We lead such busy and hectic lives that many of us can’t even imagine starting our days without coffee. The perfect blend of the dark brown brew gives us the strength to face the day ahead and all the ups and downs that might come with it.
Then again, there are days when nothing seems to be going right, including your morning coffee. Of course, the type of coffee and coffee beans matter but if the morning coffee is not up to your expectations, the whole day just seems to drag along.
We believe that brewing coffee is science and according to science, there are a number of reasons why your coffee tastes bad. Continue reading this post as we will discuss 15 such reasons and their fix.
- 1. Coffee Beans
- 2. The Roasting wasn’t Up to the Mark
- 3. The Low Quality
- 4. The Grind
- 5. The Water Temperature
- 6. Tap Water
- 7. Dirty Equipment
- 8. Aging Coffee Maker
- 9. Making Large Quantities
- 10. Manual Labor
- 11. The Cup
- 12. The Timing
- 13. Stale Beans
- 14. You Made a Blunder
- 15. The Type of Coffee
1. Coffee Beans
Many coffee lovers believe that coffee beans are the secret ingredient behind a perfect cup. What might surprise you is that sometimes the best quality coffee beans can become a reason behind a bad tasting coffee.
The shelf life of coffee beans is not infinite. They start losing flavor from the moment they are taken out of the roaster. If the coffee beans are not properly stored and left on the shelf for a long time, they may to an awful cup of coffee.
Do not hoard coffee beans no matter what type you may have bought or how expensive they may be. If they have been in your kitchen cabinet for a long time, it is better to throw them away.
Buy coffee beans that are enough to last you a week or two at most. A good idea would also be to check the roasting date instead of the expiration.
2. The Roasting wasn’t Up to the Mark
Bad roasting could be another reason behind the coffee tasting bad. This especially holds true if you roast your own coffee beans.
Roasting coffee beans is a complex process which requires the heat to be consistently applied to the beans. While there are many ways to do this at home, the roasting process of professional equipment can in no way be imitated at home. If not done right, it can lead to a bad tasting cup of the caffeine-filled drink.
If you like roasting your own coffee but also wish to avoid the bad taste that you occasionally get, try looking up a new recipe for roasting the beans. Changing the brand and the type of coffee can also help sometimes.
3. The Low Quality
Who doesn’t love discounts but falling for discounts on coffee may save you some money on one end, it could ruin the taste of your coffee on the other.
You also need to understand that most of these discounts are offered on either low-quality coffee or coffee that is nearing expiry. Also, keep in mind that cheap coffee is supposed to taste cheap.
The fix for this one is simple. Learn about which coffee beans are the best. Avoid buying coffee of unknown brands and stop looking for discounted deals.
4. The Grind
The grind of the beans is also a huge factor that differentiates between the taste of the coffee. The grind has to be close to soluble to release good flavor while also staying insoluble, so it does not get stuck in the filter system.
Coffee that is not properly grounded has a sour or bitter taste which makes the whole thing very unappealing.
Learn about the types of grinds that go best with the type of brewing method you use. For instance, you need extremely coarse beans to make coffee on a French press while powdered beans are best for Turkish coffee.
5. The Water Temperature
A perfect cup of coffee requires the water to be hot but not to the point that it is boiling as water that is too hot can destroy the subtle flavor of your coffee. While water that is somewhat cold can leave your coffee under extracted with a weak flavor.
The fix for this one is easy. Buy yourself a thermometer to help you measure the temperature of the water. Also, remember the recommended water temperature should not be more than 205oF.
6. Tap Water
That water flowing through your taps comes after a long filtration process. Certain chemicals are also added to the water to free it from many types of bacteria. These chemicals often become a cause of ruining the taste of your coffee.
Filter your tap water before using it to brew the coffee and your drink should taste just fine.
7. Dirty Equipment
Since you only make a cup or two every day, you may think that your coffee maker does not require thorough cleaning and just rinsing the pot and filter area should do the trick.
While it does visibly clean the machine, its dirty reservoir can ruin your coffee’s taste if it is not cleaned every few weeks.
Well, clean the reservoir of the coffee maker. And since you have probably never done it before, look it up on the internet to learn how it’s done.
8. Aging Coffee Maker
If everything else seems perfectly fine like water temperature, coffee beans, and clean equipment, and yet your coffee tastes bad, it may probably be because your coffee maker is getting old.
Get a new one.
9. Making Large Quantities
If you are a coffee addict, you may be in the habit of brewing a large pot in the morning and letting it sit on the warming plate until you have had your fill. Keeping the coffee pot on the warming plate makes it steep which ruin its taste. Compare the taste of your first cup from the fourth if you wish to test the theory.
Always get coffee from the freshly brewed pot
10. Manual Labor
Making coffee is not just a science, it is also an art. But it is an art that requires proper equipment. We have seen many people with budget constraints making coffee manually. While this does deliver satisfactory results, they aren’t always accurate, and there is inconsistency in the taste.
If you enjoy a consistent flavor of coffee, it is better for you to get proper coffee making equipment.
11. The Cup
You may be surprised to hear this, but even the cup in which coffee is served can affect the flavor it delivers. Plastic mugs often deliver the worst tasting coffees, so that you know.
Best way to serve coffee is in a ceramic or glass mug. A stainless-steel mug is also acceptable when you are travelling.
12. The Timing
While letting tea steep longer enhances its taste and gives it a strong flavor, it does exactly the opposite for coffee. Many tea enthusiasts often make this mistake by brewing either over or under extracted coffee.
The secret of perfect test lies in the brewing time of coffee. There is no exact brewing time for that taste, and you may have to experiment a bit with it before finding the right time that suits your taste.
13. Stale Beans
Coming back to the basics, stale beans are also a big reason behind the bitter tasting coffee. Beans become stale when they are exposed to oxygen once they are roasted.
There are two fixes for this problem. One, always use freshly ground beans when making coffee and two, use an airtight container to store your coffee beans.
14. You Made a Blunder
There is always room for human error and mistakes have happened with even the best of us. If all is all and yet the coffee doesn’t taste accordingly, it may be because you messed up a step or missed one.
Try to think back on every step and realize what went wrong. Also, brew up a new batch with more attention to detail.
15. The Type of Coffee
So, you picked up a type of coffee, apparently because everyone at the office were hyped about it. Remember that coffee is something that is entirely about personal preference and not the hype.
If you don’t like the taste of a certain type of coffee, do not stick to it just to be part of a conversation. Stick to your personal choice. However, trying different types of beans every once in a while isn’t all that bad.
We believe we have discussed almost every possible reason that could be behind a bad tasting cup of coffee. We have also presented you with a fix for each of these problems in the hopes that you may not have to taste another bad cup of coffee. If you think there is any other reason for the taste of coffee going bad that we don’t know about, share it with us in the comments below.