How many of us have brewed a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and only to make that sour face which totally ruins the day because of its taste?

We have all been there.

Having a coffee taste so awful that it makes you want to gag.

But then, there are times when you have had coffee that is so amazing it seems like angelic beings are serenading in your taste buds. So, what are the best-kept secrets to making that heavenly coffee and avoiding that sour, bitter garbage?

Let’s take a look at several tips that will make your coffee taste good that are easy for anyone to do regardless of their experience with coffee.

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Brewing The Perfect Cup of Joe: How To Make Coffee Taste Good?

Ready to improve the taste of your coffee? Great! These are all easy for anyone to do themselves in their home, so you shouldn’t have any problem making that cup of coffee that tastes better than ever before!

Let’s start with…

How To Make Coffee Taste Good

The Coffee

1) Specialty Coffee

Repeat after me…

Good coffee always starts with good coffee beans.

They are not made in a factory. And they do not all taste the same. They are agricultural products; thus, the flavor diversity should be 100 percent natural.

This means that some coffee beans are amazing, while others are not. So, leave the low-grade coffee beans to the instant coffee. You want high-quality ones.

What’s it called?

Specialty coffee.

Specialty-grade coffee is the highest grade of coffee that you can buy. They are graded by the certified “Quality Graders” who have unbelievably accurate taste buds. Read Here: Top 10 Best Espresso Coffee Beans

These coffees have clean acidity, natural sugars, and loss of wild flavors. Think notes like pine, strawberries, mango, and pine.

So, always go with specialty coffee.

2) Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

Coffee has only about 2 – 3 weeks of peak freshness, then it starts to degrade pretty quickly. And the coffee beans which sit on the shelf of your local grocery stores are typically 2 – 3 months old!

So, forget about the coffee aisle and get coffee beans directly from a roaster, roasting to order.

3) Get The Whole

Pre-ground coffee rapidly spirals downward quality. These tiny coffee grounds just cannot contain their freshness like whole coffee beans— and you can taste it after just 20 – 30 minutes of being exposed to oxygen.

Thus, you need to always go whole and get yourself a coffee grinder at home. Speaking grinder, go with the burr grinder, please? Although expensive, burr grinders are so worth it! Read Here: Top 10 Best Whole Coffee Beans

4) Proper Storage

Once you have the specialty-grade, freshly roasted whole coffee bean, you will need to properly store it.

Unless you want to buy the right amount of coffee every day, then proper coffee storage should be taken seriously so you can always expect a delicious cup of joe every morning!

Just remember the very basic rule:

  • No light
  • Not air
  • No heat
  • No moisture

Fresh air and moisture cause things to “oxidize”. Heat causes coffee to break down faster. And light, even the one from your light bulb, can speed up natural decay. So, make sure that you keep your beans away from this or it will go stale earlier than 2 – 3 weeks.

So, now you have amazing coffee beans. Let’s talk about…

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The Coffee Maker

How To Make Coffee Taste Good

5) Wisely Pick Your Coffee Brewer

How to make coffee taste good? By choosing the right coffee brewer.

Sure, cheap coffee pots can get the job done, brewing you a cup of joe every morning, but they have huge faults. For one, most do not even get up the ideal coffee brewing temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unless you spent a hundred bucks, coffee pots will probably max out at least 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Read Here: Top 10 Best 4 or 5 Cup Coffee Makers

The result?

Underdeveloped and sour flavors.

This is why manual coffee makers are the rage today!

  • You are in complete control

With the normal coffee pot, you have absolutely no control over the brewing recipe as well as the water temperature. However, with manual coffee makers, you can just heat the water longer or even adjust your technique slightly to hit that sweet spot.

  • Making coffee by hand feels amazing

For us, the satisfaction of knowing that you made your cup of joe with your bare hands is just what a drowsy morning calls for. You get to start off your day with a win.

  • The brewed coffee tastes amazing. Period.

Manual coffee makers are taking over with several types to choose from. These include:

  • Pour Over Brewers

Makes a crisper, cleaner, and a more nuanced cup of joe. Pour-over brewers such as Chemex make use of paper filter and careful water pouring technique that results in stellar coffee.

  • Immersion Brewers

Makes full-flavored and robust coffee. Immersion brewers such as French Press coffee makers allow water and coffee grounds to sit together for a few minutes, infusing a rich, full flavor that you will never get from the auto coffee pot.

There are other unique coffee brewers too such as:

  • siphon (creating a vacuum to brew coffee)
  • Moka pot (a stovetop espresso maker)
  • AeroPress coffee brewer (a mild pressurized brewer)

Recommendation: It is hard to beat the French press coffee maker for beginners. Its brewing process is pretty straightforward and the coffee it produces is just so delicious.

6) Clean Your Coffee Maker

So, now that you’ve wisely picked your coffee maker, another way on how to make coffee taste good is cleaning your machine properly.


Stale water and old coffee grounds that are left behind in your coffee maker can quickly give a sour taste to your coffee. Although you do not necessarily need to clean your coffee maker every after brewing, you need to clean it on a regular basis. Read Here: How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker Using Vinegar

With regular cleaning, you should be able to get rid of any old coffee grounds and water minerals that could negatively impact the taste of your coffee.

