There’s nothing better than having a generous cup of coffee to get going in the morning, and it’s even better when you can grab it from your local coffee shop. Unfortunately, that’s not always practical, which means you need to have an alternative source, and instant coffee isn’t always enough. Fortunately, you can substitute your barista-made coffee from the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, unless you have a dedicated espresso machine, you won’t be able to make an exact espresso, but you’ll be as close as with a French press. If you want to learn how to make the perfect espresso, you’ve come to the right place. Throughout this article, you will learn the bean to water ratio French press, how to make French press espresso, and alternative methods of how to brew espresso at home.
Espresso Roast in French Press
Espresso is the base for the majority of barista-made drinks because it’s so versatile. Traditionally, espresso is made with a dark and extremely potent roast, so it is especially more powerful than drip coffee. It’s easier to extract these powerful flavors from dark roasted beans because the more beans are roasted, the more porous the bean becomes, which boosts the extractable compounds.
When you’re searching for the perfect espresso bean, you should note that they are no different from regular coffee beans; only the roasting process sets them apart. If you’re trying to make your average coffee, a light-roasted bean is perfect, but steer clear when it comes to espresso beans in French press. Although using light-roasted beans isn’t traditional, there’s nothing to stop you from using them to make your espresso, especially if you want a lighter flavor.
To help you in your search for the perfect espresso bean, we suggest using Lifeboost Premium Espresso Coffee. Every Lifeboost espresso bean is hand-picked to guarantee only the most flavorsome beans make the cut.
The Coffee Grinds
Once you’ve picked out the perfect French espresso beans, you need to make sure you get the grind right. Espresso is made by pushing pressurized water through coffee grounds, which is why your grind needs to be a fine powder. The more finely ground and compact the beans are, the better the resistance will be against the water. Keep in mind, however, that there is a point where your coffee grounds can be too fine, which can cause blockages and ruin your espresso.
For those of you that grind their beans at home, you can invest in a burr coffee grinder for about $30 at the lower end. Theoretically, if you’ve got the energy before having a cup of java in the morning, you can grind the beans by hand. However, you won’t be able to control the grind and you may end up with a ruined coffee. On the bright side, you might be able to skip a workout at the gym.
French Press Coffee Pressure
We mentioned previously that espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground and compact coffee beans, which brings us to the next point. You need to make sure that you have the right pressure to make espresso, which is ideally 9x the atmospheric pressure. In simple terms, this equates to about 130 pounds of pressure for every square inch. Unfortunately, we can’t produce anywhere near that type of pressure by hand, so we need to use specialist equipment.
French Press Espresso Instructions
Now we will tell you how to press espresso, after which, if anyone asks you “How to make an espresso shot with a cafetiere?”, you’ll know how to respond. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, the chances are that you’ve already got French press, but you can pick one up for around $15 if not. You can use your French press to make espresso at home, and the process is very straightforward. We know what you’re thinking, “but the French press is used to make big grind brews?”. This is true, but we can make adjustments to the process to make it work for espresso as well.
Before you start, you will need to have:
- Stovetop or gooseneck kettle
- Burr grinder
- French press
- Tablespoon or scales - for your espresso measurements
- Coffee beans - freshly dark roasted
Now, it’s time to make like Napoleon and press forward:
- Take your dark-roasted beans and grind them finely using the burr. For every cup of water you use, you will need 28.3 grams of coffee - espresso ratio is important.
- Boil your kettle and allow it to sit for 30 seconds.
- Add the grounds into your French press - bear in mind there will be double the usual amount - getting the correct French press proportions will help your coffee taste great.
- Wet the coffee with water from the kettle and let it sit - you only need a couple of splashes at this point. The reason for doing this is to release all of the flavors in the coffee grind.
- Pour the rest of the water into the French press, but make sure you don’t stir because you will ruin the end result.
- Close up the lid but don’t jump straight to plunging - you need to let your coffee steep for a while. How long to steep French press coffee for is up to you, but if you go over two minutes you will destroy the taste.
- Gently, and with even pressure, press down on the plunger and stop around halfway. Raise the plunger to the top again and then continue to plunge to the bottom.
- Instead of pouring straight into French espresso cups, you should store your coffee in a serving pot. Doing this will help to keep all of the flavors in the coffee.
- Now, all you need to do is serve up your espresso and enjoy.
A French press isn’t really designed to make espresso, which is why it’s not the most effective way of answering the “how do you make espresso at home?” question. Below, we explore some alternative methods to the French press espresso recipe.
How to Make a Double Shot Espresso at Home
If you want to make a double shot of espresso at home, you are best off using a Moka pot, which is arguably the closest tool for making espresso without a machine. Moka pots are slightly more expensive, but you won’t break the bank getting one. Rather than pressing water through coffee grinds, water is heated in a chamber and the steam forces its way up into the pot.
When grinding your beans, you need to get the consistency of caster sugar, and you will need around 22 grams. Take apart the Moka pot and add water to the fill line, making sure you don’t exceed it. Next, you need to add your dark-roasted and finely ground coffee to the basket. Put everything back together and place the Moka pot on the stove. When your coffee is finished, you will hear a hissing sound and see a hazel brown foam right before it’s completed. Before serving your espresso, use a spoon to give it a stir and then enjoy your cup of joe.
Using an AeroPress is another great way to press espresso, and is perfect for when you’re on the move, unlike when you make espresso with a French press. You can make single or double shots of espresso by adjusting the ingredients by a half step up or down. You will need the same materials you do for the above section on “How to make espresso with a French press”, but instead of a French press, you will need an AeroPress.
To get started with the press espresso, you will need to heat your water to just below boiling point - between 85°C and 96°C. You will need to grind your beans to the same consistency as with the above and remember to use dark-roasted beans. Next, grab a filter and put it into your AeroPress drain cap, and wet it slightly with hot water. Using a sturdy mug, you need to affix the drain cap. Now you need to put the grinds into the AeroPress, add the water into the container, and stir. Before you begin plunging, you will need to wait 30 seconds - you can then start plunging and enjoy your delicious cup of coffee.
Now you know how to make espresso at home with a French press, which means you can enjoy suspension coffee whenever you like. The key point to remember when learning how to make espresso shots is that you should use dark-roasted beans, you need to pass pressure through finely-ground beans, and you need to get the ratios right. Although you can never make a true espresso without a machine, you can get close enough. When winter comes around again, and it’s too cold to venture outside, invite your friends over for coffee and wow them with your new skills.