Why your coffee tastes bad? We all have bad days.

And sometimes those bad days root from a bad cup of coffee, first thing in the morning.

And not bad like “I’m never getting those coffee beans again” bad. It’s bad like “this is my favorite coffee and there’s something gone ”wrong” kind of bad.

Well, that’s okay.

Not every day you can brew a perfect cup of joe, right?

The good news is, we can help you learn why coffee tastes bad, where it went wrong, and how to not make that same mistake all over again. Here we have gathered 13 reasons why your coffee may not taste good:

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Coffee Tastes Bad: The Common Problems

There are various reasons why your coffee tastes bad and does not have the same flavor as you want it to.

And we divided it into 4 parts to make it easier for you.

1) A Problematic Bean

coffee tastes bad

We can never stress just how essential a good coffee bean is to a great cup of coffee. And most of the time, a problematic bean is the reason why your coffee tastes bad.

Low-Quality Beans

We all love a nice deal. However, cutting your bean budget short can leave you with bad-tasting coffee.

In general, Robusta coffee bean variety is considered to be of lower quality. However, that designation is usually more about its flavor than its actual quality. Read Here: Top 10 Best Espresso Coffee Beans

Robusta coffee beans are less flavorful and complex than the more popular arabica coffee beans. So, that is something you need to consider if Robusta beans do not quite meet your taste.

Outside of the coffee bean variety, there is also the specific bean and its roast. If you are paying for cheap coffee, then there is a good chance that your coffee will taste cheap.


It helps to know how to find and buy the best beans. And if you stay away from the pre-ground coffee bags with vague labels, you will have a better chance of enjoying better coffee.

Not-So-Fresh Coffee Beans

Coffee beans don’t have an infinite shelf life. And regardless of how good the coffee beans look or how aromatic they still are, the second those little pockets of flavor leave the roaster, they start to lose flavor.

Roasting produces carbon dioxide in beans. Then, they leak carbon dioxide, also known as degassing. And the longer a coffee bean degass, the more flavor escapes from it.

So, if your coffee beans have been forgotten in your pantry cabinet for a year or just improperly store, then it could be the reason why your coffee is bad.

Imagine this:

For every 24 hours that you leave the beans exposed to air and room temperature, it loses up to 10 percent of its life. And even if it is stored properly, the continuous release of gases as well as oxidation will affect its flavor and taste.


Throw it away.

I’m not kidding!

As much as it pains you to throw away your treasured coffee beans, if it has been sitting in your kitchen cabinet for far too long, then it’s no use.

Unless you want a bad-tasting coffee, which we know you don’t, you need to stop hoarding coffee and buy only what you can consume in just a few weeks.

Coffee will always taste better when it is brewed fresh. And when we say fresh, we mean getting coffee beans that you can consume in 4 days – 2 weeks.

Thus, you want to make regular shopping trips for coffee. Also, always remember to look for the roasting date instead of the expiration date.

Also, try to invest in a proper storage container for your coffee. Go with the dark, airtight containers to shield your coffee beans from light, air, and moisture.

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A Bad Roast

If you are roasting your own coffee beans, then this may be the culprit for a bad-tasting coffee. Roasting is a complicated process, requiring consistent heat applied throughout the roasting time.

Now, if you’re getting coffee beans from expert roasters, then the quality of roasting is out of your control. Even experts can make mistakes.

And if you are getting your coffee from your local grocery store, then there is a good chance that you are not always getting consistent roasting quality. Read Here: Top 10 Best Medium Roast Coffees

Essentially, even industrial coffee roasters can have trouble roasting coffee beans consistently.


If your home coffee roast is bad, then find a new recipe or check for a better equipment substitute.

If you purchased badly roasted beans, then you can try a different batch of the same coffee bean or just switch the coffee type altogether.

Inconsistent Grind

The grind of your coffee beans can make a big difference in the flavor of your coffee. This is because coffee grounds need to be soluble enough in order to impart its delicious flavor, but insoluble enough to stay out of the filtering system.

And an inconsistent grind means inconsistent extraction of flavors. Read Here: Top 10 Best Electric Coffee Grinders

If the coffee tastes sour or weak, then your coffee is under-extracted. Larger coffee grounds cause this unappealing flavor because they have more surface area and do not dissolve enough during the brewing process.

Now, if your coffee tastes bitter, then it is over-extracted. This usually happens when your grind is too fine.


Depending on the kind of coffee you are brewing, you might need to adjust the size of your grounds.

For instance, if you are making French press coffee, then you need extremely coarse coffee grounds. Meanwhile, Turkish coffee will need the finest coffee ground possible.

In addition, to prevent inconsistent coffee ground that can cause bad-tasting coffee, you will need to invest in high-quality and expensive burr grinders. These grinders ensure a consistent grind size for even extraction of flavors.

