Common Coffee Brewing Mistakes You’re Making (And How to Avoid Them)

A nice cup of coffee can make your morning–while a cup that doesn’t quite satisfy you can make the rest of your day look a little bleak. There are many mistakes that can be made while brewing your coffee, ranging from what beans you use to how you actually brew your cup of morning Joe. The following are 4 common mistakes you’re making–and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Using old pre-ground beans

When you’re showing for coffee bags at the store, the most common product you’ll find are pre-ground beans in coffee pouches. Pre-ground beans are usually packaged along with additional flavorings, making them a tempting choice when you are looking for something besides a cup of ordinary black coffee. Unfortunately, pre-ground beans are not a great choice for brewing, because once the beans are ground, they begin to lose their complexity, flavor and richness. You should choose whole coffee beans whenever possible and grind them yourself to ensure the best flavor.

Mistake #2: Grinding your coffee too finely or not enough

You need to be careful when grinding your coffee beans–grinding them too much or too little will result in a poor flavor. If you don’t grind your coffee beans enough, then the resulting flavor when you brew them will be weak and generally poor. If you grind your coffee beans too much, resulting in them being too small and fine, then this will release the bitterness in the beans; naturally, this results in an overall bitter flavor. You may need to test out the grind on new brands you purchase to double check the “sweet spot” for the beans.

Mistake #3: Using stale coffee beans

No matter what kind of coffee bags you buy, you should always make sure you’re using fresh coffee beans and not beans that have expired and gone stale. Stale coffee beans will either taste bitter or flavorless, and in either case they won’t be satisfying to drink. If you have trouble finishing coffee bags before the beans expire, you should consider splitting the bag with a coffee-drinking friend or choosing brands that offer smaller portions.

Mistake #4: Using unfiltered tap water

It can be tempting to use unfiltered tap water because it’s free and easy to access. However, unfiltered tap water has minerals that don’t always work well with the coffee beans you’re using, and the resulting taste can be unpleasant at best. You should try to use filtered tap water or, if you can, purified bottled water for the freshest and “purest” taste.

Mistake #5: Not using measuring spoons

Most people simply scoop their ground coffee beans into the machine without a second thought, but using measuring spoons gives you much greater control over the strength of your coffee cup. Unless you don’t care how strong or mild your coffee is, make sure you take the time to measure properly.

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