Why Does My Coffee Taste Watery? And 8 Simple Fixes


If you’re a coffee drinker you generally know when you take your first sip of coffee whether the experience will be a satisfying one. Most have their preference as to how they like their coffee, and whether it’s strong enough or watered down. And speaking of watered-down coffee, you might be wondering why does my coffee taste watery. 


We’re here to answer that question as well as help you know how to resolve the problem.

What is Watery Coffee?

Watery coffee is weak coffee that doesn’t have much of a coffee taste. The coffee-to-water ratio, which can be caused by a variety of factors, is off making your specialty drink taste more like water than coffee.

Not many hearty coffee drinkers care for a weak cup of coffee, and they consider it watery coffee.

8 easy fixes for watery coffee
8 easy fixes for watery coffee

Reasons Your Coffee is Watery

There are a variety of main reasons your brew can result in watered-down coffee. Let’s take a look at each of the reasons as well as the recommended fixes.

#1 Too Much Water

The first and likely one of the most common reasons your coffee doesn’t taste right is the use of too much water and not enough coffee grounds. Obtaining a good grasp of the golden ratio of enough coffee and less water makes stronger coffee.

As a good rule of thumb, you can read the packaging instructions for your coffee to know how many tablespoons of ground coffee should be used for the number of servings you intend to make. This is a good starting point.

white cup under coffee machine
white cup under coffee machine

Once you get a feel for the outcome this will provide, you can adjust it accordingly.

Fix: If you’re quite sure your watery tasting coffee has been caused by too little coffee, and too many ounces of water, the fix is absolute. Just increase the amount of coffee grounds next time before your coffee brews.

#2 Coffee Beans Are Too Weak

The second potential cause of a weaker cup of coffee is your coffee beans don’t provide the level of intensity that you anticipated.

As a general rule, a more intense roast will provide a stronger cup of coffee than a medium roast will provide.

coffee beans
coffee beans

Fix: Though different coffee drinkers prefer their coffee different ways, a more intense roast of ground coffee beans will provide a bolder flavor. For good coffee, use a more intense roast if you believe your coffee beans are too weak.

#3 Coffee Grounds Are Too Big

Did you know that the size of your coffee grinds plays a part in the outcome of your brew? For example, a coarse grind will provide more of a coffee flavor than medium grinds.

This is the case because the surface area of a finer grind has more opportunity to seep into the coffee and pull out the coffee flavor.

Fix: If you suspect the size of your grounds are the factor, our recommended fix is to use a fine grind. Finding the right grind size that provides enough flavor can take a little bit of time and experimentation. But the change will provide results that are ideal.

coffee powder
coffee powder

#4 Coffee Beans Are Too Old

If you buy too much coffee ahead of time, it’s easy to use coffee beans that are too old. This can be a cause for watery coffee that can taste like one cup has been brewed with a liter of water. And that’s not appealing to most people’s taste buds.

Even when you’re using dark roast coffee that’s supposed to result in black coffee, you could still end up with watery coffee if your beans are too old.

Fix: The good news is there’s a quick fix for this one. The next time you’re ready for a cup of good coffee, use fresh beans and ground your own beans for the best results.

#5 Grounds Didn’t Bloom

Allowing your coffee to bloom means letting the carbon dioxide escape from the coffee grounds so the remaining water can fully absorb the flavor in the beans.

coffee press kit
coffee press kit

The first pour is called the bloom pour.This involves pouring the rightamount of water over the grounds and letting it sit for enough time saturating them all.  You’ll want to pour about twice the amount of water to coffee and stir gently.

Fix: The ideal water temperature for allowing your coffee to bloom is to use a hot water. The temperature of the water matters because cold water won’t do the job while providing the best results.

Let your coffee grounds bloom by adding just enough water to cover them and wait 30 seconds before adding the rest of the water.

#6 Coffee Maker Isn’t Clean

If your coffee maker isn’t clean, you might not be able to make the perfect cup of coffee no matter how hard you try.

Whether you’re using a straightforward drip coffee maker, one of those fancy drip coffee machines, one of the AeroPress coffee makers, espresso machine, or French press coffee, one of the first things you might consider is to check to see whether your coffee maker is clean.

coffee table
coffee table

Fix: To make better coffee, clean the filter basket or brewing basket with vinegar and water. You’ll want to avoid using bleach combined with other cleaners because of potential chemical reactions.

Then you can do a little trial by running plain water through the system to make sure it’s clean before using it.

#7 Didn’t Brew Long Enough

Did you know that both the brewing method and the length of the brew cycle determine the outcome of the coffee?

A longer brewing process tends to create a bolder coffee, and likewise a shorter brew time tends to result in comparatively weaker coffee.

Fix:  If you’ve determined that the culprit of the watery taste is not too much water, but that it’s the brewing time, just lengthen the brew time to resolve this issue. This will allow the water to better seep through the grounds to provide a better flavor.

#8 Water is Too Soft

If you have a water filter, perhaps the taste of your coffee being too diluted comes from the use of water that’s too soft. 

cup with coffee beans. View from above
cup with coffee beans. View from above

Some coffee experts frown on using softened water because it creates a watery cup of coffee. But the solution to this problem is easy.

Fix: There is a simple fix to making regular coffee when you’ve determined that the water is too soft.  Instead, use water that’s not been softened, such as filtered or distilled water. It’s as simple as that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to why does my coffee taste watery. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Why does iced coffee taste watery?

If your iced coffee or cold brew coffee tastes watery, there can be a few causes. Iced coffee contains a fair amount of ice which when it melts turns to water. This can dilute your coffee.

Also, if the coffee sits in the pot too long, this can cause it to turn watery. To avoid watery iced coffee, drink it right away, rather than letting it sit.

Why does French pressed coffee taste watery?

The likely culprit of French pressed coffee tasting too diluted is the grind size of the beans being too large.

Dark coffee beans in a bowl
Dark coffee beans in a bowl

When the grounds are too large, water tends to pass through when the coffee is brewed, rather than being absorbed by the grounds.

Why does Keurig coffee taste watery?

Keurig coffee has the potential of tasting watery because it uses more water, doesn’t evenly distribute as it brews, and tends to brew at lower temperature.

Why does instant coffee taste watery?

Using too much water with too little coffee will cause it to be diluted, and there can be that tendency with instant coffee. To remedy this problem instead create a better coffee to water ratio.


The 8 main causes of coffee that’s too diluted are to be sure that you’ve used enough grams of coffee grounds compared to the quantity of water used, if you like a strong brew then make sure your coffee grounds are strong enough, use water that’s the ideal temperature for your first pour, use grounds that are the correct size, clean your coffee maker, allow your coffee to brew long enough, and use water that isn’t too soft.

Enjoy the perfect cup of coffee!

Related Ideas:

Best Way to Make Iced Coffee Fast
Copycat Chick-fil-A Vanilla Iced Coffee Recipe
Caramel Iced Coffee with Heavy Cream
Caramel Syrup for Coffee the Easy Way

Save to Pinterest:

why does coffee taste watery Pinterest Pin
why does coffee taste watery Pinterest Pin

For more posts like this one, follow us on PinterestFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Photo of author
Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

Leave a Comment