A coffee lovers’ day is incomplete if it doesn’t start with a delicious coffee. I sure don’t feel good unless I have my first cup of espresso coffee. Unfortunately, not all of us have an espresso machine at our home. But a coffee maker is a common tool and you can make espresso using that machine. In this article, we will learn about how to make espresso with a coffee maker.
‘A coffee a day keeps a grumpy away’ is a really nice quote to show the life of a coffee lover. Coffee is like a holy grail for people like us. If you are a coffee drinker like me, you would understand the power of an espresso shot in the early morning hours.
Almost 1.4 billion cups of coffee are being drunk every day, 45% of which belong to the United States only! That is a huge number, to be honest. Although coffee beans are the main source of different types of coffee, not all coffees taste the same. Black coffee, espresso, mocha, latte, etc. are made with distinct techniques and machines to form that specific taste.
What is Espresso?
Espresso coffee is an Italian brewing method, in which only hot water and coffee beans are used. You could say that black coffee also uses the same ingredients. However, the difference lies in the preparation and technique, not in the materials. You might have a preference while making an espresso, but it can be made using any type of coffee bean.
As I said earlier, the difference between espresso and regular coffee is how we make them. Regular coffees are made by dripping hot water into the ground coffee beans. Whereas in espresso, the machine creates pressure on the hot water and forces them upon the coffee grounds. This processing time is comparatively 10 times shorter than the regular method.
The taste of espresso is also different from the other coffee types. It is less watery, thick, and a very strong coffee which is enough to get rid of any drowsiness. But it doesn’t have the acidic taste you can taste in regular black coffee. This is due to the less time exposure of the coffee bean in the hot water.
Espresso is quite a strong drink, so you can always mix milk or sugar to make it suitable for your taste. It once used to be limited to some specific espresso bars in Italy, but now the popularity of this coffee has spread worldwide. People of different cultures, nationalities, ages, etc. now enjoy the heavenly rich flavor of this drink.
This has become one of the famous mainstream products all over the world. Most people like to have an espresso shot at their morning breakfast. In the past, making an espresso at home would have been hard to achieve. Because you must use pressure to make it, back then which was only possible with an espresso maker. But now it is not impossible to do so.
Strong, Dark, and Powerful: Espresso Coffee
The espresso machine was invented by a Turinese man called Angelo Mriondo in 1884. People have loved the dark, deep, and delectable taste since then. To know how to make espresso coffee, you must understand the three basic features of espresso. Once you get a hold of these aspects, you will be able to make stunning espresso by yourself at home!
These three significant features are the espresso roast, the espresso grind, and the espresso pressure. Remember, the taste depends on the preparation, not on the expensive machines!
If you want to have the best espresso of your life, make sure your coffee beans are roasted. Generally, green coffee beans are processed and turned into coffee powder to make coffee. However, coffee beans are also roasted beforehand to bring out the perfect taste and texture. There are several types of coffee bean roast like light, dark, medium-dark, etc.
If the beans are covered in oil and the dark tone goes to the second crack, it is a dark coffee roast. The darker it becomes, the less acidic taste it leaves behind. Normal coffees are made using lighter roasts, whereas darker roasts are preferred for espresso. This also makes the espresso to have a strong and powerful flavor, much more than the drip coffee.
The reason behind this richness is due to the extracted soluble from the roasted coffee beans. The more you roast it, the more flavor enriched it becomes. It is more potent than the ground coffee beans. But achieving the perfect result takes many years of experience.
Post the roasting process, the second step is also a crucial one. The roasted beans are ground and turned into delicate thin powder. These powdered coffee beans slow down the penetration process of water, increasing the pressure amount for the coffee-making process. The higher pressure is applied, the fastest the water can filter down and make a good espresso shot.
The grind shouldn’t be too thin though. Otherwise, it can jam the coffee filter and spoil the coffee. Many people grind their coffee beans at their home. You can get the perfect grind and better bean powder by using a burr grinder. You can also use your hand to grind the beans to get the exact result. But hand grinding will need more time and strength than usual.
Hence, go for a grinder machine for a better and accurate result. It also makes sure you don’t have any muscle pain later.
The key feature that makes the espresso different from others is the pressure it needs. The regular espresso machine has a system that forces down the hot water with a huge amount of pressure. Nearly nine bars of pressure are needed, meaning almost 130 pounds of pressure has to be put on a square inch.
A normal person can never create this much pressure physically no matter how hard he tries. Nevertheless, the process can be applied differently without having an espresso machine.
