How to Make Coffee Taste Better: Best Tips for More Flavorful Java

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

how to make coffee taste better at home

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Just think about all of the coffee shops you’ve seen, frequented, and heard about. It has a rich and complex taste that many coffee lovers enjoy. However, despite the complexity, there are actually easy ways to make your cup of coffee more enjoyable!

how to make coffee taste better - simple tips for a tastier cup of joe

In this post, we’ll show you that you can learn how to make coffee taste better by understanding the brewing process and components that go into preparing it. Simply said, if you know what combination of coffee + water, as well as the brewing method you prefer, is, you’ll be much happier with the result. And no, it doesn’t require barista training to brew your favorite java with delightful results.

Just keep this in mind: You won’t get a different result by using a method over and over that doesn’t satisfy you!

Another very simple way to learn how to make coffee taste better is to add everyday seasonings like cinnamon or vanilla extract to your coffee grounds before brewing it to get an even richer flavor. These tips will help make your morning cup of joe more enjoyable so read on for some great ideas!

By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

How to Make Coffee Taste Better: Brewing Magic

brewing good coffee at home

Fact. Coffee is best brewed with freshly ground coffee beans. It’s really worth the effort to buy quality beans and grind them at home, as it will certainly be better than pre-ground bag of ground java that has been languishing in the pantry for months.

Buy quality whole coffee beans

Buying whole beans is a commitment, as they have to be stored properly in order not to go stale. Grind them fresh when needed and lock up any unused portion of the bag so that it doesn’t dry out.

Better yet, store your coffee beans in an airtight container at room temperature. This method will ensure that your whole beans stay fresh for about 30 days.

Grinding your own coffee beans just prior to brewing will give you better tasting coffee, I promise! It’s so worth the investment in a simple burr grinder like these:

Understanding the grind size for the type of coffee you’re brewing makes all the difference, too. Here is a simple chart showing the various grind sizes for coffee brewing methods:

a simple coffee grind size chart

Understand the difference in coffee roasts


A light roast is usually lighter in color and milder in taste. You won’t find oil on the surface because the beans have not been roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface. They do have a higher acidity level than beans that have been roasted longer.

whiskey barrel coffee gift


A stronger taste, medium brown color, and non-oily surface characterize a medium coffee roast. Many times it is referred to as American roast because it’s generally preferred in the U.S.


Dark roasted beans are roasted long enough to develop their oils and bring them to the surface, so the body of the coffee will be thicker. The flavors are bolder and straight-forward.

What does this mean to you? Well, for example, you might have a habit of purchasing a light roast coffee because that’s what you’ve always done. How about taking a coffee risk and trying a medium, or even a dark roast?

Sometimes, just changing up the strength of the roast will give you the satisfying cup of coffee you’re craving.

Know your brewing method

How you choose to brew your coffee at home can make all the difference in making the coffee taste better. There’s a number of ways to brew coffee, and the best way for you might be different than how your friend makes their beloved cup of coffee.

If you prefer a simple auto-drip coffee maker or a single-serve coffee maker, there is nothing wrong with that. Make sure to care for it properly, though, which means that you actually have to clean the coffee maker regularly if you want the coffee it produces to be the best it can be.

The French press is an excellent option if you enjoy coffee that is a little bit richer and thicker, or want a stronger flavor profile. The pour-over method is so simple, and will give more control over how strong the final product will be. You don’t need much in the way of coffee gear, and the brewed coffee is clean, bright, and delicious. It’s my favorite way to brew.

Coffee brewed on a stovetop with a Mokapot, for example, will usually be stronger than coffee made in an automatic drip machine. There’s even cold brew, which is considered to have the strongest flavor and can be enjoyed any time of day.

The best way for you to find out how your favorite cup tastes is by experimenting with different brewing methods until you find the brewing process that’s perfect for you.

Use the right kind of water for your coffee

If you just use the quickest method of water-gathering, like from your tap, you might not be happy with the resulting cup of joe. Your tap water might contain traces of aluminum, copper, manganese, or other compounds. This could result in an acidic or metallic taste with your cup of coffee.

Use filtered cold water if possible. If your frig offers the option of water and ice cubes, take advantage of that but be sure to change the filter as recommended! Otherwise, what’s the point, my friend?

Or, consider a faucet-mounted filter. They are not too pricey and will ensure that the water you drink and use for making your coffee will taste great.

However you choose to obtain it, filtered water will give you a more satisfying result.

Understand the ratio of water to coffee

What is the golden rule of coffee? Yes, my friend, it really does exist, and is essential to understanding how to make coffee taste better!

