Can Espresso Be Made With Any Coffee?

Though you can find “espresso” labeled beans at the grocery store or on the shelf at Starbucks, there is no particular “espresso” bean stated in the labeling. Instead, you’ll see an espresso grind. So if you are wondering if you can make espresso from any coffee beans, here is the answer:

You can make an espresso using any type of coffee beans, roasted in any way, or flavored in any fashion. However, since espresso is a small concentrated amount of pressure or steam brewed coffee, the grounds should be finely grounded as possible to extract the full-bodied flavor, making an espresso shot a shot.

To do this, grind your beans as finely as possible. If you are equipped with a high-powered coffee grinder at home, then you know what to do. If you do not have a machine that grinds to fine dust, you’ll need to look for one that does.

While generally you can use any coffee, some brands are better than others. Here’s my list.

My Top Coffee Brands for Espresso

Lavazza Super Crema

One of the most popular espresso beans on the market is Lavazza’s Super Crema. These beans are blended and roasted in Italy, sourcing beans from Brazil, India, Columbia, and Indonesia. Since espresso is a matter of pride in Italy, it is no surprise that these beans produce a pretty excellent brew corporation.

This medium roast has a mild and creamy taste with notes of almonds and honey as well as a slight fruitiness. It has a higher acidity because of the presence of Robusta beans and has lower caffeine content compared to some other beans, which are made with 80% Arabica and 20% Robusta beans.

Lavazza beans are sealed using nitrogen packed, giving them a longer pre-opening shelf life. The Robusta beans are also responsible for providing the brew with an excellent crema.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender

The Stumptown’s Hair Bender beans are also a fan favorite because it boasts one of the most complex flavor profiles on this list.

This is a sweet, well-balanced blend sourced from Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa. It comes with a spark of cherry complimenting the prominent toffee and fudge flavors.

Thanks to its unique flavor profile, it can serve both as an energizing cup of buzz and an evening dessert. Moreover, it is not too oily, which makes it a good choice for those with machines featuring built-in grinders.

Kicking Horse Kosher Coffee 454

If you are looking for a strongly caffeinated drink but don’t need the full-blast intensity, this Death Wish, Kicking Horse’s 454 beans are a great tasting alternative. What is so good about these beans is they come at a more affordable price point.

Like Death Wish, Kicking Horse’s beans are made from organic and fair trade and are also Kosher. Since the beans are sourced from Indonesia, Central American, and South America, the brew you’ll get from these will please you with an earthy flavor profile. It features notes of chocolate and nutmeg.

Also, 454 is known for its well-balanced, dark-roast, and velvety mouthfeel, and low acidity coffee. Though it’s not quite as powerful as the next one, it will certainly ensure you get the buzz you want.

If you prefer a robust dark roast that offers a different flavor profile, this blend is highly recommended. It offers a sweeter taste with a bit of smokiness.

Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Coffee

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something that’ll provide you a serious kick, these beans are the right one for you. It has double caffeinated beans, so expect that it will give you the boost you need for rough mornings and all-nighters alike.

Despite being quite intense, the resulting brew is not too bitter. The beans are sourced in Peru, giving you cherry and chocolate notes.

On the other side, this brew might be too much for casual drinkers and may even taste burnt to those inexperienced with dark roasts. Though the beans are pricier, you’ll get what you pay for.

How To Make Espresso Without An Espresso Maker

There are a surprising number of ways to craft your espresso shot without once touching the lever of an espresso machine.

Method 1: The AeroPress

Unlike your regular cup of coffee, the perfect shot of espresso entails pressure.

With the word “press” in its name, AeroPress is an ideal candidate for espresso. Though the texture may differ from what you’ll get with a machine, the flavor and caffeine content of an AeroPress “espresso” can match the machine espresso.

What you’ll need:

  • AeroPress
  • High-quality coffee beans
  • Tablespoon or Scale
  • Grinder


  1. Stack your AeroPress., then place a filter inside the drain cap. If possible, use more than one to slow the flow of water when pressing. Rinse the filter lightly and place the drain cap and filter inside the compartment of the press. Put the press on a stable cup or mug.
  2. Place about 2 tablespoons of coffee by grinding the beans to a fine, table salt-like consistency. Drop them into the filter. Keep in mind that adding more coffee than normal will create a more reliably concentrated shot.
  3. Add approximately 3 ½ fluid ounces of water, heated at about 200 degrees. Then stir in with the coffee. Hardly press down on the plunger. Remember that espresso depends on pressure, the harder you press, the more it will produce tastier and finer coffee. Transfer your espresso and enjoy!

Method 2: The Moka Pot

This handy-dandy kettle produces an espresso-like pour with just a little preparation. You’ll get a satisfying cup of espresso in the morning.

What you’ll need:

  • Moka pot
  • High-quality beans
  • Tablespoon or scale


  1. Get for about 2 tablespoons of coffee or 20 to 22 grams. Grind your beans as finely as possible.
  2. Pour 3 ½ fluid ounces of water into the bottom of the pot, then pour the coffee grounds into the built-in filter, shaking to settle the grounds. Tighten the spouted top of the Moka pot and place the pot on a burner set to medium heat.
  3. Wait for the kettle to whistle or until the coffee begins to expand and foam in the upper level of the pot. The hot water will create the pressure needed to produce a concentrated coffee and make it foamy. When the top is filled with coffee, pour into a demitasse and enjoy!

Method 3: The French Press

The French press will give you a shot of espresso without the concentrated punch of the other two methods. Your coffee shot will come out more oily, and this method has more steps than the previous methods.

What you’ll need:

  • French press
  • High-quality coffee beans
  • Kettle
  • Tablespoon or scale


  1. Grind at least two tablespoons of coffee in a fine setting. It will require more coffee than you might think to add some richness to the brew. The final product will not come out as frothy as with a Moka pot or AeroPress.
  2. In your kettle, heat 1 cup of water. Then in your French press, add the coffee grounds and add the heated water.
  3. Let the grounds soak for about 30 seconds, then pour the rest of the water over the grounds. Close the lid and allow the coffee to steep for about 4 minutes.
  4. After 4 minutes, press the plunger down halfway using slow, steady pressure. Then raise it to the top and then plunge using the same pressure. Once done, pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

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