How to Make Hotel Room Coffee Taste Way Better, According to an Expert

Wikimedia Commons // Julius Schorzman // CC BY-SA 2.0

Manuel Barsallo, a partner of the Panama Coffee Club, founder of Coffeetologist Coffee Company, and co-founder of Cruce Coffee Company, understands the struggle of facing lackluster hotel room coffee. To combat this, the coffee connoisseur shares insights on transforming even the most uninspiring brews into a more enjoyable morning ritual.

Unexpected Ingredients for a Signature Drink

Barsallo suggests adding an unexpected twist to your hotel room coffee by incorporating a splash of orange juice or other fruit extracts. This creative approach not only masks the coffee’s harsh flavor but also adds a punchy and refreshing element to your cup.

Alternatively, when juices are not on hand, Barsallo recommends a surprising yet effective trick—adding a sprinkle of salt to the coffee grounds before brewing, which is particularly effective for darker roasts. This method helps cut the acidity, offering a smoother taste. For those with a sweet tooth, Barsallo suggests opting for brown sugar or simple syrup, readily available at hotel restaurants or bars.

Bottled Water and Balanced Ratios

Barsallo emphasizes the importance of using bottled water to brew your hotel room coffee. Choosing water with higher magnesium content and lower calcium and sulfate content enhances the overall mouthfeel, texture, and sweetness of the coffee. Additionally, Barsallo advises adjusting the water-to-grounds ratio to intensify the flavors, providing a bolder and more enjoyable coffee experience.

Image by ijeab on Freepik

For the coffee purists or those uncertain about the destination’s coffee quality, Barsallo recommends creating a portable “to-go” kit. Including essentials like a Carter mug, Aeropress, Acaia coffee scale, and Comandante grinder ensures you’re prepared for a satisfying coffee experience wherever your travels take you. Practical alternatives like drip kits, specialty coffee capsules, and ultra-specialty coffee solubles offer convenient solutions for a delightful cup of joe on the go.