Coffee Tastes Bad all of a Sudden

Coffee Tastes Bad All Of A Sudden

Coffee may taste bad all of a sudden for the following reasons:

1. You may be using bad coffee beans. 

One reason why your coffee tastes bad could be because of the coffee beans you are using.  While coffee beans last longer than ground coffee, they do go bad if you store them too long. Some coffee types are also stronger such as Robusta so you must not brew it using the same method as with Arabica or you will just end up with bitter coffee that tastes bad. 

What to do:

Do not leave the coffee beans too long before using them. Ground coffee should be used at once because if it is not used immediately its taste will be affected by chemical reactions like oxidation.

These are the four primary types of coffee beans:

  • Arabica – This is the common type in North America. It has a sweet and delicate taste and less acidic. 
  • Robusta – The popular type of coffee bean in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It has a strong and harsh flavor profile and has a high level of caffeine. 
  • Liberica – This type is grown in very specific climates. It has a woody taste and the aroma has been described as that of fruits and flowers.
  • Excelsa – It is a member of the Liberica family usually grown in Southeast Asia. It has a tart and fruitier flavor.  

2. The coffee grind size and texture could be the culprit. 

The texture and size of the ground coffee beans can attribute to the bad taste of coffee. If the beans are coarsely ground, the taste would be flat and less bitter while over-extracted beans result in bitter coffee. Some brewing methods may result in less bitter coffee with a fine coffee grind while other methods can give the same taste as the coarse coffee grind. 

There are cases when you will still get bitter coffee despite using the coarse grind and this could be due to stale beans or if you use the wrong method. 

What to do:

Find out the best coffee grind size for your preferred brewing method. 

3. You are brewing too much coffee making it sit for too long. 

Some coffee lovers mistakenly brew too much coffee in one go thinking that it results in strong-flavored coffee while saving time. Unfortunately, your coffee will just become bitter. Coffee is best enjoyed within five minutes after brewed. 

What to do:

Only brew enough coffee to prevent it from sitting for too long. It is better to brew coffee several times compared to making one pot that should last for hours.

4. You let the benas sit too long before using. 

Coffee beans give the best taste when they are about four days to two weeks old. When they are roasted the flavor diminishes after a few days. This is mainly due to chemical reactions like oxidation that make the beans go stale over time. Taking too long to grind the roasted coffee beans can lead to bitter coffee.

What to do:

If you buy roasted coffee beans, only buy what you need to avoid spoilage. If you prefer to roast the beans at home, do not roast too many beans. 

It is ideal to wait for five to 10 days before grinding the coffee beans depending on the roast types. After that the beans will go stale producing inferior coffee.  

5. It could be due to the wrong water temperature. 

The ideal temperature for making coffee is around 205 degrees Fahrenheit as this ensures that the essential oils and compounds are extracted to achieve the right coffee flavor. Too hot water temperature results in over-extraction and bitter coffee while a temperature below the recommended one results in weak-flavored coffee. 

What to do:

To correct this problem, you should have a thermometer to check the temperature. You can also invest in a programmable coffee maker for the most accurate temperature readings. 

6. You are using the wrong kind of water. 

The kind of water you use for your coffee can make or break the flavor. Tap water is a big no-no especially if unfiltered as it can badly affect your coffee’s taste. 

What to do:

Make sure you are using clean water for your coffee. Coffee experts recommend the use of distilled water, especially for espresso. 

7. You used too much coffee

Another reason why coffee tends to taste bad is that you were using too much coffee.  Your cup of brew becomes bitter and too strong for comfort. 

What to do:

Follow the instructions on the recommended coffee to water ratio indicated in your coffee maker. 

8. It could be due to poorly-roasted coffee beans. 

Do not attempt to roast the beans yourself if you are inexperienced since it will just mess up the flavor of your coffee. 

What to do:

Try to learn everything you can when it comes to roasting before attempting to do it yourself.  Coffee beans can be roasted using a pan or grill, in an oven, a popcorn popper or a homemade coffee roaster.  

Tips on how to roast coffee beans

Here are some tips on how to roast coffee beans:

  • The temperature should be between 350 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Stir the beans constantly to distribute the heat evenly for an even roast. 
  • You can hear the first crack after three to five minutes. This means the beans are lightly roasted. This is ideal for light coffee. If you want to achieve a darker roast, continue with the roasting. 
  • The second crack can be heard after a few more minutes and indicates a medium roast. Roasting beyond the second crack is not recommended as the beans will burn easily. 
  • Transfer the beans after about 30 seconds following the second crack. 
  • Let the beans cool down and shake them. 

9. You used unclean coffee equipment. 

Your coffee may taste bad because you used a dirty coffee machine. The residual taste from previously made coffee can linger in the equipment and affect the taste. 

What to do:

Clean your coffee equipment after every brewing session. 


Coffee can taste bad all of a sudden because of various reasons. This could be due to the water you used,  the quality of coffee beans or the coffee grind size and texture. It could also be attributed to unclean coffee equipment, how you roasted the beans or because of the water that you used. 

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