How to make espresso with coffee maker

Making espresso at home with a coffee maker is a great alternative if you enjoy a rich and concentrated shot of coffee.

It’s the pressurized water that makes Espresso a Espresso. While you can’t achieve the pressure of 9 bars with a regular coffee maker but you can get close and that’s what I am going to teach in this article.

Learning how to make espresso with coffee maker is a gratifying and satisfying endeavor, regardless of your experience as a barista. It will undoubtedly improve your daily coffee ritual.

Some tips for making Espresso-like Coffee

Here are some tips for making espresso-like coffee in a drip machine.

Use a little finer Grind Size

Making espresso-like coffee requires a finer grind size. A finer grind size exposes more surface area of the coffee to the water, resulting in a stronger cup of coffee.

However, be careful not to grind the coffee too fine, as it can result in choking inside the machine or might cause over-extraction.

It’s best to experiment with different grind sizes to find the perfect balance for your desired flavor.

Coffee grounds

Increase coffee to water ratio

To make a more concentrated coffee, use a smaller amount of water than you normally would.

A typical espresso shot is brewed using about 7 to 9 grams of ground coffee, which is packed tightly into a small portafilter and then brewed with high-pressure water for around 25-30 seconds.

Regular Drip coffee, on the other hand, is typically brewed using 12 to 15 grams of coffee per serving.

Remember that an Espresso shot is only around 1-1.25 oz while a regular serving of coffee is around 6 to 8 oz.

For making Espresso in a regular coffee maker use similar coffee to water (1:2) as used in Espresso machines.

Use Espresso coffee blends

For Espresso typically dark or medium-dark roasted coffee beans are used. These beans tend to have a more intense flavor profile.

Look for coffee blends that are specifically designed for espresso machines and have a dark roast profile.

One of my favorite beans for espresso is Lavazza Super Crema, a dark-roasted blend of Arabica and Robusta Coffee beans.

Steps to make Espresso with Coffee maker

While a regular coffee maker doesn’t make exact espresso. I’m sharing my steps for making almost espresso with a regular coffee maker. Here’s how:

1) Gather the coffee beans

Use High-quality Medium Dark or Dark roasted coffee beans

Gather the coffee beans

2) Grind the coffee beans

Use a coffee grinder to grind your beans to fine or medium fine settings. It’s important to go finer than usual.

Coffee grinder

3) Add coffee grounds to the machine

Add around 10 to 12 grams (2 tbsp) of coffee grounds to the filter basket of the machine. And add 2 to 3 oz of water (60-80 mL). You want to keep the amount of coffee the same, but reduce the amount of water to make a concentrated brew.

Add coffee grounds

4) Start the Machine

Start the coffee maker’s brewing cycle and wait for it to complete. The finished coffee should be tasty and potent but it will not be as concentrated as an espresso shot.

5) Serve and Enjoy

Pour the coffee shot into a demitasse cup and enjoy.

How Espresso Machine is different from a Regular coffee maker

Espresso is a sophisticated machine that brews coffee at a high pressure of 9 bars. Let’s discuss how Espresso is different from regular coffee brewing methods.

1) Brewing Method

The brewing method is the primary difference between an espresso machine and a regular coffee maker. Espresso machines use a high-pressure brewing process to extract flavor and oils from ground coffee beans. This high-pressure process produces a concentrated shot of coffee with a unique and intense taste.

And regular coffee makers use gravity to drip water through coffee grounds. This method produces a less concentrated, milder cup of coffee.

2) Size of Grounds

The size of coffee grounds for espresso is generally much finer than that of regular coffee. Espresso requires a very fine grind to allow the water to pass through the coffee quickly and create a characteristic layer of crema on top of the shot.

In contrast, regular coffee is brewed with a coarser grind so that water passes through the coffee more slowly, resulting in a more rounded taste.

fine vs coarse grounds

3) Crema

One unique feature of espresso shots made using machines is the layer of Crema, a creamy, tan-colored foam that forms on top of the shot. It is a trademark of espresso that any other brewing method does not have.

