How To Make Coffee Thicker (Answered)

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 by Barry Gray

What is not to love about coffee? 

Along my coffee journey, I have indulged in watery coffee, cheap coffee, nasty coffee, coffee I cannot forget, and the most prized coffee, full-bodied coffee with a rich and creamy texture. 

I think you can guess the types of coffee that I never loved. 

Full-bodied coffee could be the mark of coffee utopia. I’m sure you’ll agree there is nothing better. 

Making coffee thicker is easy. You can add Xanthan gum, corn starch, use beans with higher oil content, or add cream to provide extra fat. Any of those options will make a difference to the thickness of coffee but know some will also slightly change the taste. 

A small percentage of people like it wishy-washy, like my great aunt. She never really drank coffee, for coffee’s sake. That’s my reasoning, anyway!

how to make coffee thicker

There Are Plenty of Tricks For Making Coffee Thicker 

You can make coffee thicker and fuller. It’s easy, and some tricks involve corn starch and xanthan gum. 

But there is more to it than corn starch and xanthan gum. 

Some people describe full-bodied coffee as thick and creamy. So would you add cream?

To help you out, I’ve identified several key ways in which you can make coffee thicker. Those days of having a thin and unsatisfying brew will be behind you, and that’s pretty cool in my book.

The Coffee You Choose Will Make It Thicker 

Dark roasted beans give off more oils when brewed, giving them a thicker color, texture, and flavor. That is the first port of call.

I would avoid lighter roasts if I wanted a thicker coffee. It’s not that you cannot make a lighter roast thicker, but it takes more work on your part.

It’s The Oil Factor In Dark Roasts That Makes It Thicker

I’m also not saying medium roasts can’t be complete and dense, it does boil down to personal taste, but this is the foundation of a thick, full-of-flavor roasted coffee. It’s got a bit more oil in it. 

I do love the aftertaste that’s left due to the oils. I feel it offers a greater body to the coffee, and just that sensation alone will make your coffee appear thicker.

A French Press Will Make Your Brew Full Bodied And Extract The Oils

A French press will allow you to brew your coffee for as long as you like, and coffee brewed a little longer will produce more oils, and the more fats you have in your base, the thicker and tastier your coffee will be. 

I think this is a point that will surprise some people. I know a few individuals who believe a French press is a waste of time with making coffee. 

They see this brewing method as only being capable of offering weak coffee, but the reality is they simply do not know how to use it correctly. 

When you allow the coffee time to soak in the water, it does deliver some stunning results, so don’t fall into that trap.

Don’t Rule Out The Espresso Machine For Good Thick Coffee Results 

You can, of course, use pour-over and espresso dispensers, but I prefer the French press. 

My father, who is also a coffee fanatic, uses his Espresso machine, producing a brew utterly different from mine but just as good. 

Again, it comes down to the beans being used, but I do believe an Espresso machine can do a fantastic job. 

Think Visuals When Making Your Thicker Brew 

ways to make your coffee thicker

Looking at full-bodied coffee, it will have a sheen from the oils. This is something that will be easily noticeable if you are paying attention.

The darker color will give off the illusion that the coffee is thicker and fuller. Some of my best coffee experiences lit up my imagination with words like woody, smokey, and dark chocolate.

Usually, these are served in a smaller cup. The focus is on more coffee and less water. 

Because dark roast is a bit heavier on caffeine, it can boost your mood, emit unique odors, and taste great. What is not to like? 

Using Corn Starch and Xanthan Gum To Make Your Coffee Thicker 

using cornstarch or xanthan gum to thicken coffee

Corn starch and xanthan gum are thickening agents used to make coffee thicker. 

Corn starch is a more common thickening agent. Still, xanthan gum is a better choice for coffee because it does not have a noticeable taste. 

Some argue the other way around; I’ve found both to be successful and paired with the dark roasted beans, I didn’t taste any change in my favorite brew. 

Add a small pinch of starch or gum to your coffee grounds before brewing. The amount of thickening agent you need will depend on the strength of your coffee and your desired thickness.

Over time, you will better understand how your coffee will turn out. 

For me, this is how I add either option to my coffee.

  1. Measure out 1/4 teaspoon of corn starch or xanthan gum.
  2. Add the thickening agent to your coffee grounds.
  3. Stir the coffee grounds and thickening agent together.
  4. Brew your coffee as usual.

