Why Does My Coffee Taste Bad? Let’s Find Out Reasons

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Why does my coffee taste bad? This question continues striking to your head whenever your coffee disappoints you. 

Brewing coffee appears to be amusing to coffee lovers unless it concocts an awful taste. It does not give your mood a swing only yet ruins the entire day. In any case, don’t stress yourself. I am here to ensure your coffee does not taste bad anymore.  

13 Reasons – Why Does My Coffee Taste Bad?

Numerous reasons can cause the bad taste of your coffee. Indeed, even the slightest thing you didn’t care about could turn out badly and ruin it all. Although it appears to be disillusioning, fortunately, you can still fix it anytime. 

Well! After doing extensive research, I’m here with almost all potential reasons to let you find out an answer to why does my homemade coffee taste bad.


Practically every factor that causes your coffee to taste terrible revolves around the accompanying coffee components:

  • Coffee Beans 
  • Water 
  • Equipment

Besides that, there could also be an X-factor behind screwing up your coffee. We will discuss it exhaustively underneath. 

Are Beans Causing My Coffee Taste Bad? 

While talking about coffee, beans must come first to your mind. Typically, only two kinds of coffee beans exist in the market, i.e., Robusta and Arabica. The first one is relatively cheap, hence is of low-quality, whereas the latter one is recommendable. As your coffee largely depends on the nature of beans, you ought to select the Arabica. 

  1. Low-Quality Coffee 

Coffee is worth your money since it contributes the most to bring up the desired taste. Although everyone battles to grab the best coffee beans, you may have to opt for bad quality beans due to the lack of awareness, tight budget, etc. Robusta Coffee is not good as it brings a more fragile and less mind-boggling flavor. It is pretty much as simple as the fact that purchasing cheap coffee won’t give you the heavenly taste. Subsequently, it will baffle you with its disagreeableness. 

How to Solve it: Learn how to pick up the best coffee while considering the taste and price. 

Pro Tip: Try not to purchase pre-grounded or privately marked coffee.

  1. Badly Roasted Beans

Did you use the badly roasted beans? Ask yourself. Indeed, this could be the reason why does my coffee taste bad. Roasting is a perplexing process. You might not have done it effectively at home. On the off chance that you are getting it from outside, they may not get cooked well. By and large, it isn’t desirable to roast beans yourself. This way, there will be more possibilities of awful roast, causing bad coffee taste.

Badly Roasted Beans
Badly Roasted Beans

How to Solve It: Switch to a new vendor and try distinctively roasted beans. You may have to change your coffee beans multiple times. But you will have your hands on the best ones with excellent taste. 

  1. Mismatched Grinds

Did you know the size of the grounds can primarily affect the flavor of your coffee? Different brewing techniques demand various sizes of grind. That is why you either need to choose the ground coffee that fits best with your machine or grind it yourself. Are you searching for why my French press coffee tastes bad? French Press coffee makers work best with exceptionally flowed grounds.  When the grind is too fine, your coffee gets over-extracted. Hence, it tastes bitter or burnt. 

How to Solve It: First, you need to know which strategy or machine you use for your coffee. Using finely ground coffee would be appropriate for making Turkish coffee. With more extensive grounds, coffee remains under-extracted. It then gives a sour taste. 

Pro Tip: Crush your coffee beans yourself at home for the perfect taste. For this purpose, you can check out Best Coffee Grinder for French Press.  

  1. Stale Beans

With time, the coffee loses its freshness and flavor naturally. Despite brands proving the longevity of their coffee, it is a product that does not have a much longer shelf-life. Researches have proved that coffee loses 10% of its flavor at regular intervals. The logic behind the fact is that the roasting of coffee beans generates carbon dioxide gas. With time, they discharge out the gas, losing the flavor. Therefore, you should not use old coffee beans that are put away for a longer time. They likely have degassed and will taste terrible, of course. 

How to Solve It: Purchase fresh coffee or store coffee beans instead of the pre-grounded ones. You might feel it a bit difficult to grind them, yet the beans will stay fresh for longer. While storing, keep them in an airtight container and place them in a cool and dry spot. It will ensure to get them away from heat, light, air, and dampness, preserving the taste. 

Is Water Causing Your Coffee Taste Bad?

