You smell the sweet aroma of coffee brewing, and your mouth waters at the thought of that first sip. But what if you take that first sip and are left wondering “why is my coffee watery?”
What did you do wrong? Probably one of these five mistakes that lead to watery coffee…
5 Reasons Your Coffee is Watery
If your coffee is watery, it’s probably because your water ratio is wrong, your coffee doesn’t contain enough caffeine, your grounds are too coarse, you didn’t brew the coffee for long enough, or there is a problem with your coffee machine.
1. Low caffeine content
Different coffees have different caffeine contents. For example, you can find decaf coffee with the lowest caffeine content, highly caffeinated coffee beans, and coffee drinks with multiple espresso shots.
If your cup of coffee tastes like a cup of water, you may need more caffeine!
You can increase the amount of caffeine in your coffee by using less water, grinding the beans more finely, choosing a light roast, or adding a shot of espresso.
2. The grind size
Different coffee brewing methods need different grind sizes. Your coffee is likely watery because your grind size is too big. You must adjust the grind size according to the type of coffee you are making.
If you make espresso and decide to use a coarse grind, you will be left with a watered-down coffee since the beans were unable to infuse with the water. The best thing to do is grind your beans at home; a burr grinder does this best!
3. Your coffee-to-water ratio is wrong
In most cases, you can attribute watery coffee to your coffee-to-water ratio. Using enough coffee is essential to get the most flavor out of it. Using too much water will dilute the coffee, leaving you with a weak mix and virtually no flavor.
There is no universal coffee-to-water ratio that results in the perfect brew; it all depends on the type of coffee you use and the machine.
4. Dirty equipment
Weak coffee can also result from a dirty coffee machine, especially if you use a drip coffee maker or an espresso machine. It would be best to clean your machine regularly as a build-up of coffee grounds can affect how the machine works and your coffee tastes.
5. Not brewing for long enough
Brewing coffee takes skill, especially if you want to make a great cup. If you do not brew for a long enough time, you will likely end up with a weak coffee as there was little to no extraction.
How to Fix Watery Coffee
Understanding the five reasons why coffee can be watery can help you to avoid brewing lousy coffee in the future.
But how can you rescue a coffee you’ve already made? Here are four ways to fix watery coffee.
1. Add instant coffee
Adding instant coffee to a carefully brewed cup isn’t the ideal solution, but if you want to make your coffee stronger, adding some instant coffee will help.
It won’t taste great, though, so it depends which you prefer, a watery “proper” coffee or a mix of proper coffee and instant.
2. Re-brew your coffee
You can improve your coffee by brewing the coffee beans or ground coffee again.
Use your watery coffee and the leftover coffee grounds to make another cup.
Under extraction is one reason for watery coffee, so brewing it again can improve the taste.
3. Turn it into an iced coffee
Another option is to add ice and turn your coffee into iced coffee.
If cold brew or iced coffees are watery, it doesn’t make as much difference as it does to hot coffee.
4. Spice up your watery coffee!
Even if you can’t make your coffee less watery, there may be other ways to make it taste better.
Adding cream or milk will thicken your coffee, or you could simply add flavors such as cinnamon, vanilla extract, or chocolate.
Watery Coffee: Final Thoughts
So, why does coffee taste like water?
It could be the ratio of coffee to water, the amount of caffeine, the grind size, not brewing for long enough, or a problem with your coffee maker.
It could even be a combination of these factors.
The best thing to do is experiment with changing how you make your coffee until you find a brewing routine that works for you.
FAQs – How to fix a watery coffee
Low caffeine content, the grind size, not brewing for long enough, dirty equipment, and that your coffee-to-water ratio is wrong are deemed the top 5 things a coffee becomes watery.
You should work out why your coffee is getting watery when you’re making it. But if you want to save your coffee you can try to add instant coffee to make it stronger or make it into an iced coffee. Voila!
Hey there! I’m Austin and I love coffee. In fact, I drink about 5 americanos a day. I started BrewingCoffees because I wanted to share my love of coffee with the world. Before starting BrewingCoffees, I worked as a Barista for 7 years.