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Modern-age people are fine with the fact that caffeine makes their day, and they can’t deal with any job without it.
We love coffee, but the thing is, not all of us can afford an espresso machine. Plus, it requires intense knowledge to be good at dialing perfect espresso shots.
You can choose to reach a nearby coffee shop for a cup of joe. However, this everyday cup may cost you time waiting in a line and tons of money if you’re a coffee junkie.
Here's good news for you: You don’t need to invest in a fancy machine and learn the skills to master it.
Today, we’ll show you how to make espresso without a machine using three simple and easy-to-find gadgets:
- French press
- Moka pot
This post also digs into the secrets behind a delicious cup of coffee. So make sure you stick to it until the end!
Espresso - A Quick Overview
In 1884, a Turinese businessman, Angelo Moriondo, came up with the idea of an espresso machine. Ever since, coffee fanatics have had the chance to cherish the strong, deep, and delicious espresso brew.
We can say that the bold, thick taste distinguishes espresso shots from other regular types of coffee. If we make it right, espresso coffee would have a dark yet powerful feel to it.
A typical cup of espresso has a top with brown milk foam. People use the ground coffee beans’ oils to make this aerated foam. That’s the reason the ‘crema’ flavor becomes a beautiful signature of traditional espresso.
The caffeine amount in the average cup of coffee doesn’t go for that of espresso shots. A normal cup of espresso contains caffeine of about 80-200 mg, depending on what type of coffee bean you put in.
To make highly coveted espresso coffee, you need the standard espresso brewer. A machine can accommodate specific pressure and give out consistent shots easily.
Generally, good-quality espresso machines may cost you an arm and a leg.
Only severe coffee lovers who are knowledgeable about the art of dialing perfect shots and able to afford such luxury equipment will choose to make an investment.
Making perfect shots of espresso goodness is never a breeze. There’s a lot to keep in mind, including the grind, roast, pressure level, and boiling water temperature.
If your coffee tastes burnt or bitter, something must have gone wrong with your process.
The first factor to keep an eye on is the roast level that the coffee beans go through. If you desire robust shots, dark roasted beans are the way to go for maximum taste.
You should note down the two tips on brewing nice espresso coffee below:
● The longer the beans roast, the better the porosity.
● The finer the grounds, the deeper and more powerful the flavor.
Besides, it’s better to grind your coffee beans right before brewing.
After going through the roasting process, people will grind into an extremely fine powder.
This fine grind will slow down water penetration, increasing the necessary pressure to force the water to flow through the coffee filter and creating perfect espresso shots.
However, a too fine grind can block the filter and hurt the flavor, ruining your coffee enjoyment.
The tip is to take advantage of a burr coffee grinder to generate a more precise, finer grind at home.
Hand-grinding coffee beans to the finest consistency are technically possible. However, it may take you a pretty while and requires whopping stamina.
Espresso machines produce delicious coffee by forcing boiling water through finely-ground coffee using extreme pressure. The ideal pressure is nine times as intense as atmospheric pressure or twice the average truck tire’s pressure.
Mere manual tools can produce such a huge force without specific equipment. However, home espresso makers usually create fav espresso-style coffee by mimicking the pressurization process.
The ideal water temperature range for optimal extraction is 195 to 205 degrees F. Cold water can lead to under-extracted, flat coffee. In contrast, too hot water will ruin the quality of your coffee.
At first glance, many may consider it a daunting and hard-to-complete task, but it turns out to be doable. We’ll guide you through crafting espresso-style shots without touching an espresso brewer.
Use a French Press
A French press adds an oily taste to our coffee
A French press is a very affordable alternative to a coffee machine. You can buy one for about $30 or less.
Essentially, the French press is a thermos-like container with a piston running through the pot’s middle and the lid.
This coffee material makes your coffee a little more oily and is a lifesaver for coffee drinkers. Below is an in-depth instruction on using a French press to brew espresso.
A misconception among fresh beans users is that the finer the ground, the better. It’s true for a brewer, not for a French press.
The reason is finely-ground beans will cause your coffee to be muddy, and the piston will fail to hold down these fine grinds.
The best idea is to put in coarse grinds so that your coffee can steep long enough to deliver a strong taste.
You’ll need four tablespoons of grinds to make two perfect cups of espresso.
Boil the water to the right heat
The kettle in your kitchen will help you boil the water. You simply do as you’re making tea. Meanwhile, swirl some warm water into the French press’s glass container so that it won’t suddenly crack when you expose it to a high temperature.
Please remember to always ensure water of 200 degrees F since it’s the ideal temperature for making espresso with a French press.
If the water doesn’t reach the essential heat, your coffee would be under-extracted and taste like tepid water with some coffee hints.
Put the coffee grinds into the preheated French press.
