10 Reasons Your Coffee Tastes Bad And How To Fix It

why your coffee tastes bad and how to fix it


To every coffee lover, their first cup of coffee in the morning is the most important one. Not only does it help them to feel less tired in the morning but also give them a dose of freshness to kick-start the new day. If a cup of coffee is an essential part of your morning regime too, you would most definitely not want to have a cup of coffee that tastes bad, more so if you had thought about it the previous night. Did your last cup of coffee make you feel that it was not as good as expected or that it could have been much better than the bitter taste it left in your mouth? Here is a list of 10 reasons why your coffee tastes bad and how you could fix them.

You cannot afford to start your morning on a bad note, so go through this list to realise what went wrong and how you can redeem it the next time you prepare one.

Phot credits: iStockphoto

1. Improperly Roasted Coffee Beans

If you felt your last cup of coffee was really bitter in taste there could be high chances that the coffee beans were not grounded well. It is how the coffee beans have roasted that locks in the flavor and aroma of the coffee in it so the way it is grounded will directly have its impact on the smell and flavor of the coffee. It is the process of roasting that holds the smell of green coffee beans. If the beans are not roasted, coffee cannot be made.

It is not always on how the coffee is prepared, sometimes the coffee you buy in the market might not be well grounded and roasted which leaves the bad taste in your mouth no matter how well you prepare it.

Fix: Make sure you buy coffee which is of the highest quality to enjoy the best of its taste and smell. Roasting needs to be done properly or else it could affect the taste of the coffee in a wrong way – leaving you with bitterness and burnt taste.

2. The Coffee Beans Could Be Stale

Sometimes roasted coffee beans are oxidized when they are exposed to more than the required amount of oxygen and this eventually makes them stale. If you want freshly grounded coffee beans which are not stale then it has to kept away from oxygen, heat, light or any kind of moisture. In order for this to happen the coffee beans have to be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool and dry place, mostly in a pantry or kitchen to keep away from direct sunlight. To add to this, in order to ensure that the coffee beans are not stale, you have to ensure that the coffee beans are finely ground to get the best of its taste. Make sure you do not store in a refrigerator.

Fix: If you are very particular about the smell and flavor of your coffee, you could buy fresh coffee beans and grind them yourself. Even though this could take more time than simply making coffee, at least you will be satisfied with the taste of it.

3. Dirty Coffee Machine

Has it been that you have forgotten to clean your coffee maker or espresso machine for quite some time now? Chances are that it could have become a ground for growing bacteria and that is the reason for the bad taste in your coffee when you drink it. Imagine if you are cutting an apple with a knife that has the stench of garlic juice on it, you will definitely get the taste when you have the apple – the same goes for coffee.

Fix: Ensure that you keep your coffee maker clean and away from stench and dirt. Also, make sure to do the deep cleaning once every week to prevent bacteria from growing in it.

4. Quality Of Water Is Bad

It might not always be your coffee bean or the coffee maker that could be the reason for bad taste in your cup of coffee. Sometimes it could also be because of the water you use. Yes, you heard that right! Maybe the water used in your home is not of good quality as chances of municipal water being not so good is high.

Fix: The quality of water could have its negative impact when you prepare a cup of coffee for yourself. So keep a check on the quality of the water used. You could even boil the water and let it cool before using it for making coffee.

5. When You Let The Coffee Sit On The Warming Plate Of The Machine For Too Long

Many at times you might want to make for yourself an entire pot of coffee in the morning thinking that you could have the leftover through the day. This is a huge mistake we all make! The flavor of stale coffee that has been sitting on the warming plate for too long will be bad.

Fix: If you want to have fresh coffee that tastes good, make sure that the coffee is freshly brewed as well. Moreover, it is not hygienic enough to allow coffee to be in the coffee machine for too long hours as it could leave the bad smell when you make coffee next in it, leaving the bad taste in your mouth as well.

6. Coffee Bean Type

Arabica coffee beans are typically grown in places with higher altitude such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Kenya, or Brazil–and the flavor of these beans is of the highest quality. These coffee beans are dense and are considered of extremely fine quality which is why they are really popular with most coffee lovers. On the other hand, robusta coffee beans are grown in places with lower altitude and they level of caffeine in them is quite high which is why they are less popular among the masses. They are also bitter in taste and the beans are softer compared to Arabica coffee beans.

Fix: When you buy coffee beans from the market, make sure to check on the quality of the beans and also the level of caffeine in it.

7. Method Of Brewing

If you buy one of the latest models of coffee machine of any of the known coffee machine brands in the market, you should be rest assured that they will come with easy access to check the quality of water, temperature, timer and other such features to ensure that you have full control over the brewing process. You could intensify the flavour of the coffee with simple changes here and there in your coffee machine.

Fix: One such well-known method is called Blooming. In this method, you have to pour good enough quantity of hot water over grounded coffee and let it rest for 30 seconds for the flavour to enhance. After 30 seconds, you can add the rest of the water in it and go on with the brewing process.

8. Too Much Or Too Little?

Sometimes we end up adding too much or too little of ingredients thinking to change the taste of the coffee. With more and more ingredients and natural flavours coming in the market to intensify the taste of coffee, it often leaves us in split as to how much of the amount will be enough for the coffee you are brewing.

Fix: If you want to have a good cup of coffee, make sure to not experiment with ingredients much, until you are very sure about it.

9. Size Of Your Grind

The way you grind your coffee beans could have a huge impact on the flavor and taste of the coffee. Coffee grounds need to be less coarse and as such that they can easily be soluble in water in order to ensure that there is not much settlement on the bottom of the cup and it is filtered well. If your coffee is tasting bad, chances are because the coffee grounds are too large which is why the flavor is not appealing you. If your coffee is tasting bitter it is because the coffee grounds have been over extracted. This happens when you grind too finely.

Fix: Make sure that you have some basic knowledge on the correlation between grind and brewing method. For example, to make Turkish coffee, the coffee beans have to finely grounded like caster sugar. For French press, the coffee beans have to be really coarse.

10. Wrong Temperature

It is usually recommended that the temperature for brewing coffee should be somewhere between 190F – 210F. You might obviously prefer your coffee to be hot but not boiling, right? Boiling your coffee beyond a certain temperature could destroy the flavor of the coffee beans and leave you with a bitter taste when you sip it.

Fix: You could use a thermometer. Or once you see that the water has boiled well, remove it from the heat and let the heat settle a bit.

If you can figure out exactly why your coffee is tasting bad, you will of course not make the mistake again. Who wants to foul their mouth with bad tasting coffee through the day, especially if you are addicted to coffee and need more than a few glasses to survive the day. Of course, the above 10 reasons of why coffee tastes bad are not the only ones, there’s more than these reasons such as – maybe you do not like the taste of the coffee beans you have been bringing from the market and you have not realized it all this while. Check on the process of brewing the next time and also make sure you give a close to the coffee beans you buy the next time and also keep your water and coffee machine clean to enjoy good coffee.

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