Ask anyone who has had black coffee before and they’ll almost certainly insist that it needs to have milk and sugar added. So why do so many people have a negative reaction to straight black coffee? Here are some of the top reasons why black coffee is better for you.
The black coffee stigmata
There are so many reasons that black coffee is considered bitter and too strong for drinking right after it’s brewed. There are many simple reasons why it tends to be bitter and way too strong for most of us to handle. The reasons for this almost always point to simplified reasons that come down to incorrect brewing methods. It can also be linked to the type of coffee that you’re drinking. Here are the most common causes:
Coffee is stale
Old and stale beans are one reason for bad taste not to mention that low-quality beans that are over-roasted will taste bad. This can happen if you get your beans from inexperienced roasters or from outlets that are selling cheap coffee beans.
Coffee grounds are too fine
The right grind is crucial for getting the most from flavors that are within a coffee bean. If the grind setting is too fine, this will release flavors that are too bitter faster than you might expect.
Too long extraction time
Coffee that’s allowed to steep for too long will start to release flavors that you don’t want in your black coffee. This will cause bitter flavors within the coffee grounds to be released into the water making coffee taste terrible.
Water has burnt the coffee grounds
It’s always important to carefully check the water temperature before adding it to coffee grounds. Anything above 205 degrees Fahrenheit can actually cause coffee grounds to burn instead of blooming which then releases bitter flavors faster than water that is 198-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spoiled flavors in dark roasts
If you have ever tried dark roasts, the surface oils are burnt much like the inside of the bean where much of the flavors are ruined. Another big mistake is drinking Torrefacto coffee beans which are roasted with sugar and typically taste bitter and need to be mixed with better-tasting coffee beans to reduce the bitterness.
What black coffee should taste like?
When roasted correctly, black coffee should reveal the fruity under notes that the coffee cherry is known to provide. This is noticed more often with lighter to medium roasts but not limited to select types of coffee beans based on their global location. Some flavors can reveal syrupy and fruity flavors while others have a tart fruity flavor similar to citrus fruits. There are also some cases where black coffee can taste like tea with floral notes.
Whenever coffee is cold-brewed, the result can make black coffee taste smooth and crisp without a hard and sharp taste. The whole reason that black coffee will taste bitter most of the time is always due to the incorrect grind setting. As long as coffee grounds look similar to coarse salt, these granule-sized pieces will release subtle flavors that taste fruity and smooth. Using a special coffee Bur grinder will evenly create ground coffee granules too.
Black coffee needs to sit for a few minutes to help develop more flavors through oxidization, yet most people will admit that this helps hot coffee get cool enough to drink without burning your tongue. Another big issue is that coffee beans are grown in regions all over the world. Some locations such as Kenyan or Japanese coffee beans have such distinct flavors. As usual, the brewing method will help bring out flavors you might never have noticed.
Using a French Press or pour-over method is perfect when the water temperature is slightly lower than 198 degrees Fahrenheit. This is based on the Japanese pour-over method and helps give coffee grounds a natural flavor that is brought out during the extraction process. The very first sip should be as enjoyable as the last drop. Some black coffee drinkers find that a clear mug is better to see the quality of the coffee that you’ve brewed.
Cream and sugar?
Black coffee has a natural coffee flavor that should be pleasant without cream and sugar, yet some people have even remarked that a small pinch of salt is acceptable. Even if you have darker roasts, a pinch of salt will lessen the bitterness. There shouldn’t be an issue if the first sip is great, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adjust steeping times or find a better grind setting. Either way, black coffee can taste incredible when brewed the right way.