Simple ways to fix your daily brewing issues

It is very common that we will have some unexpected, unwanted situation and outcomes in our daily brewing. In this post, I want to share few cases, explain why this situation happens, and also provide some simple ways to solve them.

Coffee tastes too sour
Reason: The materials that provide you acidity taste are easy to dissolve by water, so they will be extracted at the early stage of brewing. Your coffee tastes too sour might due to under extraction, mainly “acidity” in your coffee and other soluble (flavours) remain in coffee ground.
Resolutions: Grind finer, pour and pause multiple times, rise the water temperature. These methods are aiming to help you increase the extraction rate.

Coffee tastes too bitter and astringent
Reason: The opposite of the last issue. The soluble that provide “Bad flavours” are mainly be dissolved at the late stage of brewing. If your coffee tastes too bitter and astringent, big chance is you extraction rate is too high, or your brew time becomes too long.
Resolutions: Grind coarser, lower the water temperature, reduce the times of pause and try to end your brew earlier. These are aiming to lower the extraction rate.

Reason: No matter how good your grinder is, there will be fines in coffee ground. During brewing, every time your stir, the fines will try to get together as a whole. When they get big enough to partly or completely block the water path, clogging happens. This can happen in all type of drippers, but situation is rather serious in cone shaped drippers since the bottom area of cone shaped filter is small and easy to get blocked.
Resolutions: Reduce the times of stir during the brew and change them to center pour, use sifter (see this post for the special method).

Coffee ground does not “bloom” during blooming
Reason: “Bloom” is the process that coffee ground release gas within after it contact with water. We do the blooming process to let the gas comes out so it won’t resist the water that we pour in later. If your coffee does not “bloom”, that simply means it does not contain much gas. This is common on very light roasted coffee bean or coffee bean that roasted for a while.
Resolutions: No “bloom” not necessarily means the coffee is no good, just shorten the blooming time to 5 to 10 seconds then do the next pour, or your brew will more likely to be over extracted.

Please keep in mind that to try the resolutions one at a time, that also helps to find out where the possible issue is. Have issue is an important first step, then we can try to find out what’s going wrong and fix it, from that process, we can all learn something.