7 Reasons Your Coffee Is Bitter (& How to Fix It Forever) | Eleven Coffees (2023)

7 Reasons Your Coffee Is Bitter (& How to Fix It Forever) | Eleven Coffees (1)

You’re not alone in wondering why coffee is bitter. Many think it’s just part of the taste, but the good news is that good coffee isn’t bitter at all. We’ve put together the seven causes of bitterness so that you can easily fix it.

The seven reasons why coffee is bitter:

  1. Robusta coffee variety
  2. Dark roast coffee
  3. Brewing coffee too long
  4. Water is too hot
  5. Coffee grind is too fine
  6. Too much water with too little coffee
  7. Dirty equipment

Just like me, you want to enjoy a coffee that’s bitter-free, right? I’m here to share with you how bitter coffee can be a thing of the past.

The seven causes of bitterness and how to fix them

1. Your coffee is bitter because it’s the robusta variety

There are two main varieties that make up over 99 percent of the world’s coffee. They are known as arabica coffee and robusta coffee. The robusta variety is very bitter as it contains more bitter compounds.

Around 40 percent of the world’s coffee is of the robusta variety. Robusta is highly inferior to arabica but is popular due to how much easier it is to grow.

Robusta coffee can be described as having a rubbery and ashy taste that is very harsh and bitter. It’s commonly found in instant coffee as well as espresso blends.

The reason for these tastes is threefold. Firstly, robusta can contain up to almost twice as many chlorogenic acids as arabica, which contributes greatly to the bitterness when roasted.

Secondly, robusta contains almost half the quantity of sugar than that of arabica coffee. The result is that the coffee is less sweet, causing the bitterness to be more apparent.

Thirdly, the level of caffeine in robusta is more than twice that of arabica. Caffeine tastes bitter; however, it contributes less than people believe to the overall bitterness.

How to fix bitterness caused by robusta

To avoid the bitter taste of robusta coffee, it’s important to buy 100 percent arabica coffee.

Most supermarkets will have at least one 100 percent arabica coffee on sale. It will almost certainly be displayed in large type on the coffee packet to let the consumer know that it’s a premium product.

If the packet doesn’t inform you as to what type of coffee is inside the packet, you can safely assume that it contains the inferior robusta variety.

Good specialty coffee roasters only offer pure arabica coffee. As with any plant, there are many varieties within one strain. The same is, of course, true of coffee. The arabica variety can be further divided into different cultivars or varietals.

Each varietal displays its own characteristics, and specialty coffee roasters will inform you which varietal of arabica that it is. Take a look online and buy yourself a bag. You’ll be amazed at how good coffee can taste.

Now that you’ve bought the best beans you can, there’s something else to watch out for. Just as poor cooking techniques can ruin beautiful ingredients, bitterness can be caused by improper brewing. Here’s how to avoid it.

2. Your coffee is bitter because it’s a dark roast

Dark roast coffee is bitter because of the high temperatures used to roast the coffee as well as the extended length of time that it spends roasting. The other reason is due to the chemical process that takes place during dark roasting.

Bitterness is present in all types of coffee as the roasting process breaks down certain acids into bitter compounds.

When coffee is roasted, the chlorogenic acids present in raw green coffee are dehydrated and broken down into bitter-tasting chlorogenic acid lactones.

Whilst the chlorogenic acid lactones provide a certain level of bitterness to coffee, at lighter roasts it doesn’t cause a problem by dominating the overall taste.

However, when coffee is roasted darkly, the already slightly bitter chlorogenic acid lactones break down even further into phenylindanes.

Phenylindanes are overwhelmingly bitter. They contribute that harsh, ashy, bitter taste that is extremely unpleasant and has most of us reaching for the milk and sugar.

How to fix bitterness caused by dark roast coffee

The only way to avoid the bitterness caused by dark roast coffee is to change the type of coffee that you drink to a good-quality, light roast coffee roasted by a specialty coffee roaster.

