Coffee TikToker James Hoffmann Shares How To Make Espresso Without A Machine

Ever crave a hot caramel latte or a smooth cappuccino but don't want to have to leave your home in order to get it. You want espresso but you don't have the machine to do it in your own home, and drip coffee just isn't going to do it for you. The difference between coffee and espresso is important to know, drip coffee is mostly water and coffee mixed together with a drip coffee maker while espresso is a stronger, more concentrated form of coffee with a thicker body. All in all, many people have a drip coffee maker at home and not an espresso machine, making espresso in the morning hard to reach.

Of course, one solution to this problem is to buy an espresso machine so you can make all the lattes you want. That sounds easy enough if at-home espresso machines didn't run anywhere from $200 to over $1,000 (via Roasty Coffee). Espresso machines can be pricey, and we aren't here to spend that much on our morning coffee. Lucky for us, author and coffee expert James Hoffmann has a solution to making espresso without a machine.

Use an Aeropress

In a recent YouTube video by Wired called Coffee Support, James Hoffman answers a viewer's question about what to do if you want to drink espresso but don't have a machine. He is sure to point out that you can't really make espresso without the expensive machine because "of what defines it as espresso. Espresso machines are really expensive because they do a bunch of stuff in terms of pressure and temperature and stuff." But there is a way to make strong coffee that is close to the espresso flavor you are looking for.

The coffee expert brings out two coffee tools to answer the question of how to make espresso without the fancy machine. First is the Aeropress, a small plastic tube worth about $20-$25, according to Hoffmann. An Aeropress is a coffee maker that uses pressure to push the coffee through a paper filter directly into the cup. Depending on how much water and how fine the grounds are, you can get a strong espresso-like brew (via Handground). This final brew can be used just like espresso, using it for all your latte and cappuccino dreams.

An alternative is a Moka pot

James Hoffman also talks about the Moka pot or stovetop brewer (via YouTube). A Moka pot percolates certain types of coffee, meaning hot water passes up the device through coffee grounds and rises out of the tube. The coffee doesn't go through any type of filtering process, the grounds just stay at the bottom of the pot (via SeriousEats). This is commonly known to be an alternative for espresso if you don't want to dish out hundreds of dollars for the real thing. And the final brew, in our opinion, is definitely close to the high acidic flavor of espresso.

Although these aren't exactly making what is defined as espresso, Hoffmann says both can make a strong brew, "by strong coffee that'd be anything from almost espresso strength of one part coffee to three parts water up to a kind of traditional Moka pot brew of one part coffee to 10 parts water." So instead of going out to buy your espresso or having to commit to a whole machine, try using one of these alternatives for your morning espresso.