|June 15, 2023

7 Things You May Be Doing Wrong With Your Morning Coffee—And How to Fix Them

By Sarah Kuta
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

7 Things You May Be Doing Wrong With Your Morning Coffee—And How to Fix Them

  • Coffee isn’t rocket science, but there is an art to making the perfect cup of joe. Whether you’re grappling with bitter coffee, sour coffee, cloudy coffee or coffee that gives you heartburn, we’ve got you covered.
  • To ensure a perfect mug of coffee each and every time, tap your inner barista and make sure your coffee grounds are the right coffee grind size, your water is at the right temperature and that your equipment is squeaky-clean.
  • For the perfect cup of energy-boosting, fat-burning coffee, you can’t go wrong with our delicious Bulletproof Coffee recipe.

Drinking a mug of perfectly brewed coffee is like hearing a symphony—the flavors, scents, temperature and mouthfeel work together in perfect harmony, with each playing a complementary role to the others. But bad coffee? That’s more like nails on a chalkboard.

Even the most experienced coffee drinkers still run into issues from time to time. But don’t worry, good coffee is within your grasp, no matter your chosen brewing method. So if you find yourself asking, “Why is my coffee bitter?” or “Why is my coffee sour?” or even “Why is my coffee cloudy?”, we’ve got the answers to your common coffee questions.

Here are seven things you may be doing wrong with your morning coffee—and how to fix them, ASAP!

1. Why is my coffee bitter?

All of Bulletproof's coffee roasts lined up on countertop

Blegh, there’s nothing worse than sitting down to enjoy a steaming mug of java only to take a sip and realize your coffee tastes bitter. But, why is that the case?

The most likely culprit of bitter-tasting coffee is over-extraction, aka the process that turns hard, crunchy coffee beans into a delicious flavorful beverage. Over-extraction may be the result of steeping your coffee for too long (such as in your French press) or grinding your coffee beans too much. Other causes of over-extraction include water that’s too hot (the ideal water temperature for extraction is between 195°F  to 205°F !) or a dirty coffee maker.

2. Why is my coffee sour?

Bulletproof Coffee Pods next to hand placing a pod into the machine

Next on the funky flavor wheel: Coffee that tastes sour.

That sour taste you’re experiencing is likely the result of under-extraction—the exact opposite of the over-extraction problem that was causing your coffee to be bitter. If your brew time is too short or the coffee grounds are too coarse, you could be met with some sour flavors. Sourness can also result when your water is too cold during the hot coffee-brewing process (for cold brew, despite the name, stick to water that’s room temperature).

Bulletproof tip: For an effortless brew, try Bulletproof single-serve pods, which produce a perfect cup, every time. Whether you love the smooth flavor of Bulletproof Original or the sweet, smoky taste of Bulletproof French Kick, brewing with single-serve pods takes all the frustrating guesswork out of what should be a relaxing and enjoyable morning ritual.

3. Why is my coffee cloudy?

hand reaching for a cup of coffee that was brewed from a original bulletproof pod

If your coffee is cloudy, there could be a handful of factors at play. Remember that coffee is mostly water, so the cloudiness in your mug could be the result of minerals in your water. This is especially true if you’ve got “hard” water coming out of your tap. Cloudy coffee may also be the result of grinding your coffee beans too long. If that occurs, the tiny, fine grounds may pass right through the filter and into the coffee pot.

Bulletproof tip: Start with high-quality Bulletproof Original Whole Bean Coffee, then grind the beans yourself so you can achieve the perfect grind size. Some grinders even come equipped with different grind settings to help you along the way.

4. Why is my coffee weak?

Coffee being poured from a french press into mug

Weak, watery coffee is a big problem, particularly if you enjoy the flavor of a big, bold, rich cup of pick-me-up. If you’re wondering how to fix weak coffee, know that your coffee may be weak because you aren’t using the proper coffee-to-water ratio, or because you aren’t giving it enough time to brew.

