How to make Espresso with Keurig

Keurig is an exceptional and extremely user-friendly coffee machine when it comes to plain and smooth black coffee.

However, sometimes we need something stronger and more concentrated than simple black coffee, like espresso.

While it’s not possible to make Authentic Italian Espresso with Keurig machine but you can certainly come close to it and make something called “Espresso-like shots”

In this article, I will unleash my secrets to making strong and concentrated “espresso-like” coffee with Keurig! So hook up with me till the end to discover all the tips.

Espresso with Keurig

Can Keurig make Espresso?

According to speciality coffee association the definition of true Espresso is:

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.”


So, according to definition, A Keurig machine can not make authentic espresso as it uses drip brewing technology, which does not produce enough pressure classify as true espresso. Moreover Keurigs make large servings of coffee typically 6 to 12 oz while an Espresso shot is only 1 oz.

The Keurig K Cafe model, however, has a “Shot Option” for those who crave the flavor of espresso-like shots for making cappuccinos and lattes.

Along with its milk frother to prepare Cappuccino and Latte with a touch of a single button, this model includes a shot button that dispenses a 2 oz concentrated coffee shot with a bold and intense taste, though without the signature crema layer.

K cafe

Read a Review of Keurig K cafe

How to make an Espresso like shot with Keurig?

Keurig is not for espresso but some Keurig models allow you to make stronger coffee by reducing the amount of water that goes through the coffee pod. Here are some tips for making Espresso with Keurig.

1- Choose Dark Roast or Espresso K Cup coffee pod

Dark roasted beans are typically used in espresso since they have a stronger flavor and are less acidic than lighter roasts.

Unlike regular coffee K-Cups, espresso K-Cups are packed with more finely ground and dark roasted coffee to make a stronger and more concentrated shot of coffee that resembles the taste of espresso.

Here’s my favorite Espresso K cup that you must try

San Fransisco Bay Espresso Roast

San Fransisco Bay is a medium-dark roast blend made with high-quality Arabica beans grown in Central America.

This Espresso Roast is rich, complex, and full-bodied, making it a great choice for coffee lovers who loves “Espresso-like” Strong coffee.

Espresso roast k Cup

2- Use the smallest brew size or shot button

As we know the traditional Espresso serving is very small. A single shot is only 1-1.25 oz while a double shot is around 2-2.5 oz.

So you have to use the smallest brew size on your Keurig. This will reduce the amount of water that goes through the coffee pod, resulting in a stronger shot with a more concentrated flavor.

If your Keurig has a “Shot” button, press it and you’ll get a shot of coffee that tastes almost like Espresso but without the signature crema layer.

Otherwise, press the strong button on Keurig and choose the 4 oz brew size. This way, you will get a 4-ounce serving of coffee that you can split into two 2-ounce shots aka double shot Espresso.

Note: Some Entry level Keurig models don’t have the stong button and the brew size in some models starts from 6 oz. In those models, it is certainly not possible to make Espresso-like strong coffee

Keurig Espresso Recipe

If you're a fan of the bold and intense flavor of espresso but don't have an espresso machine, fear not! With this Keurig espresso recipe, you can enjoy a rich and concentrated shot of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • Keurig Machine
  • A Coffee Cup


  • 1 Espresso Roast K cup
  • Water


  • Select your K cup: For rich and flavorful Espresso like Coffee, choose dark roast or Espresso roast K cup.
  • Brew coffee: Turn on the Keurig and select the 4 oz brew size. Also, Press the strong button, as it will prolong the brewing process and extract more flavors from the grounds.
  • Pour the Coffee: Pour your 4 oz coffee into two small demitasse Espresso cups to have a luxurious feeling of Espresso.
  • Serve and Enjoy: You can serve this Espresso like coffee as it is, or use it as a base for milk-based coffee drinks like Cappuccino or Latte. In my opinion, latter will be the better option

Making Espresso with Keurig refillable coffee pods

If you use refillable coffee pods in your Keurig than you can actually make a better tasting espresso than pre packaged K cups. Here’s how you can do it:

Reusable K cup

Grind the coffee beans

The best grind settings for Keurig Espresso is medium or medium fine. And if you buy pre ground coffee than make sure it has medium fine or medium grind settings.

