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How to Brew Better Coffee

Updated on April 27, 2013

Better Coffee or Bitter Coffee? Learn How to Make Good Coffee

Coffee can be too bitter sometimes. While it may not always be possible to brew a perfect pot of coffee each and every time you can increase the chances of eliminating some of the bitterness. If bitterness is what makes you not want to drink coffee this will be good advice for you. I have been drinking coffee since the 1970s so I may know a little about what works. However, I am not against suggestions in the comments from other people. There is always something new to learn in life.

The truth is that coffee is supposed to be a little bit bitter. This is not about getting rid of all the bitter taste. It's about toning it down if you prefer your coffee a little less bitter. I will say that some coffee brands are more bitter than others. The trick is to learn how to make better coffee instead of bitter coffee depending on your own personal tastes. This involves choosing what you consider to be the best coffee which encompasses the brand and whether it's ground or whole bean. It's also about the coffee maker, coffee machine or brewing station you choose for making your coffee. Also find some fine restaurant tips on what to add to grounds for a smoother, more flavorful cup of java.

This lens will also tell you my personal preference on the best coffee makers for brewing the best coffee.

Clean Coffee Machines for Better Coffee

The Equipment

It does matter to some extent what brand and kind of coffee maker or brewing system you use. I like the Hamilton Beach Brew Station personally that makes 12 cups. Some people prefer the single serve units like you find with Keurig and I happen to know that is a really good option as well. I just like to be able to grab my coffee and go about my business over having to make a single cup every time even though it is pretty fast at brewing it. I tend to drink a lot throughout the day so single cup brewers are not going to suffice.

No matter what kind of coffee maker you use you need to keep it clean. I know, I know. You have been told not to clean it out because it makes the coffee taste better. Wrong. It tastes better, cleaner, less bitter and purer when you rinse out the grounds and residue with warm or hot water and at least wipe it clean with a paper towel or some kind of towel. The yummiest coffee comes from clean brewers.

Since I like to mix things up a bit with flavored coffees now and then I like to make sure my coffee machines are clean so each "pot" of coffee I brew is fresh and has only the taste it's supposed to have.

I have heard it said that a French press (as pictured) is the best way to make great-tasting coffee. However, I have yet to give that a try. I can see why it would be better and I have been considering giving it a try. Perhaps that will come up in another writing. I would have to learn how to use a French press first, but I am sure I can manage that.

A Quick Glimpse At the Hamilton BrewStation Plus 47665 - Why I Recommend This Coffee Brewing Machine

I used to think there was nothing better than a good coffee maker with a carafe. That all ended when my old coffee maker died and I had to replace it. I chose the Hamilton BrewStation Plus 47665 basically out of curiosity not realizing how much I would like it. Honestly I just was unable to find the coffee maker with a carafe that I wanted.

Honestly the biggest difference in the carafe-style coffee maker and the single cup serve coffee maker is the missing carafe, I will admit it's more convenient to be able to slip my coffee cup under the reservoir tap, push the button and watch that tasty liquid fill my cup. On especially tired mornings it's so much easier than picking up that heavy carafe.

Cleanup is about the same. While there's no carafe to clean there is the reservoir and it needs to be cleaned. Personally I clean mine about once a week or every other week whenever the mood strikes. I also tend to run white vinegar through my coffee machine once a month. I believe that helps make the best tasting coffee for my tastes.

Hamilton Beach 47665 BrewStation Plus 12-Cup Automatic Drip Coffeemaker
Hamilton Beach 47665 BrewStation Plus 12-Cup Automatic Drip Coffeemaker

I am glad I bought it even after reading some long term user reviews that were less than glowing. I tend to keep my coffee maker clean so I don't have the "black gunk" issue that was such a problem for other users. My experience has shown me that if I don't clean the coffee pot the coffee tastes bitter and the "gunk" builds up which is just gross. I recommend you clean out ANY coffee maker you buy,

Other than a few bad reviews overall this brewer is great in my estimation. I have had mine for almost two years and have had nothing but great coffee come out of it and not black gunk.


Another Tip for How to Brew Coffee That Is Less Bitter

Quality Matters

First of all you have to realize that cheap coffee is going to taste like cheap coffee. There is no way around this fact. There are some things you can do to take the edge off the poor quality, but it is best to buy good quality coffee. One of my favorites is 100% Arabica by Eight O'Clock coffee. It is good quality and seldom do I get a bitter batch. If I could have it all the time I would drink coffee with chicory which is the coffee blend of choice in New Orleans. However, my stomach cannot always handle it so I digress.

Other good coffee brands in my opinion include 100% Great Value at Walmart, Barnie's (when I can find it), World Market (I get that online) and Dunkin Donuts. Overall I believe that the one method for how to make coffee less bitter is the right blend and brand. I cannot say there is a coffee brand I dislike, I just know what I prefer. If you cannot afford (sometimes I cannot) to spend that money on the higher end brands and you buy the discounted cheap stuff then I am including some tips on how to take the edge off the bitter taste a few paragraphs down.

