How to use Espresso machine [Step-by-Step Guide]

Espresso machines are of great use when you need a good coffee cup as a stress buster or simply for chilling at your home. Many people nowadays own an espresso machine because they offer a variety of functions and a varied price range according to everyone’s budget. Espressos provide an instant high caffeine shot for starting off your mornings with freshness with no hassle. 

Using an espresso machine, be it manual or super automatic, is easy to use once you get used to it. Thus, within 2-3 brews you can learn espresso making easily. Manual espresso makers may seem a bit hard to use for new users but once you have a little experience, you can make barista level coffee on your own.

Espresso machines come in a lot of varieties, features, price range and sizes so there is an espresso maker for each and every person. Super automatic espresso machines need minimum or no manual work at all. All the features such as grinding, brewing and moreover cleaning functions are automatic too. Check out our article for detailed information on how to clean an espresso machine.

How to use Espresso machine

With these steps you can easily start using an espresso machine 

Before using an espresso machine, make sure that your machine is clean from inside and outside as well for more information, check our article- how to clean an espresso machine

1-Fill the water reservoir

Remove the water reservoir and fill it with filtered water as per the required quantity for your espresso cup and reattach it. If you don’t know the exact level, then fill it more than half so that you won’t run out of water while brewing a cup of espresso. Moreover, make sure that the water container is clean before filling water.

2-Preheat the machine 

Start the machine by plugging it into mains and switching it on by pressing the required button. Once the machine starts, it will go into pre-heat mode. The preheating time may vary for different machines, some take only 20 seconds and some take 25 minutes.

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3-Grind the beans 

If your espresso machine includes an integrated coffee grinder, then it will be easier to use. Simply add beans to the grinder and select the grind size on the dial and within minutes your coffee grounds will be ready. Also, do not forget to place the porta filter below the coffee grinder outlet. On the contrary, if you don’t have an inbuilt coffee grinder then you must buy one externally and follow the same steps 

4-Attach the porta filter

Once your porta filter is filled with the required coffee amount, tamp it with a tamper so the grounds get well compressed and leveled. If you are lucky enough, you will get different baskets for different sizes. If not, you can check out your user manual for the right amounts. Lastly, attach the porta filter carefully to the group head.

5-Choose your preferred recipe

This step varies from machine to machine. Manual coffee makers have no options to choose from. On the contrary, the super automatic espresso machines have a lot of preset functions. Choose one of those buttons of your desired coffee recipe. Moreover, specify the size of your drink.

6-Pull out a shot

Place a cup below the nozzle and on the drip tray carefully. Moreover, make sure the cup fits well on the drip tray. Within minutes you will see freshly brewed delicious espresso getting poured into your coffee cup. Depending on your cup size and functionality of your machine it may take some time to brew.

7-Steam the milk 

If your coffee recipe includes milk then get an espresso machine with an attached steam wand or inbuilt milk frother. Or else get one externally. For a cup of cappuccino or latte take at least 100ml whole fat milk in the milk container and place the steam wand below the milk surface and do not forget to preheat it. Once you acquire your desired consistency and texture, remove the wand and clean it with a cloth.

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If you are an espresso lover, then enjoy it as soon as it is brewed. Additionally, if you love milk coffees, try making cappuccinos and lattes at home by slowly pouring the creamy frothed milk with some cocoa powder or cinnamon for the best coffee experience. 

Check out our article on 

for a detailed recipe.

Clean the machine

Now, after enjoying your favorite espresso shot, it’s time to clean the espresso machine for a longer life. You have to start with cleaning the steam wand with a cloth and also the exterior of the machine. Moreover, dump those used coffee grounds and clean the portafilter. Also do not forget to empty the water reservoir as the moisture will attract bacteria. Check out how to clean an espresso machine for more information 

Programming the machine 

Many high-end, super-automatic espresso machines come with a feature that lets you program the machine for a more personalized experience. Some commercial coffee machines may lack this feature but many do. 

We can program these espresso machines to serve you the right amount of espresso you desire with a simple function. If your machines have other preset functions such as cappuccino, latte, double espresso, then you can also program them.

Simply keep on pressing the required button while the coffee is getting poured and when it reaches the desired amount, release the button. That’s how your espresso maker will always serve you the desired amount of espresso.

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Maintenance tips 

  • Keep your espresso machine clean by simply running a cleaning cycle, dumping the used grounds, and cleaning the drip tray daily. 
  • After each brew run a cleaning cycle with only water so no coffee residue accumulates inside the machine
  • You should descale your espresso machine every 2 months for better functionality and consistent coffee taste 
  • You can use filtered water over normal tap water as the tap water may contain heavy minerals which can cause scaling in your machine internally


That’s how you use and maintain an espresso maker for a better coffee experience and longer life span. There are a lot of benefits of using an espresso machine such as you can save your valuable time, get premium coffee experience with less cost and while sitting at home moreover with a single touch.

Nowadays, every espresso machine with a decent budget works fine for at least 5 years so it is a wonderful investment. Additionally, you can also personalize them according to your preferences. So do consider having the best espresso machine to make your task easier and faster and for a premium coffee experience at home. 

So everyone with love for espressos should get one immediately. If you don’t own one we have got you covered with our article- best Italian espresso machines of . If you own a Breville or DeLonghi espresso machine, then we have got you covered with our detailed article on how to use them. Therefore, check out our articles on how to use a Breville espresso machine and how to use a DeLonghi espresso machine.

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