There are a few different ways to make espresso at home if you’re looking into it. While not all of them are equal, you can definitely make sure that you’re able to enjoy some concentrated coffee in the morning if you so choose. Read on and we’ll show you some great ways to get the job done.
1. Buy an Espresso Machine
Finding a reliable espresso machine such as a Breville or a De’Longhi can be a time-consuming and expensive affair, but it’s something that espresso lovers around the world choose to do.
Depending on how much you love the dark matter that holds your life, if not the universe, together there is a bevy of options out there. Some people will prefer automatic machines: simply put the coffee through a burr grinder with a proper setting and hit the button.
True aficionados will want a semi-automatic machine that will let them control all of the fine details of the espresso-making process and make things exactly how they want them.
This is the most expensive option, of course, but it’s also the best way to get espresso whenever you want it. Indeed, some might insist that it’s the only way to do it at all.
2. The AeroPress
These days the AeroPress is mostly known for being a great way to make French press style coffee with less hassle, but they were originally marketed as a way to create an alternative to espresso.
It’s essentially an inverted variant of a French press which you’ll find quite handy. They’re a favorite of travelers since they’re so lightweight and small but more than one person uses them on a daily basis around the home.
The process is simple: just add espresso ground coffee, let it sit for 30 seconds, and pour it through to ensure that you’ve got an espresso-strength coffee.
It’s not exactly espresso but it’s close enough, and cheap enough, that many people prefer it over an actual machine when considering an espresso option for their home.
3. Use a Moka Pot
Moka pots are, perhaps, the original espresso. They’re a low tech way to create concentrated coffee and many people have that they’re a cheaper, easier alternative to traditional machines. You can use an espresso grind, or the slightly coarser Moka grind, to create an excellent, strong brew.
They work by passing steam through small holes in the bottom of a mid-level container which contains the grounds. The steam created extract’s the coffee’s essence before settling in the upper chamber. This extracts most of the volatile components, and caffeine, in the coffee for a much stronger brew than you can attain with standard drip brews or even a French press.
They’re remarkably easy to use and once they’re loaded and on the stove the whole process is hands-free until it comes time to pour. Since they’re hassle-free and create such an excellent brew they find their place in many homes.
They can also be used with standard grounds to get some more out of them but we think that it’s a better idea to focus on producing the good stuff.
4. Use a French Press
It’s not the best method around, but if you’re able to get your hands on espresso grounds but you’re not exactly swimming in money for accessories a French press is an economical option to create a convincing espresso-like coffee.
The process is a bit different than using the press normally, however.
You’ll want to add around two tablespoons of espresso brew to the bottom and perhaps half a cup of near-boiling water. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then press down the plunger on your French press, which will force the rest of the coffee’s compounds into the small amount of water.
It’s strong, but it’s not going to have the characteristic espresso taste in large amounts. The difference here is simply that there’s not enough pressure.
Comparing These Methods
Each of these methods has its own advantages, of course, as well as some disadvantages.
The best espresso is, of course, going to come from an espresso machine that is dedicated to the purpose. There’s simply no comparison that will make the others quite like it.
The difference in methods is whether you’re looking at steam extraction or the liquid being put under actual pressure. The less pressure involved the farther the end result is going to be from the beverage which most of us know as espresso.
In that case, it’s clear that the Moka pot makes the best-improvised espresso. Since it uses pressure and steam to extract the coffee it’s a surprisingly good way to do it. It’s also extremely low effort: pour the water into the lower chamber, put the grounds in the central chamber, turn on the heat and wait.
The AeroPress is probably the best option for traveling. You can save quite a bit of money but it’s not a steam extraction and the amount of pressure applied is minimal. The AeroPress is best thought of as a cheap and easy way to produce pressed coffee during your travels, but it’ll definitely do in a pinch.
Lastly, the French press “espresso” is going to be the least likely to impress the connoisseur. You may be better off just making regular pressed coffee with it, which is still worlds above the drip-brewed variation. The fact is that it lacks the pressure required to make a good cup of espresso.
Still, improvisation and experimentation with any of these latter three methods can produce some pretty awesome results so give them a shot if you’re not yet ready to commit to the expense of a good espresso machine.
Enjoy Your Espresso Everywhere
You don’t have to give up on the dreams of homemade espresso, even if you can’t afford a top of the line machine. As you can see there are a couple of ways to improvise the process and ensure that you’ve got a good cup no matter where you are.
So, if you want espresso at home then why not dive into the method you feel might be best suited to your budget?