What’s more, weak coffee may be connected to the coffee’s roast and overall flavor profile. Coffee beans are roasted to varying degrees, with roasters tweaking the process to produce beans ranging from light to dark. Though it depends on the beans themselves, generally speaking, the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee tastes. (That’s why the beans your barista uses in an espresso machine are so dark!)

Keep in mind that our taste buds change over time, so you may just be drinking a coffee style that doesn’t suit your preferences anymore. Find your personal sweet spot by conducting a fun coffee taste test every so often to see which roast you like the most. After all, your taste buds may just want to try something new!

Bulletproof tip: Stock your pantry with Bulletproof Coffee roasts you know you’ll love, like French Kick or Breakfast Blend (and if you just don’t want to choose, go with the whole-bean variety pack for the best of all worlds!). No matter which roast or flavor you prefer, you can feel good about your morning joe because Bulletproof sources its fresh coffee beans from sustainable farm partners in Central and South America.

5. Why is my coffee oily?

Bulleproof Ground Coffee, Brain Octane Oil & Ghee lined up sitting on kitchen counter next to coffee mug and a french press

If you pull out your bag of fresh coffee beans and notice that they look a little oily, don’t sweat it. Oily coffee beans are normal and still totally fine for you to make coffee with (oily beans aren’t beans that have gone bad!). The oil comes from the roasting process when the beans are gently heated to produce different flavor profiles. Dark roasts tend to produce oilier beans, whereas lighter-roasted beans tend to be less oily.

If you’re using an automated coffee machine for drip coffee, take note that oil can build up over time, but that’s nothing that a quick cleaning can’t fix.

And, in fact, you may even want to consider adding more oil to your coffee, as we do in our tried-and-true Bulletproof Coffee recipe. You’ll add delicious, brain-fueling Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil to a cup of your favorite Bulletproof Coffee grounds, along with some Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee. Use a heat-safe blender or a trusty milk frother to ensure all the fats and oils are blended and that the end result is a silky-smooth, frothy, latte-like drink.

Bulletproof tip: Get a jumpstart with the Bulletproof Coffee Starter Kit, which has everything you need to make the perfect cup of Bulletproof Coffee that supports cognitive function, kick-starts fat-burning and satisfies hunger.

Related: How to Choose the Best Keto Creamer

6. Why is my coffee giving me heartburn?

Three cups of coffee toasting

Coffee lovers, you’re not alone if you’re reaching for the antacid tablets after you drink your morning brew. Certain foods and beverages (including coffee) can irritate the esophagus or weaken your lower esophageal sphincter, which causes acid reflux. If you’re experiencing heartburn symptoms after drinking coffee, it may be that your coffee is either over-caffeinated or just too acidic for your body’s liking.

Bulletproof tip: To lower your overall caffeine intake without drinking less coffee, try Bulletproof Original Decaf, which has the same great taste without any caffeine.

7. Why is my coffee creamer thick?

Pouring coffee into thermos alongside Bulletproof Original Creamer

Good coffee creamer is just the right consistency—not too thick, not too runny. But, if your coffee creamer is overly thick—or worse, a little bit chunky—it can seriously ruin a cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your creamer has gone bad. Check the expiration date. But above all else, go with your gut. If your creamer looks or smells off, don’t risk it. Better safe than sorry!

If your creamer seems otherwise fine and only turns lumpy when you pour it into your coffee, it’s possible your coffee itself is the issue here. Coffee that’s too acidic or too hot can cause the cream to curdle. Creamer can also get lumpy when added to iced coffee.

Bulletproof tip: For perfectly creamy and delicious coffee every time, go with Bulletproof Original Creamer. This clean, powdered creamer solution is made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil to power your day in a seamless way!

The bottom line: Life is too short for coffee that doesn’t taste good. Whether you like making your own at home, heading to a coffee shop or grabbing a Cold Brew Latte out of the fridge or on the go, you deserve the best, most flavorful cup of coffee you can muster.

Ever wonder how clean Bulletproof coffee is made? Learn all about our process—from farm to cup!

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