8 Reasons Why Coffee Tastes Bitter and How to Fix It

Coffee is one of the best beverages to start your day actively. It not only makes your days beginning active but will boost up your energy for the whole day. It has various benefits that can enlighten your life with positivity. Though coffee boosts the physical performance and burns fats sometimes, your face might scrunch up if the coffee is way too bitter. 

Yes, coffee is naturally intense, but it feels awful if it becomes too bitter, and you won’t be able to drink it. Various reasons lie behind the coffee bitterness, and there are ways to fix it as well, here are few of them!

1. If You Over-Steep Your Coffee

Steeping is a process for preparing coffee often in coffee makers like French Press and AeroPress. And, in this, you mix your grinds directly with water. When you over-steep your coffee, it creates a harsh and bitter flavour, and when you steep it too less, it makes the coffee sour and weak.

over steeping coffee

How to fix it:

If stepping is making your coffee bitter, then leave worries behind, it is fixable. If you can get the steeping of your coffee right, you can get all the delightful extractions in your cup. Reduce your extraction time if your coffee is bitter. Increase your extraction time if your coffee is too weak.

2. By Using Dirty Equipment

Your coffee will get a bitter taste if you don’t keep your coffee maker clean. In case of using an automatic drip coffee maker, you need to clean it thoroughly at least once a week. Otherwise, your coffee will taste bitter, and you cannot enjoy it.

dirty coffee equipment

How to fix it: 

The only way to fix it is by keeping your coffee maker clean, and it is pretty easy to do that. You can clean your coffee maker with vinegar by using the dishwasher, washing with soap and water, and many other ways. Whenever you make coffee, you would want it to enjoy it on that day and not save it for the next day. So immediately after making coffee, it is better to let hot water run in the filter cone and coffee carafe after brewing while it’s still hot, and the coffee doesn’t dry on the surface. Then you can keep your coffee maker clean easily and quickly.

Read the full step-by-step guide on cleaning your coffee maker at home.

3. When You Grind Size Doesn’t Fit with Brewing Method

It requires skill to brew a decent coffee. But your coffee might taste bitter if the grind size doesn’t fit with the brewing method, even if you are brewing nicely. By using a good grinder, you can control the grind size until you find the best one suitable with your brewing method.

grind size of coffee

How to fix it: 

In most cases, the best grind size is coarse, if your brewing method is a French press Percolator, and if you brew coffee with regular household coffee maker with flat filters, then it would be better to use medium grind size. For coffee makers that have cone-shaped filters, the best choice is to use a well-made grind size. If you are using Pump and Steam espresso machines, then you need to make an extra-fine grind size. By following these brewing methods with the grind sizes, you can easily prepare coffee that would be tasty and creamy and get rid of bitter coffee.

4. Water Quality and Temperature of Coffee

Water quality and heat play an essential role in making a perfect cup of coffee. By using distilled or unfiltered and dirty water: the coffee is going to taste bitter, and you won’t be able to drink it. It is better not to make coffee with distilled water because of its mineral content. Temperature also plays an essential role in brewing decent coffee. It is better to keep the temperature between 195 F and 205 F. If your water is colder, bitterness is more prominent, and it is better to keep the temperature around 205 F. 

How to fix it: 

The solution to this is simple. Just use water which is not too cold or not too hot and not unfiltered and dirty. You need to use filtered water or bottled spring water, otherwise, your coffee will taste bitter. And, also you need to take care of the temperature for brewing a perfect cup of coffee.

5. Using Bad Quality Coffee Beans

If you use coffee beans that are stale or old, it is going to affect the taste and make it bitter. There are different types of coffee beans found in the market. Some make the coffee intense, some make it less biting. Or if you use coffee beans, which are way too old and are stale, it will make the coffee bitter.

bad quality coffee beans

How to fix it: 

The best solution to this is to buy whole beans. You can view our guide to picking perfect coffee beans. As you can use whole beans within a week and grind as much coffee beans you want to use in your coffee right away. 

If you are using Robusta beans, it will make the coffee bitter so it is better to use Arabica beans. By using Arabica beans, you can make your coffee less severe and with more flavour, and that’s why they are a little expensive. Another way to make less bitter coffee is to use coffee beans from the Kona region, Brazil or Costa Rica.

6. Using Dark Roasts

Using dark roast can be a reason for coffee being bitter. Most of the coffee like Italian, French, Espresso, Viennese, Continental varieties use a dark roast, which makes the coffee biting. 

How to fix it: 

You can use light roasted coffee if the dark roasts are too bitter. Some roasters also show how much the coffee is dark or light. If you want your coffee to be less severe, the best way is to use light roasted ones. You can easily understand how dark or lightly roasted the coffee is; by its colour also. You can buy those labelled with Cinnamon or Half City because those are light roasted ones.

7. Variety of Beans

The taste of coffee differs due to the change in coffee beans. Mainly, there are two types of plants grown for preparing coffee. One is Robusta, and another one is Arabica. Robusta beans make the coffee bitter, and Arabica beans make the coffee less biting. 

How to fix it: 

If you want to make your coffee less bitter, Arabica beans are going to be the best choice for you. It also creates more flavours in the coffee by using Arabica beans than using Robusta beans.

8. The Incorrect Ratio of Coffee and Water

If the ratio between coffee and water is inaccurate, then the coffee is going to taste bitter. If you use more coffee, the bitter the coffee will be. The ratio also depends on the brewing equipment you are using.


incorrect ratio of coffee and water

How to fix it: 

The ideal ratio of water and coffee is 18:1, which means 18 grams of water to 1 gram of coffee. So for making the best coffee, you need to learn what the perfect ratio is according to your coffee maker and water. It is also preferred to make notes of the proportion using a coffee scale so that you can make perfect coffee every time.


To wrap it up, you can get a perfect cup of coffee without any bitterness while following the above instructions. Also, guidance about how to choose the perfect coffee maker and coffee beans is available at our site, for your help as well.

Enjoy a perfect cup of coffee!


A. I. Moon

A.I. Moon, an experienced SEO Pythonista, spends his days coding and developing web applications to help business owners. A passionate coffee enthusiast, he believes that drinking coffee fuels his creativity and productivity. His day isn't complete without the rich aroma and invigorating warmth of a perfectly brewed cup. This love for coffee inspired him to found EspressoRivo, a platform dedicated to sharing his coffee knowledge and fostering a community of passionate aficionados.

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