Espresso is a type of coffee drink made using special types of brewers. It’s not easy to make espresso using single-serve, drip coffee machines like Keurigs.
However, with the right kind of Keurig model and the right brewing procedure, you can make espresso using a Keurig.
Does Keurig make espresso?
Espresso is made by passing water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee. However, single-serve coffee machines like Keurig aren’t designed to deliver the level of pressure needed to make authentic espresso. Therefore, when talking about espresso in the exact sense of the word, Keurig machines cannot make espresso.
Coffee machines that are designed to make real espresso are usually more expensive and Keurig only makes a few such models. The brand’s original espresso machine was the Keurig Rivo. This Keurig model also had a milk frother, allowing you to make cappuccinos and lattes as well.
However, the Keurig Rivo has since been discontinued and replaced by the Keurig K-Latte and Keurig K-Café. Both of these machines allow users to brew both standard coffee as well as concentrated shots for espresso and other speciality beverages.
The Keurig K-Café and K-Latte come with a shot option. You can take advantage of this feature to make concentrated shots of coffee for your espresso. The strong-brewed coffee produced is what’s actually referred to as ‘espresso’.
Can you make espresso in a Keurig?
You can still make espresso using your single-serve Keurig, but coffee purists wouldn’t agree that it’s a real espresso. A Keurig espresso has the concentrated coffee taste of real espresso but lacks the thick crema that’s typical of real espresso brews.
Also, when referring to Keurig K-Café and Keurig K-latte brewers, the term ‘espresso’ is used loosely. That’s because the shot option on these brewers uses a slow brewing mechanism to produce a strong brew similar to real espresso.
By contrast, a real espresso machine like the Nespresso Espresso Machine brews at high pressure to deliver concentrated coffee.
Here is a guide on how to use Keurig to make espresso:
Step 1: Buy real espresso K-Cups
It’s possible to get a strong shot of espresso from regular coffee K-Cups, especially if it’s dark-roast coffee. However, real espresso K-Cups are recommended, as they’re packed with the perfect coffee blend for making authentic Italian espresso.
Some of the best dark roast espresso K-Cups on the market right now include Rude Awakening’s Chocolatey K-Cups, San Francisco Bay Dark Roast K-Cups, and Green Mountain Dark Roast K-Cups.
Meanwhile, if you’re using reusable K-Cups, ensure you’re using finely-ground espresso. If you’re using coffee beans instead, ensure you grind them down to a fine texture, as espresso is made from finely-ground coffee.
Note: When using a reusable K-Cup, it’s advisable to line it up with a single-serve paper filter to filter out coffee sediment that could end up at the bottom of your cup.
Step 2: Fill the reservoir
Since you don’t need too much water for a shot of espresso, pour water into the water tank up to the 6-ounce mark. Then, reinsert the water tank into the brewer compartment. Now, press the power button so that the Keurig can start heating the water.
Step 3: Make an Espresso Shot
Once the water is heated and the Keurig machine is ready to brew, open the brew head to access the K-Cup holder. Put the K-Cup inside the K-Cup holder and close the brew head.
Then, click on the ‘Latte & Café’ button. At this point, the brewer will be locked to the ‘shot’ option and the ‘strong’ button will automatically light up, indicating that you’re about to make a strong/concentrated brew.
Place a small cup under the spout to collect the espresso that you’re about to brew. Finally, click on the centre button with the Keurig logo to start brewing your espresso shot.
If you’re using a normal Keurig coffee maker that’s not a K-Café or K-Latte model, there won’t be a shot option. However, you can still get a concentrated, espresso-like shot by pressing the ‘Strong’ button and selecting the smallest cup size available.
Note: Selecting the shot option limits the brew to 2 ounces, which is the standard size of a single shot of espresso.
How to make cappuccino with Keurig?
Cappuccino is an espresso-based drink that also includes steamed milk with milk froth to top it off. You can make this beverage using 1-2 shots of espresso.
To make cappuccino using standard single-serve Keurig machines, you’ll have to steam and froth the milk elsewhere, either in a microwave or a stove-top pan. However, if you have a Keurig K-Café or K-Latte which comes with a milk steamer/ frother as part of the machine, your job will be much easier.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make cappuccino with a Keurig K-Latte or K-Caffe coffee machine:
I. Remove and fill the water tank with water before reinstalling it on the appliance.
ii. Start the Keurig by pressing power on to start heating the water.
iii. Meanwhile, open the brew head, insert an espresso K-Cup of your choice, and close the brew head. Also, place a mug at the spout/outlet to collect the espresso.
iv. Remove the milk frother and pour milk into it up to the cappuccino fill line. Close the frother with its lid and return it to its compartment. Now, press the ‘cappuccino’ button at the front of the frother compartment.
v. Next, press the ‘Latte & Café’ button on the brewer followed by the start button at the centre, which has the Keurig logo inscribed on it.
vi. Once the espresso shot has been brewed, remove the frother and add the steamed milk to the mug containing the espresso shot. Ensure you pour all the content of the frother, as the froth sits at the bottom of the frother and should be the topping on your cup. And there’s your cup of cappuccino.
Note: If you fancy a stronger cup of cappuccino, you can make a second espresso shot using another K-Cup pod and add it to your mug.