14 Mistakes We All Make When Brewing Coffee

We’ve all been there- you get up early in the morning, feeling like a zombie. You stagger around the house preparing for work and getting your coffee ready at the same time. And after the first sip, you realize that the drink you’ve made is totally undrinkable.

Let’s face it, there have to be some standards when we talk about the coffee you’re drinking.  And we don’t want to talk here about superficial, inessential things like the thickness of the foam of your latte macchiato. These things might matter to a world-class barista, but average caffeine-lovers don’t pay much attention to them.

brewing mistakes

However, there are some mistakes that will completely ruin the taste of your favorite caffeinated drink. In this text, we’ll try to describe them concisely and teach you how to avoid them in the future.

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1 Low-Quality Coffee

Okay, we admit it, this is a no-brainer. It’s like saying: “Your car is bad because you paid 200 bucks for it.”. Nevertheless, this is the number one mistake we all make when it comes to coffee-brewing. We tend to underestimate coffee’s importance- we drink it every day, multiple times, and after a while, we begin to take it for granted. Coffee gets us going each day, makes us more productive, and paying a bit more for this energizing drink shouldn’t seem like an unreasonable idea to us. It’s like buying a pair of good shoes. It’s better to pay them a bit more if it means that you’ll feel nice and comfortable wearing them.

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2 Lack of Freshness

This mistake is especially frequent in the USA, where drip-method for brewing coffee is by far the most popular. Usually, you would use your automatic machine that makes a lot of coffee, and you’ll slowly drink it during the day, at the office, or home. The first few cups might be okay, but after a certain period of time, the coffee will most certainly go flat. You will end up with plenty of drink that you won’t even smell, let alone drink. What you can do is brew only the amount of coffee you’ll drink immediately.

Finally, even ground coffee might go stale, after a month or so. So be careful about the last purchase of your favorite powder (or beans, if you’re into that), and be sure to replenish your stock on time.

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3 The Way You Brew Your Coffee Simply Doesn’t Work

As we’ve already mentioned, people in the US love drip coffee makers. While being convenient, efficient, and easy to use, drip makers tend to take away some of the flavor and aroma, as the coffee is filtered.

If you’re not so keen on spending astronomical amounts of money on high-end coffee machines (like Jura), occasionally try some new techniques- Turkish, for example. Simply wait for the water to boil, and add the grounds to it. This is one of the rawest methods, and one of the easiest- be aware though, as this kind of coffee has a really strong, aromatic flavor. Don’t go over to top with sugar!

You can also try the French Press, which is another interesting way to prepare your favorite drink.

Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker (34 oz) - 4 Level Filtration System - Heat Resistant Borosilicate Glass, Stainless Steel
  • 4 Level Filtration System: Brewing coffee is an art form requiring a superior filtration system. At Cafe Du Chateau, we created a 4 level system for our coffee press that keeps grounds out of your delicious brew. Consisting of two stainless steel screens, a spring loaded base for sealing the edges while pressing, and a lid strainer to trap grounds. Our system ensures you will be brewing like a barista on day one
  • 304 Grade Stainless Steel French Press: Rust and corrosion resistant 304 grade stainless steel is the cornerstone of our french coffee press. The carafe housing, filtration system, handle, and top lid are all designed to last a lifetime and create a coffee french press that looks amazing in your kitchen. The french press stainless steel is super durable, so feel comfortable taking it with you while on the go

4 Change the Way You Grind The Coffee

We often overlook this aspect, but if you grind the coffee beans wrong, you’ll get a nasty-tasting drink, even if you previously bought high-quality beans. Moreover, most of us buy pre-ground coffee, which further perpetuates the problem.

All these problems have a simple solution- a good, fine coffee grinder. Aim for the product that can adjust the level of grinding- some beverages necessitate a fine, powder-like texture- espressos really like this style of grinding. For some other drinks, you don’t have to grind your beans too much. This is why we recommend Krups Coffee Grinder– this is the most sought-after coffee grinder on Amazon, and it will do the job. The rule of the thumb is: the longer the extraction method, the coarser the grounds.

