If you work with a lot of different people or have to visit a lot of different businesses then you will have encountered a plethora of different tasting coffee. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised by the taste of someone’s coffee but most of the time you will experience anything from mild disappointment to downright revulsion. So, why does coffee sometimes taste so bad:
1. The machine is dirty
OK, so you would expect us to say that but even a conservative estimate would place just about every coffee machine in the UK filthy category. It is an unusual and rewarding thing to discover a business where those that are in charge of keeping the kitchen clean understand that the espresso machine needs to be kept spotlessly clean. There is nothing quite as unpleasant as dirt in coffee. Not only does it make the coffee bitter but it also leaves a nasty after taste in the mouth that can last quite a long time. There is only one rule for cleaning a coffee machine and that is that you cannot over clean a coffee machine.
2. Grind too coarse/Grinder Ignored
In certain businesses those that feel that buying those little sachets of coffee is way too expensive, you may find that they coffee is grinded in house. Whilst it does make a difference to freshly grind your coffee each time, it is fraught with danger. The biggest problem is that the manufacturers of the grinder will set it to the best settings but then everyone just thinks that it will stay that way. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and after moderate use you are likely to find that the settings are a long way from perfect. Half the time the grinder has had so little attention that the collar may be stuck fast and this can have a dramatic affect on the taste of your coffee. My advice is check your grinder regularly.
3. The coffee is stale
Most people have no idea what the lifespan of a generic packet of coffee is. This is mainly down to the fact that it matters little to both the supplier and manufacturer. However, it is a little known fact that coffee in its ground state can start to “go off” in as little as 24 hours. And within a few days could be virtually undrinkable to those with an acquired taste for fresh coffee. If you think about it, you would not leave a pot of coffee warming all day and expect the last cup to be as good as the first.
4. The coffee is simply of a poor quality
Unfortunately, for many offices the person who buys the coffee is more likely to be interested in the cost of it rather than the quality. If you see someone arriving at work with what looks like an industrial sized container of Coffee it is unlikely to be of superior quality.
The problem is that in the UK we drink lots of coffee and as a result the supermarkets have to supply a range of coffee for all tastes and all pockets.
We all think that we can measure how much coffee to put into a filter in order to get the perfect taste, but we almost always get it wrong. The general rule offered by those in the know is 2 tablespoons or 10 grams of coffee for every six ounces of water, that’s 180 milliliters for those using a metric jug. Get this wrong and you end up with over extracted or bitter coffee, or worse still under extracted coffee that doesn’t really taste of anything.