Your coffee tastes sour?7 reasons and helpful tips!

Coffee tastes sour

If the coffee tastes too sour despite a modern portafilter machine, this can have various reasons. Often it is due to an unfortunate interaction of different factors such as extraction, brewing pressure, water and coffee beans. The good thing is that you can influence these factors yourself. We present 7 possible causes and give you some simple tips and solutions!

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Your coffee tastes sour?7 reasons and helpful tips!

Your coffee tastes sour? Despite a functioning portafilter machine? This can be caused by various components - but often by an unbalanced interaction between brewing pressure, extraction, water and coffee beans. However, you can easily influence these factors so that your coffee enjoyment is optimal again. We reveal 7 possible causes and how they can be remedied!

1. coarse grind & wrong coffee quantity

Small errors, such as too coarse a grind, often lead to an acidic or watery taste. In this case, so-called under-extraction occurs, in which the coffee powder and the water do not sufficiently fuse together. Instead of bitter substances, primarily acids are dissolved.

Both for the optimal taste and for the right consistency of the espresso, the right grind is crucial. The short extraction time of espresso requires a very fine grind. But be careful: the finer the grind, the stronger your espresso will be. Through simple trial and error and with a little courage, you're sure to find the right grind quickly!

As a rule of thumb regarding the correct amount of coffee, you can remember the following: For an ideally extracted 20 to 30 ml of espresso from the Portafilter, 7 to 9 grams of finely ground coffee powder is required.

2. the extraction time is too short

The throughput time (or extraction time) is strongly dependent on the grind of the coffee powder. This is because the finer the grind of the ground espresso beans, the longer the water needs to pass through. The optimum extraction time for a portafilter machine is therefore 25 to 30 seconds.

3. too low brewing pressure

Is your portafilter machine new? Then simply check whether the pressure has been set too low at 4 to 6 bar. The optimum brewing pressure for a tasty espresso is 9 to 10 bar and can be adjusted accordingly.

Coffee tastes sour

4. too light roast

If your coffee is too acidic, it may be due to a roast that is too light in color. Light roasts generally have a higher acid content than dark roasts.

When choosing your espresso beans, you should also pay attention to a gentle roasting process. In the so-called hot air process, the coffee beans are roasted too hot in too short a time, which leads to uneven roasting. This causes the coffee beans to burn on the outside and the acids inside the beans cannot be completely broken down.

Therefore, we strongly recommend the use of quality espresso beans roasted in a gentle drum roasting process. Through this particularly slow process, the beans are roasted evenly and unique flavors and acids are optimally developed.

We offer espresso beans from selected roasters and the best growing areas around the globe. Feel free to browse through and look forward to an incomparable taste experience:

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5. the water temperature is too cold

Another underestimated factor when preparing espresso with the portafilter machine is the correct water temperature. If the coffee water is too cold, e.g. below 85°C, the espresso becomes sour and important aroma substances cannot be sufficiently extracted. The ideal water temperature is between 92°Cand 96°C.

6. pH value too low - this makes the espresso sour

In addition to the water temperature, the pH value of the water also determines how acidic the espresso tastes. The pH value indicates how acidic or alkaline a beverage is. If the pH value of the water used is below 7, the acids contained in the coffee are intensified. Our expert tip: Try it out with filtered water.

7. portafilter machine not cleaned

Ideally, you should clean your espresso machine after every use, not only for the sake of taste, but also for a long service life. Certain parts of the espresso machine such as the steam lance, brew group and Portafilter can be cleaned quickly and easily. A step-by-step guide on how to properly clean your espresso machine can be found here:

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The coffee tastes sour? We hope you could find the solution!

Everything you need to know to get started with a Portafilter , as well as advice on equipment, can be found here:

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We wish you much joy and success in the preparation!