Plug the espresso machine into a working power supply and turn the control knob to "Off."
Fill the carafe with cold, clean water to the fill line on the carafe for the desired number of servings. One serving of espresso equals 2 ounces. If making coffee, fill the carafe to the midpoint between the 2- and 4-cup marks on the carafe for 2 servings, and fill to the top of the metal band on the carafe for 4 cups.
Open the water reservoir and pour the water into the reservoir. Tighten the cap on the water reservoir.
Place the filter in the brew basket and fill with ground espresso to the 2- or 4-cup mark on the filter. Wipe away excess grounds from the rim of the filter. Ground espresso can be found at most grocery stores or culinary supply stores.
Gently press down on the ground espresso with the tamper provided with the espresso maker. Push the brew basket underneath the brewing head with the handle pointed to the far left. Turn the handle to the right until it locks into position.
Place the cover on the carafe so the opening faces the spout. Set the carafe on the tray with the handle in alignment with the handle of the brew basket. Rotate the control knob up to the coffee cup symbol, which starts the brewing process. Rotate the control knob to "Off" when the coffee has finished brewing.