The Definitive Guide on How to Make Espresso at Home [For all Budgets]

Pulling Espresso Shot with a Semiautomatic MachineWaking up to the smell of coffee is delightful. Making your own cup of coffee is even better! There are many reasons why people start brewing their own coffee at home. But whatever, your reasons may be, one thing is for certain – you would like to make the same cup of coffee at home as your local coffee shop.

If that is the case, then we’d like to show you how it’s done. We have guides for all levels, so if you are just starting, you don't feel overwhelmed by the information overload. If you are a veteran home barista we have an advanced guide. On the other hand, if you want a simple, step by step guide to get you started this is the one. Or take a look at our infographics, this is the easiest way to start.

Expert Barista Skills vs Basic Caffeinated Needs

Espresso making is a relatively simple process but you need a little experience to get that perfect taste. So making an espresso shot is not a big deal, to make it perfect there’s much more to it than what meets the eye.

There are many variables that make or break the final taste of your coffee. If you nail them, you will achieve what many baristas desperately desire to make – the perfect cup of coffee.

Fixing a Latte

You’ll learn how to pull an espresso shot, steam perfect milk and pour beautiful latte art. We’ll even show you how to shop for equipment, get the best machine for your budget and how to make espresso without even using an espresso machine.

If this is all you want to know, we have that information in an easy to read format. But if you could take it a step further, would you? If you answered yes, it's great because we have a tutorial for you too.

If you don’t have the time or the resources to explore the world of coffee it’s okay! Learn whatever you need to learn, when you need to know it. We’ll be here when you want to know expand your knowledge.

Quick Espresso Brewing Guides [Infographics]

This sections links to a few quick brewing guides to get you started. The guides are just enough to point you in the right direction, if you don't have any experience at all, or if you want a memory refresh. Espresso brewing is a race for perfection, for most enthusiasts. But the perfectionists have to start somehow, and these infographics are the perfect way. 

  • AeroPress Brewing Infographic

    Infographic - How to Make Coffee with an AeroPress

    A step by step guide on how to brew coffee with an AeroPress. A concise graphical guide, with critical details about the brewing, timing, steeping time grinding size and more. 

  • Moka Pot Infographic

    Infographic - How to make Coffee with a Moka Pot

    Learn how to make espresso with a Moka pot. A step by step instructional infographic easy to follow. Moka pot coffee tends to have a bite, and a full body, and is often an espresso replacement.

  • Espresso Making Infographic

    Infographic - How to Make Espresso

    This is an infographic with minimal instructions to make an espresso. The graphic contains the minimum of information on the method, with step by step instructions. A good intro for newbies.

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a coffee obtained by using pressure during the preparation process. In order to prepare an espresso, a small amount of water is pushed through a puck of finely ground coffee beans. The pressure is what makes espresso special, and it allows the barista to extract more flavors from the beans. Because of this, an espresso cannot be brewed with a French press, a Keurig, or a drip coffeemaker.

Pulling An Espresso ShotEspresso is the base for many milk based coffee drinks, and coffee lovers look for inexpensive ideas to prepare it at home. From a flavor and taste perspective, you cannot use other coffee brewing methods to make espresso. However, if you are looking to make a latte, any strong coffee will do, because the espresso flavor is drenched into the milk. If you are making a cappuccino though, you better stick with real espresso, or at least espresso alternatives. Take a look in the advanced brewing section, and you'll find a guide for brewing espresso alternatives.

If you wonder if your favorite drink can be made without real espresso, we prepared a list. Here it is:

  • latte – yes, any coffee would do. Latte contains 1 part coffee, 5 parts milk.
  • cappuccino – not really. With about half milk half espresso, the taste difference will be obvious.
  • caffè macchiato – no way. Caffè Macchiato is an espresso with a tiny layer of milk froth.
  • caffè mocha – probably yes. Since mocha is made by mixing milk coffee and chocolate, the strong chocolate flavor will cover the coffee taste.
  • flat white – not really. Flat white is close enough to cappuccino, so real espresso is the recommended way.

Advanced Brewing Guides

These are advanced espresso brewing guides, meant to show you how to make delicious coffee. The tutorials in this section take the espresso preparing to a higher level. They guide you step by step on your home barista learning journey. Our guides will give you the needed knowledge, and the confidence to aim for coffee greatness. All you need to do is invest your time in reading our brewing guides. We even show you how to make cheap espresso alternatives, if you are on a tight budget.

Geeky Espresso Brewing

This section is for people who make espresso on a regular basis, or have done it at least a few times, and would like to improve their knowledge and technique. These guides will help you troubleshoot your coffee. You can also learn here how to tweak your beverage to suit your preference. You want more bite, we show you how to get it. You want a smooth coffee, we show you that as well. 

  • Espresso pulling

    Espresso Brewing the "Advanced Guide"

    If you are somewhat advanced with your technique but would like to improve your shots, this guide is for you. Many tips and trick to obtain consistency and quality, from your semiautomatic. Some tips apply for super-automatics as well, but it kind of defeat the purpose doesn't it? Read more... 

Espresso Coffee Makers, Tools and Equipment

You might want to check our espresso maker reviews, and what equipment we recommend. We guide you on how to choose the best espresso machine that fits your needs.

  • Espresso tamper

    Home Barista Tools and Accessories

    This is a comprehensive list of tools, accessories, and supplies. There are a few accessories that are nice to have, but there are some that are a must have, for any serious home barista. Read more...

  • Keurig Rivo

    Can You Make Espresso Using a Keurig?

    Really, this is a question I have been asked so many times. Well, depends on what your expectations are, and how you define espresso. I found out that sometimes espresso is confused with a strong coffee.  Read more...

  • Frothing milk in a pitcher

    The Best Milk Frothers

    Most coffee lovers prefer their drink with milk. A splash or more of steamed and frothed milk will smooth the taste of an espresso drink. Yes, we are talking about latte and cappuccino. This article shows you how to buy a milk frother for your budget and why is worth paying a bit more for the automated ones. Read more...

  • Cappuccino Making with Super-Automatic Machine

    Super Automatic Espresso Machines

    This article is a review of the super automatic espresso machine as a domestic appliance, and a comparison review of some popular models on the market. It's a great resource, even if you don't plan to buy any of the reviewed espresso machines. It gives you a great understanding on what to look for when buying an automatic espresso machine. Read more...

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