Why Does My Coffee Taste Watery? Avoid These Mistakes

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on March 11th, 2023

If you’re like many coffee lovers, you’ve experienced the disappointment of a cup of coffee that tastes watery.

Whether you’re using a coffee maker, an espresso maker, or a French press, it can be disheartening to sip on a cup that tastes more like water than coffee.

pouring a cup of coffee

Thankfully, there are several reasons why this might be happening and ways to fix it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different causes of watery coffee and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

Reasons why your coffee tastes watery

From grind size to brewing method, there are many factors to consider when making a delicious cup of Joe. So keep reading, and let’s get into all the details!

Too much water

If you are using too much water compared to the amount of coffee, the flavor won’t be as strong and may seem diluted. This is why getting the right ratio when brewing your coffee is important. Too little coffee and too much water result in weak, watery coffee. By ensuring you’re using the correct ratio of coffee to water, you can avoid this issue and make sure your coffee tastes great every time.

Wrong grind size

When it comes to brewing coffee, grind size is an important factor. If your grind is too coarse, the water will pass through too quickly, resulting in a weak cup of coffee. On the other hand, if your grind is too fine, the water will take longer to pass through, resulting in over-extraction and a bitter taste.

It’s important to use the correct grind size for your brewing method and ensure you don’t over-grind your beans for a stronger flavor. If you’re using the wrong grind size for your brewing method, you may end up with a cup of coffee that tastes like water.

Not brewing your coffee long enough

Brewing coffee too quickly can result in a weak cup of coffee. The extraction process needs enough time to extract flavor molecules from the grounds. If it’s over too quickly, the water won’t get enough of them, resulting in a watered-down cup.

You should give your coffee more time to brew to ensure this doesn’t happen. Depending on what type of brewer you’re using, this could mean increasing the brewing time or using a coarser grind. Doing so will ensure that you get the most flavor out of your beans, creating a cup of coffee that is full-bodied and flavorful.

Not using enough coffee

Using too little coffee can be another reason why your coffee tastes watery. If you don’t use enough coffee grounds, you won’t be able to extract all of the flavor molecules the beans offer. This can lead to an overly weak cup of coffee.

To avoid this, measure the appropriate grounds for your brewing method. Additionally, if you’re using a pre-ground coffee, ensure it’s fresh, as stale grounds can lead to weak coffee. All these factors can help you get a better-tasting cup of coffee that isn’t watery.

The water isn’t hot enough or too hot

If the water used to brew your coffee isn’t hot enough, it won’t be able to extract all of the flavors from the coffee grounds. This is because cold water won’t be able to draw out as many flavor molecules from the coffee beans as hot water will.

On the other hand, if the water is too hot, you can over-extract the coffee, resulting in a bitter and thin cup of coffee. All available sugars and flavors have been extracted, and parts of the beans have started breaking down. To ensure that you get a better-tasting cup of coffee, ensure that the water you use is hot enough to extract all of the flavors while also not being too hot, as this will give you an overly bitter cup of coffee.

To ensure your coffee has the best flavor possible, heat your water to around 195-205°F for best results. You may need to increase the temperature slightly using a French press or pour-over method.

Additionally, you can use a thermometer or electric kettle to help you get the perfect temperature. With the right temperature, you’ll enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time.

Over-extracted beans

When coffee beans are over-extracted, they can produce a bitter and thin cup of coffee. This is because the water has extracted all available sugars and started pulling out the bitter compounds from the bean.

To prevent over-extraction, paying attention to the golden coffee-to-water ratios and ensuring the water temperature is hot enough to extract all the flavors is important. 

The beans have gone stale

If your coffee has been sitting in the bag for a time, the beans are most likely stale. Stale beans have lost their freshness and the flavor and fragrance of a good cup of coffee. When this happens, the extraction process is hampered, and the coffee tastes watery and weak.

This can be easily avoided by storing your beans in an airtight container and only buying as much as you need for a few weeks. To get the most flavor out of your beans, grind them before brewing for optimal extraction.

The coffee had been exposed to air and direct sunlight

Oxygen is an enemy of fresh coffee, as it can cause the essential oils and acids to break down, leading to a weaker flavor. If you store your beans in an airtight container, you can help to maintain their flavor and strength for longer.

Also, ensure that your beans are not stored in a place exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. Keeping them in a cool and dry place will help to keep them from going stale over time.

Wrong brewing method and equipment

Using the wrong equipment to brew your coffee can also cause watery-tasting coffee. For instance, if you’re using a French press, you need to use a coarse grind size and steep the coffee for long enough – otherwise, your coffee will taste weak.

An espresso machine must also be maintained and backflushed regularly to keep it functioning properly. If you’re using a drip-style machine, you must ensure the water is hot enough and the filter is clean and debris-free. All of these things are essential for making sure your coffee doesn’t end up tasting watery.

Not using filtered water

Another reason your coffee may taste watery because you’re not using filtered water. Tap water can contain various minerals and contaminants that can affect the taste of your coffee. If you’re not using filtered water, these contaminants can add a metallic taste or a flatness to your brew.

Using filtered water will remove any impurities and give you a better cup of coffee. Additionally, it’s important to use freshly filtered water when brewing, as the minerals in the water can change over time and affect the flavor of your brew.

Tips to make your coffee less watery

If you love coffee, there’s nothing worse than a cup that tastes watery. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve the taste of your coffee and make it more enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio: One of the most common reasons coffee tastes watery is that there isn’t enough coffee in the brew. Try increasing the coffee you use per cup and see if that makes a difference.
  • Experiment with different grind sizes: The size of the coffee grounds can also affect the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes watery, try using a finer grind to extract more flavor from the beans.
  • Use a different brewing method: Different brewing methods can produce different flavors. If you’re not happy with the taste of your coffee, try using a different brewing method, such as a French press or pour-over.
  • Invest in higher-quality beans or equipment: Sometimes, the quality of the beans or equipment you use can affect the taste of your coffee. Consider investing in higher-quality beans or equipment to improve the taste of your coffee.
  • Add flavorings: If you’re looking to enhance the taste of your coffee, consider adding flavorings such as milk, cream, or flavored syrups. These can add a new dimension of flavor to your coffee and make it more enjoyable.

By following these tips, you can improve the taste of your coffee and make it more enjoyable to drink. Experiment with different methods and ingredients until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds.


Watery coffee can result from a variety of factors. These include the ratio of coffee to water, the grind size, brewing time, water temperature, and quality of beans. The mineral content in the water can also make a difference in the flavor of the coffee.

Furthermore, stale beans and incorrect brewing methods can contribute to the taste. Lastly, using a high-quality machine and filtered water ensures your coffee tastes its best.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.