Making Coffee With Espresso Beans

Making Coffee With Espresso Beans When That Is All You Have!

It is a question that is often asked or something we are tasked with and that is Making Coffee With Espresso Beans. 

Can it be done?

More over, should it be done?

Hint: Yes you can make coffee with espresso roast.

The result might not be what you expect it to be. In the remainder of this article I will discuss how you can make cold brewed coffee and pour over coffee with espresso, assuming you are at loss, out of regular beans, have an unexpected visit and still wish to be known as that guy or gal that makes great coffee.

Let’s now get on with the rest of this article and down to the nitty gritty of making coffee with espresso beans

Making Coffee With Espresso Beans – Can I Make Coffee With Espresso Beans?

Making a cup of coffee with espresso beans is not something that I would do in a rush as I explained why in a previous article “What is the difference between coffee and espresso beans“.

However,

You can get away with using espresso beans to make pour over, drip coffee and cold brewed coffee and end up with “better than good” results but less than perfect due ending up with a milder middle of the road flavor and not that distinctive full-bodied flavor associated with a shot of espresso.

To get these reasonably good results you will need the right equipment, the right coffee gear and ground the beans correctly.

Can I Make Coffee With Espresso
Yes, You can make coffee with espresso beans.

What Coffee Can You Make In An Espresso Machine?

Your espresso machine is actually a versatile coffee maker which can be used to make much more than an espresso shot of strong black coffee. You can use it to make the following coffee drinks, providing you have the right beans and correctly ground coffee beans for the job at hand:

  • Espresso.
  • Espresso Macchiato.
  • Caffe Americano.
  • Espresso Romano.
  • Latte Macchiato.
  • Cappuccino.
  • Mocha.
  • Café latte.
  • Double or Doppio.

With that said making a cold brew with your espresso machine should be easy provided you go along the Japanese flash cold brewing technique and make an Americano and immediately flash cold brew it by dripping your coffee over ice.

While not technically a complete Japanese flash cold brew as the brewing method is initially brewed with hot water it is something that can be done to a reasonable effect and a fairly similar intense flavor. In this article I discuss and answer the question can you use any beans for espresso?

What Coffee Can You Make In An Espresso Machine
You can make a variety coffee drinks with your espresso machine

Can You Make Regular Coffee With Espresso Grounds?

Strictly speaking, you can make a regular cup of coffee with espresso coffee grounds and vice versa. The end result won’t be perfect. The difference is not so much in the beans themselves, although there is a difference in their roast. The main difference is in the process of elaboration and methods of preparation.

Notably, high pressure is required to make an espresso. Without the high pressure you won’t end up with the famed crema.

Using an espresso ground for making regular coffee you will end up with a slightly less acidic taste. Due to a different coffee to water ratio you won’t experience that rich coffee taste of espresso ground when you use them to make another type of coffee drink.

Can You Make Regular Coffee With Espresso Grounds
Be thoughtful about which grounds you use for what coffee drink

Can You Use Coffee In An Espresso Machine?

Flipping around the question and on the flip side — can you use regular coffee beans in an espresso machine?

The answer is yes but the resulting shot of espresso will be a sour tasting coffee without the famed crema.

Thus,

It is not the advice of us at Latte Love Brew to use a non espresso bean or grind to make your beloved shot of espresso.

Can You Make Regular Coffee With Espresso Beans?

This is a slightly polemic question for coffee geeks and purists where a lot will say that you can not make a regular cuppa Joe with an espresso roasted coffee bean unless you have a dual or multi-purpose machine specifically designed for this purpose.

Given that most, literally all Espresso beans are a good mix and blend of both high altitude and low altitude beans and cheaper blends are made for multi-purpose and making good coffee drinks of all types, I tend to disagree and say that it is possible and that you can make regular coffee with espresso beans, but you should expect a slightly less caffeine content when using an espresso bean.

How To Make Regular Coffee With Espresso Beans?

When you are using an espresso bean in place of a regular coffee bean for making regular coffee, you can take a 2 ounce double cup of espresso and top it up with 4 ounces of oiling or hot water. This will result in you having a 6 ounce cup of Java that will match the taste and quality wise most drip coffee’s.

