Nobody enjoys a bitter cup of coffee. Here are 5 ways to help you improve your morning cup of Joe.
The size of the coffee grind plays a major role in the extraction process. Finer grinds will extract more coffee, while courser grinds will extract less. Over extraction results in intensely bitter coffee, while underextracted coffee is usually sour and lacking in complexity. Learn all about grind size in my previous blog.
Coffee To Water Ratio
How many scoops of coffee should I use when making a cup of coffee? That's probably the second-most asked question. If you end up using too much coffee, you'll end up with a more bitter cup.
Like all things related to coffee, we have a range. If you have a gram scale at home, we recommend 1 part coffee to 16-18 parts water. At our store we use 20 grams of coffee to 350 grams of water. If you don't have a scale at home, you can use a more simpler approach: 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 4 ounces of water.
If you use our ratio and the coffee is still bitter, you probably need to try something different. For example, if Gypsy Mix is too bitter for you, we would probably recommend Vista Alegre or Thailand.
The darker the roast, the more bitter the coffee. Think of baking chocolate chip cookies at home. If you end up burning your cookies, they'll taste more like coal than chocolate chips. Same with coffee. There's a fine line between roasting beans dark and burning them. At Henry's my father is the master of dark roasted coffee. It's so good you can drink it black, and it's super smooth and creamy. No bitterness at all.
Coffee Bean Origin
If you've ever sipped a cup of coffee and thought to yourself "geez, this thing tastes so sour!" you're not crazy. Coffee beans that are high in acidity like East African beans bring out flavors that are not normally associated with traditional coffee. In fact, if you were to drink a light roasted cup of Kenya, you'd probably pick up notes of lemon, grapefruit, or even lemongrass. If you were to roast these beans darker, you could mute these tastes, but roasted incorrectly would result in an even more bitter tasting cup. Stick to Central and South American coffees for a less bitter tasting coffee.