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Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee for Espresso? Tips & FAQ

spilled coffee grounds and beans

Today, you can get everything from espresso to lattes and cappuccinos to iced brews. The coffee world can be complicated, and the jargon is sometimes hard to understand, even for seasoned coffee drinkers.

Many coffee drinkers ask, “can you use regular ground coffee for espresso?” The short answer is yes, but it’s not that simple. In the long run, you need to purchase the correct beans to make espresso if you want your morning jolt to taste good.

In this blog, we’ll give you the answer to the question and more, so you can be assured you have the perfect espresso when you need it the most.

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Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee for Espresso?

While you technically can use regular ground coffee to make your morning espresso shot, it’s not recommended. In most cases, the result is going to be a bitter espresso that will taste horrible. In addition, the grind of regular coffee just is not right for an espresso machine.

Ground coffee isn’t your best choice if you want a great-tasting espresso shot.

So, what should you use to make that morning shot of espresso?

ground coffee in a jar
Image Credit: AtlasStudio, Shutterstock

Can You Use Coffee Beans to Make Espresso?

Coffee beans, not regular ground coffee, can be used to make espresso. However, the light, medium, and dark roasts can also affect the taste of your espresso. Making sure to use beans that have been fully roasted and ground specifically for espresso will result in a better espresso.

The most important part of the process is finding dark enough roast coffee beans that can be used instead of espresso beans. Remember, espresso beans are out there, and they are specially made for espresso machines.

Aren’t Espresso Beans and Coffee Beans the Same Thing?

While coffee and espresso beans come from the same plant, it’s the roasting process that makes them different from one another.

Espresso beans are roasted darker, which gives them a different crema than traditional coffee beans. Also, there are no rules to follow when it comes to coffee brewing or espresso making in your own home, and experimenting with different coffee and espresso beans is perfectly acceptable until you find the process and bean that works best for you.

falling coffee beans
Image Credit: Spalnic, Shutterstock

Which Beans Are the Best for Espresso?

It’s wise to use a medium to dark roast when purchasing beans to brew espresso shots. However, if you’re purchasing pre-ground beans, search for the finest grind you can find.

You should also be careful which bean you choose to grind your own for espresso. Make sure that the bean is not too hard to turn into espresso, especially if you’re new to the espresso game and trying to make it yourself for the first time.

Can You Make Espresso Shots in a Keurig?

Keurigs, most of them anyway, are designed to make regular coffee. The result may be disappointing if you try to make an espresso in a Keurig. However, Keurig has a machine designed for espresso, which is a better option.

espresso machine
Image Credit: Tim St. Martin, Unsplash

Is Espresso Healthier Than Coffee?

The debate on whether coffee or espresso is good for you has been going on for years. The question of which is healthier, coffee or espresso, will rage on as well. It really depends on what you put in them. For example, a cup of black coffee is healthier for you than a shot of espresso with sugar, cream, or honey in it.

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Final Thoughts

The answer to “Can you use regular ground coffee for espresso,” is yes, but it’s not the best idea. Using coffee beans is a better alternative, but if you want the full experience and a great-tasting espresso shot, then espresso beans are your best choice.

Featured Image Credit: melei5, Shutterstock


Ollie Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones is a zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia. Originally from the US, he thought he loved coffee before his big move down under, but his discovery of the flat white and the cafe on every corner has taken his coffee passion to a whole new level. He's so excited to share his knowledge and experience with readers worldwide (and keep testing coffee drinks while he's at it).

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