How to avoid making bitter coffee in a coffee machine
Over 330 million people drink coffee every day. How many of those people are drinking improperly prepared and bitter coffee? Could you be one of them?
To avoid brewing and drinking bitter coffee, first, some information about the coffee plant is in order. There are over 40 different types of coffee plants, out of which “Arabica” and “Coffee Robusta” form the most popular varieties. Most coffee enthusiasts, tasters, and manufacturers will acknowledge that (generally) the Arabica bean is of a higher quality than the Robusta, so it is encouraged that one uses Arabica. Robusta is usually used in mass production.
The process of coffee making has been long debated over the years. Boiling pots of water gave way to percolators, which gave way to the era of espresso shots for three dollars a pop. But, most coffee drinkers agree that the most efficient and most effective way of brewing coffee is through the drip method via a drip coffee maker or standard coffee pot.
Bitterness is a taste that is registered on the back of the tongue. Bitterness in coffee is not always bad and is a constant/inescapable presence in the bouquet of coffee tastes. Bitterness can decrease the acidity of coffee, but when too much is in a brew, it can overpower the taste of the coffee and occasionally render it undrinkable.
Tips for making delicious coffee in your coffee machine:
- Clean your drip coffee maker at least once a month. This cleaning can ensure that coffee oils, which develop on the inside of the drip coffee mechanism, are cleaned. If these coffee oils are not cleaned, they may become rancid, and greatly affect the taste of the coffee. A thorough cleaning will also remove hard water deposits around the inside of the pot, which can also negatively affect the taste of the coffee.
- Use fresh beans. Either buy whole, pre-roasted coffee beans from a local market or buy green (unroasted) beans and roast them yourself a few-days-worth at a time. Use the beans you grind as soon as you grind them. If they are left the ground, their exposure to air changes their pH level, and subsequently their taste.
- Buy the right kind of beans. A medium roast will, generally, produce less bitterness than dark roast.
- Most coffee bitterness comes from over-extraction, which many people confuse for coffee strength. Over extraction occurs when the lighter flavorful coffee oils have been extracted, in addition to the bitter coffee oils present deep within the bean. The most common occurrences for over-extraction are using water that is too hot, using too little coffee, and brewing coffee for too long.
- Water is most of the coffee. If you use boiling water, it will scald/burn the beans, and a bitter taste will result. If your drip coffee maker is known for burning coffee, then try wetting the coffee grounds with 1/4 cup of cold water. But, most coffee makers that produce bitter coffee cannot adequately heat cold water to 190-200 degrees F, the prime coffee brewing temperature. If this is the case, try using heated water. Bottled water is best, but some people prefer deionized water, which contains no minerals at all.
Follow these simple rules and enjoy a delicious drink from the coffee machine.