Home Articles How to Make Coffee Taste Better (18 Tips & Tricks)

How to Make Coffee Taste Better (18 Tips & Tricks)

Creamy Coffee

Who says you can’t enjoy a delicious cup of joe without spending too much? With these simple tips, you can say hello to great-tasting coffee without ever leaving home! 

Are you the type who requires an energy boost in the morning to wake those sleeping brain cells? If you direly need a strong coffee, but don’t want spend the money on Starbucks, well, this article is for you.

If you’ve tried making coffee at home, but have never gotten the taste down, you’re not alone. I myself have made coffee that is either too bitter or too bland before. But don’t give up!

There are several factors that affect coffee’s flavor. All you need are a few simple tricks, and you’ll be making cafe-style coffee in no time.

Plus, if you’re looking for healthy alternatives to cream and sugar that don’t compromise flavor, I’ve got some of those for you too! 

So go ahead, give these suggestions a shot and see the difference they make. 

Barista Cleaning the Coffee Machine

1. Clean Your Machine

There’s nothing like stale water and old coffee grounds to turn your coffee sour. Be sure to give your coffee machine a thorough rinse regularly. That way, you eliminate old coffee grounds that affect the taste of your coffee. 

Filtered Water

2. Use Filtered Water

It’s important to use good quality water in your coffee, because after all, coffee is 98% water.

Don’t use tap water, especially if it’s hard water – which contains high mineral content such as magnesium, fluoride, and calcium.

While a small amount of these minerals could add flavor to your coffee, too much of it will yield a dull coffee. As such, it’s always better to stick to filtered water.

Cold Water

3. Use Cold Water

You’re probably thinking hot coffee needs hot water. And while that’s true for instant coffee, the case is not the same when brewing.

It’s quite the contrary, actually. But pouring cold water onto ground coffee beans will yield better tasting coffee! So start with cool or refrigerated water and let your coffee maker heat it up for you. 

4. Know the Perfect Temperature and Ratio

Now, speaking of heating water, you want it to be somewhere in between 194 to 206 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re boiling your own water, measure the temperature with a thermometer. If you’re using a machine, make sure it’s heating the water to your desired temperature.

As for the coffee:water ratio, add a gram of coffee for every 15-18 grams of water. Why is this important? Well, this proportion gives you the perfect coffee strength – not too strong, not too weak.

It also gives you the right balance of flavor – not too bitter and not too sour.

5. Add To Beans, Not Your Cup

If you’re adding a sweetener or spice to your coffee, such as lemon zest, cinnamon, or chocolate, add them to the beans before grinding them, not after.

With this simple technique, your coffee will taste amazing even without adding more ingredients after pouring. 

Homemade Latte

6. Make Homemade Latte

If you want that gorgeous frothy coffee, there’s no need to buy a milk steamer. Just get a milk frother!

You can get a milk frother for less than 20 bucks, and it never fails to add that beautiful foam in minutes. Just add warm milk and sugar into your mug and let the frother do its magic. Add the coffee and Voila, your very own latte!

Iced Coffee

7. Make Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is fantastic for those sweltering afternoons. And a cold brew also tastes less acidic than hot coffee, so that’s another reason to try it!

To make, soak your coffee beans in cold water for 12 hours and drain. Add some ice cubes and enjoy.

8. Make a DIY Creamer

Did you know that creamer is just milk and vanilla? So go ahead, save a few more bucks and make your own by adding a few drops of vanilla into milk. 

Coffee Ice Cubes

9. Make Coffee Ice Cubes

Got some leftover coffee from today? Don’t throw it out! Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Use today’s leftovers for tomorrow’s iced coffee. Coffee ice cubes are not just great for coffee, but for other cold beverages as well! 

Dalgona Coffee

10. Make Dalgona Coffee

This Korean trend is all the rage nowadays, and for good reason! Have you tried it yet? If not, well you’re missing out!

To make this thick and foamy coffee froth, whisk together 2 cups of hot water, 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. The key here is the water – it has to be boiling hot!!! Otherwise, you’ll tire your arm from whisking for minutes. 

Spoon your Dalgona foam over any chocolate or milk-based drink and enjoy.


11. Add Cinnamon

If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, cinnamon makes a wonderful alternative. It’s nutritious, flavorful, and has a lot fewer calories than sugar! Plus, it’s got that sweet aroma to boot. 

Nut Milk

12. Add Nut Milk

There are a plethora of milks to choose from to add flavor to your coffee. For a healthier coffee, experiment with nut milks!

Whether almond, soy, or coconut, these milk alternatives all add creaminess, sweetness, and distinct flavors to your coffee. 


13. Add Salt

Well, bet you didn’t see this one coming! But yes, adding a pinch of salt to coffee will bring out its natural sweetness and neutralize its bitterness. Just because you can’t have cream or sugar doesn’t mean you have to suffer through bitter coffee.

Vanilla Extract

14. Add Vanilla Extract

A few drops of vanilla is more than enough to give your coffee a rich and sweet flavor! If you’ve got an actual vanilla bean, even better! Throw that in your pot of coffee and taste the difference.


15. Add Lemon or lime

You might not think it’s not a good idea to add a citrus flavor to an already acidic drink, but think again. Just a little bit of lime or lemon juice will give your cup of joe a new and refreshing experience.

Pods of Nutmeg

16. Add Nutmeg

Nutmeg is brimming with earthy flavors and a mild sweetness, so it tastes great with coffee! Don’t over do it, though: just a pod or two will do. 


17. Add Honey

It’s the most obvious alternative to sugar! Not only does it add sweetness to your morning, but it’s also packed with antioxidants for a surprisingly healthy boost of polyphenols.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

18. Add Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Any chocolate lovers here? If you are one, this entry is for you. Amp up the flavor of your coffee by adding a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for a delicious mocha!

It’s just 10 calories, but adds a rich and decadent flavor to your morning cup of coffee.

How to Make Coffee Taste Better (18 Tips & Tricks)


  • Coffee


  • Clean Your Machine
  • Use Filtered Water
  • Use Cold Water
  • Know the Perfect Temperature and Ratio
  • Add To Beans, Not Your Cup
  • Make Homemade Latte
  • Make Iced Coffee
  • Make a DIY Creamer
  • Make Coffee Ice Cubes
  • Make Dalgona Coffee
  • Add Cinnamon
  • Add Nut Milk
  • Add Salt
  • Add Vanilla Extract
  • Add Lemon or Lime
  • Add Nutmeg
  • Add Honey
  • Add Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
How to Make Coffee Taste Better

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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