Can Espresso Machines Make Regular Coffee? (A Quick Guide)

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by John Moretti

Espresso machines are complex and wonderful things. These machines are specialized for pulling a shot of espresso and for making espresso-based drinks such as the Cappuccino and the Latté, but what if you just want a regular coffee? Can espresso machines make regular coffee?

Espresso machines can be used to create a drink called the Americano, which is very similar to a regular cup of coffee. The Americano is espresso poured into hot water, which dilutes the espresso, creating a drink that is very similar to regular filter coffee and is drunk in the same way.

Espresso machines are very versatile coffee machines, as they are able to create a wide variety of coffee drinks. These machines are not typically thought to make just a regular cup of coffee, but it is possible if you know how. Let’s learn how to use an espresso machine to make regular coffee.

Can Espresso Machines Make Regular Coffee?

brewing americano

Espresso machines are capable of producing a wide array of drinks. This is typically because espresso is used as a base for several types of coffee drinks. 

The drinks that espresso machines are usually used to create include drinks such as the Cappuccino, the Latté, the Flat White, the Macchiato, the Cortado, and others, but can an espresso machine be used to make a normal, regular cup of coffee?

The closest thing to regular coffee that an espresso machine can brew is a drink known as the Americano. The Americano is very similar to regular coffee, especially if you are used to drinking a cup of black filter coffee.

Espresso is not the same as regular coffee, and it tends to be much smaller and much stronger than regular coffee, but when espresso is diluted with hot water, it becomes very similar to the strength and consistency of regular filter or drip coffee.

An Americano is simply an espresso poured into a cup of hot water. The size and strength of the americano are decided by how much espresso is used and how much water is mixed into the espresso.

Using a double shot of espresso and about 10 ounces of hot water will create a drink that is very similar to a nice strong cup of regular filter coffee.

This drink can be enjoyed black or with milk and sugar, all the same ways that regular coffee is typically enjoyed.

How To Make Regular Coffee With An Espresso Machine

americano coffee

Making a drink that is very similar, almost identical to regular coffee with an espresso machine, is very simple. In fact, this drink is one of the easiest drinks to make with an espresso machine.

To create this coffee, simply boil a small amount of water with a kettle or on the stove. Place the boiling water into a cup that holds between 12 and 15 ounces of liquid.

The next step is to let the water cool down a little while you pull the espresso for the drink. Prep your espresso and pull a single or double shot of espresso according to your own preference.

The espresso can be pulled into a small vessel such as an espresso cup, or you can pull the espresso directly into the hot water that you prepared earlier. This combination of espresso and hot water is typically referred to as an Americano.

When the espresso is combined with the hot water, there should be a thin layer of foam on top of the drink, known as crema. For best results, stir the coffee until this layer of crema disappears.

The drink should now have a very similar appearance and consistency to a regular cup of coffee. This coffee can be drunk straight as is, or you can add sweeteners or milk to the drink according to your own coffee drinking preferences.

The Best Americano Recipe

americano recipe

The Americano is the only drink that an espresso machine can make that is similar to regular coffee. The way an Americano is prepared is vital for getting the most from the drink, especially if you want to drink it as regular coffee.

Let’s discuss the best way to make an Americano and how to make it as close to regular coffee as possible.

A typical Americano is between 12 and 20 ounces in volume. 20 ounces is a little more than can be made with an espresso machine, so you should aim to end up with a drink that is somewhere between 10 and 15 ounces.

To brew the best Americano, begin with 18 – 22 grams of ground espresso coffee. This amount of espresso is ideal for brewing into a double espresso. 

Place the ground coffee into a double shot portafilter basket and lock the portafilter into the espresso machine.

Pull the espresso shot for roughly 32 to 35 seconds. This should extract the coffee well and create a sweet, delicious-tasting double espresso shot.

The Double shot of espresso should be 36 – 44 grams in weight after brewing, which is equal to roughly 1.2 – 1.4 ounces. This seems like a small amount of coffee, but it is very strong and intense, which makes it ideal for combining with hot water.

Combine this amount of liquid espresso with 10 – 13 ounces of hot water to create the Americano. Once the espresso and hot water are combined, be sure to thoroughly stir the drink to fully incorporate the espresso into the water, as the espresso is thicker than the water.

Is An Americano Really A Regular Coffee?

americano and regular coffee

Technically, an Americano is not the same as regular coffee. But if you are used to drinking black filter coffee, or even if you combine your regular coffee with milk and sugar, the Americano will be a very similar experience.

This drink has a very similar strength and consistency to regular coffee and should be just as satisfying! 

Espresso is a more rich and concentrated coffee extraction method, which means that the coffee will taste a little different compared to coffee made with other brewing methods, but the drinking experience is very comparable.

The Bottom Line

Espresso machines are not usually made to brew regular coffee, as the brewing method for regular coffee and espresso are very different.

However, the Americano was specifically designed to be an espresso-based drink that is similar to regular filter coffee. The drink is meant to be a diluted version of espresso that has similar strength and texture to regular coffee.

If you have an espresso machine and are craving a cup of regular coffee, the Americano is the answer!