In a coffee, water quality matters a lot as it acts as the solvent. So, it is true to say that great water gives you a decent coffee. If you use tap water, disclose to yourself that this is why my coffee tastes bad. Consequently, you must take care of water quality. If tap water feels too intense or chlorinated, you ought to abstain from it. 

  1. Poor Quality Water 

You may not notice it; sometimes, your tap water doesn’t work for your coffee. It is, in reality, because of the hardness of the water particles. It does not blend in with your coffee well. Accordingly, it also becomes the answer to your query – why does my coffee taste bad? Regardless of whether the faucet water tastes fine, you need to utilize an alternative soft water source. It will indeed produce a significant change in your coffee taste. 

Is Water Causing Your Coffee Taste Bad
Is Water Causing Your Coffee Taste Bad

How to solve it: This is certainly not a major issue. You can pick drinking water rather than faucet water. Nonetheless, use filtered drinking water. In case you use faucet water for drinking, you may have to filter it first. 

  1. Temperature Issue 

Realizing the ideal temperature is what ensures that your coffee tastes the best it can. Over-heating water could annihilate the volatile oils and subtle flavor of beans. Likewise, under-heating or using a bit of cool water can leave your coffee under-extracted. Both cases will ultimately degrade the taste of your coffee in one way or another. To start a good day, you must have a perfect espresso. However, it is conceivable to brew it at the best temperature of 96° C or 205° F. 

How to solve it: Keep a thermometer to check the temperature while making a coffee. It will assist you in maintaining the desired taste. You can either buy a cheap thermometer or an expensive laser one because both will fill a similar need. 

Pro Tip: If you find yourself with no thermometer around, give the water a boil and remove it off for 30 seconds. Now, add coffee and proceed with the cycle. 

Check out Coffee Makers that brew at 200 degrees.

Is Equipment Causing My Coffee Taste Bad?

If both your coffee and water are doing great, the equipment can justify why my coffee tastes bad.

  1. Dirty Equipment

Like most of us, you might avoid washing your coffee maker again and again. You made the same coffee before, and you can reuse it again for a similar reason. Thus, flushing the gear appears to be alright; however, the fact is that cleaning is what it needs. You can’t make spotless the coffee pot or the filter area with rinsing only. The residue of the old coffee can add to the new one, causing bitterness or a burnt taste. Henceforth, it would be best to expel it out to not mix in the next time. 

How to Solve It: The only possible solution is to Clean. Make sure to give a nice clean to all the tools of your coffee mixer. You will see it is worth keeping up your coffee taste. Moreover, it will keep your invulnerable framework protected and vigorous. 

Pro Tip: Clean your coffee mixer right after using it. This way, the process will become a lot simpler for you. You can likewise have a look at How to clean a coffee maker for 

Dirty Coffee Equipment
Dirty Coffee Equipment
  1. Old Equipment 

Using old equipment would ask you to compromise on the delightfulness of your coffee. It is because of the aging factor that lessens the viability of your coffee mixer. You might find no apparent reasons to change your favorite coffee maker, but the inevitable wear and tear is a real thing. It will damage the machine parts internally or reduce the pressure power. In the long run, it will blend your coffee inadequately and will taste bad to you. Hence, it may also be the reason why the taste of the coffee is bad. 

How to Solve It: The only way to figure it out is to go and buy a new coffee maker. Going through cash will esteem your endeavors, conveying the ideal flavor. Moreover, your old machine might get outdated as things evolve with time. Purchasing a new one will let you enjoy the updated features, improving the taste. 

Pro Tip: You can lengthen the lifetime of your favorite coffee mixer. For this, you have to make sure to clean and care the way it needs.

  1. Wrong Equipment

Considering all your reasons clear, you might be making a big blunder that is nothing other than opting for the faulty equipment. Some specialty coffees, for example, Espresso or Turkish, can only be made in their particular coffee makers. They have such special gears that operate as per their prerequisites. That is why you cannot obtain that genuine taste using a simple coffee machine. Even if you try to make such coffee in your regular machine, it will taste terrible. 

Besides, there can be a similar issue with your coffee cup. It would be best to use a ceramic, glass, or stainless-steel cup rather than a plastic or disposal. 

How to Solve It: Pick the right equipment, keeping in mind the type of coffee you would love to have any time. Also, bring the coffee beans accordingly.

Is An X-Factor Causing My Coffee Taste Bad?

While making coffee, anything other than beans, water, and equipment, can also go wrong. It will also be one of the factors due to why your coffee tastes bad.

