The situation is all too familiar. You vow to save money, be resourceful, and start brewing coffee on your own at home.

But to your dismay, your first cup turned out disgusting! It looks like dirty water and tastes bland; you then find yourself ordering again in your local coffee shop.

But don’t worry, as soon as you spot these common mistakes, you can make good coffee at home – or, must we say, the perfect cup.

Mistake #1: You Don’t Have Fresh Coffee Beans

Of course, the critical ingredient for a great cup is in the coffee beans you use. You can’t expect good-tasting coffee from stale and old beans.

Though coffee beans don’t precisely have expiration dates, the freshness and taste deteriorate through time, so don’t store coffee beans for too long.

Always consider the roast date for the freshest coffee; the closer, the better.

Mistake #2: You’re Using the Wrong Coffee Grounds and Brew Method

Beginners see all kinds of ground coffee as the same. But there are different sizes used for varying machines or coffee makers.

  • Coarse-Medium Grounds: Best for french press, pour-over, and drip coffee maker.
  • Fine Grounds: Espresso machine. You can’t make espresso with coarse-medium grounds.

Mistake #3: Wrong Grounds to Water Ratio

The right water amount is a golden rule in coffee making.

There’s no one correct measurement since it will depend on your preference, such as the intensity and acidity level, but there’s a prescribed ratio to arrive at a good cup.

  • For every 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds, add 6 ounces of water.

Mistake #4: Your Water Quality is Bad

One of the main ingredients in making coffee is water. If you’re using tap water, your coffee will most likely taste bad.

That explains why coffee shops often use mineral or filtered water. You’ll notice the difference in its smoothness and cleanness.

Mistake #5: You Use Pre-Ground Coffee

Don’t get us wrong; there’s nothing wrong with buying pre-made grounds. After all, a good-quality coffee grinder is expensive, and not everyone is willing to splurge on it.

However, getting whole beans and grinding them right before you brew coffee will promise an elevated experience. Your taste buds will thank you!

If you have the budget, invest in an electric burr grinder, especially if you plan to sell or open a cafe.

If you’re a homebrewer and simply want to make coffee properly, you can get those manual grinders at an affordable price.

Mistake #6: Your Water Temperature Is Wrong

The water temperature blooms the coffee bean. It takes the right level of hot water to extract the oils and aroma that we all love in hot coffee. The ideal temperature is 200°F ± 5° (93.0°C ± 3°).

If you’re making a cold cup of cold brew, the temperature must be between 20 to 25 °C or colder.

Mistake #7: You Don’t Bloom Your Coffee

When brewing coffee, especially pour-over, you need to have patience. Don’t simply pour the entire kettle of water all at once.

Bloom is essentially making the grounds damp first, waiting for about 45 seconds, then going all in. Do these steps in a circular motion.

Mistake #8: As a Beginner, You’re Expecting Too Much

Coffee in cafes uses big machines and expensive equipment. If you have a single-serve coffee maker or a manual brewing method, stop expecting to achieve the same quality.

It’s not impossible, though, to recreate the best cup of coffee. But it takes practice, investment, and a lot of mistakes.

Mistake #9: You Store Your Coffee Wrong

Avoid storing your fresh beans for too long if you don’t like stale coffee. It’s a common mistake to keep it for a long time since most grounds don’t have an expiry date.

But remember: just because it doesn’t go bad doesn’t mean it will taste good forever.


We hope this guide by MyCoffeeBase has helped you bring you one step closer to the perfect cup of home-made coffee.

Drinking coffee elsewhere is undoubtedly different from making your own.

It’s more challenging, and it takes time, but it might as well be the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have. So, do it well!