Can you burn coffee? Coffee is a delicious and satisfying beverage, but it's also hard to make. It requires precision timing, the right temperature, and cleanliness to avoid burning the coffee beans or grounds.
Brewing great-tasting coffee at home can be challenging. Most people give up because they don't have the time or patience for brewing the perfect cup of joe every day.
We got you covered with this simple guide on how not to burn your next pot of coffee! You'll learn everything from choosing the right equipment to essential tips that will help you brew better-tasting cups every time without all the hassle!
So in today's article, we'll be exploring the common reason's behind how and why coffee can tend to have that burnt taste behind it.
Can You Burn Coffee?
Coffee can be burnt, but not meaning in the normal context such as burning a piece of toast. Usually what we mean by burnt coffee is that the taste is altered and not as good as it should be. This is because the roasting of the coffee beans and how it over roasts, overheats, or even sitting on a stove for too long can cause this.
Below are three reasons for how you can burn coffee!
- Over roasting: is the primary reason for burnt taste. The problem is that when you roast coffee beans, they release gases. If too much of these escape, the bean will lose its flavor and become burnt. The first way coffee can burn is at the roasters when it is going from natural coffee bean to that brown roasted nut that we all use to make our favorite drink
- Sitting on the burner for too long: Burnt coffee has a bitter, acrid taste that many people find unpleasant. If you've ever burned a pot of coffee, you know how frustrating it can be.
- The brew temperature is not right: When brewing French press or espresso, the temperature at which you seep your grounds or prepare an espresso shot is important. By making the temperature too hot, you can often end up with burnt-tasting coffee.
Get the Roasting Just Right
Roasting coffee can be a very simple process and involves taking natural coffee beans and turning them into the brown roasted bean that we all know and love.
This process can be done by a number of different methods, whether it is in a gas roaster, on a flame or even using an oven.
The common theme with most ways of roasting coffee beans, however, is that the temperature needs to be closely monitored as giving little thought to the temperature can lead to the beans being over-roasted.
This results in all coffee you brew having a burnt taste, no matter how well the other steps are accurately prepared.
Avoiding over roasting is simple and requires you to roast the coffee beans at varying temperatures for about 16 minutes to get the type of roast you want.
Stale Beans a Secondary Contributor
Stale coffee beans is another contributor to burnt coffee, but it's often not thought about. Most people don't end up checking the use-by date on their fresh coffee beans. So, what does a use-by date actually mean?
This means that the roast will begin to taste burnt after about 2 weeks from that date as the oils and sugars inside the bean start to dissipate.
But be wary, because not only do the oils and sugars subside, air can also cause the coffee beans to age and this will taste similar to a burnt cup of coffee.
So don't keep your coffee beans in an airtight container if you want to avoid stale, or worse - burnt coffee beans.
Continual Heating Elements
One of the most common aspects of burnt-tasting coffee is leaving a freshly brewed coffee maker pot on heat continuously.
This is especially common with electric coffee makers and can be a very easy misstep to make.
To avoid this, you should always remember not to leave the coffee on heat unattended. This can include items such as stovetops, microwaves, and most importantly electric kettles.
Once you have a coffee maker heating your brew for more than 30 minutes, you will immediately notice that burnt ashy taste lingering in your coffee. So to avoid this, simply shut off the coffee maker, or remove the moka pot from the stove to preserve its fresh taste.
Frequently Asked Questions about Can you Burn Coffee
We've searched the internet high and low to find more commonly asked questions about burnt coffee. Below are some of our unique opinions to these questions and we hope they will give you better guidance at helping you prepare the best coffee you've ever had.
How do you tell if you burned your coffee?
Identifying burnt coffee doesn't require an experienced pallet, but instead just one that is used to tasting coffee.
The burnt coffee always tastes very ashy, almost like charcoal, it often leaves a lingering residue behind on your tongue. Most people would probably think you've smoked 10 cigarettes in a row, which is a dead giveaway to your coffee being burnt.
Can you burn coffee while brewing?
Yes is the short answer, but making sure your gear pours your coffee into a cup before it burns is key.
If you're having trouble with this then I would recommend that you use an electric kettle for heating up water to pour over top of your french press or espresso machine to heat it up at lightning speeds.
Does burnt coffee still have caffeine?
Yes, coffee that has been burnt still has caffeine. However, it is oftentimes accompanied by an unpleasant taste. You're also likely to drink less of it as you would a cup of coffee that doesn't have the burnt taste.
A burnt cup of coffee has the same amount of caffeine that was used to prepare the drink. Burning coffee does not increase or reduce the overall caffeine concentration within your drink.
Does boiling water burn instant coffee?
Boiling water does not burn instant coffee. But, if the water boils for too long and touches the coffee too much, then it will taste burnt. If this happens to you, add some cold water to the coffee so that it does not dissolve as quickly and give you more time to stir it in.
Final Thoughts on Can You Burn Coffee
Coffee is a caffeinated beverage that many people enjoy for its rich flavor and the jolt of energy it provides.
However, there are some common mistakes that can easily be avoided in order to avoid a burnt taste.
These include: not checking the use-by date on your fresh coffee beans, leaving freshly brewed coffee pots on heat continuously when using an electric kettle or stovetop, and letting boiling water touch instant coffee too long.
In conclusion, if you want to make sure your cup of joe tastes great every time then pay attention to these simple steps!