Brewed Coffee Guide

4 Easy Ways on How to Make Espresso Like a Pro

Octorber 21, 2021 | Kurt Parker

An authentic coffee lover should know how to make espresso.

If you are thrilled to make that perfect shot, you’re in for a treat!

Our in-house espresso master prepared this guide and made it simple for you.

espresso beans

We will give you 4 complete and detailed methods on how to make espresso like a pro with or without a coffee machine.

You’ll learn:

  1. AeroPress Method
  2. Moka Pot Method
  3. French Press Method
  4. Espresso Method (with a machine)

Yo! Espresso!

Espresso, which originated in Italy, is a coffee-brewing technique that uses high pressure through perfectly fine ground coffee beans.

4 Easy Ways on How to Make Espresso

Let’s get started! Those freshly roasted coffee beans must be waving now.

Be like a pro and enjoy your self-made espresso coffee by following any of these methods.

#1 AeroPress Method

The AeroPress espresso-style coffee is done by pressure. Even if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still achieve a perfect dark roast coffee.

Things you need:

  1. AeroPress
  2. Fresh coffee grounds
  3. Tablespoon
  4. Grinder


Aero Press

Steps in AeroPress Method

  1. Inside the drain cap of your AeroPress, put a coffee filter to control the water flow as you press it. Gently rinse the filter then it and the drain cap inside the section of the AeroPress. Get a mug or a cup then put the press on top of it.
  2. For intense flavor, grind 2 tablespoons of coffee beans. For a tasty espresso, make sure to grind it like table salt texture. Pour it into the filter. If you want a more intense coffee, just add more ground beans into the mixture.
  3. Fill your cup with 30mL water boiled to 194 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir, and press hard. Then that’s it! Enjoy your brewed coffee without an espresso maker.

#2 Moka Pot Method

Get that Moka pot from your cabinet. Who would have thought that by using that cute little Moka pot, you can make real top-quality espresso?

Things you need:

  1. Moka pot
  2. Coffee beans
  3. Tablespoon

Moka Pot

Steps in Moka Pot Method

  1. Put 30mL water in the Moka pot.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of high-quality coffee grounds to the filter basket. Place the Moka pot on your burner and set to medium heat.
  3. Wait for the Moka pot to whistle. Finally, you have a brew delicious espresso! Enjoy your Moka pot espresso.

#3 French Press Method

If you don’t have AeroPress or Moka pot, you can brew espresso without a coffee maker. French Press is one of the most common and simplest ways to make espresso like a pro.

Things you need:

  1. French press
  2. Coffee beans
  3. Tablespoon
  4. Kettle

french press

Steps in French Press Method

  1. For this method, you need 2 to 3 tablespoons of coffee beans. Grind the espresso beans.
  2. Heat 30 to 40mL water using your kettle at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Put the ground espresso beans into the French press.
  4. Pour out the French press with medium heat water. Let it soak and enjoy the aroma for 30 seconds.
  5. Close it with the French press lid. Wait for the coffee to filter for 4 minutes.
  6. Using the right amount of pressure, press it down halfway. Do it twice.

#4 Espresso Method (with a machine)

If you are an extreme espresso lover, make sure to purchase an espresso machine.

Take your brewed coffee to the next level. There’s no need to go to your fave coffee shop. Just follow these steps for a flavorful cup of coffee.

Things you need:

  1. Espresso machine
  2. Coffee grounds
  3. Water

espresso machine

Steps in Espresso (with a machine)

  1. Turn on the espresso machine and heat up for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Add water into the tank. Double-check if the portafilter is in the machine. In brewing espresso using this machine, put a shot glass in the blank space.
  2. Get the machine tank and fill it with 30mL water. Heat the water from about 194 to 203 in Fahrenheit.
  3. Take out the portafilter and place it on the scale. Remember to be very careful in this step since the portafilter is hot.
  4. Next, add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of coffee grounds to the cup for a single shot. For those who want a double shot, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds in the portafilter in this brewing method.
  5. Pack the espresso grounds in the portafilter. Tamp it to assure that the water will evenly pass through.
  6. Put the portafilter in the brew head. For a few seconds, turn the brew head on the espresso machine.
  7. Pull the espresso coffee. To start the shot, turn on your espresso machine then put your shot glass under. Turn on the timer. Achieve your drip coffee in just some seconds.
  8. Serve it to yourself or for the people you love. Finish it in less than two minutes.

Brewing espresso using espresso makers is way easier than the traditional. There is no need to exert that high pressure. It’s like having an instant coffee, instant happiness.

Basic Principles of Espresso

The art of making espresso lies in following the basic rules. You don’t have to enroll in an Italian F&B (Food and Beverage) class just to make a perfect espresso shot.

Take note of these principles and you’ll never go wrong in making espresso with or without a machine.

  • Rule #1: Fresh espresso grounds must be consumed within one day.
  • Rule #2: For the water being used, make sure that it is brought to at least 90 up to 95 degrees Celsius, or 194 to 203 in Fahrenheit.
  • Rule #3: The standard time of brewing for a 30mL cup of espresso should be within 25 to 30 seconds.
  • Rule #4: The espresso shot should be finished within 2 minutes after the preparation. Drink your strong coffee with your favorite cup, with your favorite view, with your favorite person or pet.

a person drinking coffee

What Makes a Good Espresso Machine

Investment for something you love – especially for coffee – is totally fine!

