Why Does My Coffee Taste Bad?
Nothing compares to an incredible, freshly-brewed cup of rich, smooth and aromatic coffee – which is why it’s so disappointing when your coffee doesn’t taste great!
All sorts of problems can crop up when making coffee, including bitterness, sourness or blandness. This could be down to the beans you have chosen to use or getting something a bit wrong in the brewing process.
Luckily, problems with the taste of your coffee can be pretty easy to troubleshoot! Achieving a brilliant brew will usually come down to the quality of the coffee, the water and a good quality pot or filter, like our AeroPress coffee filters.
If you keep finding yourself with bad-tasting coffee, then check out the brewing issues below and see if we can help you to get back to the best possible brew!
What is Extraction?
Before we explore the fixes for coffee brewing issues, you must first understand how coffee is brewed, through the process of extraction.
When your coffee and water mixes, a process known as extraction takes place, where the water helps to draw the coffee’s flavour out of the beans. This involves pulling out elements such as acids, oils, bitter compounds and sugars.
These components don’t appear all at once – the flavours are extracted throughout the duration of the brewing time.
The first flavour extracted is acid, followed by sugar, oil and flavour, and ending with bitter notes. Due to this, you can get very different flavours from your coffee based on how long you leave it to extract.
If your coffee is not left for long enough, it may be under-extracted, with not enough flavour drawn out from the coffee beans. Because acids are the first flavour notes extracted from the coffee, an under-extracted coffee will generally be acidic and sour tasting.
When coffee is extracted too much, bitter notes are more likely to be present, as these are the last to develop from the coffee beans. Bitter notes mask all the other good flavours hidden within the beans and tend to make the brew very dull and overly bitter.
The first thing to scrutinise when your cup of coffee doesn’t taste as good as it could is the coffee itself, whether this is beans or ground. Old beans will give a weak taste, no matter how long your brewing time is.
If a weak, underwhelming flavour is your problem, you may want to look into some fresher beans with stronger flavours, if that is your preference. Don’t hoard old beans as a fresh batch will always give you a better flavour!
Pre-ground coffee can be convenient, but if you are looking for a supreme flavour, it can be better to do some research into the best quality coffee beans. Don’t settle for vague labels that could deliver a sub-par drink.
Many coffee aficionados will prefer to roast their own beans, but getting the roasting wrong can mean coffee takes on a sour taste.
When coffee is roasted, it draws out oils that contain flavour. If a coffee bean is under-roasted, it will have a grassy flavour with a sourness to it, rather than that coffee flavour we crave!
This isn’t something you can fix, but it can be an idea for you to try a slightly darker roast as it may be down to your preference.
The other main component to a good cup of coffee is, of course, the water! It may be that your coffee and filter are perfect, and that water is causing your problems. Tap water can vary greatly across the country, so to get a consistently smooth cup of coffee, you may want to use a water filter.
Water that has been run through a filter jug has reduced imperfections and is less likely to compromise your coffee’s delicious flavour!
The final component in the process of making a cup of coffee is the equipment you’re using.
Frequently deep cleaning your coffee press and reusable filters can help stop your drink from tasting odd or stale. If up until now, you have only been giving your equipment a quick rinse, you should start developing a more thorough cleaning routine.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your coffee experience, why not take a look at our range of filters, coffee makers and brewing equipment? If you’ve come up with the perfect coffee-making formula that bids bad-tasting coffee goodbye forever, then leave a comment below!