Don’t waste your money on fancy espresso machines or on overpriced café drinks. Learn how to make espresso without an espresso machine. It’ll save you a surprising amount of money.
The Answer to Your Espresso Woes
There are few things as satisfying and delicious as a fresh, hot cup of espresso first thing in the morning. If you’re anything like me, espresso can make the difference between a too-early, irritating morning, and a pleasant start to the day.
The problem with an espresso habit is the price tag that comes along with it. Espresso machines can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and heading to a café every morning isn’t sustainable for most people’s budgets. Buying an espresso daily can add up to roughly $500 – 600 a year.
So, what’s the answer?
Making espresso at home, without a machine. It’ll save you a ton of money, and it’s easier than you think.
Preparing to Make Espresso Without a Machine
Enjoying rich, aromatic espresso on a budget is possible. You’ll need a few basic things to get started.
Pre-Ground Coffee Beans or Whole Coffee Beans and a Coffee Grinder
If you are a coffee enthusiast, you’ll want to get coffee beans and grind them yourself. Coffee shells protect a rich array of approximately 1,000 flavor components and aromas.
Once the bean is ground up and exposed to air, oxidization occurs and impacts the taste. Coffee grounds that are exposed to air for ten to twenty minutes can lose up to 60% of its aroma.
Ground coffee beans can also pickup odors in the air, further altering the taste. It’s best to store your coffee in an airtight canister for ultimate freshness and robust taste.
If you don’t mind a weaker taste, you will do fine with pre-ground coffee beans. Just be aware that pre-ground beans don’t stay fresh for as long as regular beans.
Cost - Whole coffee beans are typically more expensive than pre-ground coffee beans, for a number of factors. The price difference in normally only a few dollars, though.
You can purchase manual hand-crank coffee grinders for as little as $15.00, and electronic coffee grinders for as low as $20.00. Airtight coffee storage canisters can be bought for as little as $12.00.
Tool to Push Hot Water Through Coffee
The French press has been around since the 1850’s and is one of the most cost-effective, easy ways to get the bold taste of espresso. The design is simple: a glass beaker with a plunger, strainer, and filter. The process is so simple, it’s almost impossible to botch.
The French press has many different names, so if you go shopping, be aware that a “coffee plunger,” “press pot,” and “coffee press,” are all the same thing.
Cost - Small French presses (12 oz.) start around $15.00 and larger French presses (24 oz.) begin at $20.00
Making Espresso Without a Machine
Step 1: Get your coffee beans ready
Get out your pre-ground coffee beans, or grind up your beans if they are whole. You’ll need the beans to be nice and fine. Make sure there are no boulders.
For big, bold espresso flavour, use a tablespoon of coffee for every four ounces of water. If you like a weaker taste, add more water (around five or six ounces) for each tablespoon of coffee you add to the press.
Step 2: Boil water
Bring water to a boil. For the best, freshest possible taste, use filtered water. As the water is coming to a boil, add your ground up coffee to the press.
Once your water has reached boiling point, take it off the heating element. Allow it to cool for at least thirty seconds before pouring it slowly and evenly over the beans in the press. If you pour boiling water directly on the coffee beans, it can ruin the taste.
Step 3: Stir and steep
Stir the hot water and coffee together several times. If you have a glass French press, be careful stirring with a metal spoon. It can crack the glass if you aren’t careful. A wooden or plastic spoon is the safest bet.
Let your coffee steep for three to four minutes. This lets the coffee marinate, and produces the fullest, richest taste. Set a timer to make sure you let enough time pass before you push down on the plunger.
Step 4: Plunge
Once three or four minutes have elapsed, press down delicately and slowly on the plunger. It should take ten to thirty seconds to fully push the plunger down. You never want to pull a plunger upwards once you’ve started this process. Grinds will get into your espresso if you do.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Sit Back, Relax, and Sip
And there you have it; delicious espresso doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you found this article helped you make a flavourful cup for a fraction of the typical cost, please share it. Everyone deserves the full-bodied taste of decadent espresso – regardless of their budget.