Why Is My Coffee Bitter? 10 Delicious Tips for Better Coffee

Have you ever taken a big sip of your morning cup and wondered: why is my coffee bitter?

If so, don’t worry. A bitter brew can happen to even the most experienced of coffee makers from time to time. But, there are some steps you can take to avoid this problem. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some top causes for bitter coffee, and what you can do about them. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Is My Coffee Bitter?

A bitter taste in your coffee can be caused by a variety of factors, starting with the quality of your coffee beans and how they are ground. Other issues like brew time, temperature, and water ratio can also play a part.

Follow these top tips for a perfect cup, every time!

1. Buy High-Quality Beans

The number one tip for good tasting coffee is to start with the best quality beans you can purchase. When in doubt, stick to gourmet and single-origin options. 

For the smoothest cup possible, don’t forget taste-making factors like brewing a 100% arabica blend, and selecting a light to medium roast. And, taste a cup of brewed coffee before buying beans whenever you can. 

2. The Right Grind

There is a wide range of grind options from fine to coarse. Which one is right for you will depend on the method of brewing that you prefer. 

No matter how you’re planning to brew, keep in mind that a very finely ground coffee works best for espresso. Using too fine a grind for other brewing methods can result in a bitter taste. 

3. Proper Storage

To preserve your coffee’s flavor, you’ll want to store it in a cool and dry place. Plus, you’ll want to use an airtight container. This will keep its aroma and essence intact, and prevent other issues like drying or molding. 

4. Water Matters

Does the water in your home contain a lot of minerals? If so, it might be interfering with your coffee’s flavor! Hard water can leave your morning cup tasting dull and lifeless, or even bitter.

This issue is easily avoided by using a filtered water pitcher or installing a filter on your kitchen faucet. You can also purchase packets of minerals to add to your current water supply if you are using powerful filtration like reverse osmosis. 

5. The Right Ratio

Believe it or not, there is a specific ratio of coffee to water that results in the best brew.

Experts agree that you should use one gram of coffee for every 15 to 18 grams of water. So, the ratio is 1:15-18. Too much coffee can result in a bitter taste, and too little can leave you with a lifeless and watery brew. 

6. How To Brew

If you’re wondering how to make better coffee, you might want to try a new method of brewing or two.

While automatic coffee pots are the easiest option, especially on busy weekday mornings, they don’t always offer the best flavor. If you’re looking for a smoother taste with a full body, try an alternative method like the french press or pour-over. 

7. Temperature

The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 195 degrees. But, many automatic machines don’t ever reach this temperature. While this won’t make your coffee taste bitter, it will keep it from reaching its full flavor potential.

If you’re planning to brew manually, use an electric kettle that turns off when it reaches the desired temperature, or use a thermometer. Brewing at too high a temperature can result in a mild burnt or acrid flavor. 

8. Cleanliness

Have you ever heard the old wives’ tale that not washing your coffee pot will make your brew taste better? While many people adhere to this advice, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

The residue of acids and oils that form a brown ring in your coffee pots and cups can leave a bitter and strong flavor behind. And, that’s the exact opposite of what most coffee drinkers want!

Leaving residue on these surfaces can also become unsanitary over time, inviting mold and bacteria to grow. 

9. Try Single Serve

If you don’t have tons of time for manual brewing options, consider using single serve drip coffee packets.

These easy to make options take all the guesswork out of creating the perfect cup. They essentially allow you to brew the perfect pour-over every time, without tons of measuring or thermometers. And, they are far more environmentally friendly than other single-serving pods and plastic-based options. 

10. Adjust to Taste

Once you’ve followed the first nine tips for making your coffee taste better, you’re ready to customize. 

Find the bean and grind that’s right for you, and brew it using the exact method, ratio, and temperature outlined above. Then, taste it.

From this point, you can make small adjustments to achieve the exact flavor you crave. Keep in mind, you’ll want to use small incremental changes, and just alter one factor at a time to keep track of your results. 

The Perfect Cup

If all this talk about coffee has you craving a cup, you’re probably excited to give some of these new methods and techniques a try. Why not go for it?

Now that you know a bit more about the coffee brewing process, you’re well on the way to the perfect cup. And, with these tips in mind, you’ll never have to wonder – why is my coffee bitter – again!

Did you find this article helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. It’s packed with exciting tips for travel, dining, drinking, recipes, and more! 

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