Why Does My Espresso Taste Burnt – What Can I Do

Espresso is a popular morning beverage all around the world. Espresso’s rich and robust tastes might be overwhelming, but it should never taste burned. In espresso, the burned flavor might result from a brewing error or something else.

Read on “Why does my Espresso taste burnt?” to find out why your espresso seems burned and how you can make it taste like the strong coffee it should be.

Why Does My Espresso Taste Burnt

Extraction Time

Over-extracting the coffee is most likely the cause of your espresso tasting burned.

When hot water is passed through the coffee for an extended period, too many of the oils from the coffee are taken up, causing it to develop a burned or bitter flavor.

A double-shot espresso should be ready in 20 to 30 seconds. If your espresso is taking longer, you should take steps to speed it up.

You might begin by crushing the coffee less finely. You may lessen the extraction time and the burned flavor of the coffee by using a less fine and more coarse grind.

It will minimize extraction time because a less fine grind will have more extensive voids between the particles, allowing water to move through more efficiently.

Another factor that might affect extraction time is how you tamp.

If the grind is not equally distributed before tamping, certain sections of the grind may be denser than others. As a result, the water may have more difficulty getting through specific areas of the coffee than others, contributing to the burned flavor.

Furthermore, you may be tamping too hard. If you tamp too hard, the grind will become thicker, resulting in over-extraction and a burned flavor.

Temperature Setting

Another factor is causing your espresso to taste burnt at the high temperature of the water going through the coffee.

Suppose the temperature of the water going through the coffee is too high. In that case, too much of the oil from the coffee will be caught up by the water, causing it to have a more bitter flavor and perhaps feel burned.

Generally, the temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Significantly, you can drink espresso to wake you up at a reasonable temperature.


As previously noted, the grind you’re using might be causing it to taste burned.

If your coffee tastes burned, you’re using a too-fine grind. The water would have a more difficult time passing through it, resulting in the coffee scorching and dissolving into the water more than is optimal.

To correct this, try a coarser rather than finer grind.

Type Of Beans And The Burnt Taste

The type of beans you use may also contribute to the burned flavor of the espresso.

The flavor of the coffee beans will vary substantially based on where they were acquired. If you used different coffee beans than you generally used and tasted burned, it was most likely due to the beans you were using.

Beans produced from a single origin typically have a significantly more unique flavor. On the other hand, a mix of coffee beans derived from several sources is more likely to provide a more balanced taste.

Type Of Roast

Your espresso may have tasted burned because the beans were roasted for too long.

This is more likely if you made the espresso with a dark roast. While dark roasted beans are not supposed to taste burned, they may have been roasted longer than necessary. This causes them to lose flavor and taste even more burnt.

If you are using a dark roast, consider switching to a different brand or a lighter roast.

Type Of Tamping

The manner you tamp may also contribute to the espresso’s burned flavor.

If you tamp too firmly, the water will have difficulty passing through the grind. As a result, the hot water will pick up more of the oils from the coffee as it goes through it, which results in a more bitter and burned flavor.

The Freshness Of The Beans

It is typically suggested that the coffee be consumed within three weeks following roasting. If they are not, the flavor will be more watery.

However, if your espresso tastes burned, you may have used the beans too soon after roasting them.

The beans would have a lot of CO2 trapped once they’ve been roasted. The quantity contained in them will evaporate in the days following roasting. If you use them too quickly, they won’t have time to expel the extra CO2 trapped in them, which might result in a burned flavor.

It is generally suggested to wait four days after they have been roasted before utilizing them.


Dosing or the weight of the coffee in the portafilter might contribute to your espresso’s burned flavor.

If your espresso tastes burned, it’s more probable that you’ve been dosing too much. If the dosage is too high, the water will have difficulty passing through, resulting in over-extraction and a burned flavor.

14-16 grams is the recommended dosage for a double-shot espresso.

What Should I Do To From Making Burnt Espresso?

Temperature Control

To avoid getting burnt espresso, monitoring the temperature of your brewing water is critical.

This is simple with manual brewing methods like a French press or a pour-over, but it can be more difficult with espresso.

Many espresso machines may be set to brew espresso at a specific temperature.

If your espresso still tastes burned, you should descale your espresso machine.

Descaling removes mineral buildup when water is heated repeatedly in a confined environment, such as an espresso machine.

Mineral accumulation might interfere with the espresso machine’s temperature sensors.

Grind Size

Adjust your grinder to a coarser grind to fix a burnt-tasting espresso shot. This would allow the water to go through the grind more evenly without causing the coffee to overcook.

Adjust Extraction

Burnt-tasting espresso may be readily prevented by paying great attention to the grind size and brew duration.

Espresso is finely ground. It is frequently compared to the texture of table salt.

The average espresso shot takes around 25 seconds to brew; however, this time might vary based on the coffee, the espresso machine, and the filter basket size.

The most accessible approach to figuring out what’s making your espresso taste burned is by trial and error.

Anyone can learn how to brew outstanding espresso by experimenting with different coffee beans, water temperatures, brew times, and grind sizes.

Related post:

How Long Does Espresso Last – Things To Know

What Does Espresso Taste Like – Detailed Guide

Why Does My Coffee Taste Sour?

Did your espresso come out quickly? Is the crema thin, bubbling, light, or yellow? I’m guessing it’s still dry and powdery.

This appears to be an example of under-extraction. It can be caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Tamping too gently, You could push the grinds down harder.
  • There might be insufficient coffee in the basket.
  • The coffee ground might have been too coarse. Espresso requires a precise grind.

Any of these factors might cause this issue. Because water may run efficiently through the grounds, you end up with a weak espresso.

Make sure to use a fine grind, put enough coffee in the basket, and firmly tamp it down. You will then generate more resistance against the water, causing it to flow more evenly through the coffee.

Why Does My Coffee Taste Bitter?

So your espresso crema appears to be extremely light. On top, there are large bands of white and yellow. The espresso machine puck is saturated and sludgy. Most importantly, it has a very sour flavor.

You have most likely extracted your espresso for an inordinate amount of time. The brighter colors, coupled with that terrible bitter flavor, really come out after the brew.

Reduce the amount of time you spend brewing. Maintain a time of 20 to 25 seconds.

What Else Can Cause A Bad Espresso?

Aside from over and under extraction, there are a few additional ways to ruin an espresso.

  • The espresso machine might be set to a too-low or too-high temperature. In addition, it is said that refrigerated espresso is not a bit of ideal advice.
  • The coffee beans might be old.
  • The machine may require cleaning. A buildup of old over-brewed coffee residue might ruin the flavor.
  • The machine’s rubber seals might be worn, enabling the pressure to decrease.


A burnt-tasting espresso is a sign that something is awry. The burned flavor may be remedied with trial and error with fresh, high-quality specialty coffee beans and the causes mentioned above.

If the espresso is still burned or too dark, try brewing it again with a different, more familiar coffee to see if you get a closer outcome. Thanks for reading “Why does my Espresso taste burnt?” and cheers, have a nice cup of espresso!

Related Post: