Starting your day with a glorious cup of coffee is what many people do around the world. This hot and rich beverage gives people the energy to start and complete their day. What happens if you need your morning coffee fix, but you only have an espresso machine available?
While espresso is a delicious coffee beverage, many people prefer a traditional cup of coffee. Some people cannot get behind the more robust flavor profile of espresso. Can you make your regular cup of coffee in an espresso machine or not?
So, Can You Make Regular Coffee in an Espresso Machine?
The short answer to whether you can brew regular coffee in an espresso machine is yes and no. Espresso is made from coffee beans, just like regular coffee, but it’s in a much more concentrated form when brewed.
Yes, because you can make something similar to a regular cup of coffee, but also no because it’s definitely not a regular cup of coffee.
While you can make regular coffee in an espresso machine, it won’t come out exactly like a regular cup of coffee will. Many people combat this issue by brewing a traditional cup of espresso and then adding some water to dilute it, so it tastes more like regular coffee.
If you have a dual purpose espresso machine, you should be able to make regular coffee in it as well. But not all espresso machines have this ability. If you have a standard espresso machine, you should be able to make an Americano that will taste more similar to regular coffee.
What’s the Difference Between Espresso and Regular Drip Coffee?
Even though regular coffee and espresso are both made from ground coffee beans, there are some fundamental differences between the two when they transform from beans to a hot beverage.
When you’re brewing coffee in a regular drip coffee machine or using a Keurig, the beans are already ground when you add them to the machine. Many espresso machines grind the beans for you, or you have to use a coffee grinder to reach the proper consistency needed for espresso.
The biggest difference between regular drip coffee and espresso is the brewing process. When you’re brewing espresso, you force hot water to flow through very finely ground coffee beans. This process gives you a much bolder and more caffeinated beverage.
When you’re brewing regular coffee in a drip machine, gravity does the work. Hot water will slowly drip through the grounds to create coffee. The consistency to which the coffee beans are ground is different for espresso and regular coffee as well.
Espresso needs beans that are ground ultra-fine, whereas regular coffee can use grounds that are still small but more coarsely ground.
A traditional cup of espresso is known to have a layer on top that’s full of air bubbles and coffee bean oils. When you make a regular cup of coffee, it doesn’t have any coffee bean oil or froth on top. Espresso has a more full-bodied flavor than regular coffee. Espresso dissolves about 12% of the coffee, whereas regular coffee only dissolves about 2%.
How to Make Regular Coffee in an Espresso Machine
As mentioned, your cup of coffee will not taste the exact same coming from an espresso machine as it would a drip coffee pot or even a Keurig. But, if you’re feeling adventurous or have no other options, here’s how you can do it.
You’ll have to start by making a traditional cup or two of espresso, depending on how much coffee you want. You’ll need to read your product’s manual to see how much it can make at once. Traditionally, you’ll use six to eight grams of coffee grounds for a two to a three-ounce cup of espresso.
Let your espresso machine do the work brewing this cup of espresso for you. When the machine is finished brewing, remove the cup and pour your espresso into a larger coffee mug. You’ll then need to add hot water to dilute the flavor to taste more like regular coffee.
How much water you add is up to you and your personal taste. Many people add enough water to reach eight ounces, so about five to six ounces. You can then add any creamer, milk, or sweeteners before drinking.
If you want to get technical, you’ll be drinking an Americano, not a regular cup of coffee. But the taste should be the most similar to your normal cup of joe. When you add the exact amount of water as there is espresso, it’s a Caffe Americano. If you ask any barista or coffee expert, this is their favorite way to make a more standard cup of coffee when using an espresso machine.
Alternatives to Making Regular Coffee in an Espresso Machine
If you’ve tried this method before and did not like it or are worried about having a not-so-great-tasting cup of coffee, here are some alternatives to consider.
Purchase Coffee at a Local Coffee Shop
Buying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop or cafe can add up quickly. But, if you ever find yourself in a position where you only have an espresso machine but really want a regular cup of coffee, this may be your best option.
Drink a Cup of Espresso Instead
Many people are put off by espresso because the flavor is much bolder than a regular cup of coffee. If all you have is an espresso machine, it doesn’t hurt to give espresso a try. You’ll be able to finish the drink faster since it’s smaller, but you’ll still have plenty of caffeine to kick start your day.
Create a Latte or Cappuccino With the Espresso Machine
Lattes and Cappuccinos aren’t standard cups of coffee, but these beverages are commonly made with espresso machines. They’re both caffeinated, but they have milk and frothy milk on top that makes it a unique drink. It will taste milder than a standard cup of espresso too.