Note: Espresso typically use fine grind settings as it results in the extraction of more flavors in short time. However, In Keurig you should use a relatively larger grind size (Medium-fine is the best) as it doesn’t have a pressurized brewing system. Using too fine coffee grounds can lead to chocking or leakages in your Keurig.

Tamp the coffee grounds

Add the coffee grounds in My K cup filter basket to the max fill line. Reusable K cups can easily accommodate around 12 grams of coffee.

Use a tamper or something flat and solid to gently press down the coffee grounds in the refillable pod.

This helps to ensure that the coffee is evenly distributed and compacted, which is important for even and maximum extraction.

Note: Don’t press too hard otherwise it will lead to chocking. Just try to flatten the top surface of coffee grounds.

Select the 4 oz cup size

Insert the refillable coffee pod in machine and choose the smallest cup size on your Keurig machine, which is typically 4 ounces.

Also press the strong button if your model have it. This will ensure that the water comes into contact with the coffee grounds for a longer period, producing a stronger shot.

Use it as a base for Cappuccino or Latte

Keep in mind that the espresso shot produced by a Keurig machine may not have the same crema layer or strength as a traditional espresso shot, so I don’t think it makes sense to consume it as it is.

But it can still be used to make a delicious latte. Froth some milk and add it to the top of freshly prepared Espresso from Keurig to make a Latte.

Also Read: How to make Latte with Keurig

How’s Keurig different from an Espresso machine?

Traditional espresso machines and Keurig machines differ significantly in their brewing technology, which ultimately affects the taste, texture, and overall experience of drinking coffee.

Keurig machines dispense hot water through a small needle that punctures sealed K-cup coffee pods, a process similar to automatic drip coffee makers. It makes a standard cup of coffee with a consistent flavor and strength but does not provide the high pressure needed to produce an espresso shot.

The Keurig is perfect for those who are often on the go since it is easy to set up and can brew a cup of coffee in under a minute. It uses pre-packaged coffee pods or K-Cups which make it even more convenient.

On the other hand, Espresso machines are quite sophisticated. They have a pump-driven system that forces hot water through a compacted puck of finely ground coffee at extremely high pressure, typically between 9 and 15 bars. This high-pressure extracts oils and flavors from the coffee, creating a rich and creamy espresso shot with a signature crema layer on top.

You must note that Keurig machines are designed for making regular coffee, not espresso. If you want both convenience and strong espresso, other options such as Nespresso, Lavazza, or Dolce Gusto, which use pods to make espresso shots, maybe a better choice.

A better alternative for Espresso “Nespresso”

Nespresso is always better than Keurig for making espresso with the convenience of coffee pods

Keurig machines make standard drip coffee, whereas Nespresso machines are designed to prepare espresso exclusively with a thick layer of Crema.

The Nespresso machine works by forcing water through coffee pods at a high pressure in a similar manner to traditional espresso machines.

Nespresso is unquestionably a superior choice if you like to have rich and concentrated Espresso shots at a touch of button.

Nespresso coffee makers

Also Read: Keurig vs Nespresso

Final Thoughts on Keurig Espresso

While Keurig machines are great for brewing regular coffee, they may not be the best option for making authentic Espresso. Despite using Espresso K cups or refillable coffee pods, the resulting shot will always lack a true Espresso’s crema, intensity, and complexity.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast looking for a genuine Espresso experience, investing in an actual Espresso machine or a Nespresso machine is best. However, if you’re content with a strong cup of coffee that resembles Espresso, Keurig can still be a convenient and accessible option.


Can You Use Espresso Capsules In Keurig?

You cannot use Espresso capsules in Keurig coffee makers since they are incompatible.
Keurig machines only works with pre-packaged K cup coffee pods or reusable My k cup coffee filters for coffee grounds.

Why is Espresso so Good?

Espresso is a beloved coffee beverage for its rich, intense flavor and creamy texture. Apart from that Espresso is also used as base for variety of Coffee drink such as Cappuccino, Americano and Macchiato to name a few.

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.