If you love coffee and want to master making the perfect cup at home, there’s no better place to start than with learning how to make black coffee.
It might seem like a simple thing, but a truly great cup of black coffee still takes some effort if you want your results to wow.
Making black coffee takes just two ingredients: water and ground coffee beans. But the quality of the water, the freshness of the coffee beans, and the coarseness of the grind can all help to turn a good cup of coffee into a great one.
The Coffee Beans
Start by deciding if you want a light, medium, or dark roast for your coffee. In general, if you’re new to drinking black coffee, start by trying a nice light roast.
Light roasts have more caffeine than the darker roasts, and aren’t as bitter as other blends. Their milder, and sometimes fruity flavor makes sipping a cup of black coffee more enjoyable.
For an exceptional cup of coffee, look for the freshest beans possible. If you don’t have a grinder at home, look for a shop that can grind whole coffee beans for you when you buy them.
To keep your ground coffee tasting its best for as long as possible, store it in the freezer instead of at room temperature.
The Grind Level
Coffee can be ground to be coarse, fine, or anywhere in between. Finer grinds result in stronger coffee, so for traditional drip coffee, stick with a medium to medium-fine grind for a good cup of black coffee with a balanced taste and minimal bitterness.
If you’re making your coffee with a French Press, you can use a coarse to medium-coarse grind instead. The longer brewing process will extract more flavor, so the beans don’t need to be ground as fine.
Learning how to make black coffee is as much about the water as it is about the coffee beans. If possible, use distilled or purified water so that the minerals that are naturally present in tap water don’t alter the taste of your coffee.
If you don’t have access to these options, make sure to run the tap for a couple of minutes on cold before measuring your water. It helps clear any built-up minerals out of your water lines to give your black coffee the best possible flavor.
And regardless of the water that you use, never make coffee with boiling water! While very hot water is used for some brewing methods, boiling water will extract too much flavor from the beans and leave it tasting bitter.
As mentioned above, using boiling water for coffee is an easy mistake to make. When using a drip coffee machine or a Keurig, don’t worry about the temperature of the water. The machine will heat it to the appropriate level for you.
If you’re using a French Press or a pour-over coffee maker, use water that’s just under the boiling point.
The Coffee to Water Ratio
The most important step of how to make black coffee is getting the right ratio of coffee and water. And that means using proper measurements.
Most coffee cups are not 8 oz, even though that’s the measurement most coffee recipes use. And a tablespoon from a set of cutlery holds significantly more than a tablespoon from a set of measuring spoons.
So, for perfect results, take the time to use proper measurements. A level 1/2 cup of coffee grounds and 5 full US cups of water (40 oz.) makes a standard pot of coffee, enough coffee for about eight people.
For a single serving, use a cup that’s big enough to hold a full 8 oz. of water, and a measuring tablespoon to measure an exact 2 tbsp. of grounds.
And that’s it! With a little care and proper measuring, you’ll be able to make perfect black coffee every time.
Whether you splurge on a fancy coffee blend from a local shop or just stick to your standard supermarket coffee, every sip will be better when you take the time to make it just right!
- 2 tbsp. medium grind coffee
- 8 oz. cold water, filtered if possible
For Drip Coffee Maker:
- Add filter to coffee basket, if required.
- Add coffee to filter and shake gently to evenly distribute coffee grounds.
- Add water to coffee maker and start brewing process.
For Keurig Machine:
- Add coffee grounds to reusable K-cup.
- Add water to Keurig water reservoir.
- Put empty cup in place and start brewing process.
For French Press:
- Add coffee grounds to French Press.
- Heat water until just under boiling.
- Pour water into French Press, stir gently, and cover with lid.
- Wait four minutes, then press down plunger gently and serve immediately.
For an average pot of coffee, use 1/2 cup of ground coffee and 5 cups of water.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g