A coffee plunger is a tool that you can use to allow the coffee to brew without the coffee exposing itself to the boiling process and pressure. This is a handy tool to have when you want to control the taste of your coffee.
When you use this method to make coffee, it’s often referred to as plunger coffee. This term is essentially the name for the ground type of coffee beans. Plunger coffee is a more coarse or thicker ground coffee. If all you have on hand is plunger coffee and an espresso machine, can you use plunger coffee in an espresso machine?
You can use plunger coffee in an espresso machine! There are some things you’ll want to learn about this process, though, before you try to make it this way at home.
Is It Safe For Your Espresso Machine?
As long as you properly grind the plunger coffee into a more delicate powder before putting it into your espresso machine, then it’s safe for you to make it in this machine.
Espresso machines are designed to work with very fine ground coffee, so if you put a coarsely ground product into it, like plunger coffee, you can clog it or damage the machine.
You’ll need to grind the plunger coffee very fine before adding it to your machine. You can do this with a coffee grinder, food processor, or by hand with a rolling pin in a bag.
How To Use Plunger Coffee in an Espresso Machine
The first step to using plunger coffee in an espresso machine is to make sure that the coffee is ground finely enough. We mentioned above how you can get the coffee to be finer, so if you need to do that, you need to do it before adding it to the espresso machine.
Once you ensure that you have the coffee ground finely, you can add it to your espresso machine and make a cup. You may need to adjust the settings slightly to achieve the flavor you want since you’re not using espresso in the machine.
Will Using Plunger Coffee in an Espresso Machine Affect the Taste of the Coffee?
Yes. When you use plunger coffee in an espresso machine, you don’t want to set your hopes too high if you’re hoping for a great cup of espresso. The flavor of the coffee won’t be espresso but will resemble more of a traditional cup of plunger coffee.
Now, if you go in knowing that the end product won’t taste like a cup of espresso, then you won’t be as disappointed. Either way, when making plunger coffee in an espresso machine, you’ll still end up with something pretty tasty that will give you the energy boost you need for the day.
Pros of Using Plunger Coffee in an Espresso Machine
We won’t lie. There are more cons than pros to using plunger coffee in your espresso machine. That being said, the pros are still worth noting. These are the main pros of using plunger coffee in your espresso machine:
- You can make coffee at home without having to pay more money at a coffee shop
- Once you grind the coffee beans, you’ll have coffee in no time
Cons of Using Plunger Coffee in an Espresso Machine
The cons of using plunger coffee in an espresso machine greatly outweigh the pros. While you may not find these to be deal-breakers, we’re here to inform you regardless. These are the cons you’ll want to consider:
- You have to grind the plunger coffee from a medium grind to a fine grind before starting
- Your coffee won’t taste exactly like a classic cup of coffee because you changed the grind size, and it won’t taste like espresso either
Alternatives to Using Plunger Coffee in an Espresso Machine
While you can use plunger coffee in an espresso machine, there are better ways to utilize this delicious coffee. Here are some of the best and most popular alternatives to using plunger coffee in an espresso machine.
Use a French Press
Using a French press is by far the most popular alternative and choice for plunger coffee. These coffee makers are designed to use a plunger to really extract all the best flavors from your ground coffee.
They’re very affordable and use a plunger device to press into the coffee to draw out all the best flavors without sacrificing any. Since you use a plunger and no paper coffee filter in this process, you’re guaranteed to have the boldest flavors from your ground coffee beans.
Use a Regular, Drip Coffee Machine
Most plunger coffee is similar to the regular coffee you’ll put in a classic coffee maker. These drip coffee makers are great for plunger coffee. The main difference between the two is that you’ll have a paper filter in these coffee machines.
The flavor will still be delicious, but you will lose a bit of the plunger coffee flavor due to the paper filter. You’ll still have a great-tasting coffee cup shortly, which works better than using plunger coffee in your espresso machine any day.
Use a Spoon as a Plunger
If you want to maximize plunger coffee’s flavor but don’t have a French press or plunger, you can use a spoon! Everyone has a cup and spoon in their kitchen, so anyone can make coffee this way.
All you need to do is add your ground coffee to the cup and then pour hot water on top. You’ll need about six ounces of water for each serving of coffee you use. You’ll use the spoon to compress the coffee grounds and extract the flavor. You’ll do this until the water looks like coffee and you don’t think any more flavor can come out, and then you can serve.
Sometimes the cup isn’t large enough for you to adequately press down on the coffee. If that’s the case, you can use a giant bowl before transferring the coffee into a cup to drink.