How To Make Espresso Without A Machine [5 Unique Ways]

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5 Ways How To Make Espresso

Here are 5 different brewing methods on how to make espresso without a machine.

You don’t need an espresso machine to learn how to make espresso and I am here to prove that to you.

Many people spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy machine just to make an espresso. There are many ways how to make espresso without a machine, you just have to be creative.

In this article, I will show you how to make espresso with a moka pot, drip machine, aeropress, french press, and a lever press.

Before you read ahead, these methods do need you to have a fine to medium-fine coffee grounds mix. If not, then make sure to use a burr grinder for dark roast coffee beans

You can purchase these espresso beans from Amazon or usually at any coffee shop.

Why Make Espresso Without A Machine?

What is Espresso?

If you need an energy boost or want to enjoy the flavors of your coffee grounds, then a shot of espresso is perfect for you!

Espresso is simply a strong black coffee made by fusing hot water with finely ground coffee, traditionally used with an espresso machine. The difference between regular coffee and espresso is the coffee to water ratio.

Espresso usually has a much higher coffee ratio compared to regular coffee. Thus, an espresso is way stronger than a regular cup of coffee. Generally, an espresso is served as a shot of coffee in a tot-sized cup.

Before learning how to make espresso, make sure to check out the 11 benefits of having an espresso:

Benefits of Espresso

Learning how to make espresso will not only help improve your skills but has great benefits when consumed.

1. Low in calories: According to nurtionix, 1 ounce of espresso is approximately 2.7 calories. Espresso being low in calories is great because it means you get to experience the benefits without gaining weight. An espresso is therefore a great energy substitute for any energy drink that is high in calories.

2. Improves Long Term Memory: Espresso has higher caffeine on average compared to a regular cup of coffee. Since caffeine is a cognitive enhancer, it will have positive effects on your brain’s memory consolidation.

A study showed that drinking exactly 2 shots of espresso had vast improvements in memory consolidation. When having one espresso shot before studying for an exam and one shot before an exam. I don’t recommend having more than 2 shots of espresso. Consuming more than that can cause headaches and jitteriness.

3. Boosts Your Energy: Studies show that drinking a cup of black coffee or an espresso shot can improve physical performance by up to 12%. Caffeine is known to improve your efficiency when performing as well as increasing your adrenaline. Espressos are a great way to let you get that second wind!

4. Decreases the Chance of Diabetes: A study showed that drinking more than one cup of coffee a day reduced the risks of getting type 2 diabetes by 11%. The great thing about espresso is its high caffeine content that does this. Many people also drink sugary drinks to catch a wake up while espresso shots have similar effects but without the sugar.

5. Helps With Digestion: Espressos have inflammatory properties which aid in the prevention of indigestion. So if you’re ever having a hard time, make sure to have an espresso!

6. Great for Weight Loss: There are many things that espresso can do for weight loss. Firstly, it helps kill your appetite which may help lead you to eat fewer calories. One study found that caffeine can make your workouts less exhausting by more than 5%. Another benefit of weight loss is that it helps you burn fat. This works by boosting your metabolism as caffeine is great for breaking down body fat.

7. Rich In Antioxidants:

A shot of espresso helps to fight and protect your body against free radicals. Espresso contains antioxidants such as polyphenols which prevent any diseases. Espressos also contain cafestol that acts as an anti-inflammatory.

8. Improves Alertness and Concentration: Consuming 2-3 espresso shots a day will help improve your alertness and concentration. Caffeine does this by traveling to the brain receptors and increases your dopamine attention. Make sure not to have too many espresso shots as this will cause fatigue, jitteriness, and headaches.

9. Helps With Depression: Having an espresso every morning can increase motivation, clear cloudy moods, and fight depression. A study found that as more people consume caffeine, the risks of depression were reduced. Depression can be caused by inflammation in the brain. Since caffeine has inflammatory properties, it may help with these symptoms.

10. Reduced Risk of Cancers: According to research, it found that men who drank at least 3 cups of coffee per day had a reduced risk of prostate cancer by over 50%. Other research has found that consuming caffeine on a daily basis has shown to reduce the chances of liver cancer. Caffeine can also help prevent the chances of developing common skin cancers.

11. Reduce Risk of Stroke: Drinking 2-3 shots of espresso can also help reduce risks of strokes by up to 25%. Whether these studies are true, caffeine has been shown to be very healthy for one’s heart health. Although espresso can reduce the risk of stroke, make sure not to consume too much caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can increase blood pressure which you should avoid.

Remember, you don’t need to buy the most expensive coffee gear to learn how to make espresso. Keep reading below to find out how to make espresso with your coffee maker:

How To Make Espresso With A Moka Pot

How To Make Espresso With Moka Pot


  • Moka Pot
  • Cold Filtered Water
  • Stovetop
  • Dark Roast Coffee Beans
  • Burr Grinder


  1. Finely grind the coffee beans if you are not using pre ground coffee.
  2. Fill the bottom chamber of the moka pot with 3 and a half ounces of cold filtered water.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of coffee into the strainer.
  4. Place the strainer on top of the bottom chamber of the moka pot.
  5. Clean off the excess coffee grounds from the edge of the strainer. This will prevent any leftover coffee grounds from falling into the espresso.
  6. Screw the empty top chamber to the bottom chamber and make sure that it is a tight fit.
  7. Place the moka pot onto a stovetop, heating it up gradually (medium heat).
  8. Wait until you hear the bubbling noise. This indicates that the water is moving from the funnel into the upper chamber of the moka pot.
  9. Look for foam oozing from the funnel by lifting the moka pot lid up with a spoon. Only do this when the bubbling noise has stopped so that you don’t have hot brew spilling out of the top chamber
  10. When foam comes out of the funnel nozzle of the moka pot, the espresso is finally made.
  11. Pour the espresso into an espresso cup (or any other cup) and enjoy!


