Barista’s Tips to Make Coffee Taste Good When You Hate It

This publication explains how to make coffee taste good when you hate it. Perhaps, you have tried coffee a couple of times but it turns you off.

how to make coffee taste good when you hate it


You probably also had black coffee with a bit of sugar, which smells amazing but tastes bitter and awful. You are not doing something right, and need to know what to adjust for a better taste.

How to make coffee taste good when you hate it

You are responsible for how your coffee tastes, so practice the tips below to find the flavor that makes you develop a love for coffee:

  1. Avoid sad coffee beans

Good coffee begins with good coffee beans. They are not made in a factory, do not all taste the same, and are agricultural products, so the flavor is 100% natural. The beans are better than the sad coffee beans.

Forget about the low-grade beans for instant coffee. Go for specialty coffee, a superior coffee level graded by certified quality graders with precise taste buds.

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You want coffee with clean acidity, natural sugars, and wild flavors, just like cinnamon, mango, pine, and strawberries.

  • Buy freshly roasted beans. Coffee freshness would last for about 2-3 weeks before the flavor declines quickly. Now, beans you find on the grocery store shelf typically sit there for 2-3 months, consider buying directly from a roaster.
  • Buy whole beans. Ground coffee will reduce in quality since the tiny grounds cannot contain their freshness for long like whole beans. You will need a burr grinder in your home.
  • Store the whole bean coffee. Just follow the basic rule of no heat, air, or light. Heat will break down the bean faster, air will oxidize the bean to spoil, while light speeds up natural decay Avoiding exposure to these things will stop the bean from staling too fast.
  1. Choose the right coffee brewer

A cheap coffee may not taste as good and will cause you to hate it the more due to some massive faults. For example, most cheap coffees do not reach the ideal brewing temperature of 195 degrees, which leads to sour and underdeveloped flavors.

With manual coffee makers, you are in control. However, a normal coffee pot gives you no control over the water temperature or even the brewing recipe.

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A manual coffee maker allows you to heat the water longer. You can adjust your technique to enhance the flavor.

Making coffee by hand will make improve the chance of getting a better taste. Manual coffee makers even tend to operate like coffee pots and the brewing process is roughly the same. The results are typically much better since there is no cheap gear messing up your brew.

  1. Get rid of the bitterness

Is coffee too bitter and you do not like the taste? People tend to complain about coffee being bitter. And while in coffee shops, they typically prefer tea or hot chocolate. Well, you can overcome the bad taste of coffee if you:

  • Go with a blonde or light roast. When coffee beans roast for a long time, it gets smokier and more bitter. In this case, you want light and blonde roasts for something naturally sweeter and brighter. African coffees are recommended among light roasts. Stone Street Coffee Company’s Ethiopian coffee is also bright and fruity with less bitterness.
  • Change how you prepare. The bitter taste of coffee comes from specific acids extracted from the coffee bean, one of the 3 major extracted compounds, and lastly extracted. Note that extraction rates depend on the compound being extracted. Thus, consider stopping extraction before pulling the organic acids from the bean to make coffee taste good when you hate it.

The ways to do this include:

– Avoid steeping the coffee for too long to have less extraction.

– Use cooler water because hotter water causes faster extraction.

– Get a coarser grind to reduce contact and slow the extraction.

These 3 variables should give a smoother, more pleasant cup of sweet-tasting coffee.

  • Add milk, cream, or sugar. Become a coffee snob and add milk, cream, or sugar until you can tolerate the taste to get frappuccinos, sugary lattes, and a milky white cup of coffee. Try to reduce the amount of sugar and creamer with time when you come to enjoy the taste.
  • Add a pinch of salt. It sounds odd, but salt can reduce the bitterness that makes you hate coffee. Salt adjusts how your tongue and brain perceive those bitter compounds. Add the pinch to your dry coffee grounds before water.
  1. Stop the caffeine from making you jittery

Different people break down and process caffeine differently at a genetic level. Thus, the effect of caffeine does not last long for some people but does for others. These genetic variations of people are split into 2 – fast and slow metabolizers.

If you belong to the slow metabolizers’ group, try to make double brewed coffee. Alternatively, you could just eat some coffee beans.

Consider these two solutions:

  • Take watered-down or half-caffeine coffee. Blend your caffeinated coffee with decaf to a suitable caffeine concentration for yourself.
  • Try a darker roast. If coffee bitterness is not your problem, switch to a dark roast. The roasting process breaks down caffeine. This reduces caffeine in coffee beans roasted longer. The flip side to this argument is that although darker roasts contain less caffeine per bean or volume, the longer the beans roast, they will keep losing water. Thus, darker roasts contain caffeine by weight.

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This means that if you typically measure your morning cup in tablespoons or by any other volume, switching to a darker roast will reduce caffeine. However, if you tend to weigh out the coffee, stick with the light roasts. Weighing out coffee is less common though.

  1. Use better water

You would notice that the beans you buy from a coffee shop do not taste the same at home. Your local cafes use special filtered water, while you may be using tap water.

Normally, coffee is 98% water. A good cup of Joe is 98.75% water and 1.25% soluble plant matter. Think about it, your water should taste good for coffee to taste good when you hate it.

The small amount of minerals that make up coffee only adds flavor, so you get a dull, lifeless brew. If you have hard water in your area, it contains lots of calcium or magnesium you should filter out. Contact your local water supply to know the type of water in your area.

  • Fix your water supply. Get Britta pitcher or carbon filter. Or you could use a home reverse osmosis system, but is quite expensive. You could get Third Wave Water mineral packets and mix a packet in a jug of distilled water to get the exact water Specialty Coffee Association recommends. It does not kill the flavor of your coffee.
  • Water temperature. Some coffee pots do not reach the right temperature. You want your brewing water to fall between 195 and 205 degrees so that the water can extract the flavors from the coffee quickly. This should take about 2-3 minutes without over-extracting the bitter flavors that make you hate coffee. Below 195 degrees cause slow extraction and sour coffee, while at over 205 degrees, extraction is too fast, making your coffee taste bitter.
  • Local water elevation. Under higher altitudes, your water boils at lower temperatures. Suppose you live at sea level, give your water a couple of minutes to cool after boiling. At 3,000 feet, use your water immediately after boiling. At 7,000 feet, start brewing immediately as it boils to remain in the right temperature range.
  1. Follow the golden coffee to water ratio

This basically means how much coffee you should use. The Golden Ratios: 1 gram of coffee to 15-18 grams of water (1:15-18).

The right coffee and water balance moderates the strength (not weak or too strong) and flavor for a balanced extraction (not too bitter or too little sour).

It will not work if you make a mug of coffee with one bean. It would be weak, and if you managed to taste it, it would be bitter since that one bean in too much freshwater causes over-extraction. The coffee then turns bitter, which makes you hate it.

Suppose you make a mug of 500 beans. You will hardly get liquid coffee since the beans soak it all. The liquid in your mug would be too strong or over-concentrated and taste sour.

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If you want your coffee to taste stronger, try a 1:15 ratio – more coffee per water for more concentration but also less extracted.

For a more mellow coffee, try a 1:18 ratio – more water per coffee to taste lighter, but with a bit more extraction.

  1. Adjust your recipe to improve brews

Now that you have the tips to make your coffee taste good when you hate it, learn to taste your coffee, troubleshoot flavors, and make small recipe adjustments for a better taste. Getting a good-tasting coffee all starts with understanding extraction.

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