How to get started brewing espresso at home

how to get started brewing espresso at home

How To Get Started Brewing Espresso At Home

Espresso at home is for everyone

Watching a cafe barista work can be entrancing—dosing each shot carefully, deftly steaming milk to order, topping each drink with latte art to remind you of the care they put into your beverage—it can be easy to feel like espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes are meant to only come from behind the counter. But, with the right sort of equipment and little bit of knowledge, anyone can be their own barista right in their own home!

This page is all about the right gear and the best resources for folks who want to get started on their own espresso journey. You’ll find our recommendations for espresso machines, grinders, and accessories that are made to crank out cappuccinos like your favorite cafe, and easy articles that will walk you through how to expertly use each piece of equipment.

Baratza Sette

Espresso Grinders

While the espresso machine is often the biggest investment for home baristas, the grinder you choose will have the biggest impact on the quality you’re able to produce. Espresso requires very fine, very consistent grounds, which is difficult-to-impossible with many typical coffee grinders. Luckily, we have a collection of high-quality options at a range of prices for you to choose from! After you pick out your grinder we can look at a few scales that will help you ensure you’re using the right recipe time and time again.

Baratza Sette
Free Startup Course

Baratza Sette 270Wi Weight-based Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Built expressly for home espresso, the Sette 270Wi comes with loads of features to make espresso efficient for anyone. Its stepless fine-tune grind adjustment, automatic dosing, and built in forks for your portafilter make grinding a perfect dose a breeze, while Baratza’s reputation for quality shines through in the build and support you’ll get with this machine.

Kinu M47 Simplicity Manual Coffee and Espresso Grinder

While many hand grinders excel with filter coffee, the Kinu M47 series is phenomenally constructed for espresso. User-friendly ergonomics, rock solid stainless steel construction, and precision manufacturing mean that this grinder is the perfect companion to many home espresso set ups.

Orphan Espresso LIDO E-T Hand Grinder for Espresso

More affordable than our other recommendations, the LIDO E-T is another hand grinder designed and built with espresso on the mind. Stepless grind adjustment makes dialing in fun, and its rugged plastic body is full of high quality stainless steel, bronze, and rubber parts, all expertly put together.

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Hiroia Jimmy Scale


Consistent quality is only possible with a consistent recipe, and a consistent recipe is easiest to accomplish with a high quality scale! You’ll want something to weigh out your ground coffee as well as measure your brewed espresso in real time, helping you fine-tune your brews and delivering scrumptious shots over and over again. Your next and final step will be picking out the accessories that you’ll need to complete your new home cafe.

Hiroia Jimmy Digital Brewing Scale

With several built-in brewing modes, bluetooth connectivity, app support, and a size that makes it comfortably usable as both a brewing and espresso scale, the Jimmy has everything you could ask for. Its 2 kg capacity is plenty for your coffee needs, and its 10–15 hour internal battery life means you won’t have to worry about recharging it daily.

Pro Scale XC2000 Small Precision Scale

With its tiny footprint and 0.1g display, the XC2000 is a good option for a budget-friendly espresso scale. You won’t be able to weigh your dose in your portafilter easily, but with a dosing cup this scale can solve most all of your espresso woes at home. Be mindful that this scale isn’t water-resistant like many dedicated coffee scales, so it’s important to keep it safe and dry while you use it.

Acaia Lunar Water-resistant Espresso Scale

The Lunar has made itself the industry standard espresso scale with its rock solid features list—reliably water-resistant, lightning quick response time, rechargeable battery, and a small footprint to fit comfortably almost anywhere. You can expect consistently calibrated operation and a long life out of this investment piece.

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Espresso accessories and Mazzer grinder

Espresso Brewing Accessories

Having the right accessories to round out your new espresso set up will help make your cafe drink dreams a reality by outfitting you with the same tools that your favorite barista uses. Some are required, like an espresso tamper, while others are meant to complement the rest of your gear to make espresso preparation and clean up as approachable as possible.

Prima Coffee Espresso Tamper

You’ll need a tamper to make espresso, and with the wide range of sizes available for our Prima Coffee Tamper you can be sure to get the right fit for your basket no matter what machine you’re using.

Dreamfarm Grindenstein Knockbox

A simple solution to keeping tidy, this knock box is great for spent coffee pucks or for quickly discarding a little coffee if you’ve over-dosed your portafilter before tamping.

Espresso Supply Rattleware Latte Art Pitcher

Espresso may be a perfect product on its own, but steamed milk makes it magical. If you want to make cappuccinos, lattes, and more at home, this steaming pitcher is exactly what you’re looking for.

Espresso Supply Rattleware Tamping Mat

A small but important piece, this tamping mat will protect your countertops from scratches and dents from your portafilter while you work..

Urnex Espresso Starter Kit for Cleaning Espresso Equipment

It isn’t glamorous, but keeping your gear spick-and-span is necessary for making delectable drinks. This starter kit comes with everything you need to keep your grouphead shining, your steam wand steaming, and your grinder turning out pristine coffee grinds.

Ancap Torino Porcelain Cups

Beautiful espresso drinks deserve beautiful serviceware, and with Ancap’s high-quality porcelain you can pick and choose from four different sizes to be sure you have the right cup on hand for your favorite drink. Durable and affordable, these cups are perfect for a new home cafe.

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Workshops: Brewing Espresso At Home

Get Started With Espresso At Home: Choosing Your Gear

The first event in our series for home espresso beginners, this workshop and Q&A focuses on choosing the right gear for your home to get you started on the right foot.

Get Started With Espresso At Home: Making Espresso

The second event in our series for home espresso beginners, this workshop and Q&A focuses on espresso recipes and preparation.

Get Started With Espresso At Home: Milk Drinks

The third event in our series for home espresso beginners, this workshop and Q&A focuses on how to make cafe drinks like cappuccinos and lattes with your gear.

Resources For Brewing At Home

Starting Point Recipes

To Brew: Coffee Dose Espresso Yield Brew Time
A Single Shot 9-12 g 18-24 g/~1 fl oz 22-25 seconds
A Double Shot 18-20 g 35-40 g/~2 fl oz 25-30 Seconds

Espresso Flow Chart
Espresso Dial-in Guide

Recommended Reading

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