Now, you add your bean powder to the press and pour in hot water. Once the water touches the grinds, you’ll feel a pretty pleasant aroma as the coffee starts blooming.
The sweet fragrance means that the coffee grinds have emitted all their natural oils. But you shouldn’t let the coffee bloom for too long since it can lose the precious rich flavor.
Pour the rest of the boiling water and stir.
After waiting for long enough, you pour the remaining water into the kettle and gently stir using a long-handled wooden spoon. This way, you can deter clumps and begin the next process: extraction.
Avoid stirring hard, or else you would end up whirling in a mixture.
Steep the brew
The fifth step is the most vital step in deciding the overall taste of your coffee. So please be heedful if you don’t want to waste your money and time.
People usually steep the coffee for a long time to make it stronger. However, steeping it for excessively longer will result in an over-extracted and sour taste.
Meanwhile, if the steep time is too short, the taste will be under-extracted. You don’t want both to ruin your day, don’t you?
Ideally, you should steep your brew for 4-5 minutes and use a timer to ensure an exact duration. In doing so, the result would be desirable.
And please note, not until the grinds are steeping can you push the piston.
Press the plunger/piston
After the steeping process, you will hold the lid steadily and press down the plunger evenly until it touches the bottom.
Another way is to plunge halfway. You simply take the piston backward and plunge it downward in a motion. Then, pull the piston back after it reaches the bottom.
Pour your brew and enjoy
Your coffee is now ready to serve you a satisfactory taste.
You shouldn’t let the espresso stay in the container for too long unless you want bitterness.
Pour your brew through a filter right away to deter any fine dregs from reaching the coffee.
That’s how to make espresso using a French press.
Use an Aeropress
An AeroPress offers a more espresso-like flavor.
The AeroPress is a fairly new coffee material yet commonly used due to its portability and lightweight. It works by pressing the plunger down to generate air pressure and forcing brew through a coffee filter, then into a cup.
Indeed, an AeroPress doesn’t brew espresso, but it makes a flavorful, strong cup, which is close to espresso. We find this device slightly better than a French press in delivering espresso taste.
Here’s how to make espresso coffee with an AeroPress.
● Put a paper coffee filter into a plastic cap before you wet and cap it with boiling water. After that, get rid of the water.
● Twist the cap onto your AeroPress’s chamber and secure it tightly over a carafe or mug.
● Add finely-ground coffee beans to the chamber, pour in hot water, then stir.
● Put in the piston and place the spout on your mug. Press the piston down gently until it reaches the lowest point.
Use a Moka Pot
A Moka can deliver an excellent espresso brew without electricity.
A Moka pot is another inexpensive system to make espresso-quality coffee within home comfort. This $25-$35 coffee material shouldn’t hurt your wallet, considering its ability to brew dense and viscous espresso without electricity.
Technically, Moka is a stainless steel pot comprising three chambers: the boiler (base), the funnel-shaped middle chamber, and lastly, the top one collecting brewed coffee.
Let’s get some insight into how to use a Moka pot to make espresso.
Grind the coffee beans
You’ll need 20-22 grams of coffee beans to generate a perfect espresso shot. Unlike a French Press, the Moka pot requires as finely-ground beans as possible.
A useful tip is to preheat the water on a stove first so that it’ll boil quickly.
It’s advisable to use fresh water as well as avoid overfilling the base more than half. Or else, the pressure built up can’t go out through the pot’s valve, hence causing your Moka to explode.
Add your coffee powder to the filter basket.
Next, you add the coffee grounds to the filter and gently shake it to settle your powder evenly. Avoid pushing hard to make the water pass through properly.
Now, you screw the spout on the pot and the boiler together. Please avoid over-tightening and use a hot pad. The chamber is hot because you’ve preheated the water.
Heat the pot by placing it on a stove.
It’s better to place the pot over medium heat so that you can adjust the heat easily whenever it gets too low or too high.
Remove your Moka pot.
Once the bottom chamber reaches boiling, the evacuated pressure will slowly force the brew out of the valve. You’ll notice a ‘puff’ sound and the rich-stream getting faded in color.
After the stream turns yellow honey, you remove the pot from the stove and close the pot lid.
Pour your brew
Pour the brew into a cup and enjoy. So, with some effort, you can now serve yourself with a hot aroma cup of espresso coffee.
A final tip for you is to clean and store your Moka pot properly after using it so that the device can last longer.
A white-collar officer’s morning seems to be incomplete without a fragrant, delicious cup of espresso. For many people, learning to excel at the art of dialing impeccable espresso shots is also a fascinating interest.
We hope our useful info and step-by-step instructions on how to make espresso without a machine can turn you into a pro coffee maker.
Now, let’s start a new day with your homemade espresso brew!