One of the most asked questions among Starbucks lovers is; why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?
Starbucks being a widely known coffee shop brand, probably the most popular in the world, has received a lot of reviews both good and bad.
My love for coffee has led me on a path of trying out coffee from every coffee shop I can possibly find.
While this has put my palate at disadvantage, it has helped me distinguish between a coffee of good quality and one of poor quality.
It should be noted that there are other reasons why coffee would taste burnt or bitter.
The roasting method for the coffee beans used at Starbucks leaves them in an almost burnt state. This is the main reason why Starbucks coffee tastes burnt.
In this article, we shall be discussing what makes coffee taste burnt and how we can prevent it.
As with every drink, each individual has their desired taste preference.
Coffee isn’t left out, everyone has the way they prefer the taste of their coffee. So yes it is okay and very normal for coffee to taste burnt.
While a few people might not really desire a coffee with a burnt taste. There are still numerous others who still prefer their coffee to be a bit darker and stronger in taste.
The level of roasting of the coffee beans affects both the taste and aroma.
So the major reason a coffee tastes burnt is that the coffee beans are dark roasted.
And so to attain a light taste of coffee the coffee beans are baked to a light degree and so it is with a medium level of roasting.
Tip: The only downside to a coffee with a burnt taste is when the coffee isn’t properly made. Either because it was made from coffee beans that are spoiled or it wasn’t brewed properly.
There are numerous levels for roasting coffee beans; lightly roasted beans, medium roasted beans, and dark roasted beans.
Starbucks as a coffee brand doesn’t burn their coffee but rather baked their coffee to the level of dark roasted.
Dark roasted beans can be preserved and stay fresh for a longer period of time as compared to light and medium roasted beans.
This is one of the reasons why Starbucks roasts their coffee too dark.
Another reason why Starbucks does dark roasting is due to the fact that they produce large quantities of beans.
Dark roasting allows for the production of large quantities of coffee beans within a short period of time.
Which is then supplied to all Starbucks chain outlets and other retail coffee shops.
Tip: Even with dark roasted coffee beans, you can still attain a perfectly brewed coffee that will savor your taste buds.
As a young adult, drinking beverages at coffee shops wasn’t something I was used to.
The first time I had an espresso from a coffee shop was in France, at a small retail coffee shop.
And from that moment I have tasted over fifteen different coffee drinks at various coffee shops both big brands and retail outlets.
The summer of 2015 was the first time I ordered a frappuccino from Starbucks.
I must say there is a major difference between Starbucks coffee beverages and those made mostly in Europe.
Tip: Starbucks had a far stronger coffee taste than the ones I usually had back in Europe.
At first, I thought it was just the drink that I had ordered that tasted burnt and that the barista made a mistake in the brewing.
I remember asking Tom, my colleague; why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?
Because even after subsequent orders from Starbucks, the consistency of that stronger and somewhat burnt taste was always there.
Starbucks is known for its unique variety of flavors and although they are probably the most sought-after brand all over America with over 12000 stores and retail outlets.
A lot of coffee lovers still criticize the taste of Starbucks coffee, especially for the burnt taste which is widely associated with Starbucks.
So why exactly does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?
The most assumed reason is due to the dark roasting of coffee beans Starbucks does.
As discussed earlier in the article, Starbucks is known for dark roasting their coffee beans which gives the beverage an, even more, stronger taste.
But certainly, this isn’t the only reason why Starbucks coffee tastes the way it does.
Starbucks is a popular brand and as such, they ensure to give high-quality beverages at all times and have a more consistent taste across all their outlets.
This consistency in taste and quality is attained all over every Starbucks outlet.
This is only achieved by having a standard for serving and preparation for all the beverages beginning from the selection and roasting of the coffee beans.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America gave a standard for the brewing of coffee which states that every six ounces of water should contain two full tablespoons of coffee.
Now considering the level of roasting that Starbucks uses, using two full tablespoons of coffee will definitely give it a stronger taste than other retail outlets.
Tip: If you do not desire the strong taste of regular Starbucks coffee, you can order medium and lightly baked coffee beans from other coffee shops.
Like Starbucks beverages, one of the major reasons that make coffee taste burnt is the dark roasting of the coffee beans.
But that’s not the only reason why coffee tastes burnt or bitter.
Either you are preparing it yourself or making a purchase at a local coffee shop.
If the beverage isn’t prepared properly under the right conditions it could taste bitter or burnt.
So what are the reasons why coffee could taste burnt?
Poorly Roasted Beans
Using poorly roasted coffee beans could really affect the taste of a coffee.
When dark roasting it is important to ensure that you get the right temperature and how long it should be roasted.
If not done right or properly could damage or even burn the coffee bean.
Using Stale Beans
It is very important that you use fresh coffee beans in preparing your coffee at all times.
This is a major factor when it comes to the taste of a coffee.
And so using stale beans that have exceeded their shelf life would undoubtedly affect the coffee taste.
Poorly Grounded Beans
The grind of your beans actually does affect the taste of your coffee.
This really matters because the size will determine if your coffee will be over-extracted or under-extracted.
If the grind is too fine the coffee will be over-extracted and will cause your coffee to have a bitter or burnt taste. The key here is to have a grind that isn’t too large or too smooth.
Tip: A good rule of thumb is to ensure that you have a good coffee supplier either bean or ground, that satisfies your palate to your desire and be consistent with the product.
There are a few known methods which we can practice in order to prevent our coffee from tasting burnt.
The most popular of course is to purchase coffee from a good brand. But there are other methods and we shall be discussing them below.
Since stale beans are a major cause of poorly tasted coffee. I guess it’s a good idea to always consume your coffee when they are fresh.
The average shelf life of a coffee bean is between four days to fourteen days.
Tip: Purchase fresh coffee beans at all times.
Either you are roasting your coffee or you are purchasing already roasted beans. It is important that you are aware of the level of roast you desire.
There are three main levels of roast; light, medium, and dark roast. Anything above the dark roast will leave your coffee with a burnt and bitter taste.
A coffee maker may as well affect the taste of the coffee. Basically how a coffee maker brews a cup of coffee.
The process of blending, and mixing the right amount of water at the right temperature goes a long way in giving your coffee that desired taste.
To answer the question, why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?
Well truly Starbucks coffee doesn’t taste burnt, it just has a stronger coffee taste as compared to other coffee brands.
Coffee can and should be enjoyed at any given instance. So, therefore, knowing why Starbucks coffee tastes the way it does should be a must-know for all coffee lovers.