8 Ways You Can Make Your Cheap Coffee Taste Better

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So you are getting into coffee eh? The issue is, you don’t want to spend a ton of money, but want a better taste to your coffee. I know how you feel! I went to a Starbucks Reserve recently, and they wanted to charge me $40 a pound for coffee… which really doesn’t make sense.

That got me thinking that maybe I should point out some great ways, that you can make cheap coffee taste good! Let me point out, I am personally drinking Folgers right now, and it is actually really good!

You’ll find in this list ways to make cheap coffee taste better, like adding milk, buying a better (not more expensive) coffee maker, and using fresh water during your brew.

Disclaimer: For all of those coffee purists wanting to say you need to only buy expensive specialty coffee to make good coffee, you are correct. However not everyone can afford, or wants to spend that amount on coffee beans, and this article is for those people.

1. Get a better coffee maker

The Aeropress is an awesome, inexpensive coffee maker.

You don’t need an expensive coffee maker to get good coffee, but what you do need is a good coffee maker to make good coffee.

Little do you know, that automatic coffee maker you bought for $50 at Walmart makes worse tasting coffee than a much cheaper manual coffee maker can do (here are some actually good coffee makers at Walmart).

My personal recommendations to help you make better coffee is the Aeropress Go (or standard) as well as the American Press.

Both of these coffee makers are manual solutions to making coffee, and it allows you to fine tune exactly how you like your coffee made. 

I have found using a manual coffee maker that is cheaper than most automatic coffee makers will give a more fun experience, and offers a more refined taste to the coffee.

Below are some great options for a range of coffee makers!

2. Buy a water filter

Did you know that filtered water makes your coffee taste better? Well, it does. I highly recommend filtering your water before every brew.

A filter will get out all of the contaminants that may throw off your coffee drinking experience.

Also, owning a water filter will also be awesome for just generally drinking water as well!

Below are some options for some great water filters that should do the job well, my personal favorites are the ones that attach to the faucet.

3. Use milk in the coffee

Again, I know a lot of purists are going to be mad about this one, however milk is a really great way to even out the flavor of coffee!

The cream also makes coffee taste a lot smoother!

I personally like to make cold brew, and then dilute it down with milk as well.

See how much works best for you, and use that!

4. Use fresh coffee

You really don’t have to have expensive coffee to have fresh coffee! For example, I found some really great whole beans at Safeway that are extremely fresh, and taste awesome.

How do you keep them fresh after buying them? I recommend a couple different options, however my personal favorite is the Atmos Canister by Fellow Products.

Alternatively, here are some other options that will keep you beans fresher for longer.

Pro-Tip: I don’t recommend keeping coffee in a freezer, however if you do, only use what you need and immediately put it back in. Learn why in this article.

5. Grind your own beans

Many people may not realize this, however after coffee is ground, it much more quickly loses its freshness, taste, and oils that are there when you don’t have coffee pre-ground.

Because of this, I highly recommend getting yourself a cheap coffee grinder (not a blade grinder), and then grinding only the coffee you need every morning.

I say a cheap grinder… because the grinder can become one of your most expensive pieces of equipment if you aren’t careful.

I personally use one from Ikea, but am looking to upgrade to something better at some point now that I know I enjoy grinding my own coffee.

6. Use different types of cheap coffee

Alright, so if you are reading this article, you likely have found you just don’t like the taste of coffee, but you enjoy the idea of coffee. You also don’t want to spend a bunch of money, so what are you going to do?

Try different types of cheap coffee. You may not like the type you have now, and have historically been using, but you may really like another brand.

Some of my favorite cheap coffees are Dunkin Doughnuts, McCafe, and some of the higher end Folgers coffees. These all don’t break the bank, but get the job done well.

7. Weigh your coffee

Woah woah woah, isn’t this too complicated? I just want to dump in coffee and be done.

Well, you aren’t going to get the best brew possible doing that, and you also won’t find your favorite brew either.

There are special ratios of water to coffee like 1:15 up to 1:18 that you can play around with to see what you like best, however you can’t do that if you don’t weigh your coffee.

Seriously, it takes like 2 seconds, and you’ll thank me for it.

8. Adjust your brew time

I don’t think most people really think about this when they are making their coffee! Much like making tea, or other drinks, you have to actually brew your coffee.

I feel like automatic coffee makers have taken so much of the work out of brewing coffee, that people don’t really understand the process.

You will want to play around with finding what works best for you. 

With my daily driver the Aeropress Go, I generally let it brew for one minute before pressing it through, but I could easily let it go longer, or shorter depending on my time constraints or tastes.


I really tried in this article to make sure that you can keep things cheap, that way you can continue to enjoy coffee without the price tag.

Of course you can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars fine tuning things with espresso machines, expensive specialty coffees and more, however if you are just getting started, you really don’t need that.

It’s kinda like how most people want to play a guitar, buy an expensive one, and then never learn because they got bored. 

I don’t want you to do that with coffee, I think it is important to grow slowly with your coffee hobby, and these ways are a great way to do that.

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