How to Keep Coffee From Being Bitter

Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

The joy of smelling the unmistakable aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee quickly vanishes if, once sipped, that coffee tastes bitter. No amount of cream or sugar can fix bitter or burnt coffee, and your best option lies in keeping your coffee from becoming bitter in the first place. To keep your coffee fresh tasting, you need to extract the fullest flavor from the beans while leaving behind flavor compounds which taste bitter.

Grind the beans just before brewing to keep the flavor fresh.

Match the grind to the brewing method used: finely ground--like pepper--for espresso, a table salt-sized grind for drip or automatic coffee makers and large sugar crystal coarsely ground beans for a French press.

Add 2 tbsp. of ground coffee beans to your coffee maker per 6 oz. of water to prevent over-extracting the beans, resulting in a bitter brew.

Heat to a boil 6 oz. of filtered water per cup of coffee you wish to make and let cool for two minutes before adding to a manual coffee maker. Insert a thermometer into the pot of an automatic coffee maker after brewing to ensure the coffee maker heats the water to 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Replace your automatic coffee maker if the coffee brewed comes out below or above this temperature, as temperatures outside this range cause bitterness in the coffee.

Brew coffee manually for no more than five minutes. Avoid using automatic coffee makers with brewing times longer than this.

Drink your coffee immediately and never reheat it. Transfer the coffee to a carafe from the coffee maker's glass pot to keep it warm instead of relying on the coffee maker's warmer.