How to make Coffee less Bitter?

Many people in the world don’t like coffee; the reason behind this is the bitterness in the taste of coffee. 

Regular coffee drinkers actually love bitterness if it is balanced. But too much bitter coffee can also turn off the mood of coffee lovers.

If your coffee tastes bitter regularly, you must know where you are going wrong because a bad cup of coffee in the morning would ruin your whole day. 

So, here is why your coffee tastes bitter and what you can do to tackle this problem.

Why is your Coffee Bitter?

There can be many causes of excessive bitterness in the taste of coffee. The quality of beans you are using might not be good, your brewing technique may not be accurate. Maybe you are extracting the beans for too long or the temperature of brewing may be too high.

Let’s discuss all the reasons in detail.

1. Bad Beans

Many low-grade, poorly roasted coffee beans are available in the market at comparatively low prices. 

So, if you can’t compromise on the taste of coffee, it would not be fair to compromise on the prices. Always buy good quality and perfectly roasted beans.

If you are too sensitive to bitterness and hate it, you must buy medium-roasted coffee beans; it’s less bitter than dark-roasted coffee beans.

Also, use 100% Arabica coffee beans. Many coffee beans present in the market are blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. Robusta beans are higher in caffeine and also have a more bitter taste. While Arabica beans are smoother with a rich and aromatic flavor.

If you can buy coffee beans directly from roasters that’s perfect otherwise my recommendation is to use Lavazza coffee beans.

2. Bad Brewing

The taste of the coffee may become bitter if you make mistakes during brewing. There are several possible reasons for bitter-tasting coffee.

  • Time: The taste of the coffee gets more and more bitter if you increase the time for brewing.
  • Size of ground coffee beans: If ground coffee beans are too fine, then your coffee may taste bitter.
  • The temperature of the water: If you use too much hot water for brewing your coffee, it will make the taste of the coffee more bitter.
  • Dirty Equipment: Leftover beans in your coffee maker if you don’t clean them properly get over-extracted and cause bitterness in the taste.
  • Amount of water: You must always use the perfect water and coffee beans ratio to avoid bitterness.

what to add to coffee to make it less bitter

Here are some items you can add to remove the bitterness of your coffee.

1. Adding sugar or creamer

Cream Coffee

Black coffee always has some bitterness in its taste, and that is the quality liked by coffee lovers. It’s too much bitterness that causes the problem.
But if you are entirely against bitterness, you might like to add some creamer or milk to the black coffee, and you will love it. Adding some amount of sugar will also help.

But this solution works at the cost of added calories in the cup of your coffee. So, if you are very diet conscious that solution might not be for you.

If you wanna know, How to make perfect French Vanilla Coffee at home; then Check out this article: How to make Vanilla Coffee at home?

2. Adding salt to ground coffee beans

Adding Salt to Coffee

You might like to add sugar or creamer to your coffee. But by doing this, you will add extra calories to your breakfast, which might affect your diet.

So here is another technique to make coffee less bitter without sugar.

You can sprinkle a small amount of salt over your coffee beans, and you will surely notice a reduction in the bitterness of the coffee.

3- Add some citrus

Try adding some drops of lemon or orange juice it will significantly remove the bitterness from your coffee. The acids in the citrus fruits neutralize the bitterness and make your drink smoother.

However, if you don’t like the citrus taste of lemon or orange in your coffee then you can add a slice of lemon or orange rind. That will also help to cut the bitterness in coffee.

4 ways to make coffee less bitter?

Some techniques that will make the taste of your coffee less bitter are:

1. Use perfectly ground Coffee beans

How to make Coffee less bitter

When it comes to the grind size of coffee. SIZE MATTERS!

 If it’s too fine, the taste of the coffee gets bitter because of the over-extraction of the bitter flavors of the coffee beans. 

And if it’s too coarse, the beans don’t get appropriately extracted, and your coffee will taste too weak or watery.

So, the question here is, what will be the ideal size of ground coffee beans?

 Well! The answer is not that simple; it also depends on the type of coffee you are making. 

Fine coffee grounds are used for making Espresso because of the pressurized and speedy brewing process.

Medium coffee grounds are used in Aeropress or Drip coffee makers. While for French press coffee and cold brew coffee coarse grounds are perfect. 

So, the size of beans entirely depends on the type of coffee you are making.

We have prepared a complete guide on coffee grind sizes. You will get complete information about what grind size is perfect for what type of coffee drink. Make sure to check it out.

2. Clean your coffee maker

Coffee maker cleaning

A dirty coffee maker will never allow you to brew your coffee perfectly. It’s always recommended to clean your coffee maker soon after brewing it by pouring hot water.

The extraction of old coffee grounds present in your coffee maker can make your drink overly bitter.

It’s the easiest way to keep your coffee maker clean because as time passes, the coffee dries, and it sticks harder on the surface of the coffee maker.

Sometimes you are in a hurry and forget to wash it as soon as you brew the coffee. And the coffee beans get dry and stick to the surface of the coffee maker. In that case, you will need baking soda to clean the coffee maker.

If you are tired of cleaning coffee makers, then you must like to read our guide on modern coffee machines with a self-cleaning feature

3. Water quality and temperature

Always use filtered water for brewing the coffee because impurities in the water may affect the taste of the coffee.

Don’t use too much hot water for brewing the coffee because it will result in the over-extraction of the coffee beans, and your coffee will taste bitter.

The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is around 200 degrees and the boiling point of water is 212 degrees. So allow the water to cool for 30 to 40 seconds after boiling.

4. Time for brewing

The time for brewing the coffee has a considerable effect on the taste of coffee.

 If you brew your coffee for too little time, the coffee beans will not get extracted properly, and your coffee taste will be sour and weak. If you brew your coffee for too much time, you will over-extract the coffee beans, and the coffee will taste bitter.

So, it’s a must that you find the perfect time for brewing the coffee. The ideal time for brewing the coffee depends on the type of brewing method.

Also Read: How to make strong coffee

 Final Thoughts

Bitterness is the essence of the taste of coffee, so don’t expect your coffee to be completely free of bitterness.

It is the quality of taste of coffee that most coffee lovers love. But it’s over-bitterness that causes the problem.

I hope the above-mentioned tips will help you to reduce the bitterness in your coffee.

Read an interesting guide on brewing coffee with whole beans


1- Is Coffee meant to be bitter?

Yes, there will always be some bitterness in coffee. But that’s the over-bitterness that causes the problem.
If you brew coffee perfectly then bitterness will be very less compared to a variety of different flavors, from the notes of dark chocolate to the notes of dried fruits and nuts.

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Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.