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How to Make Espresso Using a Keurig Machine

Keurig doesn’t disappoint when it comes to coffee. But what if you’re craving espresso?

You don’t have to leave your home to get some. There’s a way to brew an espresso with this single-serve coffee machine.

The only variation you’ll make to your supplies is stocking some espresso ground coffee as its fine grind is different from other grounds.


Bring out your demitasse because we’re about to learn how to make espresso with Keurig. KalindsLife will take us through the process in a five-minute tutorial.

What You’ll Need

  • A reusable cup
  • Espresso coffee (grounded)
  • An espresso cup
  • A Keurig machine
  • Sweet cream


1. Fill a reusable cup

You’ll use the standard reusable cup that fits in a Keurig machine to brew the dark, finely grounded coffee beans.

Fill it up to the rim and pat the coffee grounds down with the spoon to leave no space inside. Level it with the tip of the spoon as you add more coffee grounds into the cup.

fill a reusable cup

2. Tamp the lid of the reusable cup

It’ll push the coffee grounds down so you can tighten the lid while eliminating air. Another advantage of using fine grinds is their compactness eliminates air spaces so that the water extracts all the oils and flavor before it exits.

tamp the lid of the reusable cup

If there’s still some space in the cup after tamping, add some more grounds.

3. Put the reusable cup in the Keurig

Lift the handle to release the cup holder. Since you’re using a standard K-cup, it’ll slide into the K-cup pack holder.

put the reusable cup in the keurig

Bring the handle down over the pack holder.

The cup size you choose depends on the amount of brew you intend to make. It’s a single-serve machine, so you’re likely to make as much as a full coffee mug.

4. Press the brew button for the cup size you want to brew.

This feature isn’t on all models. If your Keurig has it, you’ll see three buttons for different cup sizes. The cup in KalindsLife’s video is a six-ounce cup that corresponds to the innermost cup-size button.

press the brew button for the cup size you want to brew

5. Collect the espresso shot in a cup

The brew trickles into the cup slowly for about a minute. As the flow decreases, the trickle turns into droplets.

collect the espresso shot in a cup

Pull it from the coffee machine and place another cup to catch the remaining droplets.

6. Add sweet cream

A full shot of sweet cream to the espresso maintains the flavor but adds some sweetness to make it even more enjoyable.

add sweet cream

You can warm your sweet cream separately or use it cold. It’s a nice touch to the brew, given that a Keurig can’t give you crema to make your espresso complete.


Can You Use a Keurig to Make Espresso?

Yes, you can make a concentrated coffee shot to mimic an espresso. However, note that it’s not a standard espresso machine. It’s a drip machine like other coffee makers, so it pours hot water over coffee grounds.

If it were an espresso machine, it would exert pressure to pass hot water through fine grinds and release a flavorful brew. That’s the difference between coffee and espresso.

Further, Keurig doesn’t have the fancy brewing features of a barista’s espresso machine. You press grounds into the reusable cup with a spoon, hoping the water can pass through and extract all the aroma.

However, it doesn’t match up to a portafilter in an espresso machine. After tamping a portafilter to remove air, it leaves no doubt that water pressure can extract all the flavor and oils.

That being the case, to get a flavor that’s as close to espresso as possible when using a Keurig, choose dark grounds.

On top of that, add the smallest amount of water into its reservoir or choose the smallest mug size. That’ll maintain the 1:2 brewing ratio of coffee to water to give you a rich shot.

Want to elevate your coffee experience? Learn how to make a cortado here.

How Do You Use Espresso Pods in a Keurig?

A Keurig machine uses K-cups, not coffee pods. They come in plastic cups and a tight aluminum foil to keep the contents fresh.

When you insert a K-cup, the machine pierces the capsule twice and pumps pressurized water inside. As the top hole brings in the water, the one at the bottom lets the brewed juice flow out of the K-cup. 

The process is different with coffee pods because the brewer sprays water evenly over the pod to reach the coffee in the filter paper. If you use coffee pods, they may not fit into the cup holder, or the machine may pierce them and spill the contents.

Can You Use Espresso Capsules in a Keurig?

No, you can’t use them directly because they come in a shape and size not suited to your Keurig. But a few maneuvers can get it in there.

For example, you can pour the contents of the capsule into a reusable K-cup. Since these capsules don’t have filter paper over the plastic container, they are easy to cut open. It’s the best way to try different coffee grounds that come in capsules.

How Do You Use an Espresso Cup in a Keurig?

Center it on the drip tray plate to catch all the liquid flowing through the funnel. But, it may be too small to hold the shot as its capacity averages 2 to 3 ounces. Further, you’ll not miss a few splashes over your counter when you use a small espresso cup.

Accept that your espresso won’t have crema because this is not an espresso machine, and use a regular coffee mug. Then, pour the shot from the coffee mug into an espresso cup. Problem solved!

Also, find out how to Prime a Keurig.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, Keurig isn’t an espresso machine. Its brewing process won’t give you the intricate brewing process of espresso, but it’ll get you a strong shot of coffee as good as espresso. That hasn’t barred espresso lovers from being as creative as KalindsLife.

Therefore, when you keep the ratio of water to coffee grounds, use an appropriate tamping technique, and add the best coffee grounds, you’ll have espresso every day or every other day.


Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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