Roasted coffee beans can be separated into three main profiles: light roast, medium roast, and dark roast.

As we mentioned earlier, all roast profiles contain at least some level of bitterness, but the level of bitterness in lightly roasted coffee is almost imperceivable.

You may be surprised to learn that coffee has other favourable characteristics. Good-quality coffee has a pleasing acidity and sweetness coupled with beautiful flavours and aromas.

Coffee that is lightly roasted shows off the inherent flavours of the coffee. Good specialty coffee roasters roast the coffee to show off and highlight its best qualities.

The natural acidity and sweetness found in good-quality coffee balance out the flavours. Instead of the bitterness dominating the cup, it might be flavours such as chocolate, nut, blackcurrant or blueberry.

Coffees at the supermarket usually display a strength rating on the packet. The strength rating is an indicator as to how dark the coffee has been roasted.

Whilst buying a light roast coffee from the supermarket will help a little, it probably isn’t enough on its own.

The issue is that cheap supermarket coffee is low-grade, and whilst it may have been roasted a little lighter than other coffees on the shelf, it’ll still be darker than it should be to hide the fact that it’s of poor quality.

Some supermarkets do now offer specialty coffee beans for sale. In the UK, Union Coffee Roasters is sold in Waitrose, and Modern Standard is sold in Sainsbury’s.

You’ll pay a premium for these coffees, but it’s well worth it to see what coffee can really taste like. In the UK, the price of a bag of specialty coffee from the supermarket starts at £4.50.

Another way to buy specialty coffee is online. Specialty coffee roasters around the world go to great lengths to source great-tasting beans, which they lovingly roast to order, posting the coffee to your front door.

3. Your coffee is bitter because it’s steeping for too long

Steeping (brewing) coffee for too long results in bitterness. Around a third of a coffee bean is soluble in water, but not everything that the water is capable of dissolving tastes good.

To put it simply, there are three stages of extraction:

  1. Firstly, the acids are extracted.
  2. Secondly, the sweet compounds are extracted.
  3. Thirdly, the bitter compounds are extracted.

You want to stop brewing your coffee during the extraction of the sweet compounds and before you reach the bitter compounds.

What happens when you toast a piece of bread?

As the bread is heated, it becomes more and more brown. However, left to toast for too long, it becomes burned. This is essentially what happens when you brew coffee; it ‘cooks’ for too long, leading to bitterness.

How to fix bitterness caused by steeping too long

To prevent bitterness caused by steeping for too long, it’s important to time the coffee whilst it’s brewing. You can do this using the stopwatch on your smartphone.

Making coffee iscomparable to baking. It’s a bit of a science and for consistentresults, repeatability is key.

Also, make sure thatyou measure the dose of coffee. For best results, use digital scales.But if that seems a little extreme, make sure to use some sort ofscoop that you can level off for more consistent dosing.

Using a tablespoon to measure your coffee is impossible to repeat, and so the coffee will turn out differently every time.

By keeping everythingthe same, you’ll find the coffee’s sweet spot and bitterness will bea thing of the past.

4. Your coffee is bitter because the water is too hot

Pouring boiling water onto your coffee scorches the coffee and causes it to taste bitter. Whilst it’s important to use hot water to get the most out of your coffee, using boiling water makes for a bad-tasting cup of coffee.

Remember the three stages of extraction? The hotter the water, the quicker that it reaches the third stage of the nasty bitter compounds.

It’s similar to cooking in that boiling vegetables at a simmer will take longer than at a rapid boil. The cooler the water, the longer it takes to brew the coffee.

In fact, cold water isn’t able to reach the third stage of extraction, which is why cold brew coffee isn’t bitter.

How to fix bitterness caused by hot water

Once you’ve boiled your water, let it sit for around one minute to cool slightly. The optimum water temperature is around 96°C (205°F).

