Can You Make Drip Coffee with an Espresso Machine?

There are many different brewing techniques and coffee makers to select from in the wide and varied world of coffee. “Can you make drip coffee with an espresso machine?” comes up frequently. This article will discuss the solution to this question and explore the potential drawbacks of brewing drip coffee in an espresso machine.

Knowing How to Use Espresso Machines

It’s important to comprehend what an espresso machine is and how it operates before we determine whether you can create drip coffee with one. Espresso, a concentrated coffee, forms the foundation of various drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and Americanos. Designed specifically for this purpose, espresso machines efficiently produce espresso. By exerting pressure to push hot water through finely-ground beans, these machines yield a rich, strong coffee topped with a creamy layer of crema. Unlike this method, which uses gravity to force hot water through coarser coffee grinds, drip coffee brewing differs.

The Principal Difference

After learning the fundamentals of espresso equipment, let’s examine the key distinctions between drip and espresso coffee:

Grind Size

Drip coffee requires a coarser grind compared to the very fine grind needed for espresso. Espresso machines, equipped with burr grinders, can produce the fine grind essential for espresso, but may not be suitable for grinding drip coffee.


To extract the flavors from the coffee, espresso machines work at high pressure, usually about 9 bars. Conversely, drip coffee makers don’t employ pressure but rely on gravity.

Espresso brews fast; it typically takes 25 to 30 seconds. Drip coffee requires longer to brew—three to five minutes or longer.

Water Temperature

Espresso machines precisely control the water temperature, typically between 195 and 205°F (90 and 96°C), whereas drip coffee machines heat water to about 200°F, or 93°C.

Is it Possible to Prepare Drip Coffee in an Espresso Machine?

The simple answer is that you can use an espresso machine to create drip coffee; however, there might be more practical and effective ways. Here are some methods to make this happen:

Using a Coarser Grind

You must change the grind size to a coarser setting to brew drip coffee in an espresso machine. You can change the grind setting on the majority of espresso machines. Try a variety of settings until you get the right amount of coarseness.

Changing the Water Flow

Espresso makers are made to provide a brief yet potent burst of coffee. When making drip coffee, you can set the water flow slower, letting more water travel through the coarser coffee grinds.

Using an Alternative Filter

Portafilters with metal filter baskets are commonly used in espresso machines. You can use a metal paper filter basket with bigger holes that let more water run through it to brew drip coffee.

Several Brew Cycles

You can brew more coffee by running several cycles if your espresso machine allows manual control of the brewing time. This method takes longer and may require monitoring.

Espresso Machine Attachments

Some machines offer attachments or extras that facilitate making drip coffee. These extras typically include a larger filter basket and a modification for a showerhead to distribute water evenly.

Remember that you can make drip coffee with an espresso machine. However, keep in mind that these machines are not designed for this brewing method. The design of drip coffee makers focuses on brewing large amounts of coffee quickly and efficiently.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Espresso Machine to Make Drip Coffee


  1. Versatility: The same machine may be used for drip coffee and espresso.
  2. Space-saving: Using a single machine for several brewing techniques can be practical if you have a small counter.


  1. Time-consuming: Brewing drip coffee with an espresso machine may require more time and effort than using a separate drip coffee maker.
  2. Unpredictable Outcomes: Getting the ideal drip coffee out of an espresso machine may need experimenting with different water flows and grind sizes.
  3. Restricted Quantity: Because espresso machines are not designed to brew large batches of drip coffee, the amount of coffee you can create at once may be limited.

Selecting the Best Coffee Maker for Your Requirements

After discussing the nuances of espresso machines and their adaptability, let’s take a closer look at the general subject of selecting the best coffee maker for your unique requirements. Regarding coffee-making appliances, many options are available to suit varying tastes and lifestyles.

Espresso Machine

Espresso machines are perfect for those who love rich, strong espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. They allow adjustments in pressure, temperature, and grind size for the ideal espresso shot. However, for quick and easy drip coffee brewing, other options might be better.

Drip Coffee Maker

A specialized drip coffee maker is the best option if you enjoy the traditional drip-style of coffee. These efficient and user-friendly devices reliably and swiftly brew larger amounts of coffee. Furthermore, many contemporary drip coffee makers have programmable functions that let you wake up to a freshly made cup of coffee.

French Press

The French press is a fantastic option for people who like a more hands-on brewing experience and a robust, rich cup of coffee. Soak coarsely ground coffee in hot water to extract the coffee grounds and press down with a plunger. The end product is a strong-bodied, aromatic, and rich brew.


Pour-over coffee machines are a favorite among coffee connoisseurs because they provide accuracy and control over brewing. They let you customize the water temperature and flow rate by manually pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. Pour-overs yield a crisp, complex cup of coffee that brings out the distinct qualities of the bean.

Single-serve coffee makers

Similar to pod-based systems, these devices are quick and easy to use. For those who want a simple, hassle-free cup of coffee with little cleanup, they are ideal. They might offer a different degree of quality and customization than other brewing techniques.

Cold Brew Maker

Those who enjoy a smooth, low-acid coffee concentrate that can be diluted to taste can purchase specialized cold brew machines, which steep coffee grounds in cold water for a prolonged time.

Consider your budget, the amount of control you want, how many servings you need, and the kind of coffee you prefer when choosing a coffee maker. Select a coffee maker that fits your lifestyle and coffee preferences, as each model has specific advantages and disadvantages. Recall that the quest for the ideal cup of coffee is personal and that selecting the ideal coffee maker is an important first step. 


In conclusion, while you can technically make drip coffee with an espresso machine, more practical and efficient methods might exist. Espresso machines, designed for concentrated shots, require modifications and compromises for drip coffee conversion. If you enjoy both drip and espresso coffee, buying separate machines often ensures consistent, high-quality results. However, if you’re open to experimentation and seek versatility, you can use your espresso machine with the right adjustments to brew a decent cup of drip coffee.

About the Author Leman Acosta