Coffee Gear

Make Great Espresso at Home with This Manual Espresso Maker

Espresso machines are expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to make great espresso at home.

By America's Test Kitchen | March 14, 2017

Making good espresso at home can be tough, especially if you don’t want to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars for an espresso machine. A good moka pot (often referred to as “the poor man’s espresso maker”) can get close to mimicking espresso, but even the best versions can’t generate enough pressure necessary to produce a shot of espresso with a rich, full body.

Luckily for the budget-conscious espresso drinker, we’ve found that there are two great manual options that produce good to very good espresso: the ROK Manual Espresso Maker [Buy on Amazon] and the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker [Buy on Amazon]. Watch this video to see how they work:

The AeroPress produces a brew similar in body to a French press (but without any of the silt), while the ROK produces rich, flavorful espresso replete with velvety crema on top. It’s more expensive than the AeroPress, but at less than $200, it’s a great option for someone who wants to drink espresso on the regular but doesn’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg to do so.

How do you take your espresso? Straight, or with sugar? Let us know in the comments!