What Does Under Extracted Coffee Taste Like?

Coffee extraction is the process of brewing coffee, which is why it is so important to the quality of taste. When the water dissolves things like acids, sugars, and dissolved solids from coffee, this is referred to as coffee extraction.

When the water isn’t able to pull out enough from the coffee grounds, you get under extracted coffee that will appear light or transparent.

Under extracted coffee tastes sour, thin, and salty. The sourness is a sign that your coffee is too acidic; it may make your lips pucker or give you a biting sensation on your tongue. 

If the water wasn’t given enough time to pull flavors from the coffee, it will also taste flavorless and thin. You may be left with the feeling that your coffee is unfinished.

Your under extracted coffee may be salty as well, and not the pleasant kind of salty. It will taste more like someone dumped way too much salt into your mug.

How to Prevent Under Extracting Your Coffee

Under extracting your coffee is easy to do, but so is extracting the right amount. If you find that you under extracted yours, don’t worry. We’ve all been there! Here are some tips on how to make sure your brewing goes smoothly next time:

  • Make sure you brew your coffee long enough. Under extracted coffee happens when the water isn’t given the right amount of time to pull the full range of notes and flavors from the coffee.
    • Note: if you decide to brew your already under extracted coffee longer, simply reheat it as needed.
  • Use hot water (within ten degrees of boiling). The hotter your water, the faster the extraction process.
  • Finely grind your coffee. If it is too course, the extraction process will take longer.
  • Use enough water (about one gram of coffee for 15-18 grams of water). Too little water will result in flavors being left behind in the coffee grounds.
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Needless to say, under extracted coffee can have a pretty unpleasant taste. Knowing the signs and tips for optimal brewing will help you adjust your extraction to get the best results.