How To Make Coffee Thicker: Best Tips!

How to make coffee thicker

You may have heard coffee referred to as mud, java, or even dirt. Terms like these can give the impression that your coffee should be richer and thicker than you normally make it. With this in mind, is there a way to make coffee thicker?

In general, thick coffee is the result of a high concentration of coffee solubles. For thick coffee, choose dark roasts as they are easier to extract from than lighter roasts. Also, choose espresso or immersion brewing methods as they will pull the maximum amount of oils into your cup of coffee.

While you can get a full-bodied cup of coffee using these methods, there’s a limit to how thick a cup of black coffee can get. But to get a coffee that’s truly thick and creamy, you’ll need to add ingredients to your coffee.

If you want to learn more about making your coffee thicker, keep reading!

How To Make Coffee Thicker?

A coffee’s thickness is created by the coffee’s essential oils and acids. The more oils, the more viscous your coffee will be. The less oils, the more watery it will be.

So basically, the way to make your black coffee richer and more consistent is by finding a way to extract more solubles from your beans.

There are two ways to do this:

  • choose coffee beans with a high amount of oil
  • choose a brewing method that extracts the most coffee oils

Alternatively, you can add extra ingredients to thicken your coffee.

Let’s quickly talk about each of these methods to see why they work.

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1. Choose Dark Roast Beans Instead Of Light Roast

In order to get the thickest coffee possible, choose darker roasted beans instead of lighter roasted ones.

Why does this work?

All coffee beans contain natural oils, but they’re sealed within the bean. During the roasting process, heat makes the bean more porous and brittle, which lets the oil escape to the surface.

Because dark roast beans are oilier, coffee brewed with these beans will be richer. And since the beans are more brittle, it’s easier to extract other solubles which also makes the coffee more consistent.

Recommended Dark Roast Beans

Brand Description Image
Cooper’s Sumatra Organic Rich and smooth with dark chocolate notes
Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Robust and full-bodied
Starbucks Espresso Roast Rich with hints of molasses and caramel
Mayorga Coffee. Cafe Cubano RoastBold finish and Syrupy Smokiness

2. Choose A Brewing Method That Will Extract The Most Oils

The more coffee solubles you have in your cup, the thicker your coffee will be. And some brewing methods extract more coffee than other methods.

For example, with a regular drip-maker, your coffee will be 99% water and 1% coffee particles. But with an espresso machine, your coffee will be about 90% water and 10% coffee particles.

The best brewing methods to achieve a thick cup are espresso machines, Moka Pots, or the French Press.

Espresso Machine

An espresso machine is the best option because it uses about 9 bars of pressure to extract most of the coffee solubles. (Personally, we use the Breville Barista Express which you can find on Amazon).

How to make coffee thicker

Moka Pot

If you don’t have an espresso machine and aren’t ready to buy one, a Moka Pot is the next best option.

These use less pressure than espresso and will give you a coffee that’s about 97% water and 3% coffee. It may not seem like a lot, but it brews a pretty rich cup of coffee.

(We have the Bialetti Moka Pot that you can also find on Amazon)

French Press

The French Press is another great option for thick coffee. Since it doesn’t use paper filters like drip coffee makers, all the oils and solubles will end up in your cup.

This resulting coffee isn’t as strong as espresso or Moka Pot coffee, but it is rich and full-bodied. (We personally use a Mueller French Press)

how to make coffee thicker

3. Add Ingredients To Your Coffee To Make It Thick

While your roast and brewing method can affect your coffee’s thickness, there is a limit to how thick black coffee can get by itself.

To increase the viscosity further, you’ll need to add ingredients.

Consider the following:


Because of its fat content, milk is fairly creamy. Adding a bit to your coffee will make it thicker, but not so thick that it’ll live up to a name like “mud”.

Corn Starch or Xanthan gum

These are both excellent ways to thicken your coffee without affecting the flavor too much. But be careful, xanthan gum is a much stronger thickening agent than corn starch.

(You can find these in most grocery stores or on Amazon; Xanthan Gum and Corn Starch.)

