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Så navigerar du smakerna av espresso - Tips för att undvika sur eller bitter smak - Barista och Espresso

This is how you navigate the flavors espresso - Tips to avoid sour or bitter taste

espresso is a drink that is loved by many around the world for its unique taste and aroma. But sometimes one can espresso taste sour or bitter, which can reduce the enjoyment of this delicious drink. In this blog post we will look at how to navigate the flavors of espresso and what measures can be taken if it tastes sour or bitter.

First of all, it is important to understand what can cause one espresso to taste sour or bitter. A sour one espresso can be the result of the beans being roasted too long or too little or the brewing time being far too short. Within espresso this is usually called underextracted. A bitter one espresso on the other hand, may be due to the beans being roasted too much or the brewing time being too long.

Before we get into the actions, start by always using the same dose every time so that you only have one parameter that you change at a time. If there are too many different variables such as dosage, brewing time, brewing temperature and grinding degree, it will be far too difficult to understand why your espresso doesn't taste good.

If espresso tastes sour

If you feel that your espresso tastes sour, there are some steps you can take to correct the taste. One way is to use higher quality beans and make sure they are fresh. If the beans are too old, they may have lost their natural sweetness and acidity. You can also adjust the grind rate to get one espresso which is less acidic. A finer grind can help reduce the acid.


  • Grind finer (contributes to longer brewing time)
  • Raise the brew temperature (recommendation between 93 to 96 degrees)
  • Buy darker roasted espresso beans (generally easier to brew with darker roasted beans)

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If espresso tastes bitter

If your espresso tastes bitter, you can also take steps to correct the taste. One way is to use higher quality beans and make sure they are fresh. If the beans have been roasted too much, it can cause the coffee to taste burnt or bitter. You can also adjust the grind rate to get one espresso which is less bitter. A coarser grind can help reduce bitterness.


  • Grind coarser (contributes to shorter brewing time)
  • Lower the brew temperature (recommendation between 93 to 90 degrees)

Clickhere if you need good coffee!

General things to know about brewing

To get the best out of your espresso it is also important to use the right amount of coffee and water. A general guideline is to get twice as much espresso as the amount of grams of coffee you use. That is, a normal double espresso uses approx. 18g of fresh ground coffee and with that you should try to aim to get approx. 36g espresso. If you use too much coffee or too little water, it can affect the taste of yours espresso and feel far too intense.

How brewing time matters

The actual time it takes to get your desired amount out espresso plays a big part. If the brewing time is too short, the espresso will taste sour and if the time is much too long, it will taste bitter. A general guideline is that it should take somewhere between 20-30 seconds. ie if it took you under 20 seconds to get 36g out espresso should you grind finer until you end up between 20 and 30 seconds.

How much coffee should I use?

We usually say around 18 grams for a double espresso and about 10 grams for a single shot. Of course, larger and smaller amounts can work as well, here it is important to stick to a measure so you don't introduce several variables when trying to get a good result.

Use a scale!

A quick way to get good results is a scale. That way, you can measure and understand what you need to change.

Step by step guide:

  1. Weigh out 18g of coffee in the portafilter
  2. Place a scale under the coffee cup and start brewing and take your time!
  3. Once you have reached 36g espresso stop brewing and timer.
  4. If the time was under 20 sec. Grind finer and try again. If the time was over 30 sec. Grind coarser and try again.
  5. When you have reached a good time with the right amount but still taste sour, try raising the brew temperature. If it tastes bitter, try the bed brew temperature.

As it all depends on how good the beans are you will have to experiment but with this guide you can quickly get to a reasonably good result quickly and then make small changes to get the best possible result.

Click here if you need a coffee scale!

In conclusion, it is important to use high quality beans, make sure they are fresh and use the right amount of coffee and water to get the best out of your espresso. If your espresso tastes sour or bitter, you can adjust the degree of grinding or the brewing time to correct the taste. With the right technique and a little experience, you can quickly become a master at brewing the perfect espresso and enjoying its delicious flavors and aromas.

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