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How to Make Espresso without a machine
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5 from 7 votes

How To Make Espresso Without a Machine

Try this simple affordable way to make homemade espresso with no machine!
Prep Time1 min
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Homemade espresso, How to make espresso without a machine
Servings: 1
Author: Linda Spatig


  • Kettle
  • Small glass cup
  • Coffee grinder or ground coffee
  • Fine Mesh Strainer


  • 3 TBSP medium fine ground coffee beans* I use Arabica beans -medium roast
  • 1/3-1/2 cup hot water use 1/3 cup if using in a smaller mug


Grind & Measure Coffee

  • Grind your coffee beans to medium fine. Measure out 3 TBSP into a small cup.

Boil Water & Steep Coffee

  • Bring the water to a boil and make sure to let it sit for about 20 seconds before using. Pour a splash of hot water into your grounds and let them sit for about 20 seconds.
  • Pour a bit of hot water into your measuring cup and swirl it around to prewarm the cup. Pour it out then measure out ½ cup hot water.
    Slowly pour the ½ cup hot water over the coffee grounds. I like to swirl my cup in a slow circular motion while I pour the hot water in to make sure everything gets soaked.
  • Steep for 1 minute and then stir the coffee at least 10 times so that the grounds mix in and you introduce some pressure. Let it steep for two-three more minutes*

Strain & Use

  • Pour through a fine mesh strainer into another pre-warmed cup.** Let the coffee sit for 30-60 seconds to let the sludge settle.
    Use in your recipe/or prep to drink by slowly pouring into your drink or cup. Being careful not to pour the bottom bit of sludge into your drink.



*Use 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoons with 1/3 cup water for a lighter tasting espresso. 3 Tablespoons renders a nice strong flavour.
**Prewarm your cups by rinsing with hot water. This helps to maintain the temperature of your drink. 
The steep time should total 3 to 4 minutes. 3-minutes makes a nice strong espresso brew that is not bitter. 4-minutes makes a very strong brew with a light bitter taste to it. 5 it starts to be fairly bitter.
Water temp should be 195-200F.
Cover the espresso with a small saucer or a lid of some kind while it steeps to keep the temperature up.
Play around with the steep time to see what you like. If you don't mind the bitterness and want a very strong shot of coffee steep for up to 5 minutes.
Letting the boiled water to cool slightly ensures you won’t burn your coffee and end up with a bitter burnt taste. Adding a splash of hot water to your grounds first helps release the flavour.
I like to let it sit for 30-60 seconds after I strain it, I have found that this really helps to get rid of the sludge that would be poured in by adding all the espresso shot.