Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Barry Gray
I love coffee. I love the smell of it brewing in the morning, the taste of it on my tongue, and the way it wakes me up and gets me ready for the day.
But even though I love coffee, I know that it can be even better when you put some thought into its creation.
You see, to get the most out of your coffee, it’s important to understand how to enhance the flavors that will naturally come from the beans. So, that’s what I will spend the next few minutes doing as I guide you through a number of tips that will make a significant difference to your coffee experience.
Using whole bean, freshly roasted coffee will make a difference, as will using a burr grinder to grind it down. Ensuring you brew at the correct temperature for the type of coffee is also key, as is using the proper amount of coffee for that drink. Brewing tasty coffee does take time to learn, but it will all be worth it in the end.
I know my ability to make a decent cup of coffee has improved over the years. At first, I was guilty of using instant coffee, and that’s not the best guide as to what constitutes good coffee.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of tips to make your coffee taste better.
Will Fresh, Whole Bean Coffee Improve the Coffee Taste?
The first step to making great coffee is starting with fresh, whole-bean coffee.
But be aware that even whole-bean coffee will start losing its flavor after roasting. That is often why coffee beans bought from a specialty store will taste better than those beans you buy in a bag at the grocery store.
Often, the bags you see in the likes of Walmart were already roasted weeks ago, so the flavor hit you get from them pales into insignificance compared to freshly roasted coffee.
Honestly, try some from a grocery store and compare it to freshly roasted coffee. I promise you will never look at store beans in the same way ever again.
Will Using a Burr Grinder Make Coffee Taste Better?
A burr grinder is a better option than a blade grinder for grinding coffee beans. Burr grinders produce a more consistent grind, which results in a better-tasting cup of coffee.
It’s always better when your grind is consistent. It means you get the same level of flavor pulled from the coffee.
If the grind is uneven, it means some coffee grains have all their flavor extracted while you leave flavor behind in other grains. That leads to an inconsistent coffee, and it can eventually lead to a coffee experience that’s a bit flat.
A burr grinder will at least reduce the chances of that happening to you.
Will Using the Right Amount of Coffee Change the Taste?
People make the mistake of believing you need to add a massive amount of coffee to get something with a fantastic taste.
Please don’t do that with your coffee.
Instead, it’s all about balance according to what you want to make. However, it does get easier when you are producing a coffee that has an espresso at its core.
With an espresso, you will find it easier to use the same amount of coffee for different drinks, and it then comes down to using the correct temperature and pressure to ultimately get a decent cup.
The amount of coffee you use will affect the strength of your cup of coffee. A good rule of thumb is to use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.
That’s just a guide, but part of the fun of being a coffee lover is having the ability to go ahead and experiment with drinks. Yet, prepare yourself for making a few mistakes, as that will always happen while you get to grips with the correct amount of coffee for your own individual tastes.
Also, think about the type of roast you have used to make your coffee. Some drinks are just supposed to be made with a light roast, while others are more of a darker roast.
But then, that’s where you can also play around with roasts to see which one gives you the best taste.
Will Filtered Water Make Coffee Taste Better?
The water you use to make your coffee will also affect the taste of your coffee. Filtered water will remove any impurities that could make your coffee taste bitter.
I know this is not something that will be important to everyone. After all, I live in an area where I don’t have to worry about limescale in my water, and that’s different from elsewhere when descaling is an important task.
If you live in areas where getting purer water is not that easy, I have no doubt using filtered water will make a difference.
The last thing you want is for things in the water to potentially change the overall taste experience you get from coffee.
How Will Brewing at the Correct Temperature Change Coffee?
The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the water is too hot, it will extract too much bitterness from the coffee beans. If the water is too cold, it won’t extract enough flavor from the beans.
That is why you will see top-of-the-range espresso machines with temperature gauges. It allows the barista to see if the machine reaches the right temperature to get the perfect amount of flavor extracted from the beans.
I know it becomes easier when you have things such as a Nespresso machine at home. They do all of this for you, and it’s one reason why I find those machines to be so useful.
But get the temperature wrong, and your brew will soon let you know that all is not well with it.
Pre-heat Your Coffee Maker
Pre-heating your coffee maker will help ensure that your coffee brews evenly. To pre-heat your coffee maker, simply run water through it without adding any coffee.
This helps to maintain a more consistent temperature throughout the brewing process. Moving something hot into something else that’s colder causes fluctuations in the temperature, and that won’t help the flavor.
Experiment With Coffee Beans
Another thing I suggest is to experiment with coffee beans from around the world. They all have different tastes, and it’s important you get to know the taste and flavor that appeals to you.
I love this about coffee. I think it’s amazing you can experiment in this way and get such vastly different results.
Do yourself a favor and move between Brazil, Guatemala, India, and Ethiopia to see how the flavor profile changes. Once you get the type of coffee you love, it will certainly taste much better than you thought possible.
Try to discover if you love sweetness in your coffee beans or more bitter notes. Do you enjoy chocolate undertones to your coffee, or is it better if it comes across as more floral and fruity?
You see, people with less of an understanding of coffee make the mistake of thinking that all coffee tastes the same.
That’s not the case, and it’s only natural that some coffee beans won’t appeal as much as others.
Add Unusual Flavorings
I could go ahead and tell you to add hazelnut syrup or caramel syrup to change the taste. Still, most people will already be aware of this.
So, how about I suggest something a bit different from the norm?
A lot of people will add salt to their coffee to reduce the bitterness. This is very effective, and you only require a pinch of it to make a difference.
Another thing to add is butter. This will bolster the richness of the coffee, and it’s something I suggest you try out.
If butter or salt is not your thing, then cinnamon is another flavor you may want to try. It can be pretty potent, so go easy on the amount, but it will completely change the taste.
I think the point I’m trying to make here is you need to experiment with flavors and tastes in coffee to ultimately get something you think tastes better.
My Recap on Making Coffee Taste Better
I’ve covered several tips that could make coffee taste better. I’ve not included things such as adding syrup, sugar, or milk, as I feel those are the obvious things that people would automatically try.
However, here’s my recap on the main points I feel stand out.
- Experiment with beans from around the world to learn which ones you prefer
- Use fresh, whole-bean coffee as much as possible
- Try to get as close to the roasting date as you can
- Use a burr grinder to get a more even grind for your coffee
- Evenly ground coffee gives a more pleasant and consistent taste
- Use the right amount of coffee for the drink
- Too little coffee will result in an inferior drink
- If you have poor water, use filtered to stop it from tainting your coffee
- Brew at the right temperature to ensure the maximum flavor is extracted
- If using a coffee maker, pre-heat it to allow a more consistent temperature
- Use sugar, milk, or syrups to change the taste to your own preference
Coffee is such a versatile drink that having the option to play around with the flavor and change the taste is amazing. It’s certainly one thing I love to do, and I see it as a challenge when I have some coffee beans that are not my favorite.
By following the tips listed above, I think it could make a difference to your coffee experience.
I hope these tips help you make a delicious cup of coffee that you’ll enjoy.
So next time you’re brewing coffee, remember to use fresh, whole-bean coffee, a burr grinder, the right amount of coffee, filtered water, and the correct brewing temperature. And don’t forget to add your own personal touch!