Why Your Coffee Tastes Bitter

High-quality coffee should balance various characteristics. It needs to embody a certain sweetness, balanced with a hint of acidity – a typical attribute of excellent coffee. It’s vital to recognize that the bitter taste found in coffee, which represents around 10 to 15 percent, is directly related to its caffeine content. This mild bitterness aids in tempering the acidity of the coffee.

A small amount of bitterness in coffee is acceptable as it is natural. But if the level of bitterness increases, then it causes disappointment for the coffee lovers. Apart from caffeine, various factors can also enhance the bitterness of your coffee. You will learn about all these factors in this article.

Reasons Why Coffee Gets Bitter

Some coffees have a rich bitter taste. Unfortunately, many times the rich bitter taste of coffee remains in our mouth, which many people do not like. This bitter taste is the result of many other things that you ignore while making coffee. Your coffee may be bitter due to the following reasons;

Wrong Size of Grind

The grind size of beans affects the flavor of coffee entirely. The coffee grinds must be soluble enough. When coffee grinds are soluble sufficiently, they enhance the flavor of the coffee.

But if they are insoluble, they cause problems. They do stay away from the filter system and affect the taste of coffee significantly. The bitter-tasting of coffee comes from the acids that are present in the bean.

If the coffee tastes weak, then your coffee may be under-extracted. On the other hand, if it is too bitter, then it may be over-extracted. The grind size and process of extraction significantly affect the taste of coffee.

Learn how to properly grind your coffee beans: How to Grind Coffee Beans

Wrong Temperature

While making a cup of coffee, the temperature is an essential factor. For a single cup of coffee, the temperature should be 205°F. In centigrade, the temperature should be 96°C. Many people use boiling water for making coffee, which is not correct. The water should be hot but not boiling at all.

When you use boiling water, it destroys the volatile oils and affects the flavors of beans. So for a perfect coffee, you should prepare it at an ideal temperature. For measuring the right temperature, you can use a thermometer. Thermometers can help you to calculate the exact temperature so that you can get the perfect taste.

Taste of Water

Water also affects the taste of coffee. Tap water is another reason that causes bitter coffee. When you drink normal water from the tap, it tastes good. You cannot find any change in this water. But if you use it in making coffee, you may feel some difference.

It is because the particles in your tap water affect the coffee flavor ultimately. Many times, the particles that are present in your tap water react with the particles of coffee. As a result, the particles of water might cause some change in the chemistry of coffee.

It happens due to some elements present in tap water. These elements react with particles of coffee and change the taste of coffee. Due to which your coffee tastes bitter.

Wrong Brewing Time

When you drink regular tea, if you steep for a longer time, it does not matter. Likewise, steeping a regular tea for a more significant time does not affect it. But when we talk about coffee, then that is not the case. While making coffee, brewing time is substantial.

If the brew time is shorter, then the coffee may remain under-extracted. If the brewing time is more extensive, then the coffee may remain over-extracted. The perfect time for brewing coffee is about six to ten minutes. The brewing time depends on the coffee that you want to prepare.

If you do not know the exact time of brewing your coffee, you have to do some experiments. Make the coffee according to different time intervals. It will help you to find the best brewing time for your coffee. Through this process, you can get a better coffee flavor.

Low-Quality Coffee Beans

The quality of coffee beans is another important factor. Many times, your low-quality coffee is the reason for bitter coffee. It is because some coffee beans are considered low quality. Quality affects the taste significantly.

If you want to enjoy great taste, then you have to pay more and buy high-quality coffee. Otherwise, paying for low-quality coffee causes bitterness in your drink. Instead of coffee beans, you can also get coffee grounds.

Roasting is Not Good

If you are a person who loves to roast their beans at home, it might affect your coffee taste. Unfortunately, roasting is not that simple. It requires skill and some critical steps. This process requires constant temperature.

There is no problem with roasting beans at home. But for this, you have to create a proper environment so that you get professionally roasted beans. Make sure that the quality of roasting beans does not go out of your control.

So, remember that roasting is another reason due to which the taste of coffee also gets affected significantly. On the other hand, you can get good quality beans if you buy them from a reputable grocery store. The good quality beans will give you a good taste.

Do Not Leave for a Longer Time

If you brew coffee for too long, it can also cause a change in taste. Brewing coffee for a longer duration is also another reason that brings bitterness to your coffee.

Right, and exact brewing time is significant for a perfect taste. The right brewing time depends on many different factors. These factors include;

  • Brewing style
  • Temperature of water
  • Grind size

Brewing time is different for different coffees. For example, the brewing time for espresso is less than a drip coffee. It is because, at high pressure, the water passes through grounds in espresso. It helps to extract the flours of espresso quickly. But in a drip coffee, the water can contact the grounds for a longer time.

Make that perfect cup of coffee: A Complete Guide on How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee


If you are unfamiliar with why coffee tastes bitter, then this article is for you. Here, you will learn some top reasons behind the bitterness of coffee. You can focus on the given issues and get a better taste of coffee as per your desire.

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