Why Is Espresso Sour?

Espresso has a robust flavor that ranges from mildly bitter to highly astringent, similar to lemonade. Ideally, it should have a sweet aftertaste due to the use of high-quality ingredients. If anything has a strong bitter, sour, or watery flavor, it was most likely not prepared properly.

If you get a sour espresso, it's because the water has been poured through the coffee grounds too rapidly, preventing the wonderful oils from being released from the grounds. Additionally, the coffee crema will quickly disappear, leaving behind a thin, acidic taste.

To make espresso taste excellent, the sour notes must be balanced with the sweet flavors extracted later in the extraction process. Due to the absence of pleasant tones in under-extracted coffee, you get sour and bitter notes that leave a foul feeling in your mouth.

Extraction begins when hot water comes into contact with ground coffee, forcing out the natural flavor ingredients. It encompasses everything that the ground emits into the water. These substances are not released simultaneously and the extraction process occurs in stages.

Numerous chemicals are removed at various points throughout the brewing process, and they are extracted in the same order each time. To begin, the fats and acids responsible for the sour and greasy flavor are extracted. Following that are the natural sugars, whose sweetness is intended to balance the taste.

If you pour your espresso shot in less than 15 seconds, you will get under-extracted coffee that is pale, blonde, and frothy. There will be a thin coating of crema on top that will rapidly evaporate. Not only does the brew appear unappealing, but it also tastes foul and lifeless.

If your espresso tastes acidic, it's possible that you're using the incorrect roast. When you brew your cup of Joe with light roast coffee beans, a sour flavor frequently results. Green and fresh beans taste sour when brewed because they have not had time to degas.

Espresso tastes best when used with a medium roast and a week after roasting to allow the beans to settle in. If you're concerned about your coffee tasting sour, consider a darker roast that imparts rich caramel overtones to your beverage.

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By: Douglas

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OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for coffee and food and beverage companies. Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with. 

OCM has also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of the modules are running in the Singapore Skillsfuture Classes in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes. 

Some of our Food and Beverage Marketing Lectures | Workshops - click to watch classes on customer journey map, JTBD and more. 

For the readers (coffee lovers), we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners). 

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