Many people often ask the question, “Can you make regular coffee in an espresso machine?” without really understanding what espresso and coffee are and how it is made. To answer the question, yes you can make coffee in an espresso maker if you understand the difference between coffee and espresso.
Espresso is a more concentrated version of coffee that is brewed by high pressure. The difference between coffee and espresso is simply in the concentration. The coffee bean in essense is the same. It is true that most individuals will seek out bolder flavored beans for espresso. It is also true that the beans must be finely ground to use in an espresso machine. However, outside of that, there are few differences between coffee and espresso.
Then how can you make regular coffee in an espresso machine? The first way is through experimentation. The espresso that is brewed will be far too concentrated and rich to be used for regular cofee. It will require dillution. To accomplish this you can use a general rule of thumb for dillution. One shot of espresso roughly needs about 2-3 ounces of water to be in the coffee range of taste and flavor. This is also dependant on the individual who is drinking the coffee. If you are a dark coffee drinking with a taste for bold coffee, you might dillute it less. You will need to play with the amount of boiling water added to the espresso shot to come up with a concentration that best matches your regular coffee taste.
You should use whatever coffee you normally use to accomplish this. However, it must be finely ground for a pressurized machine. If it is already ground you will need to use a small electric grinder to make it the correct size. Too large a coffee ground can damage an espresso machine and cause a buildup of pressure. You can also use espresso beans depending on your taste.
There are also a great number of great espresso machines that are adding a coffee drip feature. The popularity of espresso machines has exploded in recent years. However, due to lack of counter space, people were reluctant to give up their old reliable coffee machine for solely an espresso machine. Then the manufacturers of espresso machines got very smart. They combine the two to make it easier for consumers to avoid having to choose. Delonghi has a great model coffee/espresso machine that has a coffee pot drip side and an espresso side. This means you can have the best of both worlds!
In the end, coffee strength is a personal taste. Some of us love a thick, bold cup of coffee. Some of us crave a light and creamy coffee loaded with sweets. The bottom line appears that there are many ways to get cofee from an espresso machine if you are willing to do some experimentation to find your perfect bean and concentration. If you don’t want to take the time to figure it out, you can opt for a combination model machine that can make both.