Can You Make Espresso in a Keurig Coffee Maker?

Can you make espresso in a Keurig coffee maker? If you own a Keurig coffee maker and are wondering, read on.

Can You Make Espresso In A Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig machines produce full cups of coffee that are more alike to drip coffee than espresso

A Keurig coffee maker is a good choice if you’re looking for a convenient and no-fuss way of making a reasonably good cup of coffee. Can you make espresso in a Keurig coffee maker, though? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Keurig coffee machines produce full cups of coffee that are more like drip coffee than espresso.

What is Keurig?

a Keurig coffee maker on display
Keurig coffee makers can now fill a mug or a carafe that can accommodate 2-5 cups

Keurig is a brand that became very popular in the early 2000s when they introduced the original single-serve coffee brewer to the homeowners’ market. With the press of a button, you could now have a decent cup of coffee in your hand within a minute.

The allure of these coffee makers lay in the fact that they produced single cups of coffee, which meant you no longer needed to throw away unused coffee brewed in pots. Also, the K-Cup pods provide a no-mess-no-fuss way of brewing a quick cup of coffee.

Apart from coffee K-Cup pods, Keurig also offers pods filled with hot chocolate and a variety of teas. On top of the original single-cup servers, Keurig also now offers coffee makers that fill a mug or a carafe, of which the latter can accommodate from two to five cups.

How Keurig Coffee Makers Work

K-Cup pods consist of a plastic cup, a paper filter, and an aluminum lid. Each pod is nitrogen flushed and sealed to ensure that the coffee grounds remain fresh. To brew a cup of coffee with a Keurig machine, lift the handle of the machine, place a pod in the K-Cup holder, and lower the handle again.

Once you do this, a spray nozzle pierces through the top foil seal of the pod, while a discharge nozzle pierces through the plastic bottom. The Keurig then pushes hot water through the K-Cup with enough pressure to guarantee proper extraction in a short amount of time.

If you liked this post, you might be interested in our K-Cups Vs. Nespresso Original Pods guide.

Do Keurig Coffee Makers Make Espresso?

a man pouring boiling water to his Keurig coffee machine
Making a cup of Keurig coffee only takes a minute

There are similarities when one compares the brewing process of a Keurig brewer to that of an espresso machine. In both machines, pressurized water is pushed through tightly packed coffee grounds.

Also, both brewing methods involve short brewing times. Typically, a single shot of espresso takes under 30 seconds to brew, whereas a cup of Keurig coffee takes under one minute.

However, this is where the similarities end. After all, an espresso shot is about 30 ml in size, whereas Keurig machines produce full cups of coffee.

Also, although some water pressure is used in Keurig machines, espresso machines apply much more pressure during the brewing process. While Keurig machines can be viewed as pressurized brewing systems, they are not espresso machines.

To make espresso, you need an actual espresso machine with a strong pump that forces hot water through finely-ground coffee at between 8 to 9 bars of pressure.

The water-to-coffee ratio for this brewing method is 2:1 since about 6 to 8 grams of coffee grounds are used to produce one shot of espresso. The result is a strong and intensely flavored brew with a syrupy consistency.

Espresso is characterized by a layer of rich and delicate foam on top called crema. Crema is created when carbon dioxide microbubbles attach themselves to the coffee oils and then float to the top of the beverage.

Keurig Coffee Vs Espresso 

Espressos are small cups of concentrated coffee with a layer of crema on top. Keurig coffee makers produce full cups of coffee that taste far more like drip coffee than espresso. As is the case with drip coffee, Keurig coffee brews are often drunk with milk and/or sugar, while espressos are enjoyed black, without any condiments.

If you’re looking for a coffee maker that provides an OK quality cup of coffee in under a minute, a Keurig coffee maker may be a good investment. Making coffee in a Keurig coffee machine also requires little effort.

You simply discard the used pod after making a cup of coffee. However, if you’re a coffee connoisseur who values the quality of your coffee brews over convenience, rather go for an espresso machine.

FAQs on Can You Make Espresso in Keurig Coffee Makers?

What is the Keurig Rivo?

In 2012, Keurig introduced the Rivo coffee maker, which was an espresso machine that worked with 15 bars of pressure. The machine also included a milk frother with three frothing modes: Cappuccino, Latte, and Cold Froth. Unfortunately, the coffee maker was discontinued in 2016.

What Types of Coffee Are Put into K-Cups?

K-Cups are filled with quality Arabic and Robusta coffees from all over the world. You can choose from light, medium, and dark roasts. A few examples of popular choices include Green Mountain Dark Magic, Green Mountain Sumatra Reserve, and Café Bustelo Espresso Style.


  • Niki B

    Born and bred in South Africa, Niki B now does her writing from the distant shores of South Korea. A self-proclaimed coffee addict by day, and a writer by night, she gladly shares her knowledge with fellow coffee lovers.