Coffee plays an important role in many people’s lives and can be used to help increase alertness, boost energy levels, and improve memory. The most common reason people drink coffee is to get an energy boost to make it through the day.
Coffee has caffeine, which makes you feel more awake and focused when it goes into your bloodstream. But did you know that other things like milk can change the thickness of your coffee? Learn more about this concept and how you can adjust the thickness of your coffee based on what you’re drinking it with.
Some coffee tastes so thick and rich that it’s hard to describe in mere words. You may have even tried to explain it to friends, but found that you simply couldn’t describe what made the coffee so flavorful and creamy (especially if you were still trying to finish your cup).
Why do some coffees have this quality while others don’t? There are many reasons why coffee can taste thick and rich, but here are some common ones that you can be on the lookout for when you’re enjoying a cup of your favorite brew at home or at your local coffee shop.
Learn about how you like your drink
What makes the coffee thick is an essential question. What this boils down to is how you like your drink. Espresso, latte, and hot chocolate are all very different drinks with different ingredients that create a very specific texture for your drink. It doesn’t make any sense to answer how Starbucks makes their coffee thick without considering what you’re getting first.
If you go with espresso, for example, then there’s not much to think about: if it’s too watery, it’s because there was too much water; if it’s too thick then it was probably brewed too strong. Generally, though, the average quality of espresso has just the right thickness so as not to overpower the flavor of the espresso itself.
Organic vs Regular
If you love your coffee to be super creamy and thick, we have great news! You don’t need any weird ingredients – just a few ordinary ones that are probably in your kitchen right now. Here’s what you need:
- A tall, skinny mug
- Organic or Fair-Trade ground coffee beans of your choice (or for this recipe, use about 3 tbsp of decaf)
- 1/4 cup milk (less for more intensity) -1 tsp honey (or to taste) -2 tbsp sugar (or less or more to taste)
We recommend making a big batch at the beginning of the week and storing it in a jar or container in the fridge so it stays nice and thick. There is no wrong way to make coffee thick, but here are some tips:
Decide if you want a really strong flavor by using less water in the pot and adding extra spices like cinnamon or vanilla extract. For those who want a little bit of sweetness without too much-added flavor, try adding chocolate syrup instead of milk. If you’re looking for something rich and heavy on chocolate flavor, choose cocoa powder instead. The trick is experimenting with different flavors until you find what you like best.
With so many different coffee shops popping up, all of which serve a variety of brews with different flavor profiles, it can be hard to keep track of what’s what. For example, some people may enjoy having their coffee roasted at a lighter or medium level while others prefer darker roasts.
Then there are specialty roasts like French Roast, Sumatra, and Vienna. One way to learn more about your taste preferences is to pay attention to the look and smell of the ground beans before they’re brewed.
Quality of Water
No matter what you do, your coffee will be better if the water you use is fresh and pure. Distilled or filtered water with a pH of 7.0 to 8.5 is ideal. Tap water that has been boiled for at least 5 minutes and then allowed to cool to about 80 degrees is a good substitute for distilled or filtered water if your tap water is not in this pH range.
You can also buy bottled purified drinking water such as Poland Spring, Evian, or Aquafina in grocery stores and supermarkets – these products are inexpensive but we find that their cost goes up by the gallon once you start filling up gallon-sized jugs at the grocery store!
There are two factors that affect the thickness of coffee when brewed. The length of brewing time, and the grind size. If you want your coffee to be thick, try brewing it for five minutes or longer to maximize extraction, and use a coarser grind size. When making drip coffee with a French press, give it some time to steep, this will cause your cup of coffee to become thicker as well.
To make cold brew thicker, add less water and more coffee grounds than you would for hot brewing because this process extracts less liquid than hot methods do. Cold brew is also good for people who don’t like their coffee too acidic because there is less acid produced during the brewing process.
Burr Grinder Settings
The type of coffee grinder you use can also determine the thickness of your coffee. Burr grinders create a much more finely ground powder, as opposed to blade grinders which cut off large chunks and slices. While a blade grinder will produce a higher volume and offer a more flavorful cup of coffee, it can cause the drink to become watery if left on the burner for too long or brewed with too little water.
