The coffee that you drink every day is probably not as good tasting as it could be. You may have noticed this, but with many different ways to make coffee less bitter, you can enjoy your cup of joe in no time!
Sprinkling salt over your coffee grounds not only lessens some of the bitterness but also rounds out its flavor. This is the simplest way to make better-tasting brewed coffee!
In this blog post, we will talk about some proven methods for making your coffee less bitter and how they work.
There are three broad ways on how to make coffee less bitter:
- Changing your brewing method
- Adding ingredients to your coffee mix
- Using different coffee beans or grounds
Read on to find out the details to make your coffee more enjoyable to drink and definitely less bitter.
Why Coffee Tastes Bitter
Before diving into the ways to make coffee less bitter, let’s quickly address why it tends to be bitter in the first place.
There are a few reasons for this! Suppose you’re using dark roast beans that have been roasted too long. Your coffee will likely taste more intense and bitterer than other types of roasts. Even medium or light roasts could produce a significant bitterness volume if they were roasted incorrectly.
When it comes to coffee, the water you use can affect how the drink tastes. If you are using tap or well-water, then there is a higher level of minerals present, making your cup bitter and unpleasant! Try not to use these types when possible. Instead, go with filtered (or bottled) waters like Evian with less mineral content; this will result in better tasting cups plus healthier too!
When you brew coffee, the amount of time also plays a part in why it tastes bitter. If you spend too much time brewing your cup or using way more grounds than needed, that could be causing those harsh tasting notes to come out. This happens because as water sits on ground beans (or over-extracts them), they become less soluble and release their natural oils. Leading to the bitterness being released into the liquid we love so dearly!
Change Up Your Brewing Method
One way you can use to lessen the bitter taste in your coffee is to change your brewing method. From how finely ground your beans are to when and where you pour them, every step of the process can affect what it tastes like in the end!
Grind your beans just before brewing and use a medium-to-fine grind
To make the best tasting coffee, grind your beans just before brewing. Fresh grounds will give you a better taste and less of an unpleasant bitter flavor than stale ones would. Grind them to medium-fine for optimum results!
For the best-tasting coffees, ground up some fresh beans just before making it – this makes sure that they’re not too old or have lost their quality from sitting around in storage all day long. Grinding finer is usually more ideal because it means that the water will heat up faster. And you’ll be able to extract all of these delicious flavors without waiting for anything. On the other hand, coarser grounds have a thicker consistency, requiring hotter water temperatures straight away!
Lessen Steeping Time
One of the best ways to make your coffee-making process better is by reducing how long you let it steep. This trick only applies if you have a press or pour water directly on grinds, as opposed to using pre-packaged grounds – and this will work so much quicker than five minutes!
Steeping coffee for too long can result in bitter-tasting beverages because over-extraction has occurred. One way to avoid over-extraction is letting hot water come into contact with ground beans at room temperature instead of boiling them first. Just like many people do when making drip brews.
You can make these changes to your coffee steeping process that will help improve the taste. Start by giving it five minutes in the press and gradually work down until you reach three or four. Once you find what suits your tastes, stick with those numbers for subsequent brews!
Clean Your Equipment Frequently
Coffee lovers, rejoice! There’s another reason to keep your equipment clean. Not only does it help with brewing a better-tasting cup of coffee, but it also helps you avoid ingesting any unhealthy bacteria that might be lingering around in there from the last time you brewed.
Keeping your equipment clean will neutralize any acidity that’s leftover from the last cup you brewed. We recommend washing between uses to remove any oils or residue that builds up over time. Not only will keeping your equipment clean keep your coffee from tasting bitter, but it’ll also extend the life of the device.
Use High-Quality Water and Beans
How can you make the best coffee which is not so bitter? It all starts with high-quality beans and water. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on your beans, but they should be fresh! Make sure that the temperature of your water is hot enough; not too hot or too cold – just right for brewing some delicious java.
The best water to use while brewing coffee is distilled or bottled water. They are both always clean and will not affect the taste of your morning cup!
To make the best cup of coffee, it is vital to keep your beans fresh. Stale or old beans can quickly ruin a good pot of Joe by leaving an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth. One way you can tell if your own home-brewed batch has gone bad would be checking for any mold and discarding anything that looks suspect – even if they are still edible! When buying from the store, try not to buy more than two weeks’ worth at once. As time goes on, their flavor will start deteriorating quickly; but don’t worry too much about this since most stores sell them within three days anyways!
Experiment with different ratios of ground coffee to water until you find what tastes best to you
This is important, not only for taste but also for the quality of your coffee. The best ratio to follow when brewing a pot of joe should be two tablespoons per six ounces (180 milliliters) or eight fluid-ounce cups.
If you want to make a strong cup, use more grounds and less water, creating an even more robust flavor in the end product. If you use too much water, then the coffee will be too weak.
Fun Fact: Different types of beans require a slightly different ratio, depending on their density level. Espresso requires about one tablespoon per ounce (30 milliliters), while dark roast needs around two tablespoons.
Adding Different Ingredients to Your Coffee
Cream and Sugar are undoubtedly popular ingredients added to make our favorite morning drink taste better (and less bitter). But they also have serious calorie counts, which all adds up fast if we don’t watch out when diving in too deep with these two items alone. However, there’s an easy solution: adding some unorthodox but still delicious items!
Why is Salt the Most Popular Ingredient to Add?
The third most popular ingredient to add to your coffee to make it taste better is, believe it or not, salt. It might sound odd, but there is a science to back it up. Coffee is bitter because of the high amount of chlorogenic acid lactones and phenylindanes present in coffee grounds.
