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Coffee Experiments: Can I Make Regular Coffee With An Espresso Machine?

It goes to reason, doesn’t it? If espresso is made with regular coffee, you should be able to make regular coffee in your espresso machine.

And, in a way, yes, you can.

You can’t make your coffee the same way you make it in a coffee maker – brewing straight through – but you CAN extend your espresso to make a full cup of coffee.

It won’t taste exactly the same, and the caffeine amount will differ, but you can absolutely get the job done in an acceptable fashion.

Do Espresso Machines Make Regular Coffee?

No, espresso machines don’t make regular coffee.

They make espresso.

Espresso uses a completely different brewing technique that extracts flavor and caffeine from coffee grounds considerably more quickly, resulting in a more condensed version of coffee with its own unique taste.

So, Can You Make Normal Coffee With An Espresso Maker?

No, you cannot.

Technically, you can’t make regular coffee with an espresso maker, but you CAN make a close approximation of it.

espresso brewing

How Can You Make Regular Coffee With An Espresso Machine?

Again, you can’t, if by “regular coffee” you mean exactly the same stuff you get from a drip coffee maker, Chemex, or French press.

You can, however, make a drink with your espresso machine that comes close to coffee in both flavor and caffeine content.

That drink is a caffè Americano, which you’ve probably seen on the menu of many a coffee shop.

A caffè Americano is a basic espresso drink that consists of one or more shots of espresso extended with hot water.

To make it, you make a shot of espresso (or two, or three, or four) and top it off with water to get whatever size drink you want.

This gives a fairly close approximation to regular coffee in flavor and caffeine content.

A standard (1 oz.) shot of espresso contains around 63 mg of caffeine, while a standard (8 oz.) cup of coffee contains around 95 mg of caffeine.

Go up to two shots of espresso and you’ll get approximately 126 mg of caffeine in your caffè Americano, which is more than an 8-oz. cup of coffee, but less than a 12-oz. cup (160 mg of caffeine).

The best rule of thumb with an Americano is to add water as you add shots.

But you certainly don’t have to.

The less water you add to your espresso shots, the stronger your coffee will be.

You can also always make enough espresso shots to fill an entire coffee cup, but your drink will have an incredibly intense flavor and a LOT of caffeine.

It also won’t taste like coffee.

If you want your espresso to be anything at all like brewed coffee, it needs to be diluted.

And, even then, the flavor won’t be exact.

That’s just the nature of the rapid espresso technique versus the slow-brew technique used for most coffee.

Can You Make Regular Coffee In A Stovetop Espresso Maker (Moka Pot)?

man making moka pot coffee

Yes, you can make a close approximation of regular coffee in a Moka pot.

You do it in a similar fashion as to how you do it with an espresso machine.

But the result is actually closer to regular coffee.

While stovetop espresso makers (Moka pots) are billed as making “espresso,” they don’t actually use an equivalent amount of pressure to an espresso maker.

Because of this, the brew a Moka pot produces is somewhere between regular coffee and espresso.

It tastes stronger than regular coffee (but not as strong as espresso) and has more caffeine per ounce than regular coffee (but not as much as espresso).

You will still need to add water if you want the brew from a Moka pot to be more like regular coffee in taste and caffeine content, but you won’t need to add as much water and the result will be closer to regular coffee than a caffè Americano brewed with a machine.

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