Why French Press Coffee is Bitter? (4 Major Reasons!)

8 Min Read
Why French Press Coffee is Bitter? (4 Major Reasons!)

What went wrong, then, and why French press coffee is bitter in taste? Roughly speaking, over-extraction induces French Press coffee to taste bitter. There are a variety of explanations for this, but the ones that are the most common are too-hot water, too-fine coffee grounds, but also too-soaking durations for the coffee grounds.

No matter how hard you try, a mug of French Press coffee won’t necessarily taste as delicious as you would plan for a variety of factors.

If you resolve one or all of these concerns, your coffee should get better, but there are also a few additional problems you should be mindful of.

Why Is French Press Coffee Bitter?

The over-extraction in French press coffee typically results in bitter coffee. This happens whenever the soluble components of the coffee are disseminated into the liquid to an extreme degree.

Since varying amounts of the coffee are drained at different times, over-extraction turns coffee harsh.

  • The coffee bean is first processed to remove its fats and acidity.
  • Next, the sugars from the coffee are entirely removed.
  • Eventually, the natural fibers within the bean will begin to disintegrate.

The bitter, gritty, and lifeless taste of over-extracted coffee is transferred to your coffee by those same natural plant fibers. Why does your coffee have this flavor now, and what are you doing to get it?

  1. Either the brewing duration is excessively long 
  2. the water temperature is excessively high
  3. Coffee prepared with precisely ground beans 
  4. The proportion of water in your coffee grounds

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these and see what we can do to address them.

You’re Letting Your Coffee Steep For An Excessive Amount Of Time.

This happens quite frequently when brewing French press coffee because so many individuals have a habit of leaving the coffee in the French press also after lowering the nozzle all the way back down.

When you do this, the coffee will remain to drain, rendering the succeeding cup that you poured necessarily bitterer than that of the preceding one. Move your coffee right off the bat to a heated flask to keep it warm if you plan to consume it slowly.

Too-Hot Water Will Scorch Your Coffee. 

Severe temperatures determine the rate at which a substance breaks down. Therefore, the quicker the water is heated, the faster the coffee will extract.

Your water needs to be between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C) in order to acquire the optimum extraction efficiency. It seems simple enough, right?

The issue is that the majority of coffee consumers do not even bother to double-check the warmth of their water.

Alternatively, we just bring the water to a boiling point and commence brewing. Take the water off the stove after it starts to boil, and allow it to cool down for almost 30 seconds if you feel your water may be excessively heated. So go ahead and start the brewing.

Coffee That Is Made With Freshly Crushed Beans May Affect The Taste.

Coffee ground relatively fine will drain more rapidly than coffee ground more coarsely. Therefore, if your grinding is just too fine, that could contribute to the more pungent yet bitter taste.

Medium/coarse or coarser particles should indeed be employed when working with a French Press. When you do this, you can prevent your coffee from being over extracted and becoming unpleasant in taste.

Furthermore, it will minimize small grinding from jamming your filtration system. Choose to have a coarse grinding if you enjoy pre-ground beans.

Your safest choice will be to acquire raw beans and ground your coffee by yourself at home if course is not really a possibility.

Unfavorable Coffee To Water Ratio

Your coffee might taste bitter if the proportion of water is high. Your coffee could be excessively extracted and bitter if you are using just so many coffee grounds in ratio to the water available. How much coffee is too much, though? 

As you might have read, it is advisable to just use two tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of drinking water. This has been stated by the National Coffee Organization and a number of other individuals.

And even though this is frequently the ideal concentration, you might wish to change it considerably for a French press coffee. Set aside the tablespoons and consider measuring 1 gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water if your coffee is too harsh.

Since grams are a measurement of weight as compared to tablespoons and ounces, which seem to be measurements of volume, your calculations will be much more precise.

Also, 1:15 uses significantly less coffee compared to the same amount of water used.

Other Reasons Your French Press Coffee May Taste Bitter 

Here are some additional reasons why your fresh press coffee may taste bitter.

Your Apparatus Is Filthy.

Bitterness is not basically caused by over extraction. Subsequent coffee cups might flavor differently if they contain residual coffee from a preceding brewing. Be sure that you keep your brewing equipment spotlessly clean.

Coffee Can Become Bitter From Using Poor-Quality Beans.

Not even all coffee beans are adequately met. Some beans may only be cultivated in suitable temperatures, nutrient-rich grounds, and high elevations. Typically, these beans have such an expensive price tag.

Yet, if you constantly seek economic alternatives, you can eventually end up with lesser-quality beans.

Some of the less priced beans are much less healthy, have much more imperfections, and were presumably not ripe while they were harvested. Simply stated, the quality of your coffee is going to be inferior quality.

Moreover, to disguise the defective condition, roasters will bake these beans higher than typical, which further increases the bitterness of your coffee.


Now that you know the reasons why fresh press coffee is bitter in taste. You can easily prevent your coffee from turning so bitter and foul. And hence enjoy a very delightful yet healthy morning coffee.

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