I've been trying a Keurig K-Cafe, which includes a "Shot" feature that slowly produces what looks like a shot of espresso from a regular ("coffee") K-cup. What is the machine doing to produce that, and is the resulting liquid comparable to "real" espresso?

(I'm not enough of a connoisseur to tell the difference between straight espresso and these K-Cafe Shots. I understand that "real" espresso is made by passing water through the grounds under high pressure. I can't see that the K-Cafe has a mechanism to accomplish that.)

2 Answers 2


No, sadly it's absolutely not an espresso shot.

To get a real espresso shot the ideal settings are to have freshly ground coffee into a portefilter basket leveled and compressed using about 15kgf of force. The amount of coffee should be around 14g-18g (for a double shot) as an input, the output should be like 28-36g (we are talking about a tradtional espresso with a 1/2 ratio). All of this should be done under around 9 bar pressure. A Keurig simply doesn't respect any of theses parameters.

  • This answer has the right spirit but there are a few technicalities which seem off. For example, kg isn't a measure for pressure. Do you mean it's tamped with the equivalent of 15kg (on earth) invariant of the size of the basket (15kg on top of a needle is more pressure than 15kg on a large table).
    – JJJ
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 9:49
  • I was more talking about the force used to tamp the portafilter, to be more accurate 15 kgf. And this this just a number, the important thing is that the tamp should be leveled and consistant over time. Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 9:56
  • Yea, I get the idea, but it's better to be precise. Feel free to edit that in. As for the pressure, I'm not sure what the machine in question does. It may well reach 9 bar using a pressurized basket / 'cup insert'.
    – JJJ
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 10:02
  • I get that, I had a pressurized delonghi machine for a year before upgrading to a nuova simonelli oscar 2. But I believe that those coffee pods in a Keuring does not require any type of pressure, correct if I am wrong :) Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 11:08

No, it is filter coffee. Espresso is made with high pressure but filter coffee is made by just filtering. Keurig just filters k-pods without pressure.

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