2) Problems With The Water

coffee tastes bad

After the coffee beans, the water can be another reason why you have bad-tasting coffee. Even it seems and tastes fine, water can still be a factor for a not-so-good cup of joe!

Tap Water Is A Big No-No

It might taste fine to you. However, the tiny particles in your tap water can have a big impact on the flavor of your coffee.

Think of brewing coffee as a chemistry problem. When you introduce unknown elements, it can throw off the equation.


Filter your water. Easy-peasy!

Water Temperature Is Wrong!

This may seem illogical to the untrained eye; however, the perfect water temperature can brew the perfect cup of joe.

You want your water piping hot, but not boiling. Too cool and your coffee will be under-extracted giving you a weak and less tasty thing to sip.

Too hot and you destroy the subtle flavors and volatile oils of your bean, giving you an over-extracted, bitter, mood-destroying cup.


Invest in a thermometer. Or you can just bring your water to a boil, then remove it from heat for at least 30 seconds before the brew.

3) Troubles With The Equipment

So, if your water and beans are both good enough but you still get a bad-tasting coffee, then your coffee maker might be the culprit!

Dirty And Gritty

You might not be up to cleaning your coffee maker all the time. Just a quick rinse and it should be fine, right?


If you do not know how to properly clean your coffee maker, then now is the time to learn. The water reservoir and the filtering area can accumulate coffee ground leftovers, minerals, and even bacteria that can leave a bad taste on your cup of joe. Read Here: Top 10 Best Coffee Makers Under $100


Clean your coffee maker, please! Your taste buds and immune system will definitely thank you for that!

Old Coffee Maker

Your coffee maker has been with you through goods and bad. It gave you a little cup of energy and happiness on even the worst days possible. However, nothing is immune to aging.

And this is especially true if the quality of your cup of joe takes a nosedive for no obvious reason at all.

If your water is filtered you got the highest quality beans, roasted and ground to perfection, and your coffee maker is recently clean, and you still got a bad-tasting coffee, then perhaps it is time for you to geta new machine.


There is not much you can do if your coffee maker is on the verge of breaking down. Just go look for a new coffee maker.

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The Wrong Machine and Equipment

coffee tastes bad

Sometimes, we like to get away with fudging our coffee equipment. Making espresso without the espresso machine can still produce good results, just not with the accuracy and consistency of the actual machine.

We highly recommend that you look for any workarounds, particularly if you are on a budget, but if you have pretty sensitive taste buds, then investing in the right machines make sense.

Another thing you need to watch out for is where you pour your coffee in. We highly doubt that you are going to reach for a plastic cup when pouring your freshly brewed coffee, but just in case; just don’t! Read Here: Top 10 Best Espresso Machines Under $300

Ceramic and glass mugs are the best when you are at home. When you’re on the go, invest in the stainless-steel travel mugs.


Invest and use on the proper coffee maker machine for the type of coffee you wish to make as well as the proper coffee gear.

4) Something Else Went Terribly Wrong

So, if all 3 categories are not the problem, don’t freak out. Brewing a perfect cup of coffee can be tricky and there are other reasons why your coffee tastes bad.

Too Much Coffee

Just like buying too many coffee beans, brewing a lot of coffee you can sip throughout the day is not a great idea. Although you might want to save time, your coffee will never taste heavenly.


Brew coffee as you crave, especially when you are at home. If you brew for exactly what you are going to drink, then you will have a fresh, great-tasting cup of coffee to enjoy.

Wrong Timing

If you’re brewing herbal tea, then you might not care if its steeps for a little longer. But, not for coffee. If your brew runs too long or too short, you will have a bad-tasting coffee on your hands.


Learn the perfect timing for coffee brewing. Then gradually adjust your timing in order to find what tastes best for you.

Whoops, My Mistake!

Maybe you did not measure the water correctly. Maybe you put too much coffee beans? Maybe you poured to fast? Maybe you missed a step somewhere.

Once again, brewing coffee is a complicated process. So, making a mistake is no big deal and it happens to everyone.


If you know where it went wrong, then great! If not, then think back over your brewing process. You can take notes the next time your brew and writing down every step, taking notes of how much coffee grounds or water you used or the temperature of the water.

If your coffee still tastes bad on the second test, start making some adjustments until you eliminate the problem.

I Hate That Coffee

Coffee is all about personal preferences and tastes. If the coffee tastes bad, then it probably just doesn’t go well with your taste buds.


Don’t force yourself to drink coffee that you don’t like. Change the recipe or try different coffee beans. Discover and experiment with what you enjoy.

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Final Thoughts

By now, you might have pinpointed the culprit as to why your and you already have a solution on your hands.

It takes work and patience to become an expert home barista. However, with practice and more learning when things go wrong, you will definitely get the hang of it! We hope you find this article helpful.

If you have any questions or possible solutions for bad-tasting coffee, feel free to share it through the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article with your coffee friends and family!

Until then, happy caffeinating!