How do you know if coffee is bitter or burnt? We're going to tell you everything you need to know, from the taste to common ways people burn coffee. And of course, we won't leave you hanging without recipes for the perfect cup.
Let's dive right into it...
What Does Burnt Coffee Taste Like?
Coffee may be bitter, but burnt coffee is a whole different story. Bitterness need not equate to a nasty flavor, but it is one of the characteristics of burnt coffee.
A really unpleasantly bitterness with no other flavors is more like what way overcooked coffee is like. You'll get the taste of charcoal, but not in a nice smoky way. It'll be more like the crumbs that you scrape off blackened toast.
How Do You Know If Coffee Is Burnt?
You don't need to be an expert to tell when coffee has been scorched. If it has those fire pit flavors to it, it may have been left on the warmer way too long.
You may be able to smell it before you even taste it. Taking in the aromas of your coffee is a good way to get to know the nuances of the beans. If the aroma puts you off, that's a pretty good sign.
Does Hot Water Burn the Coffee?
Technically, water that's too hot for brewing can "burn" the beans when you're making a pot. But this is more likely to dull the good flavors in the beans and extract a bit more bitterness than make your java taste like ash.
One of the most common mistakes is letting the pot sit on an electric heater. This is what will make the coffee cook and bring out acrid flavors while destroying the delicate tasting notes.
Does Starbucks Burn Their Coffee Beans?
Any restaurant, coffee shop or cafe can burn the coffee, and Starbucks is no exception. But if you feel like every cup you get tastes burnt, it's probably just that you don't like the type of roasting Starbucks does.
Starbucks is famous for its darkly roasted coffee. To some, dark roasts may taste charcoaly. Others love this intense flavor. Dark roasts are not necessarily "burned," but they're not for everyone.
But even the light roasts at Starbucks taste toasty—it just has to do with the company's particular roasting process. Go for a soy latte if you're not into the drip coffee.
How to Make Perfect Coffee
The secret to a perfect cup is the trifecta of timing, water temperature and grind. For best flavor, water temperature should be about 10 to 15 degrees off from the boiling point. Watch these videos to see how to take care of the rest.
Three of the most popular brew methods are shown in this video. It won't go into detail about time and grind, but you'll get a good idea of the different approaches you can try at home.
The brew time and coffee bean texture you want for the French press are explained in this video. It will show you how to make French press coffee worthy of a good coffee bean.
Burnt coffee is not a nice experience. A cup of coffee that's been sitting on the burner for a long time will start to taste like charcoal. Technically, even boiling water will burn the coffee beans, but you'll end up with a bit more bitterness rather than ashy flavors. Follow the steps for brewing that involve proper timing, grind and water temperature and you'll never go wrong.
BONUS: If you're looking for a cheap but good microwave and can't choose one, you can read our guide for the Best Microwave for College Dorm Room so you can decide which one to purchase.