As absurd as it may sound, but there are many people out there that don’t like coffee. One of the main reasons is that they find it bitter. Of the major tastes, bitterness is probably the one that gets the worst rap. So we’ve put together a few tips on how to reduce that bitterness in your coffee from an overwhelming starring role to a gentle supporting player.
A larger percentage of people like their coffee hot. Like, really hot. That is part of the appeal, but you should be warned that the desire for really hot coffee could affect the flavor for the worse.
Coffee drinkers who makes coffee in French presses or pour-overs tend to boil the water before introducing it to the coffee grinds. This makes sense, as generally when we need hot water, we boil it. With coffee, however, that’s no good. It burns the coffee grinds as it comes in contact with boiling water. Therefore, it is most commonly recommended to only heat your water up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (the boiling point is 212 degrees, so yes, that's playing it close!)
The lesson here? Stop burning your beans! :)
Less is good
A common misconception is that adding more coffee to what you are brewing will strengthen your cup of coffee. This could take your brewing for a toss as it may make your cup taste worse! A similar principle applies here as it does with a finer grind and a longer brew:
The more coffee there is, the more that the water has to travel, and the more that the water has to travel, the longer it takes. The longer it takes, the higher chance you have of over-extraction!
Light or Medium roast coffee
Light or medium roasted coffee tends to have a less bitter compounds than dark roasted coffee. This is because they are often roasted for less time and at a lower temperature than dark roasted coffees.
The last bit of a coffee brewed is typically where all the bitter notes come from, so if you leave a coffee brewing for too long, you’re mostly extracting bitter flavors.
Bitterness compounds tend to be heavier and harder to extract than the acidic compounds. That’s why the more you extract, the stronger your coffee will be overall, though the balance of flavors in your cup would tilt towards the bitter side. So, if your coffee tastes overwhelmingly bitter or like burnt coffee, you might want to lower the coffee extraction.
One way to extract less is to grind your coffee a notch or two coarser. When water hits a coffee ground, it has to work its way in. So, if you have larger coffee grounds, there’s more work for your water to do, and therefore your coffee will break down slower.
To Summarize this article, coffee would have quite a few variables to play around with and it is always a better practice to follow recipes with your brews. You could always reach out to your local speciality cafe or roasters to chat upon the recommended recipes as per the brewing equipment and the coffee.