Some kettles on the market have temperature settings that allow you to program the kettle to heat the water to a certain temperature.

A cheaper alternative is the use of a digital thermometer. Digital thermometers are more precise than analogue ones and are the preferred choice.

For most coffee brewing apparatus, it’s advisable to keep the water temperature between 90°C and 96°C (194 – 205°F). However, in the case of the popular AeroPress brewer, some find excellent results at temperatures around 80°C (176°F).

The lower the temperature, the lower the level of bitterness. Take a look at our five great recipes for cold brew coffee.

5. Your coffee is bitter because you used the wrong grind size

Coffee comes in a widevariety of grind sizes. Perhaps you’ve noticed how coffee ground foruse in a French press is very coarse whereas for espresso preparationit’s extremely fine?

The grind size is linked to brew time. Again, grind size is comparable to cooking. The smaller you chop up a vegetable, the quicker it will cook.

The same is true of coffee. The finer the coffee is ground, the quicker the water is able to penetrate the grinds and extract the flavours. The finer the grind, the quicker you’ll reach those bitter compounds.

How to fix bitterness caused by wrong grind size

You have to adapt the brew time to the size of the coffee grounds. The finer the grinds, the quicker the coffee brews.

What type of brewingapparatus do you like to use to make your coffee? Whichever you like,you need to make sure that you select the right grind size.

Coffee that is made in an espresso machine needs a very fine grind as it produces a cup of coffee in around 30 seconds.

At the other extreme iscoffee made in a French press. A French press uses a very coarsegrind as the coffee is left to brew for around four minutes.

Coffee made in a percolator such as a drip coffee maker will need somewhere in between – a medium grind.

Make sure that you check the grind size on the coffee packet. If you’re using a coffee grinder, adjust your grind setting accordingly.

6. Your coffee is bitter because of incorrect brew ratio

The higher the ratio ofwater to coffee, the faster the water is able to extract the coffee.Using a lot of water and little coffee means that you’ll reach thosebitter compounds a lot faster.

Let’s using the cooking analogy one final time. If you were to place an ice cube into a large glass of hot water, it would melt very quickly. Place that same ice cube into just a thimble-sized amount of hot water, and the melting process would be slower.

The more water, thequicker it ‘cooks’ the coffee. It’s important to measure the amountof coffee and water, not just for a tasty cup, but for consistentresults time after time.

How to fix bitterness caused by incorrect brew ratio

For filter coffee prepared in infusion (immersion) brewers such as the French press, AeroPress, or Clever Dripper, start with a coffee-to-water ratio of 60g of coffee to one litre of water (2.1oz to 34fl oz).

For filter coffee prepared in percolation (pour over) brewers such as the Chemex, V60, or Kalita Wave, start with a coffee-to-water ratio of 75g of coffee to one litre of water (2.6oz to 34fl oz).

It may seem a bitextreme to use a digital scale to weigh your coffee, but it’s themost accurate way to achieve consistent results.

If using a digitalscale seems like too much trouble each time, try doing it just theonce. Weigh the coffee inside a scoop that has been filled andlevelled off. That way you’ll be able to dose more accurately.

7. Your coffee is bitter because of dirty brewing equipment

It’s very important to keep your brewing equipment as clean as possible. Coffee contains natural oils that build up when not washed properly, causing a bitter and burned taste.

There is a myth that just rinsing your brewing device is a good idea to age your brewer for a tastier cup. This is utter nonsense.

Simply rinsing yourbrewer under running water isn’t enough to clean the coffee oils.

How to fix bitterness caused by dirty equipment

Each time you make acoffee, take apart all the parts of your brewing apparatus and cleanusing hot water and a neutral washing detergent. After you’vescrubbed the brewer, rinse the suds using fresh water.

For electricalequipment such as espresso machines and drip coffee makers, greatercare is needed such as descaling.

Some brewing equipment have parts where coffee gets trapped, and you may not know that the parts are removable.

