Why Does My Coffee Taste Burnt? Is it Me or the Coffee?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on March 9th, 2023

Do you love coffee but can’t seem to make it taste quite right? Are you confused about why your coffee tastes burnt no matter what you do?

If this sounds like you, then this blog post is for you! We’ll discuss the common reasons why coffee can turn out burnt.

burnt coffee

Reasons why your coffee tastes burnt

Here are some possible reasons why your coffee turned out burnt or tasted burnt.

Overcooked or overroasted beans

Overcooked or overroasted beans can be a problem because beans cooked for too long can cause them to become burnt. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to pay attention to the roast level.

The roast level is determined by how long the beans are cooked, with light roast beans cooked for the least amount of time and dark roast beans cooked for the longest period. Medium roast is a good balance between light and dark. Very dark roasts have a more intense flavor but can sometimes be too strong or taste burnt.

Depending on your preference, you may need to adjust your beans’ roast level to get a better flavor. If your coffee tastes burnt, it could be due to overcooked or overroasted beans, so checking your roast level is important.


It’s important to check for any potential contamination to understand why your coffee tastes burnt. Contamination can come from various sources, such as old grinds left in the grinder, detergents used to clean the machine, or other substances like spices or oils added to the beans.

Additionally, if you’re using pre-ground coffee, ensure it hasn’t been exposed to moisture or air for too long. It’s also important to store your beans in a cool and dry place. Contamination can lead to an off-flavor that tastes burnt or stale.

Foreign objects in the beans

When it comes to ensuring that your coffee does not taste burnt, it is important to check for foreign objects in the beans. While shells are a visual defect, other foreign objects like stones, twigs, and other debris can also be mixed in with the beans, leading to an unpleasant burnt taste.

Make sure to carefully examine the beans before brewing and discard any that have foreign objects.

Old beans

Beans can lose their flavor and freshness when exposed to air and become stale if exposed to too much oxygen. If you’re using beans past their expiration date or have been stored improperly, they may have lost their flavor and contributed to a burnt taste.

Check the expiration date on any coffee beans before you use them, and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Wrong grind size

The right grind size is key to making a great cup of coffee. If the grind size is too coarse, the water will not be able to extract all of the flavors from the beans fully. On the other hand, if the grind size is too fine, the water will be over-saturated with flavor and cause a burnt taste.

To get the right grind size, use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder, as it will give more consistency in the grinds. It’s also important to check your grind size regularly, as it can change over time due to wear and tear on the grinder.

Too hot temperature

Another factor contributing to a burnt flavor in your coffee is the temperature of the water used for brewing. If the water is too hot, it can quickly extract the compounds from the grinds, leading to an overly bitter and burnt taste.

To avoid this, try to brew with water at about 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 96 degrees Celsius. While this may seem like a low temperature, it is ideal for extracting complex flavors from your coffee beans. Anything above that temperature can burn your coffee.

You might consider investing in a quality automatic coffee machine with adjustable temperature settings to get an even better and smoother-tasting cup. This way, you can be sure you are brewing your coffee at the perfect temperature every time!

Wrong brewing machine settings

When brewing espresso, it is important to pay close attention to the settings on your machine. Make sure the water temperature is not too hot. If the temperature is too hot, it can cause the espresso to be over-extracted, leading to a burnt taste.

You also want to make sure that you are using the right grind size for your particular machine and that you are using the right amount of coffee for your shot. If you have recently changed or adjusted your machine settings, double-check them to ensure they are correct. This can help avoid over-extraction and a burnt flavor in your espresso.

Too much coffee used

Using too much coffee for your brewing ratio can result in a burnt taste. This is because when more coffee is used, the grounds will be more saturated with water and cooked more than necessary. It’s important to use the correct amount of coffee for your brewing ratio to ensure the grounds aren’t over-saturated and overcooked.

To determine the correct amount of coffee for your brewing ratio, refer to the instructions of your specific machine or recipe. Additionally, as discussed in the previous sections, using a coarser grind can help reduce saturation and prevent overcooking.


In conclusion, various factors can contribute to burnt-tasting coffee. From the roast level, over-roasted beans, contamination, and old beans, to grind size, hot temperature, and too much coffee used in brewing. To avoid burnt-tasting coffee in the future, use fresh beans and grinds roasted to the desired flavor profile.

Additionally, make sure to use the correct amount of coffee for your brewing method and check the temperature of the water before you start brewing. With these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every time!


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.