  • Be sure not to overfill the valve when filling up the bottom chamber of the moka pot with water.
  • Ensure the coffee is fine as a coarse grind will lack the rich espresso flavors produced.
  • If you have a gas stove, make sure the flames do not disperse around the sides of the moka pot.
  • Be cautious when lifting the lid of the moka pot as you may burn yourself from the steam.

How To Make Espresso With A Drip Machine

How To Make Espresso With Drip Machine


  • Drip Machine
  • Dark Roast Coffee Beans (preferably finely ground coffee)
  • Warm Water
  • A Thermometer (optional)
  • Grinder


  1. Run some water through the drip machine to heat it up and discard the water afterward.
  2. While the water heats up, grind coffee to a fine texture if you don’t have a mix already.
  3. Place a heaped tablespoon of the coffee grounds into the filter of the drip machine.
  4. Press the grounds down to increase the pressure for brewing.
  5. Add 2 ounces of warm water into the water container of the drip machine.
  6. Begin brewing by pressing the “Brew” function on the drip machine. Use the “Concentrate Brew” option if you have it.
  7. Once finished brewing, you can enjoy your shot of espresso!


  • Adjust the quantity of water used. The ideal amount is approximately 2 ounces of filtered water per tablespoon of coffee.
  • Ensure that the grind is not coarse, nor too fine as this may weaken the strength of the rich flavors.
  • If the coffee grounds are too coarse, then water will filter through the grinds too quickly. If the coffee grounds are too fine, then the brewing process will take too long leading to a bitter taste.
  • Adjust the water temperature. The ideal water temperature should be between 195 to 205 ℉, according to the NCA. The reason for this temperature is so that the drip machine can heat up the brewing process more.
  • Brew for less time: Due to less water used, it will result in a shorter brewing time. This makes it possible for the coffee ground to fuse with the water, creating the ideal espresso.

How To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

How To Make Espresso With Aeropress


  • An Aeropress
  • Dark Roast Coffee Beans (preferably finely ground coffee)
  • Burr Grinder
  • A Thermometer
  • Kettle
  • Cold water
  • Pre-warmed mug


  1. Begin by heating up 2 ounces of water to 200℉ or boil a pot of water for about 30 seconds.
  2. Place the Aeropress plunger halfway inside the chamber. 
  3. Rinse the Aeropress paper filter and position it onto the filter cap.
  4. Place the Aeropress on top of a warmed cup or container.
  5. Grind the espresso beans into a fine to medium-fine texture.
  6. Place 2 tablespoons of the ground coffee into the Aeropress.
  7. Slowly add in the hot water, mixing it with the coffee beans for about 15 seconds.
  8. Press down on the Aeropress plunger fast and hard until you fill the cup of espresso.
  9. Then enjoy your perfect cup of espresso!


  • Ensure that the cup placed under the Aeropress is stable. This will prevent the cup from falling over and messing everywhere. This is way safer than trying to plunge it straight into your espresso cup.
  • Make sure that you press down on the Aeropress hard and fast. This creates the pressure that a true espresso needs

How To Make Espresso With A French Press

How To Make Espresso With French Press
French Press Coffee Maker


  • A French Press
  • Dark Roast Coffee Beans (finely ground coffee)
  • A Burr Grinder
  • Water
  • A Kettle (or stovetop)
  • A Thermometer


  1. Boil the water to a medium heat in a kettle or stovetop. You will need a cup of water to 2 tablespoons of coffee when using a French Press.
  2. While the water heats up, grind the espresso beans into a fine to a medium-fine texture.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons into the bottom of the French press cylinder.
  4. Use the thermometer to read the temperature of the water until it reaches 200℉.
  5. Place a little bit of hot water onto the grounds so that it can bloom its rich flavors. This process is called “Blooming”.
  6. Wait for 30 seconds while the coffee mix fuses with the water in the French Press.
  7. Pour the rest of the hot water into the French press and stir
  8. Put the lid onto the container with the plunger on top.
  9. Wait for 1 to 2 minutes for the coffee to brew to produce a stronger taste.
  10. Press the plunger of the French Press down slowly but surely until it reaches halfway.
  11. Once halfway, hold the lid in place, pull the plunger up, and press down again.
  12. You are now ready to enjoy your espresso with your French Press!

How To Make Espresso With A Lever Press

How To Make Espresso With Lever Press


  • Dark Roast Coffee Beans (preferably finely ground coffee)
  • Grinder
  • Lever press machine with a portafilter
  • Tamp
  • Cold filtered water
  • Pre-warmed mug


  1. Fill the tank with water and turn it on to make steam. Check your pressure gauge to around 1 bar While the Lever press warms up, grind the espresso beans into a fine to a medium-fine texture.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of coffee into the portafilter, then press down the tamp for about 30 seconds.
  3. Lock and position the portafilter into the Lever press, then place an espresso cup below the portafilter catching both streams.
  4. Pull the espresso by pushing slowly down on the lever until the espresso cup is filled.
  5. Then enjoy your perfect cup of espresso!

The Verdict

Learning how to make espresso without a machine may not be considered “true espresso”, however, it is as close as you’re gonna get to it. The pros to these methods is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on an espresso machine.

You’ve now learned how to make espresso with your personal coffee maker without the need of an espresso machine. So make sure to check out our guide on how to brew coffee in 4 easy ways!

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