There are many different names for coffee drinks and making sense of the differences between them can be confusing.

This post will show you what black coffee is, how it is made, how it tastes, drinks that are similar to it and what impacts the way that it tastes.

So, what is black coffee? Black coffee is coffee that has been brewed using hot water with nothing else added to it. Black coffee has a strong taste that is slightly sweet.

Depending on the way that it is made, black coffee can actually have a very different taste from one black coffee to the next and there are a number of other coffee drinks that are very similar to it.

What Black Coffee is

Below, I will show you how black coffee is made, how to make it stronger or weaker, how to make it more or less bitter and sweet and drinks that are similar to it.

Black coffee is simply brewed coffee that has had nothing other than water added to it. It gets its name due to its dark appearance as shown in the picture at the top of this post.

There are a number of ways to make black coffee. Two of the more popular ways are to either use the drip method or to use a French press.

To make black coffee using the drip method you put ground coffee into a paper filter that is located above a glass container, you then pour water into the filter and wait for the water to mix with the coffee and drip down into the glass.

The advantage of using the drip method to make black coffee is that it is easy to do and it is inexpensive.

However, it doesn’t give you a lot of control over the way that the black coffee tastes. The only way to get a stronger or weaker black coffee would be to change how fine the grind is or to change the beans that you’re using.

A French press is a glass container that has a plunger in it. To make black coffee using a French press you put ground coffee and hot water in it and then wait for a few minutes and press the plunger down and pour out the coffee.

The advantage of using a French press is that you can control the strength of the black coffee by pressing the plunger down sooner or later.

The french press that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.

If you want to put the minimum amount of work into making the coffee as possible then you could also consider using a pod machine.

To make coffee using a pod machine all you need to do is to get the pod flavor that you like the most and to put it into the machine and press a button.

The pod espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.

What impacts the way that black coffee tastes

There are a number of different factors that will impact the taste of the black coffee.

If a lot of water is used then it will give the black coffee a weaker taste unless a lot of coffee grind was also used.

The type of coffee beans will also have an impact. Arabica beans tend to be more expensive but they are less bitter than Robusta beans. However, Arabica beans can also taste sour sometimes which is why a blend of the two is often recommended.

How finely the coffee beans are ground will also have an impact on the taste of the black coffee. If the coffee beans are ground very finely then it will cause more of the coffee to mix with the water giving a stronger black coffee. You want some of the coffee to mix with the water but not too much otherwise it might become too bitter.

The roast of the beans could also have an impact. If the beans are lightly roasted then it will normally give the coffee a less bitter taste but it can often result in it tasting sour. Black beans will normally give the coffee a more bitter taste.

Similar drinks to black coffee

There are a number of drinks that are similar to black coffee such as:

  • Americano

Americano is where hot water is added to espresso. It tastes very similar to black coffee but Americano tends to be slightly sweeter.

  • Long black

Long black is where espresso is added to hot water. By adding espresso to hot water and not doing it the other way around it allows the Crema to be preserved. The Crema is a foamy substance on espresso that is very bitter. By keeping the Crema it gives the long black a more bitter taste compared to Americano and black coffee.

  • Lungo

Lungo is an espresso that is made using more water than usual. It still has a strong taste but slightly less so than with a regular espresso. It also still has a stronger taste when compared to black coffee.

Questions that people ask about black coffee

How is white coffee different to black coffee? White coffee is coffee that uses beans with a light roast. Black coffee is coffee made with just ground coffee and hot water. People also refer to black coffee to mean coffee made using beans with a dark roast. I have written more about the difference between the two, in the past, here.

Does black coffee have caffeine? Yes black coffee contains caffeine.

When should I drink black coffee? Black coffee contains caffeine. It will cause you to feel more awake. Some people like to have it in the morning to wake themselves up. Unless you want to keep yourself awake it would be a good idea to avoid drinking black coffee just before going to bed.


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