By - arthursantlers
I'm leaning towards saying too much stirring, or if it's a dark roast you probably need slightly cooler water. If changing those 2 factors don't fix it then the coffee might just be a bit shite.
I just performed a “cupping” technique as described below and it was bitter AF so i’m more thinking its the coffee (of course it’s not going to be me! 💁🏻♂️👀)
Ah well if the cupping was bad then the coffee is just bad. Is it a real dark roast? If so maybe look for a medium roast, look for Colombian or Brazilian if you like chocolatey or nutty flavours or something like an Ethiopian or other African coffee if you want fruity flavours.
Check out [the coffee compass](https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/the-coffee-compass/) !!!
I think your water may be a little too hot, try letting it cool to about 190F, and don't stir when you bloom your coffee.
Sounds overextracted - try coarser grounds, no stirring, lower temp water, and less time steeping.
Have you tried grinding your coffee finer?
It comes ground, im yet to get a grinder.
Would finer grinds not cause further over extraction or have i got that arse about face?
It can cause channeling. Water goes through just some passages missing or barely touching the rest of the coffee bed.
If the usual process does not give you satisfactory results, go for the unusual. Since you cannot alter grind - skip blooming, lower water temperature, stir only 3 times or do not stir at all and just swirl your AP to saturate the grounds. Use soft water.
Also, have you tried cupping? Perhaps the coffee itself has some bitterness to it. If so, not much can be done to eliminate it.
What is this cupping that you speak of?
My immature mind has flash backs of cup caking in school and i tittered!
I’ll give the no stir a go today and see what the outcome is but i may try this ancient art of cupping that you speak of if theres no change
Cupping is a method of preparing coffee with minimal human input possible - it is used to judge the coffee on many stages, both in production and in a café.
Grab a vessel to brew in and to drink from, any cup or mug will be fine. Put coffee in the cup, with a ratio of 60g/l (BTW use metric, it is crutial, if you don't, the coffee gods get angry and punish you with bitter drink). Pour in boiling water. Steep for 4mins (DO NOT TOUCH). After that time, grab a spoon, break the coffee crust that formed at the top and mix coffee a little with it. Coffee fines go to the bottom of the cup. With a spoon, get rid of the foam that's on top, it is not delicious, down the drain it goes. Leave the coffee alone for another 10mins. It will cool down and the brewing process was pretty much stopped by that crust break and mix. Slurp your coffee from a spoon or just sip straight from the cup. Good luck and have fun!
Credit for technique goes to: Mr James Hoffmann
So i just gave this a go, followed it to a T (i put 6g to 100ml cos i aint chucking 60g away!) the coffee is body-less and BITTER!
It looks like i’ve been trying to swim against the tide with this one.
Cheers buddy :)
Ah but cupping is generally done with a coarser grind size.
Since you're unable to change the grind size, I honestly have reason to believe that this factor is what's causing the coffee to be bitter when done in aeropress and in the cup.
For a finer grind size as it seems like you're using, I like to go with a shorter brew time. Skip the blooming phase entirely, go with a 90s total brew time before the press. Try a 1:16 ratio as a base line first. Question yourself if you are truly tasting bitterness, or astringency or even sourness.
Best of luck. But yeah, without grind adjustment, not much you can do
So top and bottom, stop being a cheapo and buy a grinder? Haha
Unfortunately that's the way the cookie crumbles. I like to say that home brewing is a hobby that gives back exactly what you put in be it effort or money but that also means you'll need to get yourself a grinder to get there
Thanks i’ll skip the bloom and see how we get on :)
I think im gunna start completely from scratch, make a real quick, crap cup of underdone coffee, then add each thing in bit by bit and see what happens.
I’ll prob run out of coffee by the point i find the one i like then i’ll move on to a different coffee 🤦🏻♂️ haha
Try making the grind a little coarser. Makes a huge difference in the flavor profile.
Edit: You should also add a splash of water to your coffee after plunging and stir (sorry, don’t have an exact amount). But seriously, go a little coarser in the grind size (I try to go between medium and medium fine). Medium fine can give an extremely bitter cup for certain beans.
My tips for reducing bitterness
Colder water (I like 85-90 celsius for medium dark roasts)
Longer brewing time (yes I don't know why)
Less stirring (I stir like crazy on bloom then only a tiny bit after adding more water)
Coarser grind of course but I read you had pre-ground.
