3 Main Reasons Why Your Coffee Tastes Bad and How to Fix it

Hey, we all have off days. And sometimes those off days come in the form of coffee that tastes bad. And not bad like “you’re never getting those beans again” bad, but bad like “this is my favorite coffee and something has gone horribly wrong” bad.

That’s okay. It happens. And we can help you learn how to not make the same mistake again.

Brewing coffee is as much of an art as it a science. Once you know the common mistakes made with coffee beans, water, and equipment, you can correct them and get back to making great-tasting brews.


1. The Beans Aren't Fresh

Coffee does not have an infinite shelf life, no matter how good the beans look or how faintly they still smell. The second those little pockets of deliciousness leave the roaster, they begin to lose flavor.

Roasting produces a ton of carbon dioxide in coffee beans. They then leak carbon dioxide in a process called degassing. The longer they degas, the more flavor escapes. If your beans have been forgotten in the back of a cabinet for a year or improperly stored, it could be the reason behind your lackluster cup of coffee.

Think about it like this. For every 24 hours you leave coffee exposed to air at room temperature, it loses 10% of its shelf life. That’s a ton of flavor loss. Even if it’s stored properly, the constant release of gases and oxidation of the coffee oils will affect the taste.

How to Fix It: As much as it may pain you to throw away treasured beans, it’s what you need to do. Try not to be a coffee hoarder and always store your beans properly. Coffee is better when it’s fresh, so you want to make regular shopping trips and only buy what you need for the next week or two. And remember to look for a roast date instead of an expiration date on your coffee label.

When we say fresh, we mean between four days and two weeks old. That’s because really fresh coffee is still in a major degassing phase and hasn’t had enough time to develop more flavorful oils.


2. Your Water Temperature Is Wrong

It might seem arbitrary to the untrained eye, but we’ll never get tired of championing the perfect temperature for brewing coffee. We recommend 205°F (96°C) for any cup of coffee.

Why? You want your water hot but not boiling. Too hot and you could destroy volatile oils and the subtler flavors of your beans. Too cool and your coffee will come out under-extracted… which is weak and not a great way to start your day.

How to Fix It: This one is an easy fix. Invest in a thermometer. It can be a traditional thermometer or a fancy laser one.

And if you ever find yourself without a thermometer again? Simply bring your water to a boil and remove from heat for around 30 seconds before brewing.


3. Your Equipment Is Dirty

It might not feel like you need to clean it out every time—after all, you only made coffee. Just a quick rinse and it’ll be fine, right?

Well, no. If you don’t know how to clean a coffee maker, now’s the time to learn. That’s because we tend to only think about the coffee pot and the filter area.

Just when was the last time you cleaned the reservoir of your drip coffee maker? If you don’t remember, it might be time to do a proper wash of your coffee gear.

How to Fix It: Properly clean your coffee maker. Your taste buds and your immune system will thank you.


Save Your Money From Buying Coffee Outside

Does this situation sound familiar to you?

  • Your coffee machine becomes your main problem when you want to make a coffee
  • You prefer to buy a cup coffee outside instead of making it by yourself
  • And… you run out of money and most of your expenses go to coffee

If your answer is YES, keep scrolling to get your solution done!

One of the best ways to save some money without having to get rid of your coffee habit entirely is by brewing your own cup at home.

As you dig further, putting your coffee machine in a wrong spot will cause tons of burden in your life without you even realizing it.

Well, sometimes because of the limited space you have, you put your coffee machine in the corner spot of your kitchen counter so the top lid would hit the cabinet above so you clumsily move the machine back and forth multiple times a day.

HOW $17.95 WOULD SAVE YOUR $4,000

"If you get your coffee from a local coffee shop...every day, stop doing so and brew your own at home...cost is $3 - $5 or $20- 35 a week. That can be close to $2,000/year. And that doesn't include the fact that you are most likely going to buy additional items while you are there (the average consumer doesn't just purchase coffee when they go into a store).

So, let's at least double that cost to $4,000/year, " says Cary Siegel, author of Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By.

Sometimes a cup of coffee is just a cup of coffee. But when ordering it requires using words like “double tall” and paying more than $4, a cup of coffee can become a point of marital inflection.

Low Cost, High Reward

I've had two of “Multiuse HANDY CADDY Sliding Tray” for about two years, one for my blender and one for the fancy coffee grinder. It cost me $12.99 per each. They slide easily and wipe clean. If you ever have to wash them, reassembling is just a matter of putting one section on top of the other.

Simple Concept, Works Great

I always get so annoyed to have to drag my coffee pot out from under my kitchen cabinets in the morning and then scoot it back to get it out of the way. This smoothly rolls it out far enough to open my coffee pot lid. I'm the farthest thing from a "handyman", but putting this together in order to use took about 10-seconds.

It’s Super Durable

I've had two of these for about two years, one for my blender and one for the fancy coffee grinder. I don't have a heavy mixer, so I don't know how it would handle that much weight, but I really do like the way they work for the appliances we use most often! They slide easily and wipe clean. If you ever have to wash them, reassembling is just a matter of putting one section on top of the other.

Now that I’m starting to switch up my coffee habits, my wallet is so thankful.