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

We have all been entranced by the deft hand of a barista—dosing each shot and carefully weighing it; steaming and swirling silky smooth milk; and topping each drink with latte art, a stamp of approval, a temporary reminder of the care with which the drink was made. After watching a barista with such skill and pride, it can be easy to feel like espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes are meant only to come from behind the counter. From someone else. But, with the right sort of equipment and a little bit of knowledge, we believe that anyone—yes, even you!— can be a barista at home, too.

This page is all about the right gear and the best resources for folks who want to jumpstart their espresso journey. Here you’ll find our recommendations for espresso machines, grinders, and accessories, curated to help anyone build a complete espresso bar at home.

Check out our Intro to Espresso Course

Learn More
Brewista Smart Scale II


Consistent quality is only possible with a consistent recipe, and a consistent recipe is easiest to accomplish with a high-quality scale. Most baristas want one to weigh the ground coffee in the portafilter (often called the dose) and one to weigh the brewed espresso (often called the yield). Below, we have assembled a short list of scales that fit on espresso machine drip trays and can, in a pinch and with a dosing cup, weigh the entering dose in addition to the yield. Once you find the right scale, keep reading. We have selected a few accessories for you to browse, too, to complete your setup.

Timemore Black Mirror Nano

Timemore Black Mirror Nano

Timemore’s Black Mirror Nano scale is the perfect choice for those who desire to use one scale for both dose and yield. Designed to be small enough for just about any drip tray, yet large enough to accommodate any mug, server, or even 10 cup Chemex brewers, this scale covers all the bases. In addition to its perfect size, this scale features 0.1g accuracy, a timer, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and different automatic modes for both pour over and espresso.

Shop Now
Pro Scale image

Pro Scale XC2000 Small Precision Scale

With its tiny footprint, 0.1g-resolution display, and modest price tag, the XC2000 is a nice budget-friendly espresso scale. At 4.5" x 3.5", it is a little small for holding and weighing portafilters but is perfectly sized to sit on drip trays, making it a great choice for weighing shot yields. Because it isn’t water-resistant (like the other two scales on this list), it must be kept dry, which takes a little more attention and care but is worth it in the long run.

Shop Now
Acaia Lunar Scale

Acaia Lunar Water-resistant Espresso Scale

The Lunar has made itself the industry standard espresso scale with its rock solid features: reliable water-resistance, lightning-quick response time, rechargeable battery, and compact footprint. Like all Acaia's scales, the Lunar is a worthy investment, a carefully calibrated scale that is sure to last a long time, even on the busiest espresso machines.

Shop Now

Didn't find what you were looking for? Shop All Scales

Espresso accessories and Mazzer grinder

Espresso Brewing Accessories

Now that you have an espresso machine, a grinder, and a scale (or at least have narrowed the field), it is time to complete your home espresso setup with the right accessories. Some are required, like a tamper, cleaning supplies, and milk pitcher. While others are meant to complement the rest of your gear and make the process of making espresso more enjoyable.

Prima Espresso Tamper

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.

Shop Now
grindenstein knockbox

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.

Shop Now
Revolution latte art pitcher

Revolution 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.

Shop Now

Revolution Tamping Mat

Revolution Tamping Mat

A small but important piece, this tamping mat will protect your countertops from scratches and dents made by portafilters and tampers.

Shop Now
Cleaning Supplies


Cleaning Supplies

Keeping your espresso machine clean is absolutely critical for the machine’s longevity and for the best tasting coffee. You’ll need to consider a Group Head Cleaning Brush for scrubbing inside the group, Coffee Detergent for backflushing, Grinder Cleaning Tablets to remove excess grounds and oils from your grinder’s burrs, a Counter Brush to sweep up loose grounds and chaff, Microfiber Cloths for wiping the steam wand immediately after each use, and Milk wash solution to remove built on residue on the steam wand.

Shop Now
Ancap Cups

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.

Shop Now

Didn't find what you were looking for? Shop All Accessories

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

  • Espresso 101:what is it?

    Espresso 101: What Is It?

    A saucer clinks on the counter. As you order your drink, a bearded barista hands off a tiny cup. Another scruffy soul sashays forward. You watch as the second bloke whips out the world's smallest spoon…

  • how to make espresso

    How To Make Espresso

    So you’ve decided that you’re ready to make espresso. A noble endeavor, surely, and one not to be undertaken lightly. Although espresso preparation has evolved almost constantly since the first…

  • espresso and milk for beginners

    Espresso And Milk For Beginners

    Look through almost any cafe menu and it’s immediately apparent, espresso and steamed milk are a classic combination. Now that you’ve got a handle on high-pressure brewing it’s…

  • the complete guide to pouring latte art

    The Complete Guide To Pouring Latte Art

    Even if the only requirements for a tasty milk beverage are delicious espresso and luxurious milk, so often the piece de resistance is the latte art decorating the top of your drink. It’s…

  • espresso machine maintenance

    Espresso Machine Maintenance

    You’re a shot pulling phenom, a milk steaming sensation, a bonafide home barista of the highest caliber, ready to sling cappuccinos at the drop of a hat. But, without a little TLC for…

  • get started with espresso

    Get Started With Espresso

    As you watch your barista meticulously grind coffee into a basket and carefully tamp it down, steam milk to just the right temperature, and pour a beautifully intricate rosetta into…