5 Reasons Your Espresso Coffee Tastes Bad

espresso, espresso coffee, types of coffee, types of coffee beans

If you’ve ever brewed yourself disappointing espresso at home, you’re certainly not in the minority. In fact, the vast majority of people struggle to create the kind of barista-worthy espresso coffee they’d happily pay good money for elsewhere.

But assuming it isn’t just an isolated incident – what could be going wrong? If the espresso coffee you prepare at home consistently tastes subpar, what can you do to turn things around?

The Art of Espresso Coffee

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to espresso coffee is to underestimate its complexities. On one hand, you could argue that espresso is just about as simple as coffee gets. On the other, you’d be right to say that a flawless espresso represents the culmination of dozens of important considerations and factors being brought together in the right way and at the right time.

As such, there are countless reasons why your DIY espresso tastes bad.  Nevertheless, there’s a handful of potentially problematic points that account for the vast majority of espresso fails, which are as follows:

1) Your Beans Aren’t Fresh

First up, aside from the actual types of coffee beans you use, nothing will have a greater impact on quality and flavour than freshness. As a general rule of thumb, you should assume that for every 24 hours your coffee beans are exposed to air, they lose approximately 10% of their aroma and flavour producing compounds. Hence, the importance of ensuring your beans are as fresh as possible when you buy them, after which they need to be stored with meticulous care and attention. Old coffee beans cannot and will not make good espresso.

2) Your Beans Have Been Poorly Roasted

This is actually one of the most common issues faced by those who go the whole-hog and decide to roast their own beans. That said, it can also be problematic when picking up espresso coffee and beans in general from a substandard seller. Roasting coffee beans is a surprisingly meticulous and demanding process, wherein just a few seconds in the wrong direction really can have a marked impact on the final product.

3) The Coffee is Poor Quality

Of course, you can’t expect to make quality espresso unless you start out with quality beans in the first place. Don’t be tempted to bag what appear to be the kinds of bargains that seem too good to be true. Stick with quality coffee you know you can trust – life is far too short for substandard coffee beans!

4) You’ve Got the Grind All Wrong

Most coffee lovers simply cannot grasp the enormous importance of grinding coffee beans to the perfect consistency if looking to create the perfect espresso.  As a rule of thumb, espresso that’s weak or sour means the grounds were too coarse, while bitter and somewhat chalky coffee suggests you took the grinding process a little too far.

5) Your Espresso Coffee Gear Is Dated

Last up, it’s natural to want to hold onto your trusty espresso-making gear for as long as physically possible. Nevertheless, pretty much all coffee making equipment will eventually succumb to the tests of time and need replacing. If the machine you use simply isn’t capable of creating quality espresso coffee anymore, you might be wasting your time trying!

At Hayman’s online coffee store you will find the best types of coffee beans for espresso. Our world-famous coffees are available as whole bean coffee, ground coffee, Nespresso compatible pods *, coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee makers (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)**, and green coffee beans (for home roasting with your own coffee roaster). All our specialty coffee is roasted and ground on the same day it is shipped to you for incredible freshness - click here to order now, we offer free worldwide shipping!


* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®.

** Keurig and K-Cup are registered trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. unrelated to Hayman®. Our pods are not created or sold by Keurig®.