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5 ways to avoid bad coffee when you're out

We are always amazed when cafe owners and restauranteurs spend good money on high precision espresso machines and grinders then serve bad coffee.

At some point, when you're out and about you are going to be in need of a decent cup of Joe, but how do you avoid disappointment? Now first off, we'd recommend avoiding chains and department stores, instead seeking out an independent coffee shop. Even then there's some signs that you should look for which might indicate your coffee will not live up to expectations:

  1. Lots of pre-ground coffee in the dosing chamber of the grinder means your coffee is not as fresh as it could be. Ground coffee begins to go stale within 15 minutes of being ground.

  2. Single spout coffee machine handles indicate that the coffee shop is being rather stingy with the coffee and your brew will taste rather 'weak'.

  3. Coffee gushing out of the spout and into the cup. If the coffee takes less than 20 seconds to pour your coffee will likely be under extracted (not taste very nice).

  4. If you are having a latte or a flat white, noisy milk frothing that sounds like a jet taking off might mean you could have a shave with the resulting foam.

  5. Lots of steam rising from the finished drink may indicate the drink is too hot. This sounds too obvious, but aside from burning your tongue, coffee is a lot more flavourful if you allow it to cool slightly.

So, there are a few tips that can help you avoid bad coffee when you're out. We're sure you have a few our your own. Share them with us in the comments section, below:

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What does "Single spout coffee machine handles" mean?

Darren Tickner
Darren Tickner
Jun 14, 2021
Replying to

Hi Olly. It means that the shop is using a single shot of espresso, whereas a double is now the norm. Look for a coffee handle (called a portafilter) with coffee running from both sides into the cup.

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