How to Make Espresso in a Coffee Maker?
Coffee making can be considered as an art form due to the different techniques it involves in the making. There are different types of coffee varieties available in the world, and among them, one of the best-selling ones is a shot of espresso. Making an espresso might sound difficult without an espresso machine.
But if you know how to make espresso with coffee maker, you will find out that it isn’t that much difficult after all! You will just need the finely ground coffee beans, freshly roasted to be exact! Add a coffee grinder and a coffee maker to the list and the task is half done!
Ground Beans Of Espresso Coffee: Freshly ground beans are the main reason why your espresso tastes so good. If you own a burr grinder, you could easily make ground coffee beans whenever you want to drink coffee. If you don’t own one, you can always use the readymade coffee grounds as an alternate.
Water: You must use filtered safe water while making coffee. Don’t use boiling water as they can affect the brewing method. The impurities of water can change the taste of your espresso hence only filtered water is recommended for the coffee-making process.
Roasting the Coffee Beans
When you are making an espresso, the properly made coffee beans are the most important factor. There is no definite type of coffee beans for espresso, you can like the darker or the light-colored beans based on your preference. But roasting is necessary to bring out the taste and richness of the coffee.
You can store roasted coffee beans for a certain time. This is a time saver when you are in a rush. However, the home roasting process of coffee beans is also a fun experience. There are several methods to roast the beans. They are also simple enough to follow. You can choose whichever method you feel is the most convenient for you.
Roasting in a grill or pan: This is undoubtedly the most inexpensive way to roast coffee beans yourself. This process is fast and can be done by using any of your household pans. The temperature setting can be a bit tricky as there is no way to determine it. It also creates smoke so be careful or you will be coughing a lot! You should grill the beans outside in the open air.
During the process, you will hear the beans cracking. The first crack means they are a light roast. The second cracks indicate toward a medium roast. Too much time can burn the beans and spoil the taste afterward. Once they are done set the beans in open for almost 12 hours. This will help to degas the beans.
Roasting in the Oven: If you have an oven in your home, this is another method you can definitely try to roast the coffee beans. This is comparatively a slower process than the others. And as you can not stir it every other minute, getting the proper roast is a bit troublesome. Not to mention you need to have proper ventilation in the oven area as it will create smoke!
Remember to spread the beans on the tray before putting them in the oven rack. If you want some light-colored roasted beans, get them out after hearing the first crack. Wait to hear the second crack if you want medium roasted beans. Cool them once they are done. And leave for 12 hours to release the gas.
Roasting in a popcorn machine: Did you know, you could use a popcorn machine to roast coffee beans? If you have a popcorn machine, this is an easy process to make that nice espresso shot. You don’t even have to stir the coffee beans; the machine does that itself. The roasting is also just like you want it to be. You must ventilate the place to avoid any smokey environment.
The first crack will mean the beans are light roast. And the second crack means a medium level roasting is achieved. Once the whole process is done, leave the beans for 12 hours as usual. However, you shouldn’t use it for roasting coffee frequently, because the machine might not hold for long if you keep doing it.
Roasting in a home coffee roasting machine: A home roaster is a good choice if you only want to roast coffee beans in the machine. Although they might be a bit heavier and pricier than the other methods, they last long and are simple enough to use. You will need proper ventilation as it will also create lots of smoke.
Hear for the first and second crack so you know when to stop the machine. After roasting is done, leave the beans in open to degas them.
Getting the Espresso Grounds
After completing the roasting stage, now comes the second important stage of making the perfect espresso. You need to grind the coffee beans. You can store a readymade package of espresso grounds for sudden use. However, it would be better to grind the roasted beans just before the process, if you have a burr grinder. This will give your espresso a much better feel.
The espresso grounds are not like normal coffee powder. There is no definite structure for espresso ground, but it should be very thin. Remember too coarse grounds will have a sour taste, whereas too thin can make the coffee bitter. You might not get the perfect result at first, but after some trial and error, you will know how to do it.
The structure of the coffee grounds is crucial because that will determine the flow rate of water during the process. Powdery coffee will prevent the water flow. And the grainy structure will make the water pass too quickly. Both will spoil the actual taste of the espresso you want to create. Make sure you have the perfectly fine texture before you are making espresso.
If you are not into making coffee grounds yourself, you can buy some pre-ground packages and store them. Make sure to purchase the ‘Espresso grind’ one to make the proper espresso. Also, know how much coffee ground you will need for a shot of espresso. Normally a single shot will need 1 even scoop and a double shot will need 2 scoops of coffee grounds.