Quick Tip

Add a pinch of nutmeg or salt to you coffee grounds before brewing to take the edge off cheap, very bitter coffee.

How do you make coffee better instead of bitter?

Tell me how you make your perfect cup of coffee.

How do you get rid of bitter coffee taste?

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Is Freshly Ground Coffee Less Bitter?

Ground or Whole Bean?

You can buy most brands in whole bean or already ground. I prefer to buy it in whole bean style and grind it as needed. This is not to say that ground coffee is not as good, but it is not exactly as fresh. It is totally up to you. I use both and am happy with the final product. It just stands to reason that whole bean ground just before brewing will have more flavor.

I prepare coffee differently depending on the initial flavor I get out of the first put I make of it and whether it is ground or whole bean. I commonly use an extra tablespoon of ground coffee to get a richer flavor out of it or combine it with a dash of salt which I have found to make a smoother cup of coffee. It tends to take some bitterness out of the coffee so you can enjoy a richer flavor.

Adding Spice to Get Rid of Bitter Tasting Coffee

Supplementing Your Grounds

Salt is one way to make a smoother cup of coffee, but so is nutmeg. Be very careful using nutmeg. It is strong flavored and can ruin a pot of coffee as much as it can enhance it. It only takes a pinch of nutmeg to take the bitter out of your coffee. Please take heed to the pinch and know that it is literally a pinch. I would dare say less than 1/8 of a teaspoon or at least no more than that.

I know for a fact that the addition of salt or nutmeg to the coffee grounds prior to brewing is how to make coffee less bitter. I have tried it and it works. Some people prefer salt which works, but I also like the idea of nutmeg. Both of these options work just fine. Salt is a more commonly kept spice which makes it a better choice for most users. This is the method I use for making coffee taste less bitter when I use the cheap brands.

Fresh Over Not So Fresh - Making Less Bitter Coffee

Freshly Brewed

I have to admit that when I want a cup of coffee after my Brew Station has turned off and the coffee has gone cold I will nuke a cup in the microwave and/or turn the coffee maker back on to heat the rest. Technically this is a no-no if you want a cup of coffee that is less bitter. It is much better to drink your coffee as soon as it is brewed within the first 20 minutes. That is when it is the freshest and least bitter.

Coffee that sits in the pot for more than 30 minutes starts to get a scorched taste and smell. Even when I do the no-no of turning it on to warm the coffee hours later it scorches it. I just love my coffee enough not to care. However, I do like a good, smooth cup of coffee much better just like the rest of you.

The Conclusion to How to Make Less Bitter Coffee


I like to use the brown, natural filters or if the coffee comes with one of those permanent filters I like those as well. I don't mind the white filters, but they are bleached and I guess I figure natural is better. I also like to buy organic coffee whenever possible which brews up very smoothly and organic coffee tends to taste less bitter to me. This concludes what I know about how to make coffee less bitter. Feel free to comment or add your own information so I can try it and write about it. I will include your name/nickname if you like in the post. I like to give credit where it is due.

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      5 years ago

      Nothing is as tasty first thing in the morning as a wonderful smooth rich cup of coffee. But nothing is as disappointing as expecting that and getting a bitter slap back from your cup. I grind my beans each morning, measuring them with a coffee spoon, fine to course grind and pack it slightly. I use a gold filter, charcoal filter and I use purified water (not distilled, ever) to the exact level for my needs. I have a drip coffee pot. I use sugar in the raw, and I aereate my half and half and spoon it on top so that it floats and I get a small amout in each sip. I tend to stay with beans from Central America finding they are very smooth and deep. Also organicly grown is a choice I like but not always a requirement. My favorite bean is Addison Coffee Growers, also Major Dickensons blend from Petes coffee co.,is very good. Sometimes I will settle for Archer Farms if Im out of my favs, its not bad, even Starbucks beans occasionally make it home with me although I don't like the burned taste they have. I don't ever drink the commercial brands we see all over opting to put a little extra effort in for my cup of coffee.. So I cleaned my pot last night with white vinegar and it ran its cleaning schedule, then brewed the two full pots with pure water as always to complete the clean and rinsed everything out. So this morning I was looking forward to my cup of coffee and pulled out a new bag of beans that I purchased due to a sale that I thought sounded so economical. Did my brewing as usual and went for that first sip. Yuck, ick, eww, BITTER.. BITTER! oh so disappointed. My coffee is always just perfect. What happened!! I went to the web and read several pages of opinions about bitter coffee. UGH!! For me, I think a bitter cup of coffee comes from the beans themselves, instead of all the other reasons, as you see I have covered them. I will never opt for a sale, $4.49 for 13oz bag of coffee, beans or grind. I usually pay $8-$11 per bag.for the first two I mentioned. I am so disappointed and no pun intended but Community Coffee has left a bad taste in my mouth. I knew something wasn't right when I didn't see oil residu in the grinder. Until the world tilts off its axis I plan to stay with the brands that give that incredible cup of coffee. And I hope to remember the next time I make the statement," Its on sale, how bad could it be?" BAD!! it can be BAD!


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