Want to know how to make coffee taste good?
In this article, you will find tips on how to improve the taste of your coffee if it's bitter or acidic, as well as what spices to add to improve the taste of coffee.
Let's get started.
The taste of your cup of joe is highly dependent on the coffee you use. Before we move on to improving the flavor of coffee, let's take a look at your coffee beans.
Use beans that were roasted no more than a month ago.
Within a month of roasting, the essential oils of the beans are oxidized and aroma and taste components evaporate, even in a closed pack.
Using old beans will result in drink with a poor taste and aroma.
Don't store beans in an open container for more than 7 days.
After opening a sealed package of coffee, the aromatic substances oxidize and evaporate within a week. Because of this, the drink loses its brightness of taste.
To avoid this, buy only as much coffee at a time as you can drink in two weeks.
Use ground coffee beans within 30 minutes of grinding.
After half an hour, most of the essential oils will have evaporated from the ground coffee, so the brewed coffee won't have a good taste or aroma.
Coffee equipment cleaning
Clean your coffee equipment after each use or as recommended by the manufacturer.
If you don't clean your equipment, old coffee grounds and essential oils will remain in the grinder and coffee machine and will oxidize and burn over time.
This makes the drink taste rancid.
You can easily tell the difference between an espresso made in a clean portafilter and one made in a portafilter that has not been washed all day.
What to Do If Your Coffee Tastes Bitter
There are several reasons your coffee might taste bitter. Let's take a look at how to make your coffee taste better by reducing bitterness:
Pay attention to the water
To brew coffee, you can use bottled water, filtered water, or water purified by reverse osmosis.
Water with a mineralization of 75 to 150 mg/L will help you brew coffee with a good taste.
When preparing coffee at home, you can determine the mineralization using a TDS meter. This device will show you how many substances are dissolved in the water.
If this figure is more than 150 mg/L, your coffee will likely taste bitter.
Not all filtered water is suitable. Each state has a different mineral content in its tap water, and filters all differ from each other. You will need a TDS meter if you want to use filtered tap water.
Increase the grind size
Most often, excessive bitterness occurs due to over-extraction. The finer the coffee grind, the more substances the water can draw out of the grounds.
If you grind your beans a little bit coarser, the coffee taste will be cleaner and softer.
To find out if the bitterness in your coffee is the result of improper grinding, experiment with various grind sizes.
Reduce the brewing time
Sometimes bitterness comes from taking too long to brew your coffee. This results in over-extraction.
Here are some optimal brewing times:
- Espresso — 25-30 seconds
- AeroPress — 1.5-2 minutes
- Turkish coffee, Moka pot — 3-4 minutes
- Pour-over — 2.5 minutes
- French press — 8 minutes
Reduce the water temperature
Too high a water temperature during brewing can also cause a bitter taste.
The higher the water temperature, the more substances the water can extract from coffee.
When brewing coffee, the water should be between 195 and 210°F.
If the temperature is lower than 195℉, coffee extraction will be too slow. The coffee will turn out too acidic.
If the temperature is higher than 210℉, extraction will be too fast. The coffee will turn out too bitter.
For optimal extraction, you should also pay attention to how dark the the beans were roasted.
We recommend brewing at these temperatures:
- Dark roast — 199-203℉
- Medium-dark roast — 201-204℉
- Medium roast — 203-206℉
- Light roast — 208-210℉
Use less ground coffee
Here are the basic ratios of coffee to water for various brewing methods:
- Espresso — 1:2
- Moka pot — 1:7
- Turkish coffee — 1:10
- AeroPress — 1:12
- French press — 1:14
- Pour-over — 1:16
- Chemex — 1:18
We recommend starting with these ratios.
To do this, you need a scale.
If you don't like the taste, try using fewer grounds with the same amount of water next time.
This method even has a special name: bypass brewing.
Adding water to your finished cup of coffee reduces the total percentage of solutes that the brewing water has extracted from the grounds.
This can make up for over-extraction and reduce the bitter taste of your coffee.
This technique is often used intentionally.
For example, an Americano is made by adding water to espresso.
Some recipes for AeroPress and pour-over coffee makers also use the bypass method.
What to Do If Your Coffee Tastes Acidic
An overly sour or acidic taste in coffee is the result of under-extraction. Let's take a look at how to make your coffee taste better by reducing the acidity.
Reduce the grind size
If the coffee is bitter, then the grind might be too fine, but if your coffee is very acidic, then the opposite is true. A grind that is too coarse prevents the water from extracting anything but acids from the coffee.
This can be fixed by decreasing the grind size.
Increase the water temperature
Insufficiently hot water can also cause acidic coffee because the beans will be under-extracted. Not all the necessary acids, sugars, tannins, and essential oils will be found in the finished drink.
To make the coffee taste better, increase the temperature of the water.
Increase the brewing time
Acids and salts are the first substances to be extracted from coffee beans during brewing, followed by sugars, essential oils, and caffeine.
To reduce the acidity of your drink, simply lengthen the brewing time so the water can extract all necessary taste substances, not just acids.
How to Make Coffee Taste Better with Spices
For those who like to experiment, here are some great spices and herbs you can add to to make your coffee taste better:
Cinnamon gives coffee a warm, sweet taste with a slight bitterness. It's a great addition to acidic Arabica varieties. It's significantly lower in calories than sugar and can even improve immunity. You can prepare coffee either by adding ground cinnamon or by dipping a whole cinnamon stick into your cup for 5-10 seconds.
This spice adds an exotic floral flavor to your drink and can help you relax. It contains many essential oils that release a stable, unique smell. We recommend that you add cardamom to your coffee after brewing.
Adding fresh mint leaves (or a drop of peppermint oil) to a cup of coffee will provide a refreshing touch.
Instead of using processed artificial syrups, look for natural extracts with the same flavors. Vanilla extract provides a dizzying aroma, making the coffee warm and inviting. An even better option is to dip a whole vanilla bean into your brewed coffee and wait for 10-15 seconds.
Add a couple chunks of fresh ginger root or a teaspoon of ginger powder to your coffee. The drink will become spicy, juicy, aromatic, and warming. Ginger is a great way to make coffee taste more interesting for Christmas.
This will make the drink especially fragrant and appetizing. Coffee with black pepper will warm you up perfectly. To achieve this effect, just add a few peppercorns to a freshly brewed drink.