can you make regular coffee with an espresso machine?

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

But what if you’re not in the mood for espresso and want a regular cup of coffee? 

The question is Can you make regular coffee with an Espresso machine?

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

But there are also various methods for brewing regular coffee in an espresso machine, and in this post, we’ll explore some of these methods and provide some tips to help you get the perfect cup.

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!

regular coffee with an espresso machine

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 coarsely 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 smooth 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 that is consumed slowly and leisurely.

Espresso or black coffee

How to make Regular Coffee with Espresso Machine | The Americano

So if you have only an espresso machine, and you want a cup that replicates regular brewed coffee’s flavor profile, then go for Caffe Americano.

To make an Americano, you’ll need an espresso machine, hot water, and your favorite coffee beans. Here’s how you can make it

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 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, which means for a 2 oz double shot of Espresso you should add around 4 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 Americano vs 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.

Overall, the taste of regular brewed coffee and Americano coffee can vary widely based on several factors, including the type and quality of the beans, the water ratio, the roast level, and the brewing method.

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


Read a detailed guide on Americano vs 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.

With regular brewed coffee the roast level can vary from light to dark, depending on the desired flavor profile. Lighter roasts may have a brighter, fruitier flavor, while darker roasts may have a more full-bodied, robust flavor with notes of chocolate, nuts, or spices.

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 ultimately 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.


Is Espresso Coffee Healthier Than Normal Coffee?

It’s a common misconception that espresso coffee is healthier than regular coffee. However, the truth is that neither is more healthy or less healthy than the other.
Espresso shots, in particular, contain antioxidants that can boost the immune system and potentially reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, it’s worth noting that espresso is more concentrated than brewed coffee and contains more caffeine per ounce.
So, while espresso may have some health benefits, it’s important to keep in mind that excess caffeine consumption is not healthy.

Is It OK To Drink Espresso Every Day?

Consuming espresso daily in moderation is generally safe as part of a balanced diet.
Still, excessive consumption (over 4 shots per day) can lead to negative side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
Read a guide on how many Espresso shot is 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.