Espresso is a drink that’s made by forcing water through coffee grounds at a high rate of speed combined with plenty of pressure. This makes the resulting drink more concentrated. It also means that it’s tricky to use anything but an espresso machine to produce a perfectly brewed cup. With that said, it’s not impossible. Here is my favorite solution to the question of how to make espresso with a drip coffee maker.
Start by Ignoring the Machine’s Water Tank
Most traditional drip coffee makers have a tank that holds water. You fill it, add the grounds, turn the machine on, and coffee drips through the filter into a coffee pot. This won’t work when you’re making espresso, since the speed is too slow. So, in order to make a good cup of espresso, you need to ignore the water tank. This is the first step.
Measure Your Coffee Grounds and Water Accurately
After that, you’ll need to place a regular coffee filter in your machine and add the coffee grounds. Espresso is traditionally a dark, caffeine-filled roast that can sometimes, but not always, be a little on the bitter side. You can use store-bought beans for espresso, as long as they fit the bill. Once you’ve chosen your beans, you’ll need to measure them out. You want two ounces of hot water for every two tablespoons of coffee grounds. Since you aren’t using the machine to heat the water, you’ll need to do this on the stove. You want the water to be near the point of boiling, but not actually boiling.
Place Your Coffee Mug under the Filter
You’re very close to solving the riddle! Pour a little bit of the hot water onto the coffee grounds (note that the lid of your coffee maker should be open the entire time so that you can access everything properly) and let it sit for 30 seconds. This releases some of the oils within the beans. Next, pour in the rest of water as quickly as possible. Your cup will catch the espresso on the other side. Although this isn’t “true” espresso (i.e. from an espresso machine) it’s as close as you can get with this type of machine.
It’s entirely possible to enjoy espresso at home without having to spend a fortune on an expensive, state of the art, automatic espresso machine. The method described here is a little tricky and there’s some skill involved in order to not spill coffee all over your counter (getting the cup in the right place on the machine is required), but once you’re mastered it, you’re good to go.