Steps to Brew Espresso in a Coffee Maker
Once you have the ground espresso and a coffee maker, the espresso-making process gets so much easier. You just need to set your coffee machine and start brewing your espresso right away!
- First, put the portafilter in the coffee maker and make a blank shot. This will warm up the device and also results in a better blending. Use fresh, clean water and drain the old water from the chamber.
- Fill the reservoir with pure water and wait until the machine hit it up. Set the temperature between 90-96 degrees to ensure the rich flavors of the espresso. Temperature is a key element to make the perfect espresso, hence be careful of that.
- Clean the portafilter after the heating up is done. Use a dry fabric to wipe it so the scale shows a zero reading. If you are a beginner in espresso-making, you should use a scaling machine to measure out the proportions.
- Take 7 grams of ground coffee for a single espresso shot and double the amount for a double shot. Use a scale for the exact amount, as a slightly altered weight, can modify the taste of your coffee. Dose them in the portafilter.
- Now, tap the espresso in the portafilter with a tamp. This will make sure the water evenly passes through the ground coffee. The pressure shouldn’t be more than 30 pounds. Otherwise, the original taste and flavors will be lost due to the over tamping.
- Now take the portafilter and put it in the brewing top of the coffee maker. If possible, try to run the brew top for a few minutes. By doing this all the earlier remaining brews will be cleaned and the newly brewed coffee will be full of fresh flavors.
- Now, this is the most significant step in making the espresso shot. After you insert the portafilter, put a warm cup in the slot of the coffee machine. Start the timer and wait a few seconds. You will see a syrupy and smooth espresso pouring in the cup. This is known as the crema.
- Don’t forget to switch on the machine right after you insert the portafilter full of crammed espresso. If you keep it for a long time without turning the machine on, the coffee will get very tart.
- If you are making a single shot of espresso, wait for about 20 seconds and then switch off the machine. If you see the color of the pouring coffee is golden, this is the sign to stop the shot. Stop the machine after 30 seconds to get a double espresso shot.
- After taking the shot, drink the espresso when it is hot. You can drink it directly to get the authentic taste. You can also mix it with something else to make a different drink like the latte, mocha, cappuccino, etc.
- After removing the portafilter, clean it properly and wipe it with a dry cloth. Don’t forget to clean the brew head of the coffee maker as well.
3 Ways to Make Espresso Without An Espresso Machine
Suppose you are working late at night at home, no cafes or restaurants are open at that hour. And suddenly you start craving a good espresso shot to boost yourself up. Ever got that sudden longing of espresso sips out of nowhere? I’m sure you are familiar with that feeling.
So, you can’t go outside for a coffee. You don’t have the espresso machine either. But you desperately need that espresso sip! And you start to think about how to make espresso at home? Well, that process is actually not impossible if you have some simple tools. In this article, we are also going to tell you about how to make espresso coffee using three simple ways.
For that, you just need an AeroPress, a Moka pot, or a French press. And the common ingredient for these methods is the beautiful roasted and then ground fine coffee powder.
1. How to Make Espresso with an AeroPress
You can make great espresso coffee using an AeroPress. You can make a double shot espresso or a single shot espresso by adjusting the water and coffee powder.
Things you need:
- Freshly roasted coffee beans
- Burr coffee bean grinder
- Stovetop pot or an electric pot
- Take a cup of water and heat it at 185-205 degrees. The ideal temperature for coffee brewing is 205 degrees. But with an AeroPress, you can test which temperature between these two ranges is apt for you. Or you can just boil the water and set it for thirty seconds.
- Take the freshly roasted beans to the burr grinder. Crush them to a thin and fine texture. Take two tablespoons of the coffee powder you just made.
- Take a filter and put that in your AeroPress drain cap. Soak it with hot water.
- After rinsing it, put the drain cap on the AeroPress. Then put the AeroPress on the top of a cup or mug. Select a heavy and strong cup or else it won’t be able to take the pressure.
- Take the ground coffee in the AeroPress.
- Compress the crushed coffee, make sure the coffee puck is well and compact. You can use espresso cram while doing this or take a rod-shaped solid object with an even bottom that can fit in your AeroPress.
- Take half a cup of the hot water you have boiled earlier and pour it into the AeroPress. Stir it quickly.
- After 30 seconds, start pushing with the force of your hand. You may feel it is hard to do so, still, keep pressing it. When the plunger is totally pushed down, it is time to detach the press.
