With the rise in popularity of espresso coffee, it is tempting to try to find a way to recreate this in your own home without the expense of buying an expensive espresso coffee machine.
Making your own DIY espresso machine is not impossible but it could be done if you are mechanically minded and understand the principles of what goes into making a really good espresso. If you are planning to build your own espresso machine, you need to think about:
- Being able to adjust temperatures and pressures
- How to create the steam and water pressure
- How the water will pass through the coffee grounds
- How you will grind the coffee
- Whether it needs milk-steaming or frothing element
However, if you don’t want to go to the extent of building your own espresso machine, then there are plenty of other ways you can create espresso in your own home, using existing coffee-making methods, with a little creativity.
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Use Your French Press as a DIY Espresso Machine
Many people have a French press in their cupboard for making a quick coffee in the morning, and it’s a cheap and reliable way to create your caffeine fix. But it can also be used to create an espresso with a little imagination.
Espresso is normally created using very finely ground coffee; however, this won’t work in a French press as it will go through the mesh filter and you will end up with lots of grounds in your cup at the end.
So, you need to either use coarsely ground coffee or buy some espresso coffee beans but grind them roughly, rather than the fine grind you would normally choose for an espresso machine. Once you have ground your beans you can proceed.
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You will need around four tablespoons of your ground coffee and from this, you should be able to create two espresso cups for that perfect morning pick-me-up.
You need to boil your water and it does need to be boiling as if the water isn’t hot then this method won’t work, and you will end up with very diluted coffee-flavored warm water instead of the strong brew you are hoping for.
While the water is boiling you can add your coffee grounds into the press and then add some of the hot water to the coffee. As you start to smell the coffee, stop adding the water, and let it brew for a little while.
Next, add the rest of the water, and be sure to stir the coffee gently. It’s important not to push the plunger down too quickly, to get that espresso strength you need to let the mixture brew for a while longer.
The longer you let the coffee brew, the stronger the flavor will be but don’t leave it too long or it will become bitter, and the temperature will cool too much as well. The optimal time to let the coffee brew is about five minutes.
After five minutes, press the plunger down slowly through the coffee to ensure it’s all filtered and not disturbed too much, and when you are ready to pour the freshly made brew and enjoy your strong espresso coffee.
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Using a Stovetop Coffee Pot
The small metal stovetop coffee pots offer another relatively cheap and simple method to create your own DIY espresso machine at home as well. Many households have these stovetop coffee pots for camping trips and fresh coffee while away from home, but they can be used to create your morning espresso as well.
The first thing you will need for this method is to have your fresh espresso coffee beans and grind them as finely as possible. This type of pot passes water through the grounds so the finer they are the better it will work and the more flavor you will get.
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You don’t need to pre-heat the water as it is boiled within the stove pot when you put it onto the stove, so you just need to add fresh water into the bottom chamber, but not too full as it needs space to expand and steam.
You can then put your coffee into the coffee basket but don’t overfill or make it too compact as again, you need room for the water to pass through it so that you get the maximum flavor possible. Place the basket in the pot.
Screw the two sections of the pot together and place it on the heat source on your stove. Don’t turn the heat up too high or too low, it needs to be a medium level for the pot to work at its optimum and to avoid coffee spilling everywhere.
Try to point your pot so that the handle isn’t being heated, otherwise, it will be impossible for you to lift it off the heat afterward without burning your hands.
Once it’s ready, the pressure will drive the coffee through the valve, and you will be able to hear it. You can remove it from the heat and pour it into your cup, ready to drink, and savor the fresh taste of espresso.
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Use Your AeroPress Machine to Make Espresso
The final DIY espresso machine involves using an AeroPress coffee machine if you have one at home, to create your perfect strong coffee in the morning. For this method, you need around two tablespoons of very finely ground espresso coffee beans.
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Put a filter into your AeroPress first and then put all your coffee grounds into the coffee chamber. Next, take a second filter and place it on top of the grounds, and dampen it with some warm water. Then you need to plunge the piston down and bring it back up again.
Now, you need to add the hot water to the level that you require, and you don’t need to wait for your coffee to brew with this method. You can press the plunger right down and squash the coffee as much as you can but not too hard.
Your espresso is now ready to be poured and enjoyed.