Best →

How to Make Espresso with a Regular Coffee Maker

Beth Huston Profile image

Written by:

Updated February 12, 2023

Figuring out how to make espresso with a regular coffee maker takes some patience and understanding. Unfortunately, you can’t create true shots of espresso. However, you can make convincing espresso-style coffee without an expensive machine. While you won’t need the best coffee maker out there for this tutorial, it will help.


  • Using a regular coffee maker will only create espresso-like coffee, rather than the real thing you find at coffee shops. They don’t have enough bars of pressure.
  • First, use a Burr grinder to create medium-fine coffee grounds. Pour these into the regular filter that you use for your standard brewing method.
  • Pour heated water over the medium-fine coffee grounds, just barely covering them. This will create a cup of concentrated coffee.

Making different types of coffee in a single machine is one thing, but there’s so much more to learn. With that said, if you want more help learning about coffee makers, check out our useful guides discussing how to grind coffee beans for a coffee maker, how to make perfect coffee in a coffee maker, and what to do when your stovetop espresso maker stops working.

Can I Create Authentic Espresso without an Espresso Machine?

Insider Tip

You can easily clean a coffee machine using vinegar and warm water.

You won’t be able to create a true shot of espresso. However, you can get pretty close using the method below with a drip coffee maker.

If you want to experience a different type of coffee than your usual, try learning how to make Cuban coffee with an espresso machine.


First, use your Burr grinder on an appropriate espresso grind setting. Aim for a medium-fine grind. Don’t use pre-ground coffee since the grind size will be incorrect.


Use around 6 grams of coffee grounds, but up to 8 for stronger flavor. Pour your coffee grounds into the coffee filter.


Heat a cup of water using a stovetop kettle. Remove it just before the water temperature reaches a boiling point.


Pour your hot water over the ground coffee. You should just cover the ground espresso coffee with hot water, taking care not to oversaturate them.


Taste your cup of coffee to see how the brewing process went. If there’s a weak flavor, increase the number of ground beans for a more intense flavor. If there’s an acidic taste in your cup of coffee, use a few more ounces of water.


Run through the brewing process as many times as you like. If you’re looking for rich flavor notes aside from delicious coffee options, try learning how to make hot chocolate in a coffee maker next.


Use proper hand protection when using a Moka pot, or you could end up with burns.


How else can I get the flavor of espresso without a fancy machine?

Stovetop espresso makers like the Moka pot are the most popular method. A French Press will work, as well. Using a Moka pot will get you as close to a true espresso roast as possible.

Can I use finely ground coffee beans for espresso in a drip machine?

You shouldn’t use a finer ground for this espresso brewing method. That will cause the strong brew to taste bitter instead of having a smooth, robust flavor.

Can I use regular coffee beans in a true espresso machine?

Any type of roasted coffee beans will work. However, a darker roast will produce a rich taste for your taste buds. Light roasts won’t create the strong, amazing coffee you crave.

What is the difference between a drip coffee brewer and a classic espresso maker?

The espresso-making process is different from the process for a cup of drip coffee. Regular drip coffee uses more water per tablespoon of ground coffee than delicious espresso.

STAT: Caffeine may reduce the risk of developing certain neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and dementia as well as certain oral cancers. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image