The Possible Reason Your Freshly Ground Espresso Tastes Sour

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Espresso is made by grinding up coffee beans, weighing out the amount you need, tamping it in the portafilter, and pulling the shot with water heated to 197 degrees Fahrenheit to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (via Perfect Daily Grind). There are quite a handful of tips and tricks coffee connoisseurs like to use in order to pull the best, most flavorful expresso, but in order to keep your own cup from going sour, focus on the grind of your coffee. 

In the study “Systematically Improving Espresso,” researchers conclude that when coffee lovers grind their coffee too fine or too coarse, the extraction of flavor can be altered and have an impact on one’s drinking experience (via Sciencedirect). Smithsonian Magazine claims that people tend to make the mistake of grinding their coffee too fine. By grinding the beans too small, the consistency of the grounds will be too dense and heavily packed in, hindering the water’s journey through the beans and creating either a bitter or sour flavor. 

To prevent this issue, Above Average Coffee recommends that when grinding your beans for espresso brewing, you must aim for your coffee particles to be 0.8 mm in size. Seeing as how coffee grounds can be hard to measure precisely at home, the site says to try setting your coffee grinder to the medium-fine setting and make personal adjustments from there.



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Professional online writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about health, wellness, fitness, parenting conundrums and navigating complex relationships.

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