Why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?

In this guide, we will provide the answer to the question: “Why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?”. In addition, we will discuss how the roasting affects the coffee aromas and flavors and we will explain if coffee is bad for your health.

Why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?

The most likely reason for the bitter/burnt taste is that Starbucks roasts its beans at a higher temperature than most roasters to produce large amounts of beans in a short amount of time. Starbucks coffee drinks are strong, but with a very bitter, burnt taste. 

Does roasting coffee influence aromas and flavors?

Yes, the coffee roasting process influences its aromas and flavors. We need to understand that coffee can also be enjoyed, just like wine and beer. And it can have different kinds of aromas and flavors. Coffee also provides us with a sensory experience. 

The roaster is a professional trained to roast coffee and develop different roasting profiles for green (raw) coffee. It is he who decides which degree of roasting is ideal for the chosen coffee.

Also remember that raw coffee, as well as wine grapes, brings characteristics of the place where it was planted (terroir), the microclimate of the place and post-harvest processing. This makes the roaster already have some important information at the time of the roasting study, bringing even more precision.

Light roasting, for example, gives the coffee an interesting sensory complexity, with more acidity and floral and fruity aromatic notes. It is a softer drink on the palate, but very complex in aroma. Pleasant and always surprising.

The roast of medium color is the favorite of consumers, bringing a high sweetness, a little more of the intensity of the caramel and chocolate. Usually, a drink that the general public most identifies with, is good for everyday drinking.

Dark roast, which is a Starbucks brand standard, is very common for Americans. It has even more intensity and strength, bringing a specifically roasted bitterness. 

An important factor to note in dark roasting is that it needs to be done very well to make it more pleasant. If it goes too far, it can be a negative experience for those who drink it, that famous “burnt taste”, which, it is worth noting, is not the taste of coffee.

How do you keep your espresso shot from tasting burnt?

To prevent a burnt-tasting espresso shot, adjust your grinder to a slightly coarser grind. This will help the water flow through the grind more evenly, without too much resistance, and will not overcook the coffee.

If your coffee tastes bitter, your beans may not have been roasted properly. Most roasted coffee beans can be bitter or burnt in taste. Often, if coffee tastes burnt, people blame themselves for preparing coffee, but in fact it may just be the quality of their beans.

Grind – different fermentation methods require different grinds. A very fine grind retains water and results in a bitter and unpleasant infusion. A very coarse grind leaves the coffee weak and without any distinctive characteristics or flavors. Water that is too cold mutes the flavor and dulls the aroma of the coffee.

Is coffee bad for your health?

If not ingested in excess, coffee isn’t bad for your health. In fact, moderate consumption of coffee can be good for your health, because coffee is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. The grain also has chlorogenic acids, which help reduce glucose and insulin, preventing type 2 diabetes.

The caffeine and tannin that are in the composition of coffee hinder the absorption of iron in the body. But calm down, you don’t have to stop drinking coffee (because the benefits are many)! 

Ideally, those who have a low level of iron in the body do not consume coffee right after meals, because the likelihood of the drink hindering the absorption of the nutrient is greater. Wait two hours after eating.

If you don’t have a problem with a lack of iron absorption, you can have your coffee after a meal with peace of mind. And, of course, it’s always good to reinforce that everything in excess is bad. 

So focus on the quality of the coffee, not the quantity. An important information is that arabica coffee has less caffeine than canephora (robusta and conilon). So Arabica interferes less with the absorption of iron.


In this guide, we provided the answer to the question: “Why does Starbucks coffee taste burnt?”. In addition, we discussed how the roasting affects the coffee aromas and flavors and we explained if coffee is bad for your health.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.