12 Simple Mistakes When Brewing Coffee

For the average coffee drinker, brewing a cup of joe can be an intimidating process. The decision to buy beans or grounds, the choice of filter and machine type, and even how much water (or milk) to use can all seem like mysteries.

But we’re here to remove some of that mystery with our 10 Simple Mistakes When Brewing Coffee blog post! Read on for details about what you should – and shouldn’t – do when it comes time to make your next pot.

12 Simple Mistakes When Brewing Coffee:

1. Not having a clean filter and machine:

If you’re just coming to grips with the various parts that make up your coffeemaker, then we recommend skipping this one for now. However, if you’ve been making coffee for a while and want to get the most out of it, then keep reading!

The best way to ensure that your coffee is tasting exactly how you want it to is by having a clean machine. That means no old grounds, excess oils, or other gunk inside the machine, which can all contribute to an off-taste.

So once every couple of weeks – or whenever it’s convenient – be sure to wash out that filter basket and run some white vinegar through the machine to keep it smelling fresh and tasting great!

2. Pouring cold water into your machine:

You probably already know this, but coffee is 98% water. So when you’re making a pot of coffee, using good quality water is crucial for bringing out the best flavor in your beans (or grounds).

That’s why we recommend always starting with cold or room-temperature water. It doesn’t matter what type of machine you have, almost all heaters will bring it up to the right temperature for coffee brewing.

3. Not waiting for your whole pot to finish before taking the first sip:

This mistake can be attributed to two things: impatience and miscalculation! The average coffee brewing time is somewhere between 3-5 minutes.

By waiting for your whole pot to brew before taking a sip, you’re allowing the flavors in your coffee to develop and settle. Sometimes you might not get all of them on your first try, but when you wait for that full pot, it’ll be worth it in the end.

4. The wrong grind size:

We all know that different coffee filters require different grind sizes to make the best possible cup of joe, but did you know that even within one machine, different settings can require a different range?

So for example, when brewing something like drip coffee – which has a much larger filter – you’ll need a coarser grind. And when using a paper filter with a smaller filter basket, you’ll want it to be finer.

To figure out what setting is best for your machine and filter type, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s manual (or getting in contact with their customer service team). They can help guide you through the process!

5. Not using the right balance of coffee to water:

When it comes time to measure out your beans, there are two main things you’ll need to keep in mind. The first is that different types of coffeemakers require different amounts of grounds for their machine size.

So whether you have a 12-cup pot or a 1-cup maker, you’ll need to account for the appropriate amount of coffee. The second is a water-to-ground ratio, which can depend on personal taste preference. Generally speaking though, 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per 6oz/180ml of water should do the trick!

When Brewing Coffee

6. Using tap water:

Using good quality water when brewing coffee is one of the most important things you can do.

While tap water in many areas is fine, others might have a bad taste or smell that will affect the flavor of your coffee. So if you’re able to, always use filtered water when making a pot. Even better yet – use bottled spring water!

7. Not having enough coffee in the filter:

For most people, a normal-sized coffee cup is around 6oz/180ml. So when you’re making a pot of coffee, make sure to add an equivalent amount of ground beans to your maker. Doing so will ensure that all the grounds are saturated and ready for brewing!

8. Using too much coffee:

In the same vein as having too little coffee, you should also make sure that you’re not adding more to your filter than necessary.

For a standard drip maker, one tablespoon of ground beans is good enough for 1-cup. If you want to add a bit more for an extra cup, feel free! But just keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it and end up with a bitter-tasting pot of coffee.

9. Using old or stale beans:

Coffee goes bad pretty quickly, which means that if you buy your coffee from the grocery store – make sure to finish opening the bag within 2-3 weeks! If you can’t do this, we recommend using a roaster that only sells small batches of fresh beans.

If you can’t do this either, you should always verify the batch date before buying anything.

10. Steeping the coffee for too long:

Like we said earlier, most brewers take 3-5 minutes to finish brewing (although there are always exceptions). So if you let your coffee steep for longer, it’ll turn out bitter. So the best way to avoid this is checking on it often – and not going away from the machine while brewing!

11. Not using enough coffee:

While there’s such a thing as ‘too much’, many people under-brew their coffee because they don’t think that it’s strong enough. So when you’re making your next pot, remember these tips – you might just end up with a better brew!

12. Adding coffee to the machine without any water in it:

If your coffee maker has an automatic setting, make sure to add water first before adding your grounds. Doing so will ensure that the water comes into contact with every single part of your filter – especially the ones on top!


And that’s it! Just remember these tips when making a pot of coffee next time, and you should be able to perfect your brew in no time.

If you have any other advice for people who want to make good coffee at home, feel free to leave a comment! And if you found this article helpful, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

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