The golden rule is, 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

This is always a good starting point when wondering how to make coffee taste better. But, if you like your coffee to taste stronger and richer, you’ll probably want to adjust that measurement a tad.

And, keep in mind that the average cup of coffee in the U.S. is about 8 ounces, not 6 ounces. So experiment a little with this ratio, whether you’re using a standard coffee maker or another method such as a pour over or French press.

Water temperature counts!

Yes, it does matter how hot your water is, my friend. The optimum temperature for most coffee brewing methods is between 195 and 206 degrees. I set my electric water kettle for 200 degrees no matter the way I’m brewing my java, and it is one less thing for me to think about.

the coffee files - how to make good coffee at home

How to Make Coffee Taste Better with Flavorings or Creamers

Simple Flavorings Can Make a Big Difference!

how to make coffee taste better with simple seasonings

One method of improving the taste of the java (very subjective, of course!) is by adding simple seasonings and flavorings to the brew. Some are best used when added prior to brewing; others afterwards.

1) Add cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing in the coffee maker. This will give the final product a nice, spicy taste! Cinnamon is also great for people who are sensitive to dairy. I’ve sprinkled cinnamon onto the coffee grounds before brewing with my French Press, and it creates just a hint of cinnamon with the coffee flavor, which is very nice!

2) Vanilla extract is another popular way to make coffee taste better. Adding just one drop of vanilla will give your coffee a sweet, nutty flavor. It can also be used as an alternative to dairy if you are sensitive to dairy. Alternatively, place a vanilla bean in your coffee grounds before brewing.

3) Some folks swear by putting brown sugar in their coffee grounds before brewing for some sweetness without using any milk or cream.

4) A small amount of honey in your brewed cup of joe will add some sweetness and depth to the flavor without using sugar. And, it’s full of healthy antioxidants, too.

5) Adding cocoa powder will give your morning cup of joe a chocolatey touch! Mix the cocoa powder in with your coffee grounds before brewing and you’ll have a great-tasting cup of joe with a touch of mocha

5) A touch of nutmeg will add just a bit of spiced flavor to your brew.

6) If you love minty flavors, try a splash of peppermint extract in your cup of joe. I have to confess that I don’t like peppermint at all, but when it is in my coffee cup, I love it. What gives? I have no idea, but I love the combination!

7) The sweet, nutty flavor of almond extract can enhance the taste of your hot or cold coffee brew. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need very much. Start with just a tiny bit and taste the result before adding more!

8) If you find that your coffee tastes bitter, try adding just a little pinch of salt to the coffee grounds before brewing. This will bring out the coffee’s natural sweetness and neutralize the bitterness. Cool.

Milk, Cream, Almond Milk, Half-n-Half….

coffee can taste better with milk or cream added to it

A very familiar way to make coffee taste better is to add cream or sugar before you drink it, although for some (like me) it alters the taste of the java. It comes down to what you’re used to, how intense of a flavor you’re searching for, and how sweet of a taste you’re after. Black coffee, hot and strong, is what pleases my palette the most!

a) Adding milk and sugar will make the coffee taste sweeter, which is perfect if you prefer a more subtle, sweet taste to your java.

b) For something more savory, try pouring some half & half into your mug first so that when you pour in the rest of your ingredients it will have a richer taste

c) Almond milk has a milder flavor than regular milk so it’s perfect if you want the creaminess without any extras. Plus, almond milk has the benefit of being gluten-free.

d) Creamer is also an easy and delicious alternative to milk as it adds that rich flavor without any of the dairy fats

e) Some folks like to add coconut oil to their coffee, for both taste and the thermogenic properties. It can actually make quite a nice drink, although you might want to keep this for something other than every day because of the fat and calories in coconut oil. Here is a recipe for making Coconut Oil Coffee!

f) How about some refreshing coconut milk as a flavor enhancer to your brew? It is actually not milk at all, but rather is made from the soft tissue found inside a coconut. Then, it is grated and squeezed through cheesecloth. It’s a fun and simple way to add a touch of the tropical to your morning cup of coffee.

Conclusion: How to Make Coffee Taste Better

If you’re not satisfied with the brew you’re making at home, consider two specific remedies. As we discussed previously, the way you make your coffee (including each component) will significantly impact the result.

And, if it’s a more interesting, flavorful, muted, or otherwise ‘adjusted’ cup of joe that you’re after (no black coffee for you!), consider experimenting with some of the seasonings or milk-related suggestions we’ve covered.

Because we all want our coffee to taste wonderful from the first sip to the last drop!