How to Avoid Yucky Coffee
Let’s face it, every so often you end up with a truly disgusting cup of coffee. And it’s so much worse when it was made by you! I mean, you always run the risk of someone else making a bad cup of joe, but your coffee is usually ideal! So, what happened and how can you guard against it happening again? Well, it’s not completely fool-proof, but here are some causes of gross coffee and how to mitigate them.
Let’s Start with BrewingAn ideal cup of coffee should taste good, that’s a given. But what does that mean? Typically, your coffee should be well-balanced, and robust. It may be slightly fruity or a little nutty or possibly even a bit chocolaty. It could even be buttery, smooth, complex, and aromatic. It ought to be rich and definitely flavorful. But when it isn’t any of these things, we have a problem. Though you can occasionally smell a bad cup of coffee, it’s usually once you taste it that you find something’s amiss. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about it at that point–other than adding creamers or flavorings to it… maybe. But to avoid the problem in the future, you need to know a few things about this particular cup. For example, is it too strong or too weak? Maybe it’s bitter or sour. How about dusty or watery? Each of these can be fixed in the brewing process.
Too Strong – If your coffee is too strong, the water to coffee ratio is off. Use less coffee or more water when brewing. Too Weak – Like “too strong”, if your coffee is too weak, the water to coffee ratio is off. In this instance, use more coffee or less water when brewing. Bitter – When your coffee is bitter, it has been over extracted or too little coffee was used. There are a couple of fixes here. You should use more coffee and to extract less you should use a coarser grind and/or a shorter brewing time. Sour – Sour coffee happens when it has been under extracted or too much coffee was used. Use less coffee and to extract more you should use a finer grind and/or a longer brewing time. Dusty – Has your coffee ever had a dusty or powdery taste/feel to it? Surprisingly you need to use more coffee. Not surprisingly you need to extract less with a coarser grind or a shorter brewing time. Watery – And if your coffee is watery, it is not surprising that you need to extract more with a longer brewing time or a finer grind, but you should use less coffee. Huh.