How do I make my coffee better?


New member
Aug 11, 2010
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Hey everyone!

I've been drinking coffee on an every-morning basis for the last 3 - 4 years and have been trying to perfect my coffee ever since. My coffee never seems to taste as good as I have had from some friends and family members and in my pursuit to find the perfect cup, I am getting very frustrated I can't seem to get it just right. I really like starbucks Verona blend coffee, one of my friend makes it perfect, so I am using that. I put about 1 - 1.5 tbsp of coffee per 6 oz. cup but when I start putting more in to reach the recommended amount it starts to just taste burned rather than richer and stronger, and when I put less in obviously it tastes too weak, unfortunately the happy medium I have reached is less than satisfactory, at least compared to other cups of Verona I've had. I tried freshly grinding my coffee for a while but didn't notice much of a difference. I've tried 3 different coffee makers and use filtered water out of the fridge, and we have delicious water to begin with. I drink coffee because I love the taste, not because I need the get-up-and-go in the morning, although that is a definite plus, that being said I am reaching the point where I will abandon it because the beans cost too much when I can't get it just right. Obviously I am very passionate about getting my coffee to be just as good as other cups I've had, same blend of coffee, etc, because when it comes out right it is delicious. Also my coffee pot has a filter that sits on top of the grounds, but removing or leaving that makes very little difference since I use filtered water to begin with.

Does anyone have any tips or recommendation on how to make my coffee taste better? I just want to be able to make coffee I love rather than tolerate while I try to find the perfect way to make it. Also I have asked the person who brews Verona but he didn't really have any tips or anything. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
You really couldn't tell much difference when grinding fresh as needed? A few more questions.... how do you store your coffee? How fresh is it when you purchase it? How old does it get by the time you finish it up? Also, you need to use room temperature water (60-70 degrees on average) and surely not cold as from the refrigerator. There's no way any home style coffeemaker can flash heat cold water to a decent brew temperature. Later!
Here are my thots:

Are you using freshly roasted coffee? I see stuff in the store "Best if used by April 2011" - YIKES. I try to use coffee that is no older than 3 weeks. Make sure you are NOT storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer.

Have you tried a lighter roast? There are to many roasters (I am a roaster so I can say this) who tend to roast their "dark" way to long and it is indeed almost burnt. Sometimes the medium roasts are pretty dark themselves. Darker roasts tend to be higher in acidity and lower in flavor and aroma...

Have you tried a French press? I use 2 tbsp per 8 oz water...and make sure your water is 195-200 degrees. let is sit for about 5 minutes before you press - then pour it out into a carafe so it doesn't continue to brew since the grounds are still in contact with the water.

Do NOT give up - keep searching, experimenting...
Sounds like your coffee machine has issues to me? Maybe scale build up? Or when you cleaned it the cleaner polluted the machine? I am not a Starbucks fan Verona is the one I would choose, or Guatemala Antigua. No fridge for sure, no more that three months old if you can find it, grind just before using, once level scoop per cup on your coffee maker.

Better yet, buy your coffee from a local or online roaster that sells decent, fresh stuff!

pbmac said:
Here are my thots:

Are you using freshly roasted coffee? I see stuff in the store "Best if used by April 2011" - YIKES. I try to use coffee that is no older than 3 weeks. Make sure you are NOT storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer....

I don't understand. Does this mean the brewed coffee? Because everything else I read on here says you should freeze coffee beans.
When you say "on here" to freeze the coffee beans, do you mean or the internet at large? No one here who knows about coffee, and there are lots of us, would recommend freezing beans unless you were deep freezing them in quantity and never taking them out until using them - and then only if your freezer was perfectly scent free. I personally would not freeze ANY coffee bean. My freezer is just not cold or clean enough and I can taste the difference.

Only fresh roasted beans, ground just before brewing for me!

Lisa, experiments on another forum have been done regarding fresh vs. frozen and it has been proven (for espresso anyway) that IF beans are properly stored in small batches soon after being roasted (1-3 days MAX) and are kept super cold (-20F or less) freezing does prevent further staling of the beans. Then you thaw out what you need. Of course fresh is best, but some people like to buy large quantities to save on shipping, etc. and freeze. I've tried it by vacuum packing 6-8 oz. increments with a FoodSaver device and putting in our deep freeze, then let them come up to room temperature before grinding. For espresso I noticed no ill effects months after the actual roast date. If done properly no odors can be absorbed by the coffee.

BUT I'd never recommend putting coffee in the freezer, using it and storing again in the freezer... or refrigerator for that matter.
I see exactly where you're coming from Lisa. All the painstaking work you do to sell your Rocketfuel and then somebody tosses all that effort into their freezer like a bag of peas... :(

How are things going in the coffee world for you? Seems as if green bean prices have been on the rise. Wondering how it has affected the truly premium stuff such as your offerings... Thanks!
coffeeloverlisa said:
Only fresh roasted beans, ground just before brewing for me!

So does a coffee shop order enough roasted beans for only a few days? Then reorder every few days? Would this be the same for chocolate-covered coffee beans?
Here's what I do... I order/pick up beans on a 2 week basis. I always let fresh beans rest a bit. For drip coffee 2-3 days to degas is about right. To fresh and you have bloom problems when the hot water hits the grounds. For my espresso I always try to let it rest at least 5 days to degas and mature a bit. Otherwise the espresso has a toasted grain taste/aroma. Around days 5-7 it really starts to mature into a nice nutty, buttery, sweet taste/aroma.

I've heard of some local coffeeshops claiming to rotate beans on a weekly basis. If that's true then those beans are being used too quickly to actually give up the best flavor, texture and aroma possible. Fresh is best, but letting the beans reach maturity is of equal importance.

Chocolate covered beans are for eating... please don't try grinding any.
shadow745 said:
Chocolate covered beans are for eating... please don't try grinding any.

Ok, I might be blonde but I wouldn't try THAT! lol No offense to anyone on this board who is blonde. Just having a little fun. :)

Thanks for the info regarding when to buy beans.
Found a new outlet to perk up :) my rare coffee biz a bit... and I think I told you guys I am really into cigars, right?

Well the same obsession I took to coffee I transferred to cigars and cigar knowledge. Joined forums like this one and many of them have coffee sections. Turns out the guys love their coffee too and many are now my customers!

So Goldie, has being here inspired you to make your coffee better? Have you found a place to buy fresh beans and grind some to make fresh coffee at home?

My husband Matthew now WEIGHS 45g of coffee per pot. That is how it goes around here now.


After grinding, but it should be the same... And this is our super premium coffee. I found that the quantity of coffee suggested on, let's say the package of Maxwell House (2 scoops per cup), would first of all

Bankrupt you
pour mud from your coffee maker