7) A Trial Run

In case you ignored our #5 tip or just currently have the auto coffee machines like the traditional drip coffee makers, then you might want to do a trial run before brewing your cup of joe.

The water just does not get hot enough until your 2nd or 3rd brew. In order to improve the water temperature, try running plain water through your coffee maker first. This should allow it to properly heat up before brewing your actual coffee.

This is also a great way to quickly flush out any old coffee grounds that might be left in your brewer. So, now that you got your coffee maker all set up, it is time to make sure that you are brewing correctly.

The Brew

8) Use Better Water

A crucial tip on how to make coffee taste good?

Use filtered water.

Coffee is 98 percent water.

Don’t you think your water should taste good too?

There is a small number of minerals in the water that can help bring out the flavor of the coffee. However, too much of these minerals and you will end up with a lifeless and dull brew.

And if your local water supply is “hard”, meaning it has lots of magnesium or calcium hardness, then you will want to filter it out.

Here are a few ways on how you can fix your water supply and use better water for your coffee:

  • Third Wave Water mineral packets
  • Home reverse osmosis system
  • A carbon filter or Britta pitcher

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9) The Right Water Temperature

How To Make Coffee Taste Good

So, you have the filtered, next you need to get the right temperature.

Remember: we mentioned that most coffee pots do not even get up to the right brewing temperature. In general, the brewing water temperature should be ranging from 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit.


At this range, the water extracts the yummy flavors from the coffee, fast enough for most brewers without over extracting the bitter flavors.

Under 195 degrees Fahrenheit causes slow extraction, thus giving you sour coffee. Over 205 degrees Fahrenheit and you get a rapid extraction resulting in bitter coffee. Also, make sure to check your local elevations.


The higher your altitude, the lower temperature your water needs to boil.

  • 7,000ft = 198 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 5,000ft = 202 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 3,000ft = 206 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1,000ft = 210 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sea level = 212 degrees Fahrenheit

If you live at sea level, you will need to give your water a few minutes to cool down after it boils. At 3,000 feet, it is safe to use the water right off the boiling.

And if you are way up in the 7,000 feet, then you need to start brewing right away as it boils in order to stay in the perfect temperature range.

10) Stick to the Golden Water-To-Coffee Ratio

The next step on how to make coffee taste good is knowing the right amount of coffee to use. And this is the part where a lot of people make a mistake.

In general, the best coffee-to-water ratio is:

(1:15 – 18) 1g coffee to 15g – 18g water.

So, why these ratios are the best?

  • Flavor: It creates a balanced extraction— not too little (sour), not too much (bitter)
  • Strength: It makes sure that the flavor is balanced, not too strong or too weak.

If you want a stronger cup, then go with the 1:15 ratio. It uses more coffee per water, so it will be more concentrated but is also slightly less extracted. This is because there is less water to go around extracting flavor from each coffee ground.

If you like a more mellow coffee, try the 1:18 ratio. It has more water per coffee, so it will have a lighter taste, but also a bit more extracted because there is more freshwater to pull out the flavors from the grounds.

So, you brewed the standard cup of joe. But wait, is too strong or too weak for your taste? So, next, we discuss…

The Slight Changes

11) Troubleshooting The Taste and Off-Flavors

Making small adjustments to your recipe is another way on how to make coffee taste good. And to do so, it all starts with understanding the extraction.

When you make coffee, the hot water pulls stuff out of the beans. It’s called extraction. Here are the 4 stages of extraction:

  • The Acids: Sour, tangy, bright. These are the first things extracted from coffee grounds.
  • The Mellow Flavors: Natural oils, organic compounds, and other things that start to dissolve. It calms down the acids, creating a more diverse flavor profile.
  • The Sugars: The natural sugars coat all the other flavors in its mild sweetness. This is where a good brewing should stop.
  • The Bitterness: Oppss. You’ve gone too far. After the sugars, there are only bitter acids and tannins. When extracted, these cancel out the sugars and making your coffee dull and cringe-worthy bitter!

So, is your coffee sour and have a thin taste? You got midway through Stage 2 but not enough for the sugars to balance the acid.

Is it dull and bitter? You went right through Stage 4 and cutting off the good flavors from the first 3 stages.

So, how do you fix your coffee?

  • Adjust the grind size

Finer coffee grounds extract faster while coarser grinds take loner. If your coffee is under-extracted, then you need to use a finer grind. If over-extracted, then try the coarser ground. Read Here: Top 10 Best Electric Coffee Grinders

  • Change the brewing time

For the coffee brewers like the French press, you can easily change the brew time. And cutting or adding even just 10 – 15 seconds can make a huge difference.

Meanwhile, for pour-overs, you need to pour water more slowly to extend the total brewing time or go faster to shorten it down.

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Final Thoughts

So, there you have it!

There’s nothing worse than a stale, unsatisfying cup of joe first thing in the morning! We hope these tips can help you get the most out of your coffee and brew the perfect cup of joe to energize your day!