Thursday, December 7, 2023

Can You Burn Coffee? Here’s the Answer!

by Mads

You don’t want to spoil your morning cup of coffee with charcoal, ash-flavored bitter coffee.

There’s a significant difference between dark roasted sharp coffee and a burnt coffee with a more ash-like flavor.

Yes, you can burn your coffee, and the culprit is not just the boiling water but the extended time you put your coffee in boiling water for brewing. Another culprit is the over roasting of the coffee beans.

Many baristas and coffee enthusiasts use a thermometer to check the water temperature for the coffee and use the right roasting methods to avoid burning the coffee.

How Does Coffee Get Burned?

There are three primary reasons how coffee gets burned :

  1. Over Roasting

Over-roasting is one of the major reasons why coffee tastes burnt. Over roasting your coffee beans creates a bitter taste and darker color than usual.

Once the coffee beans are over-roasted, the coffee will taste burnt no matter what brewing techniques you use later.

  1. Using Stale Beans

If your beans are stale, they are likely to cause a sour and acidic taste in your coffee. Also, the coffee grounds are likely to go stale and hard, so the best thing to do is grind the coffee grounds just before brewing to keep them fresh.

  1. Time Duration of Your Coffee in The Boiling Water

Time is another factor. It’s not the boiling water responsible for burning your coffee, but it’s actually for how long you keep your coffee pot on the stove.

The longer time your coffee is in the boiling water, the more chances it will get burned.

How Do You Know if You Burned Your Coffee?

You want to avoid drinking burned coffee to avoid the bitter taste and ruin your mood. But how do you identify burned coffee?

  • If your coffee drips slowly and you only get a small amount of coffee even after a few seconds, the chances are that it is burnt.
  • The next thing to note is the color. If the color of your coffee is darker and more towards blackish shades, it is likely to be burnt.

Is It Safe to Drink Burned Coffee?

If your coffee looks burnt or even tastes burnt, you should avoid drinking it.

Burnt coffee is bad for your health as it contains high levels of acrylamide.

Acrylamide is a poisonous chemical found in burnt coffee.

If you drink burnt coffee regularly for years, the chemical acrylamide is likely to cause cancer.

Long-term effects of acrylamide exposure can cause adverse effects on your health. It can also affect your nervous system if acrylamide is consumed in larger quantities. Other health issues include heart conditions.

So, if your coffee is burnt, throw it away immediately.

Burnt coffee also contains high levels of caffeine, which can make you sick.

Can Hot Water Burn Coffee?

If you’re preparing your cup of coffee at home, you can be fooled into thinking that hot water might burn your coffee.

You cannot burn your coffee with hot water unless you cook your coffee in hot water for hours.

The main reason why hot water cannot burn is that:

  • The coffee beans are roasted at higher temperatures, more than 100 degrees, and boiling water is not more than 100 degrees
  • The right temperature for coffee is 95, but there’s not much difference between 95 and 100 degrees. And the 100-degree temperature is for boiling water and not coffee. Every compound has its boiling point.

Tips to Avoid Burning Your Coffee

To avoid burning your coffee, here are a few tips for you:

  • Don’t use stale coffee beans. This will cause not just a burnt flavor but also will not brew well
  • Make sure to inspect your coffee beans well before you purchase. It is in the roasting process that the beans get burnt mostly.
  • Please don’t use too hot water as it leads to over-extraction of the coffee. Over extraction makes your coffee bitter with a burnt taste.
  • Try not to leave your coffee pot in the heat for hours. The idea may sound good, but it will burn your coffee. You can always make a fresh cup of coffee whenever you need it.
  • Clean any burnt residue from your coffee pot before making a new cup of coffee. The old residue can lead to burnt flavor in your fresh coffee cup.


Coffee can get burned.

Many people assume that boiling water is the main culprit for burning coffee. However, this is not the case.

The primary cause of burnt coffee taste is the over-roasting of coffee beans. If the coffee beans are over-roasted, your coffee will taste bitter and burnt no matter which brewing techniques you use.

Other reasons include using stale coffee beans and leaving your coffee pot on the stove for a longer time.

It is not the hot water that burns coffee but the time period that coffee stays in the heat or in the boiling hot water that leads to a burnt coffee.

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