Espresso Crema

4) Specialty Coffee Drinks

Specialty coffee drinks can be made using both espresso and drip coffee as a base. However, Espresso is the more popular choice as the sharp and robust flavors of Espresso pair well with the creaminess of the milk.

The most popular coffee drinks, such as Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, and Cartado, are all made with an Espresso shot as the base.

espresso drinks

Can you make Authentic Espresso in a coffee maker?

No, you cannot make an authentic espresso in a coffee maker.

For authentic espresso, special equipment is used that produces high-pressure and precise temperatures to extract the flavors and aromas of coffee.

According to the specialty coffee association’s definition of Espresso.

Espresso is a 25–35ml (.85–1.2 ounce [×2 for double]) beverage prepared from 7–9 grams (14–18 grams for a double) of coffee through which clean water of 195°–205°F (90.5°–96.1°C) has been forced at 9–10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brew time is 20–30 seconds. While brewing, the flow of espresso will appear to have the viscosity of warm honey and the resulting beverage will exhibit a thick, dark golden crema. Espresso should be prepared specifically for and immediately served to its intended consumer.”


Some other ways to make Espresso without an Espresso machine

If you don’t want to invest in a proper espresso machine, these simple coffee makers may be a better option than a regular drip coffee maker for making rich and strong espresso-like shots of coffee.

1) Moka Pot

Moka pot can be a good alternative for making espresso-like coffee at home.

A Moka pot, also known as a stovetop espresso maker, is a coffee brewing device that uses steam pressure to force hot water through finely-ground coffee.

While a Moka pot doesn’t produce the same high pressure as a traditional espresso machine, it can still produce a concentrated coffee with a similar flavor profile to espresso.

Moka Pot

Also Read: Moka Pot vs Espresso machines

2) Aeropress

Aeropress is a good alternative for making coffee with a similar flavor profile and intensity to espresso.

The Aeropress is a manual coffee maker that uses a combination of pressure and immersion brewing to extract the flavors and aromas of coffee.

It also has a smoother mouthfeel and less crema than espresso, but the flavor and intensity can be similar.

Aeropress is a popular choice among campers and hikers to brew coffee on trips.

Also Read: Best Portable Espresso makers

3) French Press

French press is a great coffee brewing method for those who prefer a strong and flavorful cup of coffee with a rich mouthfeel.

French press coffee can have a similar level of strength and body to espresso, but it does not have the same concentration, crema, or flavor profile as espresso.

French Press is my personal favorite brewing method, after the Espresso of course.

Read a guide on how to make Espresso in a French Press

French Press

Also Read: French Press vs Espresso

Final Thoughts on Making Espresso with coffee maker

Preparing espresso with a coffee maker is a fun and inventive way to have a great, concentrated coffee at home.

If you do decide to use a coffee maker to make espresso-like coffee, it’s important to use a fine grind size, a high coffee-to-water ratio, and to brew the coffee for a shorter time to mimic the characteristics of espresso as closely as possible.

While the steps mentioned in this guide allow you to prepare espresso-like coffee, you must keep in mind that true espresso requires a high-pressure brewing process that cannot be replicated with regular drip coffee makers. 

Read a guide on making Espresso like coffee with Instant coffee


Is espresso stronger than coffee?

Yes, espresso is generally stronger than regular coffee in terms of caffeine content, flavor intensity, and body.
A typical shot of espresso contains about 60-72 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of drip coffee contains around 80-120 milligrams of caffeine on average. However, because espresso is consumed in a smaller quantity (usually 1-2 ounces), it often feels more potent than a full cup of coffee.

Is it OK to drink espresso every day?

Yes, it’s completely fine to drink Espresso everyday as it has several health benefits.
But as we know excess of everything is bad so does apply to Espresso. It’s important to be mindful of your caffeine intake and any potential negative effects it may have on your health.
Read a guide on how many Espresso shots are too much

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.