How to Make Coffee Less Bitter

How to Make Coffee Less Bitter

Last Updated on January 31, 2022

If you were coffee, you should be bitter and pungent, the sort that makes my heart beat its way out of my chest -the kind that can change my thoughts. If that doesn’t help, just drip some honey in it – Nessie Q.

Coffee tastes supreme when it’s bitter, aromatic, and strong—however, countless people like their coffee to be less bitter in taste. Therefore, they use tons of creamers, artificial sweeteners, and sugar to cut through that thick bitterness.

Unfortunately, by this method, you consume a lot of calories, which can harm you in the long haul. If you like to add sugar more than two tablespoons, you are a prime candidate for finding yourself with diabetes in the future.

You don’t need a bunch of stuff to cut down the bitterness. You only require adding only one ingredient to your coffee to change the whole dynamic of a single cup of coffee and cutting down the bitter flavor along with intensifying the overall flavor entirely.

Now you will say how to make coffee less bitter? You can cut down the bitterness of the coffee in two ways:

  • Adding additional ingredients
  • Changing the brewing method

Hence, in this article, we will try to elaborate on these two methods in-depth and find creative and healthy ways to cut down the bitterness of the coffee.

The Mixture of Extra Ingredient


First of all, let’s take the obvious one out of the way, sugar!

Sugar is used for toning down the bitterness in your cup of coffee. People all over Europe prefer to have two packs of mini sugar in every cup of their coffee. Furthermore, countries like India and Bangladesh use up to 4-5 tablespoons of sugar in every cup of their coffee per average to cut down the bitterness. ( It is suggested not to go over two tablespoons of sugar)

It’s better to keep in mind that one tablespoon of sugar consists of 49 calories.


Now, if you are among those individuals who like sugary flavor, however, are concerned about the enormous amount of glucose and fructose present in sugar, then you have magnificent alternative sweeteners in the name of “Honey.”

Honey consists of amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Although, the calorie count in honey is higher than sugar as one tablespoon of honey consists of 64 calories, whereas sugar consists of 49 calories per tablespoon.

Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar and honey isn’t the only sweet ingredient that can lessen the bitterness in the coffee. You can also add some extra sweeteners to enhance the sweetness in the coffee, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, syrup, or even lavender or other ingredients that can baffle your gourmet taste buds with an explosion of flavors so that the bitterness isn’t the focal point.

You can also combine creamer just to include all the bases with sweet, spice, and cream. Who doesn’t love a latte?

In India, in the region of Kerala, people use various spices, herbs, and masalas to cut the bitterness in the coffee.


This must be the weirdest choice among all to cut down the bitterness of a cup of coffee, but salt is one of them.

In short, sprinkling a hint of salt on top of your coffee grounds helps counter some of the existing bitterness in coffee and enhances its overall zest.

Studies have shown that about 15% of bitterness in the coffee comes straight from caffeine; however, the other remaining 85% percentage comes from two compounds, and are Phenylindanes and Chlorogenic Acid Lactones.

Overall, these two components are the key reasons that cause your coffee to have a bitter taste; they are antioxidants that are great for your health. In addition, the salt in the coffee responds against your taste buds and overrides the reaction on the taste buds which in turn aids in hiding the bitterness of the coffee.

Citrus Rind

A splash of acid can help you to counter the bitterness. So, if you feel a squeeze of lemon is a bit too much, you can put orange or lemon rind in the pot. If you ever glanced at a coffee served with a lemon or an orange wedge, this is precisely the purpose behind it!


This is a common way to mince the bitterness of a cup of coffee. All the drinker has to do is play around with the coffee to water ratio, and that’s all. However, one needs to be cautious while adding the water as too much water might kill all the coffee flavor and make it watery. So, the focus should be toning the coffee lighter. For example, if you use a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water, change a hint to a 1/2:2 ratio.

In the process of making a weaker coffee, the Americano was born from some trial and error experiments on the espresso.

Changing the brewing method

You achieve reducing the bitterness of a coffee by adjusting the roasting, grinding, pressure, and temperature also. Here are the ways to accomplish that –

Cutting Down The Extraction Time

If you don’t give enough time for the extraction process, then the chances are you will wind up with a weaker and less bitter cup of joe. In the extraction process, observation is key as you have to keep an eye on changing the coffee’s color and time.

Therefore, the sooner you pull the trigger, the lighter and less bitter the coffee(not too soon as it will be watery), and the longer you keep them, it will simply just taste as burnt charcoal or ash with a highly bitter aftertaste.

Grind Coarser

Grind Coarser is one of many methods to extract less bitterness from the coffee. However, when a splash of water lightly hits a blend of coffee ground, it doesn’t miraculously find itself placed in the dead center of that coffee ground. Instead, it has to find its path to that route. Therefore, if you have a pack of extensive coffee grounds, the path gets longer to track, resulting in your coffee breaking down slower.