KRUPS 8000035978 GX5000 Professional Electric Coffee Burr Grinder with Grind Size and Cup Selection, 7-Ounce, Black
  • Metallic flat burr coffee grinder for coffee lovers Power 110 W
  • Burr mill system avoids overheating, preserves aroma and has grind fineness selector for a precise grinding
Grind types and drinks
Grind Type Type of Drink/Method
Extra coarse (the rawest type) Cold Brew drinks
Coarse grounds French Press Coffee; Standard Percolator
Medium-coarse grounds Clever dripper
Medium grounds Drip coffee
Medium-fine grounds Pour-over; siphon coffee; flat bottom drip machines
Fine grounds Espresso; Moka pot coffee
Super-fine grounds Turkish coffee

5 You Store Your Coffee The Wrong Way

Most often, you don’t want to keep your beans (or grounds) in the original package. The best way to store your coffee is to put it in a container (airtight coffee canisters) and thus protect it from oxygen and moisture.

Any kind of canister that does this will do the job, but you can also buy the ones that are made specifically for coffee storage– like Coffee Gator, for example, which you can find on Amazon.

Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Container - Fresher Beans and Grounds for Longer - Canister with co2 Valve, Scoop and Travel Jar - Medium, Silver
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  • Safe from flavor-destroyers. Coffee naturally emits harmful co2 which needs venting away. Our zero-BPA canisters have innovative freshness valves to release co2 but lock out oxygen. Airtight, sealed containers stop this process and wreck coffee

6 Your Equipment Doesn’t Do The Job Properly

It doesn’t matter if you use high-end, super-automatic espresso machines or some simpler (and cheaper) brewing methods- the equipment you use is crucial. So pay attention to this aspect (like, wash your gear occasionally), or, if you use automatic coffee-makers, don’t miss on scheduled maintenance.

If you would like to renew your coffee-making equipment, this is our pick – Jura Ena Micro 1

Jura ENA 1 Automatic Coffee Machine, 1, Micro Black
  • ONE TOUCH: Prepare 3 Barista quality specialties including Ristretto, Espresso and coffee at the touch of a button - Coffee only
  • COMPACT: Slim design, perfect for small spaces

7 You’re Adding Unnecessary/Wrong Ingredients

Even if you avoided all the aforementioned mistakes, adding the wrong type of coffee creamers, sugar or other sweeteners might completely ruin your drink. Adding too much of anything will probably result in a complete mess that slightly resembles something that should have been a normal coffee. Sugar, for instance, should be added only in small quantities. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a person drinking sugar with a bit of coffee on top!

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8 You Don’t Clean Your Equipment Properly

Yes, we know that the cleaning part can get bothersome and tiring, but that’s just the way it is. But hey, if you simply don’t want to clean your coffee maker- buy a super-automatic coffee machine that has the automatic cleaning option. Our pick is, of course, Jura GIGA 5 – you’ll be flabbergasted by its price, but it’s worth it.

Jura 13623 Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine, Aluminum
  • Fast and quiet as a whisper thanks to two ceramic disc grinder | Pure, clean lines for a unique, sovereign character
  • Product dimensions – 12.6” W x 16.3” H x 18.9” D | Weight – 39.7 lbs. | Water capacity – 91.5 oz. | Bean container capacity (x2) – 9.88 oz. | Coffee grounds container capacity – 20 portions Max | Cord length – 59” | Voltage – 120V, 60 Hz

9 Bad Water

We don’t want to say that tap water is undrinkable, but it can get in between you and your perfect cup of coffee. Tap water usually has a lot of chemicals that are used to purify it- these chemicals aren’t bad for you, but they are sometimes bad for your coffee. Most importantly, minerals in the tap water slowly deteriorate the quality of your equipment (scaling), which is why it’s best to use machines with a de-scaling feature.

You don’t have to buy expensive, fancy waters you find in markets – simply buy a water filter or purifier, for instance – APEC Under- Sink Water Filter System.

APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System
  • High quality, designed, engineered and assembled in the USA; System built with US MADE super capacity filters for long lasting dependable filtration
  • Guaranteed to remove chemicals (i.e. chlorine), taste and odors. NOT designed for TDS removal

10 You Eat Shortly Before Coffee-Drinking Sessions

This one probably came as a surprise, but eating super spicy or tasty food before drinking your favorite caffeinated beverage isn’t a good idea. The taste stays in your mouth for some time, and it will numb your ability to feel the full scope of coffee’s aroma. Teeth washing won’t help, as the taste of toothpaste also remains long after you brush your teeth.

