Your Coffee Tastes Bad? 12 Reasons and How to Fix it

This is my favorite coffee, why does it taste bad? If you can relate to this situation, then this article is for you.

What could be the reason why your coffee tastes bad?

This article explains some of the possible reasons why your coffee tastes bad and how to fix it.

So grab your cup of coffee and scroll down with us to learn more so that one day you don’t make the same mistakes and end up with horrible-tasting coffee.

Every coffee lover understands the importance of their morning cup of coffee. A cup of coffee in the morning refreshes the brain and makes you feel less fatigued. It acts as a kick-starter of the day.

For that and many other reasons, you don’t want it to taste bad. Besides, starting your morning with horrible coffee is like starting a day on a bad note.

So if you have ever drunk coffee that tastes bad or you’ve never, read this article to know the reasons and how you can fix them.

Also, read: 5 Best Cup Coffee Maker

Maybe it’s The Beans?

If you want good quality coffee, then you must use good coffee beans. So if you are not getting the taste you are used to from your cup of coffee, the beans could be the problem. The problem could be:

  • The Type of Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee grows well in areas with higher altitude including Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, and Costa Rica and that makes it taste good. The coffee beans are fine quality and that’s why most coffee baristas prefer them.

Robusta coffee, on the other hand, grows in places with lower altitude which makes them have high levels of caffeine. These coffee beans also taste bitter. They are also softer than Arabica coffee and that’s why they are not popular among coffee addicts.

The Fix:  Before you buy your coffee beans, check their quality and the amount of caffeine in them.

  • Your Beans Have Lost Flavor

The freshness of coffee does not last forever, regardless of their quality and their sweet smell. Once coffee comes out of the roaster, it starts to lose flavor. During roasting, coffee beans produce carbon dioxide through a process known as degassing. The more the beans leak carbon dioxide the more they lose flavor. If you leave your beans for a long period of time or if you don’t store them properly, you can expect to have coffee that tastes bad.

The Fix: Just throw away coffee that has been stored inappropriately or has lost flavor, no matter how painful it may be to do it. Also, avoid hoarding your beans but instead store them in a good place so that they don’t go bad. Coffee tastes sweet when it is still fresh (between four days and two weeks old), so buy beans that you can use for that week and next week and not for a year. And when buying, check the roast date and not the expiration date on the label.

  • Coffee Beans not Roasted Properly

Sometimes you may want to roast your own beans and if you fail to ground them properly, then they will likely make your coffee to taste bad. Roasting coffee is a tricky process where you are required to ensure your beans are subjected to consistent heat during the entire process.

Well, sometimes you cannot control the quality of your roast. Besides, even professional roasters make mistakes during the process. And even industrial roasters can have problems of inconsistency when it comes to roasting beans. Moreover, if you are buying coffee from your nearest grocery store, rest assured you won’t get them in the same quality.

A survey was conducted where 15 stores were analyzed and the results showed inconsistency in protein and sugar contents across all the stores and roasts.

It happens.

The Fix: If you have to roast your coffee at home, then consider using good roasting equipment. If you bought bad beans, try choosing other types of beans. Even though every coffee lover has their favorite coffee, if your bean or roaster tastes bad always, just change it up.

  • Low-Quality Coffee

Sometimes we tend to cut our coffee bean budget because of a good deal. Well, we are not trying to mean that good deals aren’t always good but sometimes we may sacrifice the taste by going for good deals.

Although Robusta coffee is considered a low-quality bean, sometimes it’s more about the flavor and not the quality. So whenever you feel that the taste of your coffee is going down, consider changing to Arabica coffee.

The mantra “cheap is expensive can also apply here because you will get what you pay for.

The Fix: Always learn what makes the best coffee beans and avoid pre-ground coffee that promises heaven since it can deliver hell.

  • Size of Your Grind

Your grind can make or break the taste of your coffee. Coffee grounds need to dissolve in water so that they do not settle at the bottom of the cup. Besides, grounds must be filtered well.

If your coffee tastes horrible chances are that your grounds are too large. Large coffee grounds can cause bad tastes since they don’t dissolve completely when brewed.

If your coffee tastes bitter, your grounds could be too small, sometimes caused by fine grounds.

