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Why Does My Coffee Taste Watery?

What’s better than brewing a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning to get the day started?

Some enjoy their coffee a bit stronger while others prefer it less strong.

But nothing is worse than waiting for that freshly brewed cup of coffee only to get a watered down brew of coffee.

Fortunately, there are a few simple fixes that can solve that problem.

And, before you know it, you’re back to enjoying a full-bodied, aromatic, flavorful cup of fresh coffee. 

Your fresh brew of coffee may taste watery due to faulty equipment.

If the equipment isn’t the problem, it may come down to the grind of the coffee beans.

In addition, the water temperature may not be hot enough, the coffee beans may not be as fresh as it should be, the quality of the coffee may be subpar, or the coffee may not be brewed long enough. 

Faulty equipment

I’ve decided to put faulty equipment first on the list because it may be the most unlikely problem but also the most overlooked.

A dirty coffee machine may be the culprit.

If you’ve checked the water temperature, the coffee beans and the timing, then the only other fault could be with the equipment.

I know that I’ve made this mistake before. You brew a fresh pot of coffee.

You finish the pot and decide to clean out the coffee pot and filter.

Good to go, right? Wrong!

When was the last time you checked and cleaned the reservoir of the drip coffee machine?

This is very often one of the most overlooked problems that may result in watery coffee.

It’s important to know how to clean your coffee machine properly. 

But, come to think of it, how old is your coffee machine?

I am guilty of this myself. I’ve gone through a few coffee machines in my day.

And that’s because I love my coffee.

Believe it or not, your coffee machine was not designed to last indefinitely.

There will come a time when you will need to replace the old girl.

Unlike an old car, the parts of a coffee machine aren’t always replaceable.

Or fixable. Just close your eyes, reach deep into your pockets and make the investment. 

ALSO READ: Why Does My Keurig Coffee Taste Watery? (And How To Fix It)

Coffee beans

First things first. You need to use fresh coffee beans to brew a fresh cup of coffee.

If the beans are stale, then you are guaranteed to end up with watery coffee.

Coffee beans are not something that you should buy in bulk or store for long periods of time.

One of the first steps you can take to prolong the shelf life of your coffee beans is to use proper storage methods.

Keep the coffee beans in a clean, dry space, away from direct sunlight, moisture, or air. 

Invest in a coffee canister with an airtight lid.

Keep in mind though, that this is standard procedure for storing coffee beans and will not prolong the shelf life of the coffee beans for much longer than if they were not stored properly.

Ideally, you should make regular purchases. In other words, every two weeks or so.

I’m going to tell you a little secret about those flavorful beans that bring you so much joy.

When coffee beans are roasted, they produce a substantial amount of carbon dioxide.

However, when the beans are stored, they start to release carbon dioxide.

This is a process that is commonly known as degassing.

During the degassing period, the coffee beans lose their flavor and become stale. 

Purchase fresh coffee beans as close to the roasting date as possible.

And, it goes without saying, but rather spend that extra dollar or ten and purchase good quality coffee beans.

You are sure to get a perfectly brewed cup of coffee that is bursting with flavor every time.

The coffee grinds

This is a key factor in why your coffee may be watery.

Make sure that you have a good quality coffee grinder.

Educate yourself on how to properly grind your coffee beans.

If the beans are too fine it will result in a very bitter coffee. This is known as over-extracting.

On the other hand, if the beans are too coarse, then it is known as under extracting.

This will result in very watery coffee.

You want to make sure that when you grind your coffee beans that they are either a medium to medium coarse grind and the grinds are evenly sized.

In addition, grinds will differ depending on the roast, the type of coffee machine, and the type of coffee.

You should know how to grind your coffee beans for the specific type of coffee that you will be making. 

Water temperature

There’s another culprit. The water temperature.

Make sure that your coffee machine (drip coffee) is heating up the water to the correct temperature.

This will make the extraction process run more smoothly.

The National Coffee Association states that the perfect water temperature to brew coffee, regardless of the type of equipment, is 195°F and 205°F. 

Using a thermometer to ensure that the water is reaching the correct temperature is a great way to find out if the temperature is the problem with your watery coffee.

You want the water to be very hot but not boiling. Boiling water could result in damaging the oils in the coffee beans. 

Other issues

Other issues may result from the type of roast.

A light roast may taste very watery to some individuals who prefer their coffee much stronger.

Check that the roast is the right type of roast for your preference. 

ALSO READ: Light Roast vs Dark Roast Coffee: What’s The Difference?

In addition, if the quality of the coffee beans is very low, it may affect the overall taste of your cup of coffee.

As previously mentioned, always invest in good quality coffee beans.

Final thoughts

Start by checking the easy fixes such as the water temperature, the quality and freshness of the coffee beans, as well as the grind on the coffee beans.

If you’ve checked all the obvious mistakes and still can’t seem to find the problem, then the problem lies with the equipment. 

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