11 Most Common Coffee Brewing Mistakes [You Should Know Today]

It is not without a doubt that coffee is the most popular beverage around the globe. As a coffee lover, you shouldn’t be surprised why that is the case.

But as a home coffee maker, there are some minor mistakes that you may be committing that unfortunately is stealing your chance to enjoy the best taste.

The best cup of coffee doesn’t come about by accident or by a fluke. An excellent cup of coffee brew is achieved by adhering to some rules and guidelines. 

It is okay to admit that there may be some mistakes that you may have been committing. It is the reason why you are here, right? 

Congratulations! That is the first step towards healing. 

We dearly hope that you will see yourself in the 11 coffee brewing mistakes that we have shed some light on in this article.

If that happens, we expect that you wouldn’t feel guilty, but instead, look forward to avoiding repeating them.

1. Using the Wrong Cup

Coffee Cup

It is not a wild guess that this may come as a surprise to many. What does a cup get to do with my cuppa taste?

But think about it. Imagine you are from the outdoors and very thirsty, what would you instead be served chilly water in? Glass or ceramic?

It is more than evident that you prefer to be served with glass. It seems to affect the flavor, right?

Coffee should never be served in plastic. It alters the flavor of your coffee. Plastics also effuse some chemical (Bisphenol A -BPA) over time into your coffee. BPA is being studied for its potential health risks. 

So what is the way forward regarding cups?

Strive to always use good quality glass cups. You can also use ceramics that are designed for hot drinks.

Stainless steel travel mugs can also come in handy whenever you are on the go. They maintain the coffee’s temperature and flavor. 

For the best results, always preheat your coffee mugs before pouring coffee in them. If your machine doesn’t have a cup warmer, a simple way of doing it is heating water in a microwave and then drying it just before pouring the coffee in it.

And before we forget, for espresso, just use an espresso cup. We have reviewed some top class for you.

2. You are Using Tap or Low-quality Water

Yes, wipe that expression off your face. The type of water that you use in brewing coffee matters. 

Tap water, in this case, contains a lot of stuff that may negatively affect the quality of your coffee. Top on the list of that is excess chlorine and other minerals. 

You may argue that you have a water filter at home, but it filters everything off, including the essential minerals that are important for the excellent quality of the coffee. 

The remedy to this is just using purified or pre-filtered water with pre-added minerals.

3. Adding “Things” to your Coffee

When you have your coffee brewed with the conditions that check all the right boxes, adding some things may throw a spanner in the works.

Budget sweeteners and creamers may bring down what would otherwise be an impressive and high-quality brew.

Some syrups and sweeteners don’t auger well with some coffee brewers. Whatever you do, just watch out for the result because the coast is not always clear.

You can check some best syrups for coffee.

Take note of the additives that complement the feel and aroma of your coffee and not take away.

4. You have Cool Coffee

Apart from iced coffee, coffee is the best drink when it is hot.

This has happened to all of us when we have had our coffee ready, and then we get distracted.

By the time we get back to our cup, we find it all cooled down. We are left with a drink that is stale and bitter and ridden of all the coffee flavor.

You should have your cup with you from the time you serve to the last sip. Then you can proceed to whatever else could wait.

A freshly poured cup of coffee should never wait.

5. You Don’t Regularly Clean Your Coffee maker

cleaning coffee maker

Just like most things that we love and love them working at their best, regular cleaning is a good practice.

An unclean coffee maker automatically translates to low quality coffee brew. The accumulated remnants may act as a breeding ground for bacteria, which may succeed in causing illness after altering the quality of your coffee.

You should regularly take apart your coffee making machine and thoroughly clean it.

Read our ultimate guide about How to Clean a Coffee Maker.

6. You Go for Low Quality Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

They say that “cheap is expensive.” On matters of class, for coffee, it is entirely accurate. Good quality coffee beans result in tasty brews. And for that, they come at a price.

Watch out for the beans that are on a bargain or on sale.

It is also a good idea to take note of the brands that offer quality coffee beans. And then maintain the habit of always buying from them.

Check our expert reviews of best espresso beans to set your personal test.

7. Improper Storage Including Refrigeration

Air, heat, and light. Those are the three sworn enemies of coffee.

When you buy your package, check to ensure that it is multi-layered and with a valve to allow air to leave but not get it.

Coffee is ideally stored in glass or tins. The tin has to be rust-free, or else the metallic taste will get to your brew.

Coffee sold in plastic packaging is a sign of low-quality products. So approach it with caution. 

Coffee sold in paper packing should be transferred to an airtight packaging.

This is to prevent odors and air from mingling and affecting the eventual taste of the coffee.

And on that bit about coffee being absorbent of smells, it also the reason why you should NOT store your coffee in the refrigerator. Coffee is among the foodstuff with the quality of absorbing odors.

By extension, it is the reason why we don’t recommend buying coffee from the supermarket.

8. You Use Inferior Brewing Methods

There is the rule of 1:10. This means that you should use one gram of (freshly) ground coffee to 10millilres of water.

If you break this rule, either way, then it is a deviation from a tasty quality brew.

Another reason close to this is that of making too much coffee at a time. The temptation to do this maybe that you want to make your coffee in the morning to last you the whole day in the office.

The more coffee you make, the harder it is to get the elusive and desired aroma from the ingredients. This always has been the case.

As limiting as it may be in some situations, the best coffee is achieved when made one cup at a time.

9. Use of Unclean Coffee Filters

Clean Coffee Filters

A dirty coffee filter is messy, yes, but it goes beyond that to affect the flavor of subsequent coffee through it.

For the paper filters, it is an excellent practice to be removing and replacing the old filters with new ones after every brew.

If using a reusable filter, always rinse it thoroughly after every brew. If your machine has a filter basket, don’t forget to clean that too.

Generally speaking, if you notice that the quality of your brew is going down over time, changing the filter may be one of the things to do.

10. You Are Not Using a Coffee Grinder

For convenience sake, many people prefer to buy already ground coffee. This option compromises the quality because you are never sure of how long it has been on the shelves.
Having a grinder at home and grinding only the amount that you want to use is advantageous.
Now, whether you bought already ground coffee, or you ground them by yourself, pay attention to the degree of the grind.
Check some best coffee grinder reviews here.

11.Using Stale Coffee

Stale coffee is one that was roasted “a long time ago.” When you are out shopping, you should check the package for the stamp or label of the roasting date.

Freshly roasted coffee tastes better, but they deteriorate with time. The deterioration happens when the volatile compound responsible for the best flavor dissipates with time. The result is a flat taste of coffee knock-off!!! 

When you buy coffee, it is a good idea to deliberately use it within a month.

The Fine and powdery ground coffee is perfect for the European coffee pot

Medium grind works best with the standard coffee maker

And the coarse ground coffee is ideal for french press


Did any mistakes highlighted above look familiar?

If there is a mistake that you may have been committing, don’t panic. Be positive to correct them and enjoy your future coffee brews.

If you have always done everything right according to the list above, then celebrate because it is the reason why you are known for such great tasting coffee.


A. I. Moon

A.I. Moon, an experienced SEO Pythonista, spends his days coding and developing web applications to help business owners. A passionate coffee enthusiast, he believes that drinking coffee fuels his creativity and productivity. His day isn't complete without the rich aroma and invigorating warmth of a perfectly brewed cup. This love for coffee inspired him to found EspressoRivo, a platform dedicated to sharing his coffee knowledge and fostering a community of passionate aficionados.

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