We’ve put together a guide on how to clean every type of brewer. The guide goes into great detail for electrical equipment too, so make sure to check it out.


How do I stop my coffee from being bitter? ›

The key is to slowly add small amounts of salt (we're talking a couple tiny particles at a time) until the bitterness is balanced out. We strongly suggest you try fixing bitter coffee by grinding coarser, brewing shorter, and using top quality water first.

What causes coffee to taste bitter? ›

Over-cooking your coffee is one of the most common reasons your brew tastes bitter. Much like tea, coffee gets its flavor from steeping in hot water. If you let it steep for too long, too much of the bitter flavors come through and your coffee will taste burnt.

What can I add to coffee to make it taste better? ›

  1. CHOCOLATE. What to add to your coffee that blends perfectly? ...
  2. CINNAMON AND NUTMEG. Coffee sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg gives you the smell and taste of sweetness, coupled with health benefits. ...
  3. ICE CREAM. ...
  4. LEMON AND LIME. ...
  5. BUTTER. ...
  6. SALT. ...
  7. HONEY.

Can a coffee maker make the coffee bitter? ›

DIRTY EQUIPMENT = BAD TASTING COFFEE. If oils are not removed through regular cleaning of your coffee machine, then they will go rancid. Metallic, bitter or astringent flavours in coffee are commonly blamed on the barista or the coffee beans. In actual fact, they are often caused by dirty equipment.

How do you cut bitterness? ›

Sweetness: From sugar, honey, fruits or otherwise, sweetness will counteract bitter and sour flavours. It can also be used to cut down the heat of a particularly spicy meal. Saltiness: Salt plays two very important roles in flavouring a dish. Firstly, it balances against bitterness.

Does baking soda help bitter coffee? ›

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) helps neutralize the bitterness in your coffee. In addition, it provides timely relief from the stomach-wrenching effects of the high acid in coffee, making it easier on your stomach.

Which coffee is the least bitter? ›

Arabica coffee beans make coffee that is less bitter than robusta beans. High-quality arabica coffee that has been roasted light to medium barely has any bitterness at all. Buying coffee from local and independent specialty coffee roasters will ensure that you enjoy a bitter-free cup of coffee.

Does salt make coffee less bitter? ›

Salt in coffee can enhance a brew's sweetness, making it less bitter and more mellow — even when sugar hasn't been added. And salt can enhance the pleasant aroma of freshly brewed black coffee.

How do you make coffee less bitter without sugar? ›

It may seem counterintuitive, but did you know that adding a pinch of salt to a pot of coffee or grounds can help enhance the natural sweetness? Salt reduces bitterness, so your coffee will seem sweeter without any sugar.

Why do people put butter in their coffee? ›

Butter coffee is believed to provide steady, long-lasting energy without a blood sugar crash. In theory, since fat slows digestion, the caffeine in the coffee is absorbed slower and provides longer-lasting energy.

How do coffee shops make their coffee taste so good? ›

They use super-fresh coffee beans

Fact: top-quality coffee shops use extremely fresh (and freshly-ground) beans. “If you're looking for just a great cup of coffee, the best-tasting coffee will come from a coffee shop that focuses on high-quality, fresh beans,” Kappler says.

Why doesn't my coffee taste good? ›

Under extracted coffee tends to taste sour. This is usually caused by water that isn't hot enough or having too coarse of a grind. Over extracted coffee will have a bitter taste. This can be caused by water that is too hot or using too fine of a grind.

Does hotter water make bitter coffee? ›

The ideal water temperature for most forms of preparation is 92°- 96°. If the water is hotter than this, the coffee will taste bitter. If the water is colder than 85°, the coffee tastes watery to sour.

Does hard water make coffee bitter? ›

High calcium hard water brews a bitter coffee (no thanks), while hard water that's high in magnesium brings out the full earthiness of a coffee bean. Likewise, the bicarbonates in soft water can take a low-acidity coffee roast to a sour taste.

