The Often Overlooked Reason Your Coffee Tastes Burnt

Nothing can bring your morning down like a cup of bad coffee. Whether you are brewing a cup of Joe at home using your Mr. Coffee maker or purchasing a cup from Starbucks or some other coffee shop, when your coffee doesn't taste right, you know it's going to be a rough day. And if you are among the 75% of Americans who need a cup of java to get your day started, you may need to play detective to figure out what's causing the issue. Often, a bad cup of coffee is bitter and unpalatable because the coffee is burned.

There are many culprits that can lead to burning your pot of coffee that range from using stale or over-roasted coffee beans to using water that is too hot to brew your drink in the first place. But the bottom line is the smell and taste of less-than-stellar coffee can be more than your poor taste buds can take. Clearly, some of the pitfalls are out of your control, but there's another reason your coffee can taste burnt that often goes undiagnosed and echoes the old cliché of cleanliness being close to godliness. Experts say if your coffee's flavor is off, perhaps it's time to evaluate your cleaning technique.

Daily and monthly cleanings

This is the mantra of every serious coffee drinker: Take care of your coffee maker and your coffee maker will take care of you. If your cup of coffee tastes bitter like the fruits of the devil, chances are it could be an issue with how and when you last cleaned your coffee maker. The Espresso School says coffee shops should be cleaning those espresso machines every day, and if you brew your coffee at home, you want to clean it daily with warm water and soap, while adding a deep cleaning at least every other month if not every month to keep the scorched coffee taste at bay.

That said, when you do clean your equipment, Home Depot says you want to use a cleaner that is made especially for this purpose or you can create your own cleaner using white vinegar and water. Cleaning your coffee pot each day is as simple as washing any part that you can remove and using warm, soapy water to get rid of any visible grime. When it comes to deep cleaning your coffee pot, this is when you want to run your vinegar and water solution through the brew cycle. Vinegar will help you get rid of calcium deposits and coffee bean oil residue both of which can affect the overall taste of your cup of coffee.