To get a better cup of drip coffee you can slam in an extra shot of espresso and adding in a slightly less amount of hot water, reducing it to 3oz. The coffee water ratio here is 3 oz espresso and 3 ounces of water. This will rival your drip coffee maker.

When using this method, be aware of the coffee to water mix as if you decide to make a 12 ounce Americano this way with just a 2 ounce shot of coffee, you will end up with a very weak watery coffee.

How To Make The Best Coffee With An Espresso Machine

Making a perfect cup of coffee with your espresso machine is not at all complicated or complex. Just follow the steps below and you will be making amazing espresso and other coffee drinks with your machine.

  • 1. Switch On and Warm up your Espresso Machine. 

To get the best out of your espresso maker and making authentic espresso drinks you must ensure that the whole machine is preheated. This step will take you up to half an hour. You can speed up this process by pulling a blank shot which has the added benefit of preheating your porta-filler.

  • 2. Measure Your Beans And Grind Them.

Set your coffee grinder to a fine grind setting. Typically an espresso shot is very finely ground. At this point you should have your kitchen scale or better still your coffee scale ready with your porta-filler on it and ready to weigh out 20 gram of the finely ground coffee powder.

At this point you should have a tiny mountain of 20 gram of coffee in your portafiller. Spread this around evenly in preparation of tampering and using your coffee tamper.

How To Make The Best Coffee With An Espresso Machine
Take care to measure your ground coffee exactly.
  • 3. Tamper And Flatten Your Grounds Evenly. 

Your grounds of coffee should be evenly distributed before you tamper. This you can do by gently tapping the outer edge of your tamper with your hand.

Now it is time to compress your ground coffee by tampering.

The key here is to press down straight and Level. This is an important step to get right by pressing down in an uneven manner. If your tamper is not flat or is slightly uneven during this process, you will end up with an uneven flow and lesser quality of coffee.

Tampering is an important and underrated skill that is often overlooked. Thankfully, it is easy to master. Focus on your tampering skills if you are just getting started on your journey to coffee mastery.

Press down in a straight vertical fashion, applying an even force of pressure of no more than 30lbs — which is considered as the absolute maximum. Don’t over do it with the pressure. Just tamp until the grounds stop settling.

Ensuring your tamp is straight and even will help you to avert your coffee from channelling and you ending up with an under or over or inconsistent less than perfect extraction.

At this point you are ready to start brewing your cuppa Joe.

How To Make Regular Coffee With Espresso Beans
Take care to ensure your tamper is perfectly flat.
  • 4. Pull Your Espresso Shot. 

If you are using your espresso coffee machine for the first time pull out your watch or timer app on your smartphone and time how long it takes you to pull a double shot. If things are going well this should be between 25 to 30 seconds.

Now put it to the taste test.

If the type of coffee bean is an espresso bean, and you are using good quality coffee gear, you should end up with an awesome coffee that is dark, rich and slightly sweet. This first shot is important as it is the baseline, the benchmark for all others that you will be making.

  • 5. Steam Your Milk. 

This step is for when you are using your espresso coffee brewing machine to make a macchiato, latte, cortado or any other coffee that requires milk. If you have invested in a machine that has a built in steam wand, you will be using this, if not you will need to invest in a separate piece of equipment for this purpose.

At this point you are ready to use your espresso machine to make a variety of coffee drinks. One of the easiest is the afore mentioned Americano by using a double or triple espresso shot and adding in hot water to top up. A latte, you can achieve similar by replacing the additional water in an Americano water with milk.

Making Coffee With Espresso Beans
Steam your milk for your milk based coffee’s

Can You Make Cold Brew With Espresso Beans?

To a degree, and with the right espresso coffee beans you can make a reasonably good cold brew. If you are like me and typically add milk to your coffee you will be happy with the end product.

