Why Is Your Coffee So Bitter When You Make It At Home?

If you’re a coffee lover and you spend half your life in cafes, you probably want to recreate that smooth, barista-style experience at home. The problem is, when you make your own coffee at home it often comes out bitter and you lose a lot of the complexity of flavour. 

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Usually, there is a distinct reason why your coffee is going wrong, which means that it’s easily fixed. So, why does your coffee always taste bitter? 

Low-Quality Beans 

Sometimes, your coffee goes wrong because of the way that you make it, but it might just be that you are buying low-quality beans. There is a reason that coffee ranges in price a lot and there really is a difference between the good stuff and the cheap stuff. If you buy Veneziano coffee beans online and grind them yourself, they’ll be a lot nicer than some cheap supermarket own-brand coffee. You don’t need to break the bank and go for the most expensive stuff but if you find that your coffee is always bitter, consider buying some better quality beans. 

Dark Roast

When coffee beans are roasted, it changes the flavour. A dark roast is far more bitter than a light roast, which allows for more of the flavours to come through. The thing is, many pre-roasted beans are on the darker side, which is fine for many people but some people just don’t like it. But you could consider buying your own roaster and getting unroasted beans. This gives you more control over the roast and the coffee will be less bitter as a result. 

Brewing For Too Long 

If you get the beans and the roast right but you still can’t get rid of the overpowering bitter taste, think about how you make the coffee. Brewing for too long in a French press is one of the most common mistakes that people make, and it leads to a bitter taste. People usually have the first cup and it’s not too bad but they leave it in and the coffee continues to extract, becoming more bitter. The easiest solution to this is to pour it into a thermal flask as soon as it’s finished brewing so you can finish it later without it getting bitter. 

Using A Dirty Machine 

People assume that a coffee machine is a foolproof way to make delicious coffee, but it’s not. So many people start out fine and then they notice that their coffee is starting to taste bitter. Nine times out of ten, this is because you haven’t cleaned the machine properly so limescale and old dried coffee is getting into your cup and giving it a horrible taste. Coffee machines need to be cleaned regularly, especially if you have hard water. Usually, you can do it with a mix of vinegar and water but you should always check the manufacturer’s guidelines about cleaning. 

You should be able to make great coffee at home as long as you avoid these common mistakes.  

About the author


Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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