Here's Why Your Coffee Tastes Bitter

There are few things better than waking up and taking a long pull of fresh coffee from your mug. But when that sip is overwhelmingly bitter, it is easy to want to pour it all down the drain and move on with your day. Coffee might be strong, but it should be complex and have a depth of flavor. So, if you are finding your coffee is consistently bitter, chances are it isn't the bean to blame. Instead, you might want to reevaluate how you make your coffee.

Coffee tends to taste bitter when the extraction process isn't finely honed. Basically, extraction is when and how the water filters through the ground coffee beans and takes on their flavor. So, if your coffee is bitter and you're using something like a pour-over or French press to make your coffee, you are probably just letting it steep too long. The longer the coffee steeps, the more bitter it will taste (via The Kitchn).

Other mistakes to avoid with your coffee

Two other mistakes that can significantly impact the bitterness of your coffee are how hot the water is and what size grind your coffee beans are when you go to brew a pot or a mug (via Atlas Coffee Club). If the water is too hot, which would be above 205 degrees Fahrenheit, then it will pull the bitter notes from the beans. Boiling water is also too hot. So, let your water cool for a moment before pouring in over your ground beans or into your French press.

The other major factor that can cause coffee to be bitter is the size of the grind of your coffee beans. When a grind is too small, the coffee beans are over-extracted, which is kind of like overcooking your food. It is definitely a culprit behind the bitterness. So, if you plan to make an espresso, which is a fast process, a finer grind is often used, according to Atlas Coffee Club. For a pour-over or French press, you want a larger grind size for a slower process.

So, narrow down what might be the issue with your morning routine if you have had bitter coffee at home one too many times. Remember to always thoroughly clean your equipment, too.