Why your coffee tastes bitter and 10 ways to fix it

Why your coffee tastes bitter and 10 ways to fix it

4 minute read

No one wants a bad cup of coffee, but sometimes you can end up with one when you make it at home. Sometimes your coffee tastes bitter and you might not realise what you're doing wrong. Whatever may be the reason, we're here to help. Here are a few things you can do to improve the taste of your coffee every time you make it - 

  1. Adding cold water - When you make yourself a cup of coffee, add some cold water to the instant coffee and mix it before you add any hot water/milk. Dissolving your coffee in cold water helps in reducing the acidity that is present in coffee. 

  2. The right temperature - Adding instant coffee to boiled water can have adverse effects on the taste of your coffee. To get a good cup of coffee, you should ensure that the water is freshly boiled. 

  3. Choosing your coffee - Good coffee starts with good quality beans. Most instant coffee brands use a blend of Robusta and arabica beans in their coffee. Coffee that contains a higher percentage of Robusta is usually more bitter and harsher on the tongue. Try and opt for instant coffee that is made using 100% freeze-dried premium Arabica beans. The resulting cup of coffee will be much smoother and richer.

  4. Check your coffee to water ratio - Adding too much water may result in a very diluted coffee, whereas too little may result in a strong and concentrated cup which may taste bitter. You can start by adding 1 to 2 tsp of coffee for every 1 cup of water. However, you might have to try and test out what works best for you till you find your sweet spot for your coffee to water ratio. Let your taste dictate your coffee ratio.

  5. Add a fat - We were equally surprised when bulletproof coffee started trending but it's true! Adding a fat to your coffee really helps counteract the bitterness that you may taste. Adding milk, cream, ice cream or even butter, is a good idea to reduce the bitterness and round out other flavours in your coffee. 

  6. Adding salt to coffee - We'll admit this one looks like a trick but it's not. Adding a small amount of salt helps to reduce the underlying bitterness of instant coffee. According to research, salt is supposed to be a better compound than sugar to reduce bitterness. Surprising isn't it?

  7. Sugar or alternative sweeteners - If you don't want to do anything extreme and add salt to your coffee, you can always be on the safer side and add sugar instead. However, sugar may not be an acceptable option for a lot of people, so you can always go with alternatives honey, jaggery or stevia. 

  8. Adding citrus - To counteract the bitterness of coffee, you can try adding a little bit of citrus. If squeezing a lemon wedge is too much for you, you can always add a lemon or orange rind to your coffee. If you've ever been served coffee with a citrus wedge, this is probably the reason why. 

  9. Adding spices like cinnamon - Adding spices like cinnamon or vanilla can also help reduce the bitterness in your coffee. Your taste buds tend to associate the spice with something sweet which will trick your mind into thinking that your coffee isn't as bitter as you think. 

  10. Frothy milk and a sprinkle of cocoa - Foamed milk is a good way to improve the taste of your coffee at home. Getting frothy milk at home doesn't require big expensive machines either. A handheld manual milk frother should do the trick, which will greatly improve the taste and quality of your coffee. A little cocoa can go a long way when your coffee tastes bitter. 

There are plenty of ways to reduce the bitterness of your favourite drink. Why don't you go ahead and try some of them for yourself?

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