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Coffee Tastes Like Dirt: 5 Simple Solutions To Try Today

cup of coffee on black background

Picking up your coffee cup and taking the first sip is supposed to be a magical moment for coffee lovers. Unfortunately, at times, this just isn’t the case. From time to time, things happen that can make your coffee taste a little subpar. Now, we’re not talking about weak coffee or coffee that’s clearly a result of a bad pot. No, we’re referring to coffee that tastes like dirt. When this happens, it can completely change your coffee experience. Thankfully, there are a few solutions to help you put an end to this problem. Let’s take a look at them below.

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The 5 Solutions to Stop Coffee Tasting Like Dirt

1. Clean Your Coffee-Making Equipment

barista cleaning steaming coffee machine
Image Credit: Iam_Anupong, Shutterstock

One of the most common reasons for coffee tasting dirty or simply a bit off is a dirty coffee maker or grinder. Inside your coffee machine, limescale can build up. When this happens, it unfortunately changes the taste of your coffee. Often, we overlook this issue and immediately blame a bad batch of coffee or even improper measurements on our parts. Instead of blaming yourself, or our beloved coffee, ask yourself if you’ve cleaned your equipment properly. You’ll find several solutions on the market to help descale a coffee maker and even a few trusted home remedies for this issue.

2. Change Brands

pouch bags with coffee beans
Image Credit: KawaiiS, Shutterstock

If you’ve cleaned your coffee maker and your coffee still tastes like dirt, consider changing brands. Improper roasting habits can lead to dirty-tasting coffee. While we’re in the supermarket shopping for our favorite roasts, we’re unaware of what happens behind the scenes. Often roasters don’t follow proper protocols when preparing coffee for shipping to consumers. Dirt and other debris can find their way into the bag. This has been known to happen. Whether it is accidental additives or poor farming and processing, this has been known to happen and may require you to switch brands if it becomes too much.

3. Check for Mold

Mold in coffee
Image Credit: Techa Boribalburipun, Shutterstock

Unfortunately, coffee can get moldy. Whether this happens thanks to being exposed to moisture or due to bad packing, it can make its way into your cup. If you know your coffee has been exposed to a bit of moisture, it’s best if you go ahead and replace your beans or grounds. In some instances, you may see the mold inside your bag or coffee can. If this is the case, toss it out immediately. That’s the best way to avoid yucky coffee when you need your caffeine fix.

4. Refresh Your Beans

coffee beans spill over the table
Image Credit: Darina Belonogova, Pexels

Like other consumables around the house, coffee beans go stale. This is especially true if you are not an avid coffee drinker who enjoys a cup of joe each day. If you happen to reach for your trusty bag of coffee, measure your grounds or beans properly, brew yourself a nice cup to enjoy then realize the taste just isn’t what it should be, it’s time to refresh your stash. Stale beans can seriously change the taste of what’s in your cup. Keep your coffee up to date and fresh for a better cup of coffee.

5. Check Your Water Quality

close up of a barista pouring boiling water into Kalita Wave Dripper to brew coffee
Image Credit: Microgen, Shutterstock

Poor water quality can affect the taste of most things around your kitchen. With bad water, you’ll notice a dirty taste in your meals and drinks, coffee included. To fix this issue, once a proper check of your water has been done, you should look for other routes you can take to help your water taste better. Using filters can help improve your situation immensely. If this isn’t an option, using bottled water is another way you can improve the taste of your coffee when your water quality isn’t up to par.

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, our coffee can’t taste perfect each time we make it. If you notice your coffee taste like dirt more often, then it’s time to step in and do something about it. As you try to determine what the issue is with your coffee, putting these solutions to use can help make drinking coffee a better experience at your house.

See Also: What Does Dirty Mean in Coffee Drinks?

Featured Image Credit: Matthias Thijsen, Unsplash


Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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