Bye Bye Bitter Coffee: 5 Things to Check When Your Coffee is Bad
Hey Gang, Christopher here. Most people chalk up bad, bitter coffee to poor preparation. They might think they used too fine a grind. Or that they used too much. Or maybe they brewed too long. While coffee prep plays some role in how your coffee will taste like, bad coffee begins even before you start brewing. Heck, sometimes even before you start grinding it. And because nobody in this life deserves bad coffee, here are the top five reasons why your cup isn’t as fantastic as it should be, and how to fix it.
With any kind of food, it’s best to go fresh and coffee is no exception. Like almost everything else, roasted coffee beans oxidize when exposed to the elements like air and light. Keeping coffee beans fresh is no rocket science: place your beans in an airtight container like an (Airscape storage container) in a cool, dry place. So while it is tempting to make your coffee stash double as a decorative on the kitchen counter, that’s not the best place for you to store it. Does that mean the fridge is okay? Nope. The fridge and freezer are off limits, yes they are cool, but definitely too cool for your beans.
Another way to prolong freshness, or at least to ensure that you are using the freshest possible coffee for your sacred morning ritual of coffee consumption, is to grind your own beans just before you have to prepare them. If you’ve got time, buy whole coffee beans and invest in a quality grinder. View coffee grinders here.
Water used for making coffee should have a clean, pure taste and should not have any kind of smell. Chlorinated water from the tap isn’t exactly the best example of this. A good rule of thumb is to use water you have no problems drinking on its own. So if you need to filter the water from your tap before drinking it, you should absolutely do the same for the water you will use to prepare coffee.
Coffee roasting is a science and an art. And there’s a line between dark roasted coffee and over-roasted coffee that should never be crossed. A dark roast coffee could be bitter but it should never taste burnt.
Finding the best roast for you takes some experimentation. See what’s out there and try them one at a time until you find your favorite.
Coffee residue left on your equipment (grinder, French press, coffee maker, etc) will go stale, taste bad, and contaminate the fresh batch of coffee you are making if you don’t clean it up properly. So tedious as it may be, thoroughly clean your equipment before use.
You make coffee too soon before you drink it
When you are using a coffee machine, it seems practical to make one big batch, drink your fill, and leave the rest sitting on the warming plate until your next cup. This is a bad idea because coffee left sitting too long, though warm, will go stale. The best practice is to make a small batch that you can finish. One reason I love the Aeropress coffee brewer.