  1. Timing Issue 

Brewing your tea a little longer doesn’t matter. But in the case of coffee, time is super important. It would be best to brew it on an ideal time limit because doing more or less will alter the taste. Generally, there is not any fixed timing for brewing different coffees other than commonly acceptable ones. Good coffee makers like Espresso do not stress you about time. They do the job themselves. Nonetheless, you have to fix the time for other coffee mixers. 

How to Solve It: Your coffee taste relies on your brewing time a lot. Following experts suggested time or opting for such a machine that auto-limits the time will be helpful for you. Still, knowing how much time someone else takes to brew coffee would not suit your taste. 

Pro Tip: Try slightly different timings yourself. It will let you find out what suits best to your taste. If you use a Keurig machine, then here is How to use a Keurig machine. 

  1. Brewing Excessive Coffee 

What would you prefer? Saving time to make another coffee or having a perfect coffee of your taste? Of course! You’ll opt for the subsequent one. Although brewing coffee too much can save your time and effort; however, it will compromise the taste for multiple reasons.

Consequently, the best is to brew as much coffee as you need it for the time being. Also, it would be best if you dropped it out as soon as it gets ready because a heated plate can over-extract it. Try not to leave brewed coffee on the mixer, nor retake it. 

Brewing Excessive Coffee
Brewing Excessive Coffee

How to Solve It: Brew your coffee every time you need it rather than brewing once and storing it to drink again later. You may see it as time-consuming, but the fresh coffee tastes worth it all. 

  1. Unsuitable to your taste 

Everyone has the sort of taste that they like to have. On account of coffee, what sounds best to your friend might not be the same for you. Along these lines, don’t compel yourself to have coffee that doesn’t follow your taste.  

How to Solve It: Try to choose any other type of coffee. If it doesn’t suit your style, then change your coffee recipe or brewing style. You may like it a bit stronger or somewhat different from that; discover it yourself. 

  1. Personal Error 

Committing mistakes is a human instinct. But knowing what went wrong can help you avoid it the next time. Perhaps, you may have missed out on something. Maybe you have wrongly measured the quantity of either coffee or water. Likewise, you may have brewed it too much or too little. Since there could be any misstep, you must do it mindfully to avoid doing such things. 

How to Solve It: Keen observation or note-taking can be a practical approach to assess the process and find the slip-up you made. It would be best to remember how much water you used or what temperature you brewed your coffee. 


How Does My Bad Coffee Taste & Why Is It So? 

Evaluating how bad coffee tastes will help you find a suitable answer to why your coffee tastes bad.  Therefore, I have listed down a few typical flavors you might have encountered while having a bad coffee. 

  • Coffee Tastes Bitter 

Does your coffee taste bitter? Assuming this is the case, you might have brewed it with too hot water or for too long a time. It results in over-extraction of the coffee flavor, causing bitterness. In addition, using stale beans or too-finely ground coffee can also make it bitter.  

How to solve it: Add some sugar or milk to your coffee. It will minimize the bitterness. You can also sprinkle some salt over your coffee to bring back its original taste.  

  • Coffee Tastes Sour

This kind of taste usually comes out when you do not brew your coffee correctly. It causes that under-extracted coffee to produce a sour taste. Another explanation could be the broad grounds of coffee due to improper grind. You may have ground it in a hurry, and it didn’t work admirably.

How to solve it: Brew your coffee again for a little longer. This way, the leftover coffee will get extracted, eventually giving you an authentic taste. Thus, it is an instant way to fix sourness. 

Coffee Tastes Burnt
Coffee Tastes Burnt
  • Coffee Tastes Burnt 

Have you over-brewed the coffee? Indeed, what else would you expect from it? Now and again, the beans you used are over-roasted; this also produces a coffee with a burnt taste. Obviously! It is not your fault as you are not responsible for their roasting. Yet, at the same time, picking the quality coffee is in your grasp. 

How to Solve It: Drip off the hot coffee as soon as it gets ready. Because fresh and hot coffee can only give you the desired flavor. Also, try not to leave your coffee to brew or stay on the heated plate for longer. 

  • Coffee Tastes Plastic 

You might ask yourself, why does my coffee taste bad from my Keurig? Well, it happens when you do not clean or descale your Keurig machine. It starts producing a plastic taste that mixes with your coffee. In the same manner, other old coffee makers also give off plastic taste due to over-usage. 

