All too often people put up with overly bitter coffee because they think it is stronger. Don’t confuse Bitterness with Strength. You can have a strong coffee without the bitterness.
Is Bitterness an indication of Strength?
Strength is determined by the ratio of coffee grinds to water or milk. The type of roast, and the blend, has absolutely nothing to do with the strength of a coffee. The person making the coffee has total control to either make it strong or weak.
If you want to increase the strength of your coffee you have two options. Either increase the amount of coffee grinds by using a double shot (2 capsules), or decrease the amount of water/milk you are adding. It’s that simple. Just because a dark roasted coffee may have increased bitterness, doesn’t mean it’s stronger.
Darker roasts have more Phenylindanes which produces a lingering and more harsh bitterness. However this is not necessarily a bad thing. At the right levels, bitterness can help contrast and complement the other characteristics, as long as it’s not overwhelming.
Other factors effecting Bitterness:
- Bean Type - Robusta beans although they are cheaper and have a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans they also produce more bitterness.
- Water Temp - If your water temp is too hot you may burn the coffee resulting in increased bitterness.
- Over Extraction - The fullest, boldest and richest flavours are extracted in the first 40ml of the pour. The longer the pour the more the bitterness increases.
Tip: When making a Long Black be sure to eject the capsule once the 40ml espresso shot is compete. Once ejected, fill to the desired level by running the water through the machine without a capsule. Some machines are pre-programed to run the entire 120-180ml of water through the capsule when making a Long Black. Over ride the system for a superior tasting coffee.
If you enjoy a strong bitterness to your coffee I recommend you click on the SHOP page and filter your search for Dark Roasts with high Intensity. If you prefer the natural flavours of the beans without a strong bitterness, then I recommend head down the path of a Medium Roast