5 Reasons your coffee could be bitter and how to avoid it.

Until we've had a bad cup of coffee, we won't know a great tasting cup. That's the bright side! Once we've realized it's bad, we just need to know how to do better. 

1- Grind 
The coffee grind could be too fine. When the coffee is too fine for the brew method, this can lean to over-extraction resulting in a bitter taste. 

The fix: Use the correct grind for your brew method. 
Turkish - Extra Fine Grind
Espresso Machine - Fine Grind
Aero Press - Medium-Fine Grind
Pour Over - Medium Grind
Home Coffee Maker - Medium Grind
French Press - Course Grind

2- Ratio 
Too much coffee, not enough water. Many people add a lot of coffee to make the caffeine content stronger or body more bold, but this creates a bitter tasting cup.

The fix: The ideal coffee to water ratio is 1:14 - 1:16. Example: 15 grams of coffee would require 240 grams of water (15 x 16 = 240). Use a coffee or food grade scale to weigh your coffee and water.

3- Quality 
Poor quality or stale coffee beans. Over roasted, commercial coffee is usually less expensive. Cheap coffee is usually over roasted to cover up imperfections and lack of flavor due to low altitude growing and mass harvesting.  The bitterness is the only flavor instead of the more complex and interesting flavors that can be found from high quality coffee beans. 

The fix: Spend a few extra dollars on high quality, specialty coffee. A $16 bag of coffee should yield around 22 cups…that’s 0.72 a cup (compared to $2-3 at a coffee chain).

4- Water 
The temperature of water being used could be too hot. Many people boil the water and have no idea what the temperature is, increasing the likelihood of “over cooking” the coffee. On the contrast, if the coffee is too cold you’ll end up with coffee that’s too weak.

The fix: The ideal range for extracting coffee is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a kettle with temperature control or thermostat.

5- Time 
Brewing for too long. The most common reason for coffee tasting too bitter is it being steeped for too long.  Referred to as “over-extraction”, too much of the bitter flavors comes through in the final cup. 

The fix: Know the amount of time you need to brew for the method you’re using. Use a timer.

The best part of waking up, is coffee in your cup. Starting the day with a great tasting cup makes all the difference.

Ama Coffee Co.