Why is some coffee more bitter than others? ›

Grinding coffee beans can change how the compounds dissolve. This means that if the beans are too coarsely ground, you run the risk of under-extraction and this in turn leads to a flat-tasting coffee. However, if the beans are too finely ground, they become over-extracted and you're left with bitter coffee.

What kills bitter flavor? ›

Try to balance bitterness with something else. Something salty -- salt will often cut the bitterness -- but also something fatty. I should have known this straight away, fat and bitter are perfect partners.

How do you fix bitter taste? ›

There are some things you can do at home to help relieve and even prevent a bitter taste in your mouth: Drink plenty of fluids, and chew on sugar-free gum to help increase saliva production. Practice good dental hygiene. Gently brush for 2 solid minutes twice a day, and floss daily.

How do you mask bitter taste? ›

Oil-based liquids help mask bitter tasting drugs by providing a coating that protects the taste buds from the sensation of bitterness. Fixed oils, such as almond, peanut, sesame, olive and corn oil, are often necessary in preparations in which the stability of the drug is in question because of hydrolysis.

How do you neutralize bitter drinks? ›

Instead, you need to add saline solution. When added to a cocktail, salt reduces bitterness while enhancing other flavors. To make a salt solution, simply mix two parts hot water to one part salt, stirring to dissolve the mineral completely. Use an eyedropper to apply it to your cocktail.

Why add 1 oz baking soda to coffee? ›

Baking soda in coffee neutralizes the naturally occurring acids in the drink. When used in cheap coffee, it enhances the sweeter flavors and reduces bitterness, resulting in a smoother, better-tasting beverage. Lower acidity also reduces the likelihood of heartburn, reflux, and an upset stomach.

What does adding 1 4 tsp baking soda to coffee do? ›

Baking soda helps neutralize some of the naturally occurring acid in the coffee. As little as a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for a pot of coffee can smooth the harsh flavor of inexpensive coffee and make it easier to digest.

Why is Folgers coffee bitter? ›

Coffee ground too fine or not fine enough can be too bitter or lack flavor. Improper storage can result in coffee that has an off flavor. Coffee should be kept refrigerated and tightly sealed. And make sure to use the coffee before its "best by" date.

What is the best coffee in the world? ›

Top 10 Best Coffee Beans In The World
  • Yirgacheffe Natural and Organic, Ethiopia. ...
  • Finca, El Salvador. ...
  • San Ignacio, Belize. ...
  • Blue Mountain, Jamaica. ...
  • Bourbon, Brazil. ...
  • Kona Coffee, Hawaii. ...
  • Tanzania Peaberry. Coffee Name: Tanzania Peaberry Coffee. ...
  • Guatemala, Central America. Coffee Name: Guatemala Coffee.
Mar 22, 2023

What coffee does Mcdonald's use? ›

Everything you need for a delicious cup at home. Good is brewing with the rich aroma and delicious taste of our 100% Arabica coffee, available in K-Cup® pods, bags and cans in a variety of blends.

Why do you put eggshells in coffee? ›

Egg shells are alkaline, which works to neutralize any acid, including those in coffee beans. Using egg shells while brewing your coffee will also reduce any bitter taste that it has as a result of the brewing method you choose or the roast of the beans.

Why do sailors put salt in coffee? ›

Salting coffee did the trick to reduce the bitter flavor and made the brew more palatable. But that's not the only reason sailors of that era grew accustomed to salty coffee, bringing the preference home with them when the war ended.

Why do you put Himalayan salt in coffee? ›

With the added salt, the coffee will taste less bitter because the salt affects the bitterness receptors on your tongue. The overall effect is similar to adding dairy to coffee to cut down on the bitter flavor.

