Why Does My Coffee Taste Burnt

By November 26, 2016

There is nothing worse than pouring a cup of coffee, sipping a litter, only to find it tastes burnt and bitter. You may wonder why my coffee tastes burnt and if there is any method to solve this. Let’s dig in.

how to make coffee less bitter

There are 6 reasons why your coffee taste burnt:

1. Over extraction

Over extraction, or to say, steeping coffee too long is the main reason for burnt coffee. This is especially common when making French Press coffee. Coffee gets its flavor from steeping in hot water. The steeping time matters the flavor of a cup of coffee. The longer the steeping time is, the more bitter coffee is.

How to Fix: To make a perfect cup of coffee, it is best for to stir for 30 seconds, and then steep for 3 and a half minutes.

2. Too hot water

Water temperature is very important when brewing coffee. If the water is too hot, it may cause over extraction, leaving your cup of coffee tasting burnt.   

How to Fix: According to the  National Coffee Association USA, the ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 195 to 205℉.

3. Improperly roasted coffee beans

When your coffee is over- roasted, it gives off bitter taste. Roasting is an art and is how we get all the aromatic flavors from green beans. By the way, dark extraction does not mean over extraction. There is nothing bad about a dark roast.  

How to Fix: Buy better coffee beans. After all, you get what you pay for. Also, remember  to store your coffee beans properly to keep it from going stale

4. Wrong grind size

Grinding coffee beans isn’t always easy. The grind size changes the flavor compounds dissolve. If you are too finely ground, you risk an over extraction, and in turn a burnt tasting coffee.

How to Fix: Different brewing methods will require different grind size. You need to experiment to find the best grinds.

5. Wrong coffee to water ratio

There can be too much of a good thing. Too much coffee relative to the amount of water will make your coffee taste too strong and even burnt.

How to Fix: Learn the right coffee to water ratio. Generally, the ratio varies from 10:1 to 18:1 when measuring by weight.

6. Dirty equipment

The leftovers form your last few brews will make your coffee taste burnt.

How to Fix: Make sure your brewing equipment is clean.

What if your coffee is burnt?

how to fix bitter coffee

You may know why your coffee tastes burnt and learn how to solve this from the above tips. But if the brewed coffee has already been burnt, you can try to  add sugar and cream. Also, it seems that adding salt to your brewed coffee can reduce bitterness. Though it may reduce the bitterness, it may make the coffee taste salty.  If you really love salt, this secret ingredient might be just what your need. If you are sensitive to it, this isn’t for you. Stick to cream and sugar.

Tags: Brew Tips

Comments (0)