Remember not to add too much, so 1/4 of a teaspoon is a good kick-off point.

The coffee will thicken as it brews. You can add thickening agents if you want your coffee to be thicker. However, be careful not to add too much, as this can make your coffee taste gritty.

Hey! Did You Know These Famous Companies Use The Same Tricks? 

Some well-known companies that already use corn starch or xanthan gum to thicken their coffee include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s. Who knew? I always thought some of them made good enough coffee!

But if it’s good enough for them to do this en-masse, then I don’t think you should stress about trying it yourself.

If you are still nervous, try these additional steps when starting. 

  • Use cold water to dissolve the thickening agent.
  • Please do not add the thickening agent to hot coffee, as this can cause it to clump.
  • Thickening agents can affect the flavor of coffee, so use them sparingly.

With some experimentation, you can find the perfect amount of thickening agent to make your coffee the perfect thick, full-bodied cup you are after. 

My Secret Whisking Method – Shared!

cornstarch to thicken coffee

Sometimes I mix the coffee grounds with a dash of cornstarch and cold water, stir like crazy, then add hot water. This way, I know it is properly dissolved. 

Along with using a dark roast with higher oil content, here are some other tips you might find helpful. 

  • Use a coarser grind. Go for something other than the finer blends. A coarser grind will allow more of the coffee’s oils to be extracted, resulting in a thicker cup. It is something to do with the science that a larger surface area yields a better result. 
  • Increase the brew time. The longer the coffee brews, the more solubles will be extracted, making your coffee thicker.
  • Add a thickening agent. Add a small amount of cornstarch, xanthan gum, or even an instant pudding mix to your coffee to thicken it. Depending on your goal with the coffee you are making. 

My Tips to Make Your Coffee Thicker

Making my coffee thicker is something I’ve done repeatedly, but I know it can be stressful at first, as nobody wants to ruin a good coffee. So, here are just a few quick tips that should make life that bit easier.

  • Add only a little water. The more water you add, the thinner your coffee will be. This sounds obvious, but consider the size of your mug and the serving of your coffee grounds and factor in milk, too, if you use it. 
  • Don’t overextract your coffee. Overextracted coffee will be bitter and thin.
  • Don’t use a paper filter. Paper filters will remove some of the oils from your coffee, making it thinner.

The Methods and Types of Coffees Used In Making Full-Bodied Coffee

There are many different types of coffee, each with its unique flavor profile. Some are better at making a full-bodied coffee than others. Some of the most popular types of coffee include:

  • Espresso: Espresso is a concentrated coffee made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. It is typically served in small cups and has a thick, creamy texture.
  • Drip coffee: Drip coffee is the most common coffee in the United States. It is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and allowing it to drip through a filter. Drip coffee is typically served in larger cups and has a slightly thinner texture than espresso.
  • Cold brew: Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period. This results in a less acidic coffee with a smoother flavor than drip coffee.
  • Turkish coffee is made by boiling finely-ground coffee beans in water. It is typically served in small cups and has a thick, foamy texture.

But that’s not all. Other coffee-brewing methods can work well at producing that full-on coffee experience you are looking for.

For me, these are the two brewing methods that stand out.

  • French press: A French press is a manual method of making coffee. It is easy to use and produces a rich, flavorful cup of coffee.
  • Pour-over: Pour-over is a manual method of making coffee similar to drip coffee. It is a bit more time-consuming but produces a flavorful cup of coffee.

My Bonus Tips to Make Coffee Thicker

I’m not quite finished with teaching you how to make coffee thicker. Instead, I have four quick tips that can make a difference.

  • Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans.
  • Grind your beans just before brewing.
  • Clean your coffee maker regularly.
  • Store your coffee beans in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

You can make a thick, flavorful, and satisfying coffee with a bit of care and attention. You can also add cream to thicken your coffee because cream has fat in it, but you can do it without cream. 

My Conclusion

Making your coffee thicker is not difficult. You have several options available, ranging from the beans you use to the brewing method and whether you want to add corn starch to the mix.

But if you learn more about how to do the correct brew, it should reduce the chances of you ending up with a thin coffee. Nobody wants that, well, unless my great aunt is reading this!