What Causes Coffee To Taste Burnt?


What Causes Coffee To Taste Burned
Even for those who have been brewing coffee for years, there can sometimes be issues that cause the brew to taste burnt.

There are a number of reasons why this can happen, and they are typically something you can fix pretty easily.

Most coffee tastes burnt because the grind may be:

  • The coffee grounds may be too fine
  • The coffee maker may need to be descaled
  • Your tap water may taste bad on it’s own
  • The coffee grind may be stale
  • The coffee may have been left on the burner too long

In most situations these are the most common causes for coffee tasting burnt and it’s only a matter of finding out which is the one responsible causing problems in your coffee.

Lets look deeper into a few of the most common reasons for burnt-tasting coffee, you can learn how to make improvements to have delicious coffee every day.

You may also want to see this post to see how long coffee grounds can stay fresh.

If The Coffee Beans Are Old The Coffee May Taste Bad

There are a few issues that can occur with the beans you’re using.

This might include the beans or grounds being less than fresh.

On the other hand, the roast may simply not be the ideal option. If you’re new to roasting your own beans, this might be part of the problem.

In either case, new beans can be a good idea.

If the grounds are stale, then purchasing fresh ones can solve the problem.

Another option you can try is to opt for organic coffee beans, which some feel may provide a better flavor than standard options.

Otherwise, you may need to hone your roasting skills and roast another batch yourself.

A Coffee Machine That Needs to be Cleaned And Descaled May Be At Fault

Sometimes, the problem can be due to the coffee machine itself.

If it has been a while since the coffee maker has been cleaned, then you may want to clean and de-scale it.

After a thorough cleaning, it should be more than ready to provide delicious coffee again.

There can be other cases in which the coffee maker has simply gotten old, and isn’t able to brew as efficiently as it once did.

If this is the case, then purchasing a new coffee maker can give you the opportunity to branch out, try something new, or at the very least enjoy some better-tasting coffee.

Brewing With an Incorrect Grind Size May Overextract You Grind

Using a grind that is too fine for the kind of brewing method you’re using can result in over-extraction, and therefore a burnt flavor.

Take a look at the brewing method you tend to prefer, and gather information on the best grind for that method.

As an example, something like a French press would require grounds that are more coarse. Meanwhile, quicker brewing methods like espresso require grounds that are very fine.

To make the process easier, looking into a quality burr grinder that can create any coarseness you need can be very helpful.

The Water And Temperature Need to be Right To Get The Best Flavor

In some cases, the problem can be in the water you’re using to brew coffee.

Sometimes, the water may simply not be of ideal quality. That might mean the chemistry of the water is off, or there are chemicals in it that are effecting the flavor.

Otherwise, it can also be due to the temperature of the brewing water.

If the water is too hot, it can scald the beans and result in a burnt taste.

Because of that, it’s important to aim for a brewing temperature that is somewhere between 195-205 degrees, though some methods may use something closer to 175 for brewing.

Don’t Let Brewed Coffee Sit Too Long

This can often be one of the most common causes of coffee that tastes burnt.

If you tend to brew more than one serving at a time, and leave the coffee sitting for a few hours throughout the day, it can start to gain a burnt flavor.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to try to just brew what you need for the moment, and brew more later in the day if you need it.

In some cases, using a single-serve coffee maker like a Nespresso or Keurig can help to avoid this issue.

The good news is that this issue, like most of the others here, does have a simple solution.

Once you figure out which problem is causing your coffee to have a burnt flavor, you can easily fix it and be on your way to delicious coffee every day!

The Brown Owl Editorial Team

The Brown Owl Coffee editorial team consists of a variety of writers and editors working together to produce the best content possible. Learn more about us here.

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