can you make regular coffee with an espresso machine?

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Johny Morrisson

Yes! You can prepare a popular drink known as Americano with an Espresso machine that tastes much similar to typical brewed coffee. Americano is essentially a shot of Espresso with hot water added on top.

For coffee enthusiasts, owning an espresso machine is a dream come true. The rich flavor of espresso is unparalleled, and the ability to create café-quality drinks at home is a game-changer. 

But sometimes we want a regular full serving of coffee instead of small Espresso shots.

In this article, I will discuss how Espresso is different from regular brewed coffee and how you can use your Espresso machine to prepare a delicious and smooth cup of coffee. So let’s dive in!

Can you make regular coffee with an Espresso Machine

How do you make a Full cup of coffee with an espresso Machine?

To make a full cup with an espresso machine, you’ll want to brew a standard shot of espresso and then add hot water – a drink known as an Americano.

Here’s how you can easily make Americano Coffee with your Espresso Machine.

1- Start by grinding your coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency. You’ll need 7 to 9 grams of coffee for a single shot and 14-16 grams of coffee for a double shot.

I recommend going with a double shot of Espresso if you want to prepare a regular serving of coffee of around 6-8 oz.

For Americano, it is preferred to use medium-roasted coffee beans instead of a dark Espresso roast.

2- Heat a cup of water either in an electric kettle or on the stovetop.

3- Next, add the coffee grounds to the portafilter basket and pull a fresh shot of Espresso.

4- Finally, add hot water over the shot of Espresso and stir it gently for 10 to 15 seconds. There you have it! A delicious cup of Americano, similar to regular brewed coffee.

The typical espresso-to-water ratio for an Americano is 1:2 to 1:3, which means for a 2 oz double shot of Espresso you should add around 4-6 oz of hot water.

However, you can adjust this ratio according to your taste and preference. Just saying, 1:2 is a good starting point.

Read a guide on the difference between Americano and Espresso

The taste of regular brewed coffee vs Americano Coffee

The taste of regular brewed coffee and Americano coffee is quite similar.

Regular brewed coffee typically has a milder taste and aroma compared to an Americano. It has a wider range of flavor profiles depending on the origin of the beans, the roast level, and the brewing method used.

Americanos have a stronger and bolder flavor with a distinct espresso aroma, as well as a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Americano has the classic coffee flavor with a bit of bitterness that is typical of espresso.


Read a detailed guide on Americano vs Coffee

What is the difference between Espresso and Regular Coffee?

The main differences between espresso and regular coffee are their preparation method, taste, strength, and serving size.

Preparation method: The espresso brewing process involves forcing a hot stream of water at high pressure through finely ground coffee beans which results in a thick and dense shot of coffee served in seconds.

Regular coffee, on the other hand, is typically prepared by steeping ground coffee in hot water, either through a drip or pour-over method or by using a French press.

Taste: Espresso has a strong, bold, and complex flavor, with notes of caramel, chocolate, and nuts, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. In contrast, regular coffee tends to have a milder and smoother taste.

Serving size: A typical serving size of Espresso is 1-1.25 oz and it is meant to be consumed quickly in two or three sips. In contrast, a regular serving of brewed coffee is approximately 6 to 8 ounces and is consumed slowly and leisurely.

Espresso or black coffee

The type of beans used in Espresso machine vs Regular brewed coffee

The type of beans used in an espresso machine and regular brewed coffee can or can not be different, as it entirely depends on personal preference.

Espresso machines typically require dark roasted beans, that have a very oily surface and extract flavors more readily. The darker roast results in a richer, bolder, and more intense flavor that stands up well to the high pressure and short brewing time of the espresso machine.

Can you use Regular coffee in an Espresso Machine?

Yes, you can use a regular coffee in an Espresso machine but surely you’ll not get the best-tasting shot.

Espresso machines are designed to extract a concentrated shot of coffee by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure.

Regular coffee is typically coarser than espresso grind which will result in Espresso channeling and a weaker shot of Espresso with a very thin layer of Crema over it.

Final thoughts

When I am craving something black and smooth, I use my espresso machine to make Americanos.

Yes! The Espresso machine cannot make large batches of coffee like a drip coffee maker, but it is truly a versatile machine.

There are more than 30 different varieties of drinks you can prepare with an Espresso machine depending on your taste and mood.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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