For coffee drinkers, a cup of joe is always something to look forward to throughout the day. While some prefer their brew with cream and sugar, others like it plain and black. However, as simple as it is, you can still take your black coffee a notch higher to make it taste good. Read on for some worthy tips on how to make black coffee tastier.
How to make black coffee taste good?
Here are some great tips on how to make your black coffee taste good:
1. See to it that your coffee maker is clean.
A dirty coffee maker can affect the taste of coffee so make sure that your coffee maker is clean. Also, be sure to get rid of sugar or cream residues, or else you will spoil the goodness of pure black coffee!
2. Opt for single-origin coffee.
Single-origin coffee means that the beans used are grown in a single farm or a certain part of a country or geographical area. Blended coffee refers to coffee that uses two or four types of blended beans. Single-origin coffee is more costly compared to blended coffee since it is seasonal and there is a limited number of beans in one harvest. While some say that blended beans result in a more flavorful coffee, black coffee fans attest that single-origin beans let them experience one particular taste.
3. Consider grinding the beans yourself.
Ground coffee beans are easily available these days but for a more tasteful black coffee consider grinding the coffee beans yourself. Be sure to grind just the right amount that you need for one pot to ensure you’ll have fresh coffee. You may also opt for freshly-roasted coffee beans that you can buy from reputable suppliers.
4. Experiment with various coffee bean and grind types.
To be able to make your black cup of joe taste good, you need to acquaint yourself with the coffee bean types. Two dominant types that are widely available are the Arabica and Robusta coffee bean varieties. Arabica accounts for 75 to 80% of global coffee production. If prepared properly, these beans give out a bright flavor with a balanced acidity level. However, Arabica beans are delicate and highly susceptible to diseases and environmental changes.
Robusta coffee beans account for at least 20% of the total global coffee production. These beans thrive in hot and dry climates and have higher caffeine content. Coffee brewed with Robusta beans has a smooth texture, full-bodied flavor and low acidity.
Aside from coffee bean types, coffee experts recommend that black coffee fans experiment with coarse and fine grind types to come up with more tasteful coffee. With a coarse grind, coffee particles are larger and looser and water could pass through them easily. The shorter brew time and limited surface mean less extraction and the coffee is lighter and weaker. A too coarse grind could make your coffee taste sour.
With a fine grind, coffee particles are tightly packed and smaller. The water tends to flow slowly and results in a longer brew time and increased extraction. Also, a coffee grind that is too fine could make the coffee too bitter.
5. Try different types of roast.
To be able to make your black coffee taste good, you should also be able to experiment with various roast types first. This will enable you to acquaint yourself with different roasts and be able to make the necessary adjustments. Roasting is a vital part of the coffee process since it transforms coffee beans from green and spongy to aromatic and brown. It also brings out certain smells, tastes and oils of the coffee beans.
The different types of roasts are the following:
- Light roast – Coffee beans of this roast type have a light and cinnamon cold since they are only roasted lightly. There is no oil on the surface and light roast coffee has a light and mild flavor.
- Medium roast – Coffee beans of this roast type have a light to medium brown color, very little oil on the surface and an even balance of acidity, aroma and flavor. This is the so-called popular roast option in the USA and also referred to as the American roast.
- Medium-dark roast – Coffee beans of this roast type have a dark medium to dark brown color with a certain amount of oil on the surface. Medium-dark roast coffee has a bittersweet taste when brewed, has more flavor and aroma but with lesser acidity.
- Dark roast – Coffee beans of this roast type have a very dark color and oily surface. It has the most bitter-tasting coffee with the slightest trace of acidity. The flavor is due more to the roasting process rather than from the coffee beans.
The roasting process changes the flavor, aroma, and texture of coffee so if you prefer a not-so-bitter one, opt for a lighter roast. However, if you avoid acidic coffee, opt for a darker roast.
6. Experiment with various brewing methods.
To make your black coffee taste good, experiment with various ways to brew it. This way, you will be able to ascertain the right flavor and taste.
These are the common brewing methods:
- Drip – This method usually uses a coffee cone and paper filter. This is considered the simplest, cheapest and easiest way to brew coffee. Simply pour hot water evenly over coffee grounds in a paper filter and the brewed coffee drips slowly into a cup or pot.
- Pour-over – This method is similar to the drip method and the person doing it has complete control of the water temperature, brew time and pour speed. It involves pouring hot water through coffee grounds in a filter that flows to a carafe or mug.
- Espresso – This method is made by finely grinding coffee beans and placing them in a pressurized compartment. Hot water is placed through the grounds under high pressure and results in a concentrated drink with a thicker consistency compared to coffee made with the other methods.
- French Press – This method is a popular at-home brewing process and the grounds and hot water are mixed in the French Press which is usually made of metal or heat-resistant glass. You need to push a strainer down the mixture to separate the grounds on the bottom.
- Cold-brew – This method is the preferred one for coffee fans who tend to have stomach issues because it is considered to have low acidity. It consists of steeping coffee with cold water for a couple of hours to extract the flavors and nutrients.
7. Add spices or flavor boosters to your coffee.
Spice up your black coffee with these flavor boosters:
- Cocoa powder – This makes your coffee taste like chocolate without sweetness.
- Cinnamon – It gives your coffee a new and exciting flavor and can be added before or after brewing. This spice also has health benefits since it has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and lowers blood sugar levels.
- Vanilla extract – It provides your coffee a great and smooth aroma but make sure to buy pure vanilla extract since there are imitations that contain harmful chemicals.
- Salt- Just a pinch of this miracle condiment makes your black coffee taste less bitter.
- Peppermint oil – Add a few drops during brewing for a surprising holiday flavor twist to your black coffee.
- Nutmeg – Sprinkle some of this spice to bring an earthy, nutty sweetness to your regular black coffee.
Black coffee may look plain and unexciting but you can make it taste good according to your preferred taste. See to it that your coffee maker is cleaned well and opt for single-origin coffee. You can also grind the coffee beans yourself and experiment with the various grind, roast, and coffee bean types. You could also experiment with certain spices and flavor boosters like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract to come up with great-tasting black coffee according to your personal preference.
Image: istockphoto.com / Joao Mello