What is the healthiest way to sweeten coffee? ›

6 Healthy Ways to Sweeten Your Coffee
  1. Agave. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener derived from cacti. ...
  2. Honey. People usually think honey is for tea and sugar for coffee, but honey can taste just as sweet and delicious in coffee. ...
  3. Stevia. ...
  4. Coconut Sugar. ...
  5. Maple Syrup. ...
  6. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

How do you make coffee taste good without sweetener? ›

Cinnamon: Cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon add warm, spicy notes to a cup of coffee, reducing bitterness and making it taste sweeter without adding any sugar. 4. Cocoa powder: A small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder can make a cup of coffee taste milder and richer, like a sugar-free mocha.

What is coffee without sugar called? ›

Black Coffee

It's served without added sugar, milk, or flavorings.

What butter is best for coffee? ›

Kerrygold unsalted butter is the gold standard in the butter coffee community, both because of the grass-fed cows that produce it, and for its high butterfat content.

What is coffee with butter called? ›

While people have been adding butter to their coffee for hundreds of years, today's “butter coffee” refers to bulletproof coffee, which is also known as keto coffee.

What is the name of the coffee with butter in it? ›

Bulletproof coffee, also known as butter coffee, is a high-calorie caffeinated drink made with added fat. It is intended to fuel start your day by replacing carb-heavy breakfasts.

Which coffee brand is best? ›

Here Are 9 Best Coffee Brands In India That Will Level Up Your Brews:
  1. Sleepy Owl. If you are a cold brew coffee lover, Sleepy Owl is for you. ...
  2. Araku Coffee. ...
  3. King's Coffee. ...
  4. Blue Tokai. ...
  5. SLAY. ...
  6. Rage Coffee. ...
  7. Third Wave Coffee Roasters. ...
  8. Bhava Coffee.
May 31, 2023

What makes a great coffee? ›

What Makes a Good Coffee Good? Good coffee will always have a rich, strong aroma and depending on the beans and roast, you might describe it as fruity, nutty, or floral. The flavour–or taste–will perfectly balance acidity, sweetness, and bitterness, with a notable and pleasant aftertaste.

Why does restaurant coffee taste better than at home? ›

"One of the most overlooked details and differences between café-quality coffee and home-quality coffee is the other ingredient in the stuff: Water." One of the most overlooked details and differences between café-quality coffee and home-quality coffee is the other ingredient in the stuff: Water.

Do cheap coffee makers make bad coffee? ›

Most coffee makers under $150 don't bring the water any higher than 195 degrees, which means, from the very get-go, the coffee's not going to be as balanced as it could be. All the grounds aren't evenly saturated.

How do you start drinking coffee when you hate the taste? ›

Start off with a half strength coffee. The more you dilute your cup the less intense the coffee flavours will be in it. Add in some sugars or syrups even to dull down the flavours even more. Don't jump straight to black coffee, stick to your milk based drinks like your lattes, cappuccinos or mochas for the beginning.

What is the best temperature to make coffee? ›

Is There a Perfect Coffee Brewing Temperature? According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal water temperature for extraction is between 195°F and 205°F, which is a little below the boiling point of water — 212°F. What's handy about this temperature range is that it works across all brewing methods.

How much creamer to put in coffee? ›

Generally speaking, it's best to limit your creamer intake to two tablespoons per cup of coffee. Adding too much creamer can alter the flavor of your brew and add unnecessary calories to your diet.

Does hotter water make better coffee? ›

Water temperature matters because it impacts extraction, the process of pulling soluble compounds out of coffee beans by using water. Hotter water does a better job of extracting the most flavor, but if the water is too hot, it will extract more carbon, which is the reason for that horrible burnt flavor.

What kills bitterness in coffee? ›

Fats help counteract the bitterness in coffee. Adding milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cream, ice cream, or even butter will reduce bitterness and round out other flavors in your cup of coffee.