So just coarser the larger ground particles if your goal is making your coffee taste bitter. Hence, if you brew for the same amount of time, you will achieve less bitterness.

Less Brew Time

Now, if you are a stickler for your grind size and have zero interest in changing the grind size, then the optimal solution is lessening the brew time.

For this to work on, you need a coffee maker where you can control the brew time. So, the obvious choices are French press or an AeroPress, where you brew your coffee. Then, just reduce the time by 15 seconds and notice if that helps to bring down the bitterness, even providing you with a generous amount of sweetness.

Brew Weaker Coffee

A more straightforward approach to cutting down the bitterness is to brew the coffee weaker.

It’s simple; you just require less coffee (or just more water) than you usually do. Meanwhile, changing grind size or per se brew time will significantly affect the balance of flavors several times more than the entire flavor intensity; tweaking the brew ratio will do the complete opposite.

Hence, if you are okay with the ramifications of changing the coffee ratio, be ready to taste the reduced sweetness, acidity, and bitterness.

Moving to Drip Coffee

Drip coffee or regular coffee or pour-over coffee is significantly much less bitter than the coffees brewed by a french press, espresso, or aero press.

Therefore, if you are one of those considerate individuals who are trying to cut down their bitter coffee consumption, drip coffee might be the solution you are looking for.

So wherever you are, at home or near a coffee shop, drip coffee is fingertips away.

Furthermore, it is heavily advised to avoid espresso brewing methods like the espresso shot or Americano style coffee, as they are in general showcase a hardcore bitterness in taste.

Roasting Effect

Various roasts also have severe effects on the bitterness of your black coffee. From the many varieties, the one method which gets used constantly is the dark roast. Usually, a darker roast takes a steep amount of brewing time or is required to stay in the pan at a higher temperature.

This results in beans losing a lot more moisture and becoming more one-directional in flavor. Thus, with a darker roasted coffee, the drinker will experience a more robust tasting coffee with an additional kick of a supremely bitter accent.

In hindsight, with a lighter roasted coffee, one will experience a high toning down of bitterness, and a significant amount of coffee flavor gets extracted from the notable beans.

In addition, all are familiar with the fact that the darker the coffee roast, the less caffeine content it has in your drinking cup. Hence, if your coffee tastes bitter, you can change up the roasting techniques to medium or light instead.

Additional Elements That Leads to Making Your Coffee Bitter

The Necessity of Keeping Things Tidy

It’s essential to rinse the brewing equipment adequately every time before brewing a coffee. The leftover coffee grounds can affect the entire flavor dynamic of the next cup and make your coffee even bitter if not cleaned properly.

So, if you are in your home, first boil a generous amount of water and rinse out the drip coffee equipment and the french press equipment so that it remains clean to be used for brewing coffee for a later time.

Using a Thermos to Store Your Leftover Coffee

If you prefer the french press brewing method, the initial step should be pouring out any leftover coffee straight from the french press to a thermos to keep it hot.

If we leave the coffee in the french press, it will turn the coffee more bitter thanks to sitting longer in the grinds. So having that in mind, when you pour the leftover coffee in your cup, the possibility of having a bitter tasted coffee is almost 100%.

Staying Away From Instant Coffee

Time is money. The more you save time and invest in other activities, the more chances you have to thrive. In the case of coffee, we also get a similar thought process and have the urge to cut the making time. So many go for the quick and safe option of instant coffee.

However, the flavor profile the instant coffee brings is explosively bland and way too bitter. The making process for instant coffee is a generous amount of warm water, and a few stirs to construct a magnificent cup of coffee. Instant coffee contains additives, preservatives, and highly low-quality coffee beans. So, if you have the choice, then definitely go for the real deal over instant coffee.

Conclusion of How to Make Coffee Less Bitter

There is nothing more marvelous than starting your day with a fresh cup of coffee right from the get-go! And if the bitterness of the coffee was troubling you, then our methods will surely cut through that and serve you with the coffee which truly pleases your heart.

By altering the brewing, roasting, grinding, and additional ingredients into our coffees, we can immensely reduce the bitter flavor in our coffee.

However, a less bitter coffee has its merits and demerits, such as, if we add sweet elements to it, we have to worry about the sugar level in our body, and the drinker consumes a lot of sugar on a daily basis the chances are we might get diabetics. In the case of brewing alterations, a lighter consistency and fewer coffee grounds can be supremely healthy as it means reduced caffeine.

In hindsight, with a lighter roast, one can make the coffee way tastier and linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive impairment.

At the end of the day, coffee tastes sublime in every variation, depending on the drinker’s preference. So cutting down a smither of bitterness won’t destroy your coffee drinking experience at all. In addition, it might help you in the long run as fewer toilet visits or fewer sleepless nights.


John Reeves

Robert T. Cross

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