Q: Are you specifically looking to make espresso drinks or buy an espresso machine? Needing to save a little money?
The two are not necessarily related: making espresso and buying an (overly) expensive espresso maker, you know? Let me show you some simple steps to make great espresso that don’t break the bank or your budget!
OK. Some simple steps to make great espresso.
First, focus on buying good quality espresso beans, pre-ground beans will probably already be stale by the time you use them up. So make sure they are freshly roasted, as fresh as you can.
Second, get a simple hand grinder – something like the one in the picture there is fine and not expensive. You’ll exert your arm a little but the coffee will taste much better than a blade grinder ever could produce. Of course, you could buy a decent grinder, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
Third, you can either make a strong espresso coffee in your regular drip coffee maker/french press, or use a simple Moka Pot to produce a strong type of espresso. You’ll notice that the amount of coffee you need may vary with each method. I went for an Aeropress coffee maker, which needs 30 grams to get a decent double shot. If you like to make espresso, and that’s your favorite, you can stop here!
Fourth, get a pan and gently warm up some fresh milk on the stove. Put some in one of those simple frothers to generate some bubbles, either an electric or manual frother is fine. We’ve made a fantastic latte this way, easily as good as anything you can buy in a commercial coffee shop. While we used the Moka pot, it didn’t cost us more than $150 for everything.
But the keys to making espresso are always the same: quality coffee beans and a decent grinder. Both of these have been the single best investments my coffee habit ever made. And you’ll be paid back many times over for this simple purchase.