Is it OK to use tap water for coffee? ›

Tap water in most parts of the world just isn't suited for coffee brewing. Even if it's clean and potable, it can still be very high in calcium and bicarbonates. And oftentimes, there will be nasty tasting compounds as well.

Does cold water make coffee bitter? ›

1. Cold Brew Has Lower Acidity, Lower Bitterness. As you might imagine, brewing with cold water produces changes from brewing with hot water—and some of these changes are really noticeable from the first sip. For example, cold brew coffee has a lot less acidity and bitterness compared to hot brewed.

How do you fix bitter coffee with a surprising ingredient? ›

Bitter coffee can be fixed to a certain extent by adding a dash of salt to your brew. The salt essentially acts as a masking agent. The bitterness itself doesn't actually go away, but the salt inhibits our ability to detect it. That's an excellent band-aid solution.

Does coffee get more bitter the longer it sits? ›

When coffee sits out for longer periods of time, it has a longer time to react with oxygen. This oxidation changes the flavor profile of the coffee, making it taste more bitter, or stale. The oxidation process raises the pH level of the coffee, making it taste less fresh.

How do you make coffee less bitter without creamer? ›

Salt – Just a pinch of salt in the grounds or in the cup helps cut the bitterness, so it may help you reduce or even eliminate sugar.

Does coffee get less bitter over time? ›

Extraction is the process that pulls the flavor out of the coffee, turning clear water into that delightfully dark brew. When water mixes with the coffee grounds, a chemical reaction happens that dissolves flavor compounds. The trick is extracting the good ones, and not the bitter ones, which come out with more time.

What coffee is smooth and not bitter? ›

For example, Robusta coffee blends are far more bitter than Arabica coffee blends. Arabica coffee is almost always smoother, more flavorful, and preferred over Robusta coffee. So, be sure that you are using 100% pure arabica coffee beans.

Does salt take the bitterness out of coffee? ›

The addition of salt in coffee dampens bitterness without using other additives,” she says. “Salt naturally brings out the sweetness of coffee and maintains pleasant aromas. If people are sensitive to bitterness, even in specialty coffee, adding salt is a good alternative to using milk and sugar.”

Does milk or sugar make coffee less bitter? ›

To reduce the bitterness of coffee, you can add milk, sugar, cream, butter, ice cream, or a pinch of salt. Adding fats, such as milk, cream, or even butter, to coffee can reduce bitterness and acidity and bring out the coffee's flavor.

Why does sugar make coffee less bitter? ›

The caffeine molecules react by clustering together, likely trying to avoid the sugar molecules. The net result is that there are clumps of caffeine molecules in the brewed coffee or tea, rather than an even distribution of them. As the caffeine clumps, the coffee or tea becomes less bitter.

Should I add butter to my coffee? ›

Butter coffee is believed to provide steady, long-lasting energy without a blood sugar crash. In theory, since fat slows digestion, the caffeine in the coffee is absorbed slower and provides longer-lasting energy.

Why does coffee taste better when you get older? ›

There is clear evidence that as we age, our senses of smell and taste begin to temporarily (or even permanently) change – which undoubtedly influences how we perceive coffee flavour.

What coffee is least bitter? ›

Arabica coffee beans make coffee that is less bitter than robusta beans. High-quality arabica coffee that has been roasted light to medium barely has any bitterness at all. Buying coffee from local and independent specialty coffee roasters will ensure that you enjoy a bitter-free cup of coffee.

How do you know if coffee is too bitter or sour? ›

Sourness is, essentially, the sensation we get when our taste buds detect acidity. It's the taste you would get if you bite into a citrus fruit or taste vinegar. Bitterness is not acidic; it's often described as sharp and unpleasant.

What spice makes coffee less bitter? ›

Add Cinnamon

Adding spices like cinnamon, which are often paired with sweet desserts will help reduce bitterness in coffee. Your taste buds will associate the spice with something sweet and mentally trick you into thinking your coffee isn't as bitter as you thought.


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