- Take the freshly prepared espresso in your coffee mug and enjoy the shot to the fullest!
- After everything is done, it is time to clean the mess. Take out the drain cap from the AeroPress and empty it on the trash bin. Use hot water to wash everything.
2. How to Make Espresso with a Moka Pot
You have to take the name of Moka Pot when you are discussing how to make espresso with coffee maker! This is also called an espresso maker which is really popular in Latin America & Europe. This may not make the exact espresso you want, but the three-piece Italian making will satisfy your thirst for espresso just like that!
This tool uses steam to apply water pressure into the mixture. This machine can make almost four shots of espresso at a time. If you have a Moka pot lying at your home, take it out and start making espresso at home from now on. You are going to enjoy the experience for sure!
Using the Moka pot to make espresso is more like art for a coffee lover. You may not get it right at the first trial, but after a few times, you will see why it is called an art. And once you learn how to do it right, you can have that classic and rich taste of espresso anytime you want!
Things You Need:
- Moka pot
- Some freshly roasted beans
- Burr coffee bean grinder
- Stovetop pot or an electric pot
- Take about 4-4½ teaspoons of coffee beans and grind them using the burr grinder. Make the texture into a fine and caster sugar-like consistency.
- Take the Moka pot and fill the lower part with water to reach the filling line. Don’t overdo it, because excess water can jam your coffee and affects the taste and flavor.
- Take the filter basket and put the ground coffee powder in it. Fix the spouted lid of the Moka pot.
- After setting it up, put the Moka pot on top of a stove burner at a moderate heat. Upon heated up, the water in the bottom chamber will start to boil. The pressure will force the coffee flow through the filter and reach the top chamber.
- You can hear a hissing sound at this point. When the coffee is done, you will see a brown colored foam. When the top chamber of the Moka pot is filled with coffee, take it out from the stove.
- After taking it out, don’t forget to quickly stir the coffee with a small spoon. And serve it hot to enjoy the taste!
3. How to Make Espresso with a French Press
If you are an avid coffee drinker, there is a high possibility of you owning a French Press in your kitchen. This device is quite good for making your regular coffee. It certainly brings out the rich coffee flavor in your drink. However, out of all the three espresso-making methods, this technique is not as effective as the other two.
The reason behind this is the lack of pressure on this one. But if you are only left with a French Press to make espresso, you can use it to make your espresso. It might not be the best, but it will be good enough to satiate your thirst. You just need to apply some tricks and techniques while making an espresso out of it!
You can make a strong coffee shot similar to the espresso, but make sure the coffee beans are dark roasted and finely ground. The taste of espresso depends on these simple yet basic features. Maintain the time and do it exactly the way it is supposed to be, an espresso with a French press will be your go-to method once you master it!
Things You Need:
- 8-cup French press
- Some freshly roasted beans
- Burr coffee bean grinder
- Stovetop pot or an electric pot
- Take very dark roasted espresso beans and grind them using your burr grinder. Make sure the ground beans are very fine-textured. You have to use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every cup of water.
- Fill the pot with water and let it boil on the stove. Set it for 30 seconds prior to brewing.
- Take the ground coffee and put them in your French press. The coffee amount will be double than a normal French press coffee would need. Due to this, your coffee will give out the strong and dark flavor of espresso.
- Splatter the French press with hot water from the pot. Put it down for a few seconds allowing the coffee to free the fragrance and oils.
- Now add the remaining water to the French press. Don’t give it any stir as the coffee grounds may fall apart from the suspension. This could spoil the coffee flavors and taste.
- Now fix the lid. Let the coffee infuse for a couple of minutes. For a stronger espresso taste, you can steep it for an extra minute. But be careful about it, excess time can over-extract the coffee and make it taste very bitter.
- Now slowly push the plunger in your French press while applying steady and smooth pressure. After plunging midway, take the plunger on the top and force it down again. Keep repeating this step to complete the press.
- Take a serving kettle or pot and fill it with your now ready coffee. Pour it gently to maintain the rich and exotic coffee flavor. Serve the coffee and enjoy it to the fullest!
Among all the coffee varieties, espresso is always a good option to boost your energy. Having a shot of espresso in the early hour or during the late-night work is always effective. You may have thought making an espresso is tough as hell. That too without an espresso machine! But making espresso using a coffee machine is actually very simple!
Hence in this article, we have included all the information about how to make espresso with coffee makers. Make sure to use these effective methods and let us know how it turned out!