So simply abstain from eating anything before drinking coffee. It’s not a coincidence that in some restaurants you get a glass of water with your coffee- this doesn’t happen because the waiter knows you’re thirsty, but to wash away the taste of anything you’ve eaten before.

11 You Don’t Change Your Filter

Of course, this mistake is only relevant if your favorite coffee-making method needs filters (for instance, pour-over or drip technique).

You don’t necessarily have to change the filter every time you brew your coffee, but at least rinse it.  Paper coffee filters need to be replaced after each use.

Reusable filters need to be washed properly after each use- be careful not to use them over a long period, as they are not permanently reusable.

With Organic Hemp Cone Coffee Filter, not only will you get a good filter for your coffee, but you’ll also support environment-friendly, sustainable businesses, that are so important for the contemporary world.

Organic Hemp Cone Coffee Filter Reusable and Great for Making Smooth Natural Tasting Pour Over Coffee Eco-Friendly Bacteria Resistant Material by Bolio (No.2, Cone, 1-pk)
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  • REUSABLE COFFEE FILTER: Hemp is naturally mildew , making it the ideal choice as a reusable coffee filter. It is also very easy to clean and reuse. After each use, simply rinse it with hot water and hang it to be dried.

12 Too Much Coffee

We’ve briefly mentioned this frequent mistake, but it is so important that it deserves a special spot. Yes, making a gallon of coffee is convenient, but the last cups will be far from good. Quite the contrary, they will be completely awful. Needless to say, in offices and other places where a bunch of people hang out, making a lot of coffee in one go is a must.

But at home, you can keep it nice and slow, even if it means that you (or your family) will have to wait a bit. You’ll especially have to be patient if you use coffee-brewing methods for coarse coffee grounds. As already mentioned, these methods are lengthy.

If you keep your patience, and opt for some of these lengthy techniques, like French Press, we recommend this product- Secura Stainless Steel.

Secura French Press Coffee Maker, 304 Grade Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press with 2 Extra Screens, 34oz (1 Litre), Silver
  • Secura stainless steel French Press coffee maker is made from top quality 18/10 stainless steel, both the interior and exterior. It is made to outlast other coffee maker.
  • 3-LAYERED STAINLESS STEEL FILTER STRUCTURE traps the smallest coffee grounds to produce an exceptional full-bodied flavor.

13 The Cup You’re Using  Might Ruin Your Coffee

For starters, plastic cups are simply not an option. Not only is it blasphemous to drink coffee from plastic cups, but it will also ruin the taste. Furthermore, plastic has weird reactions to high temperatures, and some studies suggest that plastic can be toxic to humans. Sure, there are innumerable varieties of plastic cups, but still, better safe than sorry.

Cups made from ceramic or heat-resistant glass are the real deal. Be careful not to use standard shots for your espresso, as normal glass might crack if you pour in a high-temperature drink. JoyJolt’s heat resistant glass is our pick.

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14 Wrong Temperature

Okay, this mistake is a bit hard to avoid- after all, it would be weird to put a thermometer in your coffees, wouldn’t it? However, some of the world’s best baristas use thermometers, and there is no reason you should be ashamed to do this.

The ideal temperature for coffee-brewing is 93°C or 200°F. More specifically, the best temperature is in the range between 90 and 96° C or 195 and 205 °F.

Most automatic coffee-makers have thermometers, but if you’re using other methods, don’t hesitate to buy a good coffee and espresso thermometer- CREMA PRO Milk Thermometer.

CREMA PRO Milk Thermometer - Make The Perfect Coffee or Espresso - Coffee Accessories - Easy & Quick Clean Up
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Conclusion

Okay, that’s a lot of mistakes. Needless to say, it’s not easy to avoid them all, but in the end, it’s worth it. Especially for all those coffee-lovers, getting their first morning coffee just right is the perfect start of the day.

Ivan is a 24-year old graphic design and computer science student from Serbia who loves driving motorcycle in his free time and is absolutely obsessed with nature, sports and hanging out with friends.

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