No espresso machine needed!

After years of working in coffee shops, going on hundreds of coffee dates, and listening to my coffee-nerd husband, I’ve finally perfected my very favorite coffee drink at home. The best part is, no espresso machine is required!

Tools + Ingredients

Aeropress (in stores or online)

2 paper filters

18 grams (a rounded tbsp) coffee beans, finely ground

65 grams (1/3 cup) hot water

8 oz milk

20 grams (2 tbsp) vanilla simple syrup

Optional toppings*





I’m using a coffee maker called an Aeropress, which is an inexpensive, pressure-based coffee maker. This makes a really great faux espresso! For this recipe, we’ll be working in grams, so I suggest using a kitchen scale. But I’ve added other measurements as well for reference.

Your Aeropress comes with written instructions (and video instructions available online). Here is a quick run-through:


  • Heat water to 195°F or just below boiling.


  • Rinse your filters and put them inside the filter cap. Twist the cap onto the main chamber, flip it over and stand the chamber onto your cup.


  • Put a rounded scoop of finely ground coffee into the chamber & gently shake to level it.


  • Pour the hot water into the chamber and stir. After 45 seconds, insert the plunger and press gently until you feel resistance; then press down firmly. This will take some force but is what gives it that “espresso” feel.

  • Add milk, vanilla simple syrup, stir and enjoy!


* I like to add cinnamon to mine. Cinnamon, lavender oil, a candy cane, or a dash of coco powder are all fun toppings!