten seconds.

Step 4

Pull the shot of espresso, which should, ideally, not be more than 30 ml (one ounce) in weight. The size of the shot pulled is usually twice the dose you use. So, with a seven-gram dose, you may get an espresso shot weighing around 14 grams.

Step 5 

Pour into a cup and start drinking. However, the crema on top and the heart below the crema is pretty intense and flavorful, so you may not be able to down it all in one gulp. Take small, mindful sips to give your taste buds a lasting memory.

This is the simplest and closest to the original recipe for preparing one shot of espresso.

However, coffee art has come a long way, and there are all kinds of variations you can go for with this basic recipe. In fact, espresso shots serve as the base for several complex coffee drinks. If you’re trying to advance your coffee taste, here are some complex espresso recipes for you to try out.

2. Espresso Macchiato

The espresso is a simple, two-ingredient shot, while we develop macchiato from this step by adding milk to the mix. An espresso macchiato is made for those who can’t tolerate the unsweetened, raw, intense flavor of the espresso shot. If you’re trying to keep it sugar-free, a dash of milk is the way to go!

  • Time needed: Four minutes.
  • Level: Easy.
  • Ingredients: Ground coffee, water, milk, or milk foam (hot or cold).


Step 1

Set up your espresso machine to prepare the espresso shot. Boil water up to 190°F or 200°F.

Step 2 

Simultaneously, froth your milk using a frothing machine. If you want to use plain milk instead, you can skip this step.

Step 3 

Take the heated water and project it through the ground coffee. Try to get a darker, bold flavor of coffee grounds because the milk here will affect the taste and may not do well with lighter roasts.

Step 4 

As soon as you pull the espresso shot, add an equal-sized shot of milk or milk foam to the crema and voila! Your drink is ready.

However, there are three things you need to know here.

  • First, do not take too long to add your milk ingredient since the espresso may not be suitable for additives if you let it sit alone.
  • Second, use real milk instead of a milk powder base. The latter won’t serve the purpose of adding a mild flavor to the coffee. Rather, it might form lumps inside the coffee.
  • And third, do not mix your macchiato! That will ruin the whole drink. Espresso and the milk are meant to be sipped separately, so you get to experience the bold, rich flavor of the dark liquid and contrast it with the airy, sweet feel of milk or milk foam.

3. Flat White Espresso

In another recipe that involves the swirling, mixing, and folding of Delicious milk froth with a dark and heavenly espresso shot, let’s attempt to create the flat white espresso.

This is another recipe that is prepared to provide a milder taste for those with a sweet tooth and intolerance for simpler coffees. Though the method followed here is similar to the previous one, it’s difficult to get it right in the first couple of attempts. Let’s take a look:

  • Time needed: 8-10 minutes.
  • Level: Moderate.
  • Serving: Single cup.
  • Ingredients: Coffee grounds, water, milk, and milk foam.


Step 1

Gather your espresso shot ingredients. Like the previous recipes, heat the water up to 200°F.

Step 2

While the water is heating, prepare your milk froth using a frothing wand. Make sure you achieve a velvety texture before you stop the whirring in your milk pitcher. To get a thick consistency, stir the milky vortex with a spoon so that there is no air left in the middle layers, and you get a rich, stable microfoam.

When you detach your frothing attachment, your froth will have three layers: a bottom layer of liquid milk, a middle layer made up of tiny microbubbles, which are the silkiest part, and a top layer which is made up of stiff foam. This texture is important to make the most unforgettable flat white espresso of your life!

Step 3

Pull your shot and start adding the frothed milk to it. When you tilt the pitcher, your bottom layer will immediately leak out and pour into the espresso. As this one settles in, the other two layers will follow and settle on top, which you can use to try a bit of latte art on top of your cup.

Step 4

Drink and enjoy!

4. Americano

Americano is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the US and is a classic that no contemporary variation can beat.

An Americano is similar to the Ristretto, especially because it also uses water besides required for the main shot of espresso. This complements the richness of espresso with a milder undertaste, making it easily drinkable for those who like their coffee raw but not that intense.

Here’s how you prep a shot of Americano.

  • Time: 2-3 minutes.
  • Level: Easy.
  • Serving: Single shot.
  • Ingredients: Ground coffee and water.


Step 1

Take your pre-ground coffee or prepare some using coffee beans. Heat up the water up to 190°F or 200°F.