If it is something that can make you happy, it’s worth buying. But make sure that you’ll get nothing but the best.

There are things you need to know before purchasing that espresso maker. Take this guide with you.

  1. The quality of a perfect shot espresso.
  2. The time used in preparing the coffee.
  3. Other drinks you’re planning to prepare using the coffee maker.
  4. Your other personal preferences.

espresso coffee

Facts about Espresso

According to a survey, a whopping 49.8% of people make their coffee at home, which may have a low number of espresso drinks. On this survey, only 2.7% of people say espresso is their favorite. Surprising isn’t it?

COFFEE vs. ESPRESSO (Coffee Beans vs. Espresso Beans)

There is a long list of the difference between coffee and espresso. First on the list, the 8 ounces standard of serving a coffee to an only ounce of espresso since it is thick and concentrated.

coffee beans

Coffee is less intense while espresso is bolder. A shot of espresso is likely to boast a bolder flavor than a mug of drip-brew. This is probably because it’s not made with a filter, so none of the flavor-filled oils are lost.

But why do people choose coffee over espresso? This also goes a lot of answers but one of the separating factors is the brewing process.

In this method, espresso releases an aromatic kick, complex and strong caffeine shot. It is because the ground coffee beans are being pressurized by the espresso machine plus the heat coming through the near-boiling water.

Planning to Open up a Coffee Shop?

You can never go wrong with a coffee business. With a great espresso on the menu, it’ll surely be a hit.

Do you have any plans to open up a coffee shop but have no idea where to get the best beans?

Tips to Get the Best Coffee Beans for Espresso

Around the globe, there are trusted brands for best espresso beans. Here are the top-recommended coffee grounds:

  1. Stumpdown Coffee Roaster
  2. Illy Classico
  3. Intelligentia Black Cast Espresso Blend
  4. Lavazza Espresso Italiano: The Best Espresso Beans
  5. Lavazza: Best Coffee beans for super-automatic espresso machines
  6. Trade Coffee Subscription for Espresso

How to Perfectly Grind Coffee Beans for Espresso

The best true espresso grind needs to be in fine consistency. Crushing them with a knife or mortar might not help you.

The secret, use a burr grinder.

burr grinder

5 Simple Steps in Using a Burr Grinder for Espresso

Get that burr grinder and let’s start making the ideal coffee beans for espresso.

  1. First, make sure that you are using dark roast coffee beans.
  2. Then, set your burr grinder.
  3. Put your coffee beans in the hopper. For beginners, add a small amount first to avoid wasting.
  4. Next, bump the hopper and move the setting.
  5. Turn your burr grinder on. You can see your ground coffee at the bottom area.

There you have it! Your fine grounds are now ready to add intense flavor compounds for your perfect espresso shot.

How to Make an Extra Special Espresso? (Perfect for Business)

Are you a coffee lover and a business-minded person at the same time? If you already know how to make espresso, go beyond the extra mile – create a highly concentrated coffee drink your co-coffee lovers will surely buy.

Here are the steps how to make espresso perfect for business:

Pounding your beans

This for us is the most important one since your beans of choice will always dictate the taste and aroma of your espresso. As a suggestion, using dark roast coffee beans and a quality grinder is a good combination.

espresso beans

Your grounds should be powdery and fine, so go ahead and use the finest setting on your grinder. Invest in studying this part because the right coffee beans can either make or break your coffee brand.

Extra: After grinding, measuring should be considered as well. Grind enough beans to make one or two espresso shots. Between 6 and 8 grams of coffee grounds is required for an average single espresso shot.

Although in a way, this can be adjusted up or down. And for a double shot, you need about 15 grams. You can weigh your grounds on a kitchen scale if you want accurate measurements.

Tamp down your shot

In this process, you will need a portafilter. It is a holder for ground coffee that is connected to the espresso machine. The moment that you already have a good number of ground coffee in your portafilter, distribute the grounds evenly with a finger. (AND YOU KNOW THIS: WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST).

Place the portafilter on the countertop or other flat surface, and then use the tamper to tamp down on the grounds. You’ll then have a compact disk of espresso in the portafilter.


Pull your shot

You have to place the portafilter in the espresso machine and press the button to pull the shot. Most home espresso machines have an automatic option for this.

Please take in mind what makes espresso an amazing coffee is all about that high pressure.

A well-pulled espresso shot will last around 25 to 30 seconds and have a deep espresso flavor with a nice foamy crema. You want this, we know.

foamy espresso

Create your own branding

Well this last step is not really necessary but we like to make everything extra, right? If you want to make a latte or other drink with milk, you’ll then need to steam your milk.

Milk always adds flavor and aroma. If not, enjoy your espresso as is!

EXTRA: Make sure to clean and dry the portafilter, as well as rid and wipe down the milk frothing wand, when you’re done.

coffee shop

To Sum it Up

We proved that making an espresso without a machine is possible, right? It’s all about maximizing what you have.

You have to master the basic principles of how to make espresso. It’ll bring you further and can enjoy your favorite coffee whenever and wherever you are.

If you have an extra budget, purchasing an espresso machine is a good idea. But if you are just a beginner try this budget-friendly espresso machine.

Continue to Invest time and energy in studying on making your coffee. We have tons of coffee guides for you.

Enjoy your espresso!