You are much better off with a light espresso roast or a filter roast if you are taking or serving your cold brew with espresso grounds straight up.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee With Espresso Beans

Making a cold brewed coffee with espresso beans is very easy to do. Use the best quality espresso beans that you can get your hands on as the key to making your cold brew this way and making it worth your while is the quality of the beans in question.

You also need a few pieces of equipment, which are as follows:

  • A Cheese cloth or quality coffee filter.
  • A large sizeable container to steep your brewed Coffee in.
  • A coffee grinder.

That is all the equipment that you will need.

The process of elaborating coffee in this way is super easy. Just follow this step by step process.

  1. Grind your espresso beans to a medium to fine grind. The size you are seeking is slightly finer than an AeroPress grind.
  2. Put your ground coffee into your container, approximately 80 grams.  A French press is fine for using also.
  3. Pour water slowly and evenly onto the ground coffee.
  4.  Move and still slowly, evenly and thoroughly until your ground coffee is evenly soaked to ensure, good proper extraction of all the compounds in your coffee.
  5. Leave this coffee and water solution to sit in your fridge or in your kitchen for a minimum of 12 hours. I strongly prefer to let it sit in the fridge.
  6. Filter the coffee. If you are using a French Press, press down on the plunger and compress as best as you can and pour onto a filter up.
  7. A paper filter press is best. Pour slowly out every last bit of coffee that gets into the solution. This take a little patience and can take up to 15 to 20 minutes per litre of coffee made.

You are now ready to enjoy the cold brew. Just grab a glass, fill it with ice and viola! Enjoy!

Add milk as desired and stir.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee With Espresso Beans
A delightful cold brew.

What Is The Ideal Cold Brew Ratio?

Typically for a full body flavored cold brew coffee you will be looking at a coffee to water ratio of 1:8 for a coarse ground coffee. A much stronger cold brew concentrate can be anything from 1:4 to 1:2 coffee to water ratio.

An alternative that I touched on earlier, particularly when making a cold brewed coffee with espresso beans is to use the Japanese flash cold brew method and make the cold brew with hot water. This process produces a stronger cold brew that is less acidic.

Pour Over With Espresso Beans.

It has been quietly debated in the coffee geek world if you can really use espresso grounds for pour over coffee. In this brief section I will discuss that question “can you use espresso grounds for pour over coffee”, how to make pour over coffee with espresso beans and the pour over coffee ratio.

Can You Use Espresso Grounds For Pour Over Coffee?

Yes,

as a result, you will obtain a slightly bitter, smoky, almost nutty flavor of the dark roasted espresso beans. For a fruitier taste to your pour over when elaborating it with espresso beans use a slightly finer grind than you would for a coarse grind. This increases the extraction and adds the toasted hint from the roasted coffee beans.

Pour Over Espresso Ratio.

An espresso commonly has a 2:1 or 1.5:1 ratio of coffee to water ratio with the exception being the ristretto, which is a 1:1 ratio. A well-made espresso normally requires 14 to 20 grams of coffee per 1 Oz shot when made with an espresso machine.

To make a good quality pour over coffee with espresso grind you will need 55 grams of coffee for 1 litre of water which is right on the SCA golden ratio and end up with around a 18:1 Coffee to water ratio.

Brewing coffee in this fashion is best with a Chemex filter as it is typically 20 to 30% heavier and helps you to retain the oils from the bean during the brewing process.
Pour Over Espresso Ratio.
Pour over coffee can be made with espresso beans

Wrapping It All Up.

Making a good cup of coffee using espresso beans is entirely possible provided you have the right equipment and elaborate the drinks correctly under the circumstances. It is not necessary that you use a single origin or light roast. For espresso beans for multipurpose use a blend or Italian roast or French roast, a good dark roast will get you a good coffee as a result.

Techniques that can work well and yield good quality coffee are using a drip coffee maker, a French Press or good old-fashioned cold brewed coffee the old school way.

You can take advantage of your espresso machine using it to make a number of different coffee drinks. Just be aware of not adding too much hot water to an Americano or you will end up with a weak coffee that is very watery.

Remember you can’t just use any beans to make espresso.

Good luck in your coffee quest and adventure making coffee with espresso beans.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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