What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino. 
Drinks to Make with Espresso

    Flat White
    Most Popular Coffee Drinks

What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee
Espresso machine 
To make authentic espresso, you’ll need an espresso machine to get the proper amount of pressure. To get espresso-like coffee, you can use a Nespresso, Aeropress or a Moka pot.
Coffee grinder
If your espresso machine doesn’t have one, you’ll need to get one that can finely ground coffee for espresso.
Whole coffee beans
Use coffee beans you already have for your coffee machine, or one that’s recommended for espresso.
Filtered water
Always use good quality water to make any coffee drink.
The Best Espresso MachineThe Best Espresso Machine
The Best Espresso Machine


How to Make Espresso at Home
For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

Fill and tamp your portafilter with finely ground coffee.
Pull 1-2 shots of espresso.
Serve and drink immediately.

BARISTA’S TIP: Getting a great shot of espresso takes a lot of practice. What you want to look for is crema, the light brown froth that sits on top of the liquid. The crema gives espresso more flavor and indicates a good shot. Freshly roasted coffee beans will have lots of gas, so the crema will be very thicker than older coffee beans.
Expert Tips

Espressos are drinks meant to be served immediately. It’s advised to make them to order, not to make a batch at a time for a large group of people.

Some folks, especially in Italy, might not even say “espresso” but simply order a solo or doppio. This refers to a single or a double shot of espresso.
Most brewing devices for espresso purposely don’t have paper filters and that’s on purpose. Part of the flavor of espresso is the insoluble oils and compounds that are in coffee. They give espresso its mouthfeel and syrupiness.
It’s common to see home espresso machines boast how many bars of pressure their machine can achieve. 9 bars is optimal and more than that will pull out unfavorable flavors in the coffee.

Questions You May Have
Can you make an espresso without an espresso machine?

You can only make espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine.
An espresso machine uses 9 bars of pressure (about 130 pounds per square inch). Stovetop espresso makers (like the Moka pot) and Aeropresses use pressure to brew coffee but don’t use as much pressure as an espresso machine so while they make concentrated coffee drinks, the coffee produced isn’t authentic espresso.
Can you make espresso in a Nespresso machine?

Nespresso machines make espresso that’s similar to one made in an espresso machine but it’s technically not considered espresso. Nespresso also use pressure to extract coffee out of coffee grounds and most machines are designed to make espresso-based drinks. Nespresso machines have pre-portioned espresso pods that you can use to make espresso. The resulting espresso will look a lot like the espresso you’re used to seeing—highly concentrated with a crema on the top.
Can you make espresso in a Keurig?

Keurig can also make espresso-style coffee, but it’s not recommended. There are certain Keurig machines that are designed for espresso, but Keurig machines are much more tailored to drip coffee.
Can you make espresso in a French Press?

No. Espresso requires high pressure to be applied to the ground coffee which isn’t possible with a French press.
Is espresso stronger than coffee?

The strength of your drink depends on how much ground coffee you use. A 10 ounce cup of brewed coffee uses about 20 grams of coffee — that’s about the same amount of coffee you’d use for a double shot of espresso.
What is crema?

Crema is a frothy, light brown layer that sits on top of the espresso. The crema traps a lot of aromatic compounds, so it dissipates quickly. Drink the espresso while there’s still a layer of crema on top.
How do you drink espresso?

As the name implies, espresso is meant to be drunk quickly, in 2-3 sips. You can add sugar if you’d like and you can use a demitasse spoon to incorporate the crema and the espresso together.
What kind of coffee do you use for espresso?

You can use any kind of coffee you’d like! Traditionally, coffee for espresso is roasted a little darker than for drip coffee but that’s not a rule and you can try drinking espresso with any of your favorite coffee beans.
Can you eat espresso beans?

Yes! Chocolate-covered espresso beans are a common treat, and you’ll still get the caffeine benefits from eating espresso beans as you would drinking espresso. Although these are popular treats, that doesn’t mean you’ll like just grabbing espresso beans by the handful. Espresso beans can be hard to chew through and they generally don’t taste super pleasant—that’s why they’re often served dipped in something sweet like chocolate.
Why is making espresso called pulling a shot?

Older espresso machines applied pressure to coffee using a lever and a set of springs. Baristas would literally pull a lever down and activate a spring that would push water through espresso. That’s where the term comes from.

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino.