What Causes Over Extracted Espresso (And How You Can Fix It)

When you are trying to make the perfect cup of coffee, it can be really frustrating if the coffee does not turn out perfectly. When you make coffee, you make certain that it is made from high-quality beans. It smells wonderful while being prepared, but it does not taste particularly pleasant when you take a sip. So why did the cup of coffee turn out to be so bad?

An over-extraction happens when an excessive amount of the soluble flavorings from the coffee bean is removed during the extraction process. It is unpleasant and can even taste harsh because of the high level of extraction used to produce the flavors.

Even though over-extracted coffee appears to be a difficult problem to prevent if you understand what is going on, it isn’t that difficult to avoid. It is discussed in this article what different degrees of extraction are, how they differ, and how to attain the optimal level to brew the perfect cup of coffee for your taste preferences.

The cause of over-extracted coffee is unknown.

Water-soluble constituents account for less than 30% of the average coffee bean. This means that, depending on how you boil your coffee, about thirty percent of the coffee bean can be dissolved into your cup of coffee.

However, not all thirty percent is particularly appetizing, so we strive for a slightly lower percentage.

Over extraction, which occurs when an excessive amount of the coffee bean is dissolved in our cup, will be examined more in this article.

When hot water (such as that used for the most common brewing procedures) is passed through ground coffee beans, the components of the bean that are capable of dissolving into the water do so.

