Why Does My Coffee Taste Sour?

Sometimes, the flavor of brewed coffee can turn out to be not quite as you expect.

If the change appears to be somewhat sudden, or you just can’t seem to get it right then it can get rather frustrating.

The good news is that there are ways to improve the flavor, by taking a look at what might be causing the sour taste.

Here, we’ll dig into why your coffee might be sour and provide some solutions!

The Difference Between Sour And Bitter

The flavor of your coffee can play a large role in determining what went wrong.

Because of this, it’s important to really get a taste for whether the coffee is sour or bitter.

Does it taste acidic, or burnt? These can signify two different problems.

Coffee that is bitter has typically been extracted too much, which can happen if the grind size is too small, or the water is too hot.

On the other hand, sourness is typically due to under-extraction, which needs a different solution than over-extraction.

In order to find the correct solution, we need to take a closer look at under-extraction.

What Is Under-Extraction?

Under-extraction occurs when the water you’re using hasn’t been able to gather all of the flavor and other good things from the grounds.

Essentially, the acidic flavors are pulled from the grounds first, so you’ll taste the sourness, but not the enjoyable coffee flavor.

If you notice this problem in your brew, it’s worth thinking about the coffee maker and method you’re using to make it.

These things can all play a role in what might be going on with the drink.

The next step is to think about some of the causes of under-extraction, so that we can move into fixing the issue.

Why Does Under-Extraction Happen?

This can really depend on the method you’re using to brew.

One of the most important aspects is making sure that your grounds are the right size for the method you’re using.

If you’re unsure, you can take a look around to find what the correct size is for your chosen brewing method.

As an example, espresso requires fine grounds, while something like French press uses coarse grounds.

If you want to have full control over your grounds, then a solid burr grinder can be a great way to go about it.

How To Adjust The Flavor

The first thing you can do is find out what grind coarseness your chosen brewing method requires and to make sure you’re using it.

It might also be worth checking to make sure the water is being heated to the right temperature so that it can extract just the right amount.

Next, making sure the machine is cleaned and de-scaled is a great option, just to make sure it’s working well overall.

Finally, you can also try using different grounds.

Though this isn’t likely to be the cause of sour taste, some can find that organic coffee offers better flavor on the whole.

Another aspect worth considering is whether you’re using Arabica or Robusta beans.

Typically, Arabica beans are more widely used and tend to provide better overall flavor.

Once you spend some time working out the cause of your sour coffee, you’ll have a much better idea about how to keep it tasting exactly the way you want.

If you make changes and find that your coffee still isn’t tasting the way you want, it may be worth trying out some other brewing methods.

You never know when you’ll find one that you love!