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Man pouring a cup of coffee

Top 9 Mistakes to Avoid When Brewing Coffee

Looking to make the perfect cup of coffee at home? You are not alone. Home brewing has become increasingly popular, and no one knows how you like your coffee better than you. Working from home brought the number of coffee drinkers to an all-time high with no sign of slowing down.

Hands Pulling a Shot of Espresso

It may not come as a surprise that Americans drink more coffee per day than any other beverage. Eighty-four percent of those who drank coffee made their brew at home compared to the 27% who had theirs prepared outside the home or at a coffee house. In one study, 24% more people drank coffee within the past day than drank water. The water in coffee counts, right?

Coffee subscription services are improving brews at home with artisanal roast coffee beans, giving even the most novice brewer an elevated experience. It is easy to make mistakes brewing coffee, but with these nine tips, you will be well on your way to the perfect cup in no time.

9 Coffee Brewing Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Using water that isn’t hot enough
  2. Using water that is too hot
  3. Not using freshly ground coffee beans
  4. Pouring into a cold cup
  5. Not using measurements
  6. Using sub-par enhancements
  7. Using water from the tap
  8. Leaving old grounds in the basket
  9. Not cleaning your machine 

1. Coffee doesn’t brew properly in tepid water.

The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 – 205 degrees. One common mistake made when brewing coffee is not allowing your water to get up to the optimal temperature. When the water reaches this ideal range, it extracts the most flavor from your coffee beans, and you will taste the difference every time.

2. Cold water is only for cold brew coffee.

Cold Brew Fudge Coffee Blend

If you are looking to brew the perfect cup of hot coffee, cold water is not your friend. If your water is too cool, it will not extract the flavor from your coffee beans, leaving you with a bitter, weak cup of Java. If you prefer a brighter, more acidic cup of coffee, cold water may work for you; however, your water will reach the correct temperature in a drip coffee maker and provide a more satisfying experience.

3. Freshly ground coffee beans are key.

Your coffee beans begin to release their beautifully curated flavors the minute they leave the grinder. The longer you wait to brew your ground coffee beans, the more flavor diminishes. Avoid this coffee brewing mistake by grinding your coffee beans just before brewing and storing your ground coffee beans in an air-tight container in a temperature-controlled cabinet.

3 Ways to Grind Coffee Beans

  1. Coffee grinder
  2. Mortar and pestle
  3. Food processor

4. Don’t shock your hot coffee with a cold cup.

Imagine brewing coffee at a perfect temperature and then instantly cooling it in a cold mug before you get your first sip. That’s not only a coffee brewing mistake, but that is also just sad. Take a moment to pre-warm your cup with a few ounces of hot water while you wait for your freshly ground coffee beans to brew. Simply pour it out right before filling the cup with your piping-hot coffee.

5. Eye-balling measurements will not make the perfect cup.

Cold Brew Reserve Coffee Blend

Exact measurements are an essential way to avoid coffee brewing mistakes. When you measure your freshly ground coffee beans and match them with the correct amount of water, the result is your perfect cup of Joe. Measuring allows you to control the strength of your coffee and create the perfect cup, whether you are making espresso or cold brew coffee

6. Upgrade your sweetener and creamer to match your fresh coffee beans.

Why have coffee made from the world’s best coffee beans only to add low-fat milk or plain white sugar? Elevate your additions with turbinado sugar and half-and-half or whole milk. Non-fat milk can water down your coffee and make a potentially amazing coffee experience taste, well, like a coffee brewing mistake!

7. Tap water adds impurities that affect your morning brew.

Our kitchen faucet is the easiest and most convenient way to access water when we stumble into the kitchen to make our first cup of morning coffee. However, if you take a moment to ensure the water is filtered or use bottled spring water, you will be amazed at the difference. Using an elevated water source removes taste-altering minerals and acidic flavor from your perfect cup of coffee.

8. Clean out your filter basket. Every. Time.

When you don’t make coffee daily, this can be a common coffee brewing mistake. When you leave used coffee bean grounds in the coffee filter for a few days, they can get moldy and contaminate your entire coffee machine. Remove the used filter after every brew to avoid thoroughly cleaning your coffee machine every few days.

9. Clean your machine regularly to avoid a taste-changing mistake when brewing coffee.

Decaf Single Origin Coffee Mayan Water Blend

Like everything else in the kitchen, your coffee maker should be cleaned on a regular basis. A simple wash in soap and water after every use will make a world of difference for the carafe, filter basket, and lid. Run a monthly cleaning brew cycle of equal parts water and vinegar to get a good clean throughout.

From brewing cold brew coffee to a comforting cup of decaf, avoiding these nine coffee brewing mistakes will have you well on your way to home brew mastery. However, none of these tips will help if you don’t invest in the best quality coffee beans available. Home delivery through subscription services is next-level as you learn how to brew your perfect cup of coffee at home.

Once you get started perfecting your home brew coffee craft, you will want to explore the distinct flavors of every coffee roast and various coffee drinks. Espresso, cold brew coffee, decaf, and every roast type you will want to wrap your lips around can all be expertly prepared at home. Avoiding these nine coffee brewing mistakes is a great starting point. Your friends will line up for home-brewed coffee from their favorite barista – you!

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