Whether or not to use regular coffee in an espresso machine is one of the most confusing details for first-time brewers. When you’ve been living on classic coffeemakers for years, it can be hard to make the switch.
Can You Use Regular Coffee In An Espresso Machine?
Don’t have time for the full article? Here’s a quick answer to your question:
You’ll be happy to know regular pre ground coffee can be used for an espresso machine, provided it has the right fine grind. Many coffee drinkers also prefer to use dark roasted coffee due to its stronger flavor. Dark roasted coffee brings out roasted, bitter flavor notes that blend quite nicely with milk or a little sugar.
Bear in mind that if you want the best quality, it is ideal to use freshly ground espresso beans. Professionals who use commercial espresso machines also use high end grinders to create the best brew.
Keep reading to learn more about the different kinds of coffee you can put in an espresso machine.
What Is The Difference Between Espresso And Coffee?
Let’s start off the list with the difference between espresso and coffee. That is to say, no difference!
Espresso is a type of coffee that uses the espresso extraction method, a brewing technique that uses pressure to create espresso shots.
Can You Use Dark Roast Coffee In Place of Espresso?
If you don’t have an espresso machine, it’s possible to get a similar flavor with dark roasted espresso-grade coffee in a coffee maker. It still won’t be quite the same, since the coffee will be less concentrated and lack the signature crema.
What Is The Best Coffee For Espresso?
Coffee brewers have widely preferred darker roasts for espresso since the espresso machine was crafted back in the late 1800’s. A dark roast provides a robust contrast to the milder flavors of steamed milk.
If you’re not a fan of toasted, bitter flavors, consider a French Roast or Blonde Roast instead.
Can You Use Folgers In An Espresso Machine?
Folgers coffee is generally designed for pour overs, coffeemakers, or instant coffee drinks. While you can use their pre ground coffee in an espresso machine, it won’t have the same result as an espresso grind.
Instead, consider purchasing whole bean Folgers and grinding them at home to a proper fine grind. This will complement your espresso machine’s extraction method and create a richer, fuller espresso shot.
How Do You Grind Coffee For Espresso?
You might be in the middle of searching for coffee grinders on the market. Even the highest quality coffee won’t fare well if its extraction method doesn’t match its grind level.
Grinding coffee is best done with the aid of a grinder. While you can technically mash coffee beans with a mortar and pestle, the coffee beans will lack consistency and result in a lackluster espresso shot.
This is the most affordable and simple way of grinding coffee for espresso. Hand grinders are small and portable, able to be carried in a suitcase or a backpack. They come with several grind settings to match popular extraction methods such as pour over or espresso.
All grinders come in three grinding styles:
- Flat burrs
- Conical burrs
The downside to hand grinders is they take longer than an electric grinder to create enough coffee for a shot. This time-consuming nature can be frustrating if you want to make coffee for several people.
This is the more expensive option on the list, though by far the most convenient. Just press a button for a pre-determined grind setting and go! Electric grinders come in several sizes to accommodate your coffee lifestyle, with some able to hold more than a pound of coffee.
The downside to electric grinders includes their noise level. If you like making coffee in the morning -- or in a crowded office -- consider a model that has noise reduction features.
Espresso Machine With Built-In Grinder
This is the most obvious option on the list: just get an espresso machine with a grinder already built in. These are electric and are explicitly designed to offer the finest espresso grind around.
Feeling more confident in your growing espresso skills? Quality coffee isn’t just the bean itself, but the love and care you put into brewing it.
If you want to buy an espresso machine or a grinder, reach out to our live chat with any coffee-related questions you have. We’re happy to help you on your coffee journey.