The worst thing that can happen when you’re drinking a cup of coffee is that you don’t enjoy the taste! Well, that’s one of the worst things that can happen! So how do you make coffee taste good? Or how can you make coffee taste better?
There’s a few ways you can go about this. If black coffee is not your thing, then you can add some flavorings to dull the intensity and make your coffee a bit more palatable.
If you like black coffee and your regular cup of joe starts tasting strange, there’s probably something wrong with your brewing method that you need to troubleshoot.
How to make coffee taste better
For sure, the first thing you can do to make coffee taste better is to just add some flavorings. At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you’re drinking instant coffee, old coffee, or freshly roasted beans. Chances are the flavorings will overpower the subtleties of the coffee flavor, and you’ll get the warmth, a touch of boldness, and of course, the caffeine hit!
If you’re drinking coffee made from freshly roasted beans, however, I would suggest going easy on the additives as you just want to add enough to dull the bitterness and not too much as to overpower the entire brew. With that said, here are our favorite ways to make your coffee taste good.
1. Brown sugar
You really can’t go wrong with brown sugar. Taste is subjective, but I feel that brown sugar has a more natural taste than white sugar. You can use any variant of brown sugar – some folks prefer demerara, which has a nice earthy, sweet taste.
Sugar isn’t the healthiest option, but it’s the most commonly available and the only flavor it will contribute is sweetness.
You can also sweeten coffee using honey. Any kind of honey will do, but remember that most honeys have their own flavor profiles, so make sure it’s something that balances out with the coffee. If the coffee is too strong and the honey is too strong on the other end of the spectrum, you may not really enjoy the result.
Another huge plus is that honey is really good for you!
3. Maple syrup
Not a big fan of honey, but love pancakes and waffles? Maple syrup is also a really effective coffee sweetener. It’s a lot like honey in some ways, so it will dissolve nicely into the coffee and add a mild nutty, sweet taste. Plus maple syrup is good for you, too.
If you want to skimp out on any kind of sugar, natural or otherwise, consider adding a dash of cinnamon. Cinnamon actually has a sweetening effect without all the calories, and it’s a nearly universally loved flavoring that tastes good in just about anything.
Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon into your coffee and experience the magic. It tastes wonderful on top of a cappuccino, too.
A drop of vanilla flavor can also do wonders. The aroma and flavor of vanilla is just something else, and you will find that a drop of it can really uplift a cup of coffee.
Yes, you read that right. Butter! Add a tablespoon of butter to your morning black coffee and blitz in a high speed blender. The result is a creamy, rich coffee that will keep you full for the whole morning.
If you have high cholesterol or are watching your calories, I would stay away from butter, though 🙂
How to make black coffee taste better
If it’s your black coffee that has started tasting bad, you have a few ways of attempting to tackle this problem. As you saw earlier, the way to fix black coffee is to tweak your coffee maker, tweak the water, or change up your coffee beans/grind.
Your coffee maker is doing all of the heavy lifting in making your coffee, so if there’s something wrong with your coffee maker, there’s a good chance your coffee will not turn out as nicely as you had hoped.
Clean your coffee maker regularly
The insides of coffee makers have a tendency to get dirty. We often don’t realize it because most of the pipes and machinery is well hidden inside the outer casing, but all sorts of nasty things can build up: limescale and bacteria are two repeat offenders.
To clean out limescale and bacteria, you’ll need to flush your machine with descaling solution. You can either use the descaling solution made by the machine’s manufacturer, or you can use a natural descaler like vinegar or citric acid.
Try to flush the machine once a month, or once every two months at the very least.
Put a mixture of water and descaling solution into the water tank, and let the machine run for 2 or 3 cycles. Then, empty the descaling solution from the tank, rinse it out, and flush the machine with regular water a couple of times to get any acid residue out.
The acidic nature of the descaling solution will remove scale and help kill off bacteria.
Next up, the water you’re using can affect the coffee you’re making. There are a few things you can try here.
Water temperature(cold and hot)
The temperature of water is really important. Just a few degrees too many can result in scorched, acidic coffee, and really, who wants to drink that?
The perfect temperature for brewing coffee is around 90 to 95 degrees celcius. If you don’t have a water heater that can do exactly that temperature, just leave the lid open for 30 seconds after boiling. That will help bring the temperature down to the right range.
If you’re using an espresso machine, consider filling the tank with cool water. Cool water and cool milk always work better in an espresso machine.
Another thing you can try is using filtered water instead of tap water. The less minerals and additives in the water, the better your coffee will be.
You can use a reverse osmosis system to get really pure water, and that will produce good coffee and also scale up your machine much less.
Alternatively, some coffee machines have filters built into them.
Finally, the last frontier is just to use different coffee beans.
Coffee beans came last on the list because we’re assuming you already like the coffee you’re drinking and it suddenly started tasting bad.
Try another blend or roast
If you don’t like the coffee you’re drinking, consider switching it up and picking a different blend or roast.
Light roasts will have the mildest taste.
Medium roasts will have a hint of strength and boldness.
Dark roasts will be really intense!
Most roasters also specify the flavor profiles you can expect to taste and smell from their beans, so you can pick and choose.
Once you start using freshly roasted coffee beans, you’ll never go back. Coffee grounds just don’t cut it in terms of flavor, because who knows how long the grounds have been sitting around? Within a few hours of grinding, the grounds will lose most of the delicate flavors and you’ll just be left with a dull, boring cup.
The last thing you can modify is your grind. As you must be aware, you need to match the brew to the grind. If you’re using the wrong kind of grind, your coffee can end up under-extracted or muddy.
Here’s a quick recap for the kinds of grinds to use for common coffee preparations:
- Espresso: fine
- Aeropress: fine-medium
- Drip/pour over: medium
- French press: coarse
- Cold brew: very coarse
I hope you can use the methods above to fix your cup of coffee. Life is too short to be drinking bad coffee!