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Your Coffee Bean’s Origin Affects The Thickness

As we’ve mentioned, your coffee’s thickness has to do with how many solubles are extracted from the beans. But not all coffee beans contain the same amount of oils, acids, and sugars.

Your coffee bean’s region of origin and processing method can affect how many of these compounds your coffee contains.

Growing Region Affects Your Coffee’s Thickness

Choose coffee beans grown in higher altitudes or volcanic soils for richer coffee.

Keep in mind that some coffee-growing regions have higher altitudes than others. And beans grown in high altitudes grow slower and develop more complex compounds.

In addition, each growing region has its own soil and climate that affects the bean’s nutritional content.

These additional nutrients and complexity will affect your coffee’s thickness.

Recommended High Grown Coffees

Brand Description Image
Guatemala AntiguaMedium roast. full-bodied with an intense aroma, notes of honey and apples Guatemala Antigua Coffee
Ethiopian SidamoMedium-light roast. Unique flavor with hints of honey and Jasmine Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee
Costa Rica OriginalMedium roast.Rich flavor, notes of tropical fruits, and Juicy CitrusCosta Rica Original Tarrazu Coffee
Kenya AA Coffee Medium-light roast Rich body, with a winy aftertaste. Tones of berries and citrus

Processing Method Affects Your Coffee’s Thickness

After harvesting, there are two different ways coffee beans can be processed; the wet method and the dry method.

With the dry method, the coffee cherry is left out to dry. During this process, the coffee bean will absorb the flavors and sugars from the fruit. And in the end, this increased sugar content creates a thicker, richer coffee.

The second option is the wet method. During this process, the coffee bean is separated from the fruit and washed clean. The end result is a coffee with lower sugar content and a lighter body.

Choose dry-processed coffee beans for a more viscous drink.

How to make coffee thicker

Fresher Coffee Beans Make Thicker Coffee

One final thing to keep in mind is that fresh coffee beans make thicker coffee than older coffee beans.

The reason is oxidation.

As coffee beans age, they’re exposed to oxygen. This causes the oils, sugars, and acids in the beans to break down over time. Which then results in fewer available solubles to be extracted into your coffee.

So, if you want your coffee to have the fullest body use your whole coffee beans within the first 6 months and your ground coffee beans within the first 2 weeks.

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Recipes for Thick Coffee

If you don’t want

If you’re looking for a thick coffee-based drink, there are several recipes to try.

If your intention is to prepare a coffee drink that is not espresso coffee. you can get that by adding other things to your coffee like heavy cream, eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, or preparing other coffee recipes.

Dalgona Coffee

To make Dalgona coffee you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp of instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of hot water
  • milk, ice, and a small cup

Start by adding the instant coffee, sugar, and hot water to a bowl. Then whisk until it creates a thick and creamy foam.

Add a few ice cubes to a cup and fill 3/4 of the way with milk. Then pour the creamy coffee foam on top.

How to make coffee thicker

Cafe Bombom

To make cafe bombom, you’ll need

  • sweetened condensed milk
  • espresso
  • a small cup

To start, fill your cup about 40% with condensed milk. Then pull the shot of espresso on top.

how to make coffee thicker

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

To make Vietnamese Egg Coffee you’ll need

  • a cup of hot coffee
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk

To start combine the egg yolks and condensed milk in a bowl. Whisk them until the yolks are light, thick, and airy.

Take your cup of hot coffee and pour the whisked egg over the coffee.

how to make coffee thicker

Navajo Coffee

To make Navajo coffee you’ll need

To start, take the flour and heat it in a pan until it’s a golden brown color. Take care to stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn.

Once your flour is light brown, add it to a cup of hot coffee until your coffee is as thick as you’d like.

Key Takeaways

  • Thick coffee has a higher concentration of coffee oils and acids
  • Darker roast beans make thicker coffee than lighter roasts
  • Espresso and Moka Pot coffee have the highest concentration of coffee particles
  • There are several ingredients you can add to your coffee to make it thicker

Cheers Coffee Lovers!

Oliver's signature coffee break lovers