Step 2 

Take some of the water, force it through the ground coffee, preparing your espresso shot.

Step 3

Pull the shot. Pour the remaining water at the bottom of the mug you’ll use to drink. Pour the espresso shot over the water base.

Step 4 

Americano is ready. Enjoy the drink!

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How To Make Espresso at Home Without a Machine

Many of us want that morning freshness that comes from a caffeinated shot of hot coffee but we still don’t want to spend a lot on those fancy espresso machines.

While coffee machines are often too pricey, getting a cup of espresso from your local coffee shop every day isn’t a permanent fix, either.

Here are 3 delicious ways to make your own espresso at home without using a coffee machine:

1. Using an Aeropress

An Aeropress is a low-budget, manual coffee maker which is fit for habitual drinkers and reluctant spenders. The Aeropress is a rendition of high-end, automatic coffeemakers, and its result is loved by many coffee artisans. To make an Aeropress coffee, follow these steps.

Step 1

Prepare your coffee ground and set the proportions you want in your coffee.

Step 2

Set up the brewer, and filter the bottom coffee filter to the base of the press. Pour some water through to the brewer and get it heated to clear away any residue from the filter.

Step 3

Rinse away the water, fix the bottom basket, and pour in your grounds. Top with another filter.

Step 4 

Place the piston and bring it down once right till the bottom. At this point, your coffee grounds resemble a puck.

Step 5

Pour in preheated water (200°F) up to a level you desire, and plunge down completely once more. This way, you’ll pressurize the water through the coffee grounds, delivering espresso brew at the bottom. And that’s it. Your coffee is ready!

2. On the Stove

For an even simpler espresso recipe, let’s see how we can use a stovetop. For this purpose, you’ll need a Moka Pot. If you already own one, you probably don’t know what it is, either.

A Moka Pot is a steel pot with three chambers. The bottom chamber contains space for heated water. The middle chamber contains coffee grounds, and the top one gathers a brewed espresso. Here’s how to make espresso over a fire stove.

Step 1

Preheat water to 200°F. Whether you heat it separately or in the Moka Pot, make sure the water inside the pot isn’t more than half, or else the pot may explode.

Step 2 

Pour in ground coffee and even it loosely in the filter basket.

Step 3 

Screw on the topmost chamber, but try not to tighten it too much — allow some space for vapors and airflow.

Step 4 

Start the brewing process. Keep the heat at medium and evaluate any increase and decrease based on the coffee color and volume you’re accumulating in the top chamber.

Step 5 

Once the coffee is made, pour it into your cups and relish your work!

3. Using a French Press

This good old glass vessel is one of the most popular ways of getting a flavorful cup of rich espresso even without a machine. Here’s how you can use it:

Step 1

Preheat some water and swirl it in your French press vessel to prepare it for the coffee brew.

Step 2 

Pour in more hot water (200°F) and then add coffee grounds. Ensure the grounds you use for this method are coarse and uneven since that’s what yields the best results with a French press espresso.

Step 3 

Let the grounds immerse for around five minutes. Afterward, plunge the piston deep down until you get the desired aroma and strength.

Step 4

Pour yourself a cup and enjoy!

How to make Espresso at home, the perfect cup of espresso

How to Get the Perfect Cup of Espresso

Here are some pro tips on getting the best cup of espresso each time:

Use Freshly Ground Beans

The key to making great espresso is to use freshly ground beans.

We recommend using a medium-coarse grind for the best results. If you’re not sure how to grind the beans, consult your espresso maker’s manual or watch a tutorial online.

Use the Right Coffee-to-Water Ratio

Now that you have your espresso machine and beans ready, it’s time to start brewing!

The key to making great espresso is the right ratio of coffee to water.

We recommend using about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. Once you have the perfect ratio, it’s time to brew under high pressure.

Start with Lower Pressure

If you are new to making espresso, start with lower pressure.

This will help you avoid over-extracting the coffee and making it taste bitter.

Once you have found the perfect pressure, it is time to brew! Depending on your espresso maker, this process can take anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes.

Once the espresso is done brewing, it’s time to enjoy it!


Making espresso at home is a great way to save money and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.

With the right equipment and some practice, you can make espresso that tastes just as good as the coffee from your favorite café.

We hope this blog post has given you everything you need to get started on your home espresso journey!

Now, how do you make your espresso at home – with or without using a machine?

Let us know by dropping your answer below.



Last update on 2023-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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