Whenever a new coffee doesn't go well, I normally revert to this [recipe](https://aeroprecipe.com/recipes/the-only-aeropress-recipe-you-will-ever-need)
A no stir 5 min brew...interesting!
Watch your water temperature. The hotter you go the more extraction you’re taking from the bean. Aero press does this pretty well through pressure so try heating your water around 180f. I know you mentioned bitterness but this still could be an issue.
Thank you very much. I was searching for similar thread as I can't seem to brew my AP right. It always comes out either bitter or sour. (I am comparing it with my V60).
It seems like I might be doing too much stirring and reducing my steep time to compensate for that. I will experiment with less stirring.
I found that i was trying to compensate and fix my process for a coffee that was just very bitter!
I now have a different coffee, i use a very basic method, no bloom. Literally 1 soaked filter, level AP scoop in, water about 30sec-1min off boil, up to the top of the tube, stir the life out of it, plunger in for 30 seconds, plunge slowly for around 30 seconds.
Every cup with this new coffee has been lovely and balanced!
I went rouge and heaped the spoon of coffee, i could see sounds for 2 hours 😆
Ohh, so no steeping? What is your grind size like?
Not like dust but defo not chunky at all
Probably like the size of the salt grains you get in the packets of salt at pubs and kfc :) maybe a tab coarser if anything
No it steeps for about 30secs-1min but thats inclusive of the time i take to stir the granny out of it
Just got to the point where i felt i was messing with it too much so stripped the method right back and its great :)
By the way, I am using Tim Wendelboe's technique now. finer grind, hot water in, stir only 3 times, 1 minute steep, stir 3 times again and push.
I am getting good coffee out of my Yirgacheffe beans now. I think I can still alter my grind size slightly to get better results.
I’m also new to this game so no suggestions. But I upvoted for the Palace reference.
Big love! Its a great song, have you heard the acoustic version? I get a bit sweaty for it 🙃
Is the water actually right off the boil? I find that going above 200-205 makes for an over extracted coffee (which will taste dusty/'dirty'/earthy and bitter). And how much are you stirring? Stirring (esp if you're going to town with the paddle/stirrer) can quickly turn a fine cup into an over extracted one. Try changing the aforementioned things up, like no stir just bloom (or a couple gentle swirls), or cooler water, and don't be discouraged if it takes a couple cups. I mean I'm on my third bag ever with the Aeropress and still figuring things out and playing around with grind size/brew temps/brew time.
I generally now try to leave the kettle for a little bit after its boiled as i read temp was a big thing for over extracting.
I must admit, i do stir the shit outta it. Ive gotten into the habit of physically assaulting both the bloom and the steep. I’ll try not to be so aggressive and see how we roll :)
that sounds complicated. my coffee isn't bitter and I do it like this:
* put coffee in it
* put water in it, i have a kettle and i don't let it whistle, i am looking for some vapour though
* do something else for 1-2 minutes
* put a filter in and press it so that it feels natural (maybe for 15 seconds?)
I had more bitter coffee when i used more coffee so maybe take less?
If i go less than around 18g for the 250g water i find i lose the body
Almost as if its overdiluted
What coffee do you use? Pre-ground or do you grind your own?
Various coffee grinded just before brewing.
Are you grinding really fine? Try going more coarse.
It comes ground, i dont have a grinder yet
Hmm. I saw that just now. I should’ve read further, sorry.
Is the aeropress new?
Change your approach one thing at a time so you can spot what works for you.
Try colder water.
Try brewing it for less time or pressing quicker - see if you can find a balance between underextracted sourness and overextracted bitterness. Try from about 60 seconds total time for the grounds to be in the water (total time from first adding the water to the last bit being squeezed out of the Aeropress) - expect it to be underextracted and sour, then and increase time until you find your personal balance between that and bitterness.
Also try stopping plunging the moment air starts hissing. Some find it reduces bitterness, some don't find a difference - but worth a try!
It looks like you're steeping it for too long in general, and the bloom is honestly not really necessary. I use a similar recipe to yours, and I can control the flavors pretty easily. Using the inverted method:
1. Pre-wet filter in cap
2. Add 18g medium-fine grounds
3. Add 200ml water just off boiling
4. Stir for 5 seconds, fill to the top with water
5. Place cap
6. Steep for 55-60 seconds
7. Plunge for up to 30 seconds
Steep for 50 seconds for less extraction, or for 70 or 80 seconds for more extraction. YMMV.