How to Solve It: Deep clean your Keurig coffee machine, especially its plastic parts. This way, all the plastic material will be dispose-off, leaving you with a refined coffee taste. 

Pro Tip: Take some baking soda, white vinegar, or lemon juice with water. And run a cleaning brew cycle at the end of every day. It will deeply cleanse your machine.

  • Coffee Tastes Watery

Like tea, watery coffee is what a coffee lover despises the most. This sort of taste is due to the improper water/coffee ratio. Other reasons could include not letting water get hot properly, brewing coffee for less time, and so forth. 

How to solve it: Figure out the water/coffee ratio first by trying it multiple times. You can also get an idea of how many teaspoons of coffee you need per cup. After then, try to line up your grind size, brewing time, and water temperature of your coffee accordingly.

  • Coffee Tastes Metallic 

It probably happens when you use metallic equipment. While brewing, some particles of it mixes with your hot coffee. It comes out causing a metallic taste. If you are not using any metallic substance, this must be due to the low-quality water. As water that is too chlorinated alters the flavor, therefore, use drinking water. 

How to Solve It: Choose a non-metallic machine and use filtered or bottled water consistently. It will deliver you the optimal taste you are craving.


Quick Tips to Avoid My Coffee from Tasting Bad 

I know how it feels when your favorite coffee does not go well. Yet, now you are well aware of why your coffee tastes bad. So, let’s move towards finding out ways to have a superior coffee taste. 

Here are a couple of tips and tricks for brewing a super delicious coffee:

  1. Use The Right Amount of Filtered Water 

Your coffee is largely dependent on water. That is why it is essential to take the correct composition of water. Additionally, remember not to use tap water or distilled water since it is hard. It can be the reason why my coffee tastes bad. Therefore, choose filtered water for brewing the best coffee. 

  1. Choose the Top-Notch Ground Coffee 

Selecting the right coffee is crucial. Nowadays, even branded coffees are using bad quality beans. Hence, try not to purchase coffee with obscure names or ill-advised bundling. Always search for ground coffee made of Arabica coffee beans. 

If you love having a strong cup of coffee, the dark roast will suit you the best. Along these lines, while purchasing the coffee, pick up the one marked as Dark or French roast. However, if lighter coffee makes you feel better, the breakfast blend is good for you. 

  1. Pre-Heat the Coffee Maker 

Why does my Keurig coffee taste bad? You may be struggling to find it out. Here it is for you; Keurig coffee makers permit you to brew your coffee at 192 F°. But it is not the best temperature for optimal taste. According to the National Coffee Association, you should brew coffee at an optimum temperature that ranges from 195 to 205 degrees. Consequently, you need to preheat the Keurig machine for a perfect flavor. In contrast, if the coffee maker you use has the optimal heating option, you should utilize it rather than pre-heating it.

  1. Brew Your Coffee Soon After Grinding

Ground coffee begins losing its flavor. Henceforth, it is best to crush coffee beans only when you want to drink coffee. Also, brew them immediately after grinding as opposed to waiting for them to lose all newness. 

For another situation, if you buy ground coffee, avoid storing it in larger amounts. It keeps on losing the flavor with time. Hence, preserving it for longer won’t give you the same taste. 

  1. Pull Out Your Coffee on Time 

Be smart! Pull out your coffee as soon as it gets ready. Otherwise, the water drops will continue to add to your coffee. It will make your coffee taste watery. Also, leaving your coffee on the heated plate will over-brew it. You might find it tasting either bitter or burnt.

  1. Clean the Residue 

Clean, clean, clean. Yes, you have heard it right. You must clean your coffee maker just after brewing it once. It is essential since leaving it filthy can be the reason why does my coffee taste bad. It will allow the residue to be stuck with the equipment. Furthermore, it will be more diligent in disposing of the previous coffee buildup later on. 


Final Thoughts: 

Craving for a good cup of coffee is an everyday thing. Nonetheless, you might find it difficult to brew a perfect coffee at home. It is OK! You cannot expect everything to go as per your desire all the time. Especially when it comes to coffee, you have to consider many things simultaneously. Hence, you need to be patient and give yourself time to practice and excel in your brewing skills. After reading this, I hope you are now well aware of why your coffee tastes bad. So, grab the best coffee maker and brew an excellent coffee now.

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