These antioxidants are neutralized when salt is added to the brew. So, the more salt added, the less bitter the coffee tastes. Salt also tends to bring out the other flavors of a brew and smooth them out and make them taste even better.
Other Benefits to Adding Salt to Your Coffee
Making coffee taste less bitter is just one of the benefits of adding salt to your coffee. A few other pros include:
- Easing acid reflux
- Improving the water quality
- Giving your body some sodium
Coffee can cause heartburn or acid reflux in some individuals, but salt reduces that issue. It lowers the natural acidity in your brew and prevents you from having a case of acid reflux. Adding salt can also prevent you from developing acid reflux issues in the future if you find yourself drinking coffee often.
Salt softens and improves water quality. In some cases, as in-home water systems, people implement this into their lives to make better coffee! If you want your own cup of joe to taste delicious without the bitter aftertaste from a tap or bottled H2O, just add salt before brewing it. You can either put it directly on top of the grounds during brewing or add a few pinches once brewed will help eliminate any staleness.
For those of you who like to add salt straight in the coffee grounds or on top, it’s recommended that you measure out 1 tablespoon for every 6 tablespoons. The same is true with adding salt afterward – one or two teaspoons should do just fine!
Drinking too much coffee can lead to low sodium levels. This happens because caffeine takes away the natural salt stores in your body. Adding some salty goodness back into your cup with a dash of table salt will give you that much-needed boost.
Other Ingredients to Add to Your Coffee
Salt is the most popular ingredient to lessen the bitter taste of coffee, but there are other ingredients you can add if you don’t want to add more salt to your diet. Other ingredients you can add to your coffee to make it less bitter include:
- Different flavored extracts
Cinnamon is perfect for those who still like a sweet flavor to their coffee – especially if they’re trying out new ways to cut back on sugar intake or lose some pounds (or both!). It won’t neutralize the bitter taste completely, but it will substantially lessen it, so what remains tastes much more robust than before.
Adding sugary and processed syrups to your coffee can be a great way to erase the bitterness. But they are also high in calories, so watch out! A healthier alternative to this is adding flavored extracts to your mug, the most popular among them being:
Extracts are a more natural way to add a sweet or refreshing flavor to your coffee, so you can enjoy a non-bitter brew without adding unnecessary calories.
How about butter? Butter in your coffee might sound outlandish as salt, if not more. A few tablespoons of melted butter will mask the bitterness with its high sodium content and provide you hours of energy! A great way to cut down on acidity is by adding a spoonful or two (or three!) into your cup – it’ll help keep you full for longer without sacrificing taste.
Another interesting way to reduce the bitterness in coffee is to add 1 to 2 match heads in coffee. Yes, you read that right! Match heads. I wrote a piece on adding match heads to your coffee in another post.
Choose Different Coffee Beans or Grounds
The last way I’ll touch on to lessen the bitterness of your coffee is by using different beans or grounds. The particular type of beans you’re choosing might be contributing to that bitter taste, so experimenting with a less-bitter option might make it easier for you!
What Type of Coffee Grounds Are the Least and Most Bitter?
The bitterness of coffee largely depends on the type of roast it is. Lighter roasts are typically less bitter than darker roasts. Two main factors affect how bitter a coffee roast tastes, including the variety of coffee and the roast type.
The variety of coffee refers to the types of plants the coffee beans are harvested from. The most popular varieties of coffee are the Robusta variety and the Arabica variety. Robusta is usually much more bitter than Arabica because of the higher concentration of chlorogenic acid. On the other hand, Arabica has a higher concentration of sugars and fats compared to Robusta, so it tastes less bitter.
The type of roast refers to the temperature that the coffee beans are roasted at. Higher temperatures produce darker and more bitter roasts, while lower temperatures produce lighter and less bitter roasts. The most bitter coffees that come from dark roasts are:
- French roasts
- Italian roasts
- Vienna roasts
- Full city roasts
Every other roast is either a light or medium roast, and therefore less bitter.
Are There Any Coffee Roasts That Aren’t Bitter at All?
Believe it or not, yes, there are a few coffee roasts that don’t taste bitter at all. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to produce them, and they tend to be more expensive than the typical coffee roast. This is mainly because non-bitter coffee comes from independent specialty coffee roasters.
Typical coffee roasters take the easiest and often cheapest route to produce their coffee to quickly produce their product and maximize their profits. On the other hand, independent coffee roasters put painstaking detail and enormous effort into their brew. They spend hours extracting flavors from the beans and making their coffee as flavorful and aromatic as possible.
You can do a quick google search on finding specialty coffee brewers in your area or online. You can also refer to this list to find some of the best coffee brands that make non-bitter or significantly less bitter varieties of coffee. The best specialty coffee brewers in the United States include:
Finding a non-bitter coffee brew is difficult, but not impossible. The main thing to be aware of is the price. While regular coffee is usually about 5-10 dollars a bag, specialty made coffee can cost up to $20. But if you absolutely cannot stand bitter coffee, then the price is definitely worth it.
Final Thoughts – How To Make Coffee Less Bitter
To conclude, there are many methods to make coffee less bitter. In my opinion, the best and easiest way to make coffee less bitter is by using filtered (or bottled) waters like Evian, which have little mineral content. Less-bitter tasting plus healthier too!
If you are looking for a more natural method, then try brewing your own with water that has been boiled and cooled. This will not only make the coffee less bitter, but it can eliminate some of those bad tastes like chlorinated tap-water too!