One exception to this is when using finer grinds from the burr grinder. Using the coarser setting for drip coffee or iced coffee does not seem to produce as thick of an end product but you will experience less bitter flavors due to the lower amounts of oils released in these preparations.
Milled Beans Vs. Whole Bean
There are two different ways to make coffee: with beans, or with ground coffee. Most of the time you need to grind the beans into a fine powder and then add them to hot water. The beans go from coarsely ground up to very finely ground. When brewing coffee, you want it to be somewhere in between these two extremes as that is what creates an optimal taste.
If your coffee is too coarse, it will be harsh; if it’s too finely ground, it will taste sour. With whole bean coffee, you have to soak the beans before grinding them which can take overnight. One way this helps is by extracting more flavor out of the beans while they’re being soaked.
The Whole bean also takes longer than the ground because it requires a lot more roasting, which means there’s going to be some oil residue left over even after the soaking process. You can also purchase pre-ground whole beans for those who don’t want to wait for all that extra roasting. But remember, pre-ground just isn’t going to have nearly as much flavor as the whole bean does.
Top Secret Brewing Techniques Milk & Cream Options
- Pour milk into a mug, and add the desired amount of coffee to the mug.
- Add sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved, making sure there are no granules at the bottom of the mug or on the sides of the cup rim.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon (optional). Pour in cream to get your desired level of the thickness (1-3 tbsp depending on how you like it), mixing thoroughly before serving with no coffee grounds visible on top (unless you prefer them).
Understand how baristas like their drinks
Most people have a preference for either light or thick crema on their espresso, so it’s important to know what that means before going to the barista about how you like your drink. Light crema is a lighter color and has more of a foamy texture than thick, where the texture is thicker and typically oilier. This texture is typically achieved by taking slightly less milk to produce a slightly stronger flavor.
The barista will mix this with regular or light roast beans which are similar to those used in latte roasts, resulting in flavorless espresso which still produces a good body. Some people prefer using this method because it allows them to sip their espresso without needing sugar or milk, but others prefer the richer taste of dark roasts and espresso blends.
Preparing at home has advantages too
Starbucks isn’t the only place you can get a hot, delicious cup of Joe. When it comes to making your own thick, rich-tasting brew at home, there are plenty of methods you can use to create that perfect cup. The way you make it will depend on your preferences, the time and equipment available to you, and what kind of richness or thickness of coffee you prefer.
Use these tips to figure out which is best for you!
French Press – The French press offers a very similar brewing method to what Starbucks uses in stores. It’s probably one of your easiest options—all you have to do is grind your beans, add them and hot water to a carafe, let them steep and push down on a plunger at the end. The resulting brew will be just as thick as if you had gone through a drive-thru. You’ll also get more control over factors like strength and flavor. One downside: You won’t be able to customize your cup by choosing different blends or roasts. Instead, it’s all about finding that perfect blend of beans in one bottle that suits your tastes perfectly.
The season can affect coffee thickness too
It is important to know that how you make your cup of coffee can affect its thickness. In general, stronger ground coffee and warmer water create a thicker consistency. However, if you want your thick brew to come out a little easier, try letting the grounds sit in your filter for a few minutes before pushing them down with water and pulling them up once more. This will allow some of the oils to evaporate and should lead to less clogging in your machine or being able to use an iced version at all!
Starbucks baristas use an espresso machine to heat water, which is then poured over the finely ground espresso beans. The water then extracts flavors and oils from the beans. This creates a thick concentrate called espresso, which can be mixed with hot water or milk to create various kinds of coffee drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffees.
There are many different ways you can make your own at home using only a few simple tools: you can use a french press for cold brew, or purchase pre-ground espresso beans at any local grocery store or cafe. You can also boil water on the stovetop with a pour-over filter in place if you don’t have a brewer already at home (and they’re also easy to find!).