You may be required to adjust the size of your grounds oftentimes, especially when you are dealing with different types of coffee. For instance, espresso beans are ground differently from your regular drip coffee.

The Fix: Ensure you familiarize yourself with grinding and brewing. For instance, Turkish coffee is prepared with fine grinds such as caster sugar. But with the French Press, the coffee beans need to be grainy.

…Or the Water?

Another reason why your coffee tastes bad could be your water. Well, the water from the tap may taste fine to you but it may be the reason why your coffee isn’t up to your expectations.

  • Inappropriate Temperatures

Brewing coffee is different from making tea. It requires certain temperatures for you to get the most out of your brew. The recommended brewing temperature is 96 degrees centigrade, which is equivalent to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep the water hot but do not boil. Boiling the water could destroy the oils and the flavor of your beans. Water that’s too cold will lead to under extraction and that’s not the best way to kick-start your day.

The Fix: To fix this problem, just invest in a good thermometer. Well, of course, you can brew without a thermometer, but ensure to heat your water until it’s almost boiling and take it out of the heat for at least 30 seconds before brewing.

  • You Are Using Tap Water

Your tap water may taste good but it isn’t great for brewing because it passes through a filtration process where certain chemicals are added to kill germs and other bacteria causing diseases. These chemicals could be the reason why your coffee tastes bad.

The Fix: Always filter the water you are using to brew your coffee and your cup of joe should taste sweet.

…But What about the Equipment?

You’ve fixed your coffee beans and water problem but your coffee still tastes bad? Your equipment could be the main problem. And if not, then keep reading.

  • Dirty Coffee Maker

What was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker thoroughly? Well, although you don’t have to deep clean your coffee maker every time, you still need to clean it every time you make coffee.

In addition, you need to know how to clean your coffee maker. Oftentimes people think that when it comes to cleaning of a coffee maker, it’s only the coffee pot and the filter area which is very wrong. You also need to clean the reservoir and the accessories that come with your coffee maker thoroughly.

The Fix: Keep your coffee maker clean. Give it a deep clean one times a week to keep bacteria and molds from growing in it.

  • Your Coffee Maker is Aging

So your coffee beans, water, and your coffee maker is clean but still coffee tastes bad? Your coffee maker might be aging.

The Fix: If you can’t remember when the last time you bought your coffee maker was, then it might be the time to get a new one.

  • You Are Using the Wrong Machine

Just as you have a different machine for different jobs in your kitchen, the same applies when it comes to making coffee. Although you might want to make espresso without an espresso machine, you might not get good results. Sometimes the item you are using to drink your coffee could be the problem and this applies to plastic cups. A good rule of thumb is to use glass or ceramic mugs.

The Fix: Use the right type of brewer for every type of coffee you are making.

…But There Are No Changes Yet

So everything is right but you can’t get the taste you want from your cup of joe? It’s understandable, brewing coffee can get tricky sometimes. And there could be other reasons behind your horrible coffee.

  • Your Timing

When it comes to coffee brewing, running your brew too long or too short could make your coffee taste bad. With percolated coffee, you can brew it up to ten minutes, but that’s not how you should brew other types of coffee.

The Fix: Adjust your timing appropriately to get the taste you want from your brewer.

Still No Change?

  • It’s Not Your Type of Coffee

Coffee is about personal preferences. Just because your friends enjoy Robusta coffee doesn’t make the best coffee for you. Don’t force yourself to drink coffee that you don’t like.

The Fix: Experiment with different types of coffee beans to discover the best one for you.

Last Advice

If you are addicted to coffee, you can’t go a day without a cup of joe and if you can figure out why your coffee tastes bad, then you will never make the same mistake again and you will be careful in the future.

The above 12 reasons why coffee tastes bad are not the only ones. Just ensure you try everything possible to identify the problem and solve it.

Happy Brewing!

Check our reviews of the 5 best coffee maker with grinder

Sophia Green

Sophia is a long time coffee enthusiast and blogger, so the project started naturally five years ago. You can find useful information about coffee types, plantations, equipment and even tips and tricks or fun facts.

View all posts by Sophia Green →

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