Learn How To Make Coffee Taste Good Every Time
We will walk you through the many options of how to make coffee taste good – and then it is up to you to experiment for your ultimate flavored cuppa.
Few people will argue with you that a cup of specialty coffee prepared by a barista is going to taste delicious.
But don’t despair – there are many methods of how to make coffee taste better that can be easily achieved at home.
There are many people enjoying coffee every day who cannot afford a packet of specialty coffee or to drink their coffee at any of the many specialty coffee shops.
For millions of people, daily cups of instant coffee are the sum total of their coffee experience. Millions more enjoy their daily coffee fix by drinking filtered or brewed coffee.
Coffee connoisseurs will state that these people are subjecting themselves to boring, even unpleasant, run-of-the-mill cups of coffee.
The common complaint, even by those who enjoy drinking coffee, is that coffee prepared at home or at the office is bland, sour, or bitter. You drink it for the energy boost, and not the flavor some of them might say.
There is no need to continue subjecting yourselves to cups of poor-tasting coffee. Even those who cannot afford anything more expensive than instant coffee.
The good news is that there are a wide variety of ways to improve the taste of your next cup of coffee by changing:
- buy quality coffee; German coffee brands have a good flavor
- the coarseness of your coffee ground
- the equipment you use
- the coffee-water ratio
- water temperature
- adding extra ingredients
There are even ways to make that cup of instant coffee taste better.
It is the hope that the tips presented in this article will go some way to improving the flavor of your next cup of coffee. And every cup thereafter.
The goal of this article is to get you the best-tasting coffees without too much expense.
Tips To Improve That Cup Of Instant Coffee
There are a couple of good things going for instant coffee. It is inexpensive and it can be prepared in practically no more time than it takes to boil water.
For many that is where the attraction of instant coffee ends.
Many people at this point will ask the question “Why does my coffee taste bad?”
However, there are a few tips that can help make a cup of instant coffee taste better.
So let’s see what makes good coffee:
- Using A Little Cold Water
The biggest complaint about instant coffee is that it is sour or bitter. This tip can help blend out some of that sourness or bitterness.
Add a small amount of cold water to your instant coffee. Mix thoroughly before pouring the mixture into some hot water.
One of the ingredients of instant coffee is amylum. This hardens when coming into contact with hot water. The cold water allows the amylum to properly dissolve thus creating a better-tasting cup of coffee.
- Water Temperature
Freshly boiled water can alter the taste of instant coffee. In addition, some kettles can be placed into standby mode which boils water numerous times.
Each time water is boiled more oxygen is removed. Allow freshly boiled water to rest for a couple of minutes before adding it to instant coffee. This can lead to a noticeable improvement in its taste.
- Coffee To Water Ratio
This is generally the biggest mistake made when preparing a cup of instant coffee. This error and can lead to coffee that is either over-powering or too watery.
Follow the instructions provided by the brand of coffee you purchased, but always allow for adjustment according to your particular taste. For most coffee brands the suggested ratio is 1 – 2 teaspoons of instant coffee to 1 standard cup of water.
- Adding A Little Cream
No cup of instant coffee will ever compare to that rich, full, smooth flavor of a specialty coffee. But adding a little cream to your next cup of instant will definitely go some way to closing the gap.
Cream will help thicken the consistency and impart a richer taste. The cream will also help to neutralize the acidity of the coffee.
When you taste coffee it should be rich and smooth – cream will help you achieve this quality.
- Add More Sugar
It may not be the healthiest option, but it is an obvious solution. If you find that your instant coffee is too bitter, simply sweeten it with an extra teaspoon or two of sugar.
- Use Alternative Sweeteners
If adding more cane sugar doesn’t appeal to you there are some alternative choices on how to make coffee taste sweet.
Add equal parts coffee and Milo to your next cup. Top it with a little cream and you can probably skip the sugar altogether.
Another alternative is Nutella. Nutella takes slightly longer to melt but is worth the wait.
Other alternatives are maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, and even condensed milk.
If a cup of hot instant coffee on a summer day is not to your liking, you can try an iced coffee.
Mix a shot of hot water with a teaspoonful of instant coffee and pour it into a cup with ice cubes. Top it off with some milk, cream, or whipped cream.
- Frothed Milk
Another relatively easy way to improve the flavor of your next cup of instant coffee. Frothed milk helps to mellow the acidity.
You will need to prepare your frothed milk in a separate container and then scoop some into your cup of instant.
- Varying The Measurements
A teaspoon of flour is different from a teaspoon of sugar. One is a powder while the other is granular.
Quantity can vary depending on the texture of the substance. A level teaspoon is different from a rounded teaspoon or to a heaped teaspoon.
Experiment with the measurements according to your tastes.
- Fresh Milk
Some brands of instant coffee include powdered milk. Adding a little fresh milk can make that next cup richer and more creamy.
- Cup Size
Your cup size will determine the amount of water you can add. Find a cup or mug size that meets your flavor needs with regard to the coffee to water ratio.
- A Little Orange Juice
This may not appeal to everyone and some may be affected by an upset stomach afterward.
Orange juice has a sour taste and coffee can be bitter. But bringing these two together with a preferred sweetener can create an enticing taste.
- Quality Brand
Even if you try some of the above tips a cheap brand of instant coffee will always taste cheap.
A quality brand of instant coffee may be all you need to improve the flavor of your next cup.
- Try An Alternative
Instead of using coffee beans try an alternative base for your coffee flavor.
Mushroom coffees are becoming popular – they have a coffee flavor without the caffeine intake.
Recommended reading is our Everyday Dose Reviews article which covers mushroom coffees and what the ingredients are.
5 Tips Before You Even Get To Brewing
In many cases what you do before beginning the brewing process can go a long way to improving the flavor experience of your next cup of brewed coffee.
By following some or all of the suggestions below, your next cup should provide you with a much better taste experience.
Let’s see how to make the best-tasting coffees.
Freshness is the number one best method to guarantee a great-tasting cup of coffee.
All the wonderful flavors packed into those coffee beans are not going to stay there indefinitely. Additionally, freshly roasted coffee beans trump fresh pre-ground coffee.
The ideal scenario is purchasing whole coffee beans that have been roasted within the last three weeks. A good-quality coffee supplier will stamp their packaging with the roast date.
If buying freshly roasted coffee beans is not possible or too expensive, then try to select a quality brand of pre-ground coffee that stamps their packaging with the roast date.
When buying fresh coffee beans over fresh pre-ground coffee, only grind the amount of coffee you need when you brew yourself a cuppa.
As soon as coffee beans are ground, all those delicious flavors will begin to release.
Buying yourself a manual coffee bean grinder or electric coffee grinder is not an expensive option. Grinding fresh beans will only add a few minutes to your coffee preparation time.
Coffee is best stored long-term in a cool, dry, dark, air-tight container.
Air, light, moisture, and heat will cause chemistry in coffee beans or pre-ground coffee to change.
And not for the better.
The best practice is to transfer your store-bought or market-purchased coffee from the original packaging. Place them into your more long-term storage container as soon as you get home.
Ceramic containers are ideal since they are inert and do not interact with their contents. Stainless steel and opaque glass containers can be just as good.
Keep those long-term storage containers away from sunlight or other sources of heat – such as the oven.
Cheap brewing equipment made from cheap materials can definitely have an impact on the quality of your cup of coffee.
Cheap brewing equipment can also be more expensive in the long term. There is a greater tendency towards failures or breakdowns.
Get into the habit of cleaning your coffee brewing equipment after every use.
Besides the obvious hygiene benefits, nothing ruins your cup of coffee than it being tainted by old stale coffee products from the previous brewing process.
If your brewing process makes use of paper filters, then, ideally, use a fresh filter for each brewing process.
Depending on the type of equipment you use, consider a cleansing brew process once a month. Use equal parts of water and vinegar for a thorough clean.
4 Tips During Brewing
Follow the tips below during the actual brewing process. They can go a long way to ensuring your cups of brewed coffee provide you with the most enjoyment.
Here are 4 tips as to how to make coffee taste good at home that you can implement straight away.
Brewing Tip #1
Not everyone’s coffee taste preferences are the same.
Some prefer a stronger cup of coffee to others. The coffee to water ratio plays a big part in determining the final taste experience.
Many coffee connoisseurs consider the golden ratio of coffee to water to be either 1:15 or 1:17. If you use 50g of coffee, then you will need 850g or 850ml (1g = 1ml) of water. This ratio determines the strength and balance of your cup of coffee.
Too much water will lead to over-extraction which will produce a dull and bitter flavor. Too little water will lead to under-extraction and an over-powering, sour flavor.
Generally, the golden ratios consistently produce coffee that is most satisfying to the majority. There are many people who, for personal taste preferences, brew outside of the golden ratio.
The golden ratios are not the golden rules.
Brewing Tip #2
Adjust And Adapt Your Brew Until It Is Perfect
Everyone’s best coffee taste preference is different.
Brew time, grind size, and coffee to water ratio are the principal factors determining the flavor of your cup of coffee.
Adjust and experiment with these individually. You will arrive at the flavor that’s most satisfying for you.
- Adjust Your Grind Size
A finer grind will allow more coffee product to come into contact with the water during brewing. A coarser grind has the opposite effect.
If you brew according to the golden ratios, then a finer grind requires less brewing time and vice versa for a coarser grind. Experiment with your grind size while keeping the other factors consistent.
Do this until you arrive at the flavor you enjoy the most.
- Change Brew Time
If you keep the grind size consistent, you can experiment with the brewing time to adjust the coffee flavor.
Longer brewing times will lean towards over-extracting and vice versa. If you adhere to the golden ratios, then the suggested brewing time is 3 – 4 minutes.
Adjust your brewing times by 30 second periods until you achieve the best taste.
- Check Water Temperature
The hotter the water the quicker the flavors are extracted from the coffee product.
If the water is too hot you can end up with a bitter cup of coffee. If the water is not hot enough you can end up with a sour cup of coffee.
The temperature range considered ideal by the majority is 90 to 96 degrees Celsius (195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit), or just shy of boiling.
Brewing Tip #3
Do Use A Better Water Quality
Water quality can affect both the flavor of your brewed coffee and your brewing equipment. This is true of especially coffeemakers and espresso machines.
Obviously don’t use water that you are not prepared to drink by itself. Don’t use water that is not fresh.
This includes water that has been pre-boiled and left standing and water from a geyser.
If you are not satisfied with your cold tap water you can either buy bottled water or invest in some form of filtration.
The flavor of coffee is also affected by the hardness of the water. (referring to the levels of magnesium and calcium). While some claim that these minerals, especially magnesium, improve the taste of coffee, others disagree.
Once again it comes down to taste preferences. If your water is hard and you don’t enjoy how it affects the taste of your coffee, don’t soften the water chemically. Rather procure water from a different source.
Brewing Tip #4
Steam or Froth Your Milk
Both of these techniques aim to produce a layer of foam that can complement the taste and texture of your coffee.
Both techniques achieve this by introducing air bubbles into the milk. While frothing milk does work, it’s best achieved by steaming milk.
When milk gets hot the complex proteins unfold and trap more air.
The Secret To Making Your Coffee Taste Just Like A Coffee Shop’s
Everyone likes different flavors. Nowadays there are almost as many coffee variations as taste demands.
Black, flat white, frothy, strong, weak, hot, cold, spicy, chocolatey, and so on.
We will show you how to make coffee taste better at home. Make it taste just like a fancy coffee shop brew with your favorite flavor – all from your own kitchen!
One historic coffee bar in Naples has 63 coffee drink variations on its menu.
While this article does not offer 63 suggestions to add to or enhance the taste of your next cup of coffee, the following are some of the more common ones.
Don’t forget to experiment since some of these can be added as combinations.
Let’s find out some ways to make coffee taste better!
Delicious Ingredients To Add To Coffee
Here are some easy and flavorsome additions to enhance your coffee drinking experience.
Using these ingredients will give you a cafe-quality coffee at home. A lot of these options can be used in coffee for winter warming flavors.
Added by some as a healthier alternative to sugar, cinnamon has been described as having a spicy sweetness.
Cinnamon has a list of well-recorded health benefits including:
- helps control blood sugar levels
- links to reduced levels of heart disease
How to add cinnamon flavor to your coffee:
- add half a teaspoon to your instant coffee powder
- add coarse cinnamon grinds to your coffee grinds before brewing
- store your coffee beans with fresh cinnamon sticks
- steep your hot water with fresh cinnamon sticks before brewing
A dash of cinnamon essential oil is another way to add it to your cup of coffee.
Freshly ground or grated nutmeg is best. It will not dissolve, but if it is fresh it will sink to the bottom of your cup and release its flavor while you drink.
You could also add a dash of nutmeg essential oil to your coffee in the cup.
Nutmeg is a good source of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Vanilla (pod or extract)
Vanilla is a staple flavor enhancer for some want foods and drinks and goes very well with your coffee.
You could add some vanilla syrup to your cup of coffee, but the best method is to add a drop or two of vanilla extract. You could also store your coffee beans with a few sticks of vanilla pod cut in half.
Vanilla will give your coffee a delicious light flavor and some of its health benefits are:
- rich in anti-oxidants
- anti-bacterial properties
- antidepressant properties
- is a good source of potassium and magnesium
Piece of Chocolate
A great way to add a creamy texture to your coffee.
Probably the easiest method is to stir some chocolate sauce into your cup of coffee after brewing. However, you could also drop a square or two of dark chocolate or chili chocolate into your cup of coffee.
This is another way to give your cup of coffee a rich chocolatey taste.
Place some cocoa powder into your cup and add a small amount of brewed coffee. Stir until a paste is formed, then pour in more coffee until the paste has dissolved completely.
Cardamom has a taste similar to chai (think masala chai tea) and is quite intense.
Some people add a crushed pod of cardamom to their cups. Probably the best method is to grind or grate a little cardamom seed into your coffee grinds before brewing.
Again you could store your coffee beans with some fresh cardamom pods.
- anti-diuretic properties
- anti-inflammatory properties
- aids in digestion
- anti-bacterial properties
If you enjoy gingerbread biscuits, you may enjoy a cup of ginger coffee. Best enjoyed with black coffee as ginger may curdle any milk you add.
You could add a couple of slices of fresh ginger root to your cup after brewing or half a teaspoon of ginger powder.
Ginger is excellent for:
- helps relieve nausea
- treatment for colds and flu
- has anti-inflammatory properties
- pain relief properties
This might not be to everyone’s taste, but you could grind a small number of cloves into your coffee grinds before brewing.
To infuse your coffee beans before grinding you could add some cloves into your coffee bean container.
Some of the health benefits of cloves are:
- as a boost to gastrointestinal health
- a good source of anti-oxidants
- helps in controlling blood sugar levels
- immunity booster
- anti-inflammatory properties
Add this spice to your coffee for that licorice flavor. Half a pod is plenty for a single cup of coffee.
Some of the health benefits of star anise are:
- anti-inflammatory properties, particularly with the respiratory system
- aids in skin health
- anti-bacterial properties
- may help with sleep issues
- helps promote healthy circulation
This might be a new concept even to some coffee lovers.
It has been noted that salt can provide a very appealing effect on the flavor of the coffee. While salt will not improve the taste of a bad cup of coffee, it does mellow out any bitterness.
Add a small amount to instant coffee powder or sprinkle it on top of a cup of brewed coffee.
A healthy alternative to sugar due to its richness in minerals and vitamins.
Simply stir directly into your cup of coffee.
Honey is also rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-bacterial properties. Some kinds of honey have a strong aroma which might not be enjoyable to some coffee drinkers.
Acacia honey might be a good choice since it is more neutral and delicate than other types.
Similar to honey in that it can be stirred directly into your cup of coffee as an excellent alternative to sugar.
Maple syrup may lend a nutty flavor to your coffee.
Maple syrup is:
- rich in minerals and vitamins
- can help with some digestive and/or intestinal issues
Will give your coffee a thick creamy texture and compliments the natural bitterness of coffee.
Don’t overdo it though. Half a teaspoon should be enough for a cup of coffee.
Will turn your coffee into a dessert drink.
Vanilla ice cream is an excellent starting point. Ice cream will give your coffee a rich and creamy texture and add enough sweetness so you can forego the sugar.
Ice cream is also an excellent choice for a hot coffee on a summer day.
Coconut/ Almond Milk
A great alternative for those avoiding dairy or are lactose intolerant. Coconut milk is low in calories, but still rich and sweet.
Try almond milk, which will give your coffee a nutty taste. A good suggestion is sweetened almond milk as the flavor of the unsweetened variety may be too harsh.
How To Make Coffee Taste Good Is Actually Quite Easy
There are so many choices on how to make home coffee taste better.
You could even vary them up and have a different flavor every day of the week!!!
Just have fun and enjoy experimenting.