What is the difference between Drip Coffee vs Espresso?
Plain and simple, you cannot make espresso on a drip coffee maker.
Drip coffee makers use gravity to get hot water through the coffee grinds and paper filter to extract the coffee. The coffee grind is on the coarse side to achieve the best flavor. On the other hand, an espresso machine forces hot water through the coffee grinds and metal filter basket at 9 bar (~131 psi). The coffee grind is on the fine side to achieve the best flavor.
You cannot use one extraction process to make the other.
Cafe Americano & Cafe Crema
Although you cannot make espresso on a drip coffee maker, an espresso machine can make a drip coffee type beverage. There are two beverages you can make, Cafe Americano and Cafe Crema. Some customers believe these have superior taste profiles.
A Cafe Americano is typically a double espresso with added hot water to fill to the rim of the coffee cup. As a result, some of the espresso crema breaks up and dilutes into the coffee cup.
A Cafe Crema is made by allowing all the water to pass through the coffee grinds to fill the coffee cup. Typically, there is a layer of espresso crema on the top of the Cafe Crema. This beverage can be more difficult to make if there is very little cup clearance for a full-size coffee cup under the spouts. Typically, superautomatic espresso machines have higher cup clearances between the spouts and the rim of the coffee cup.
For both espresso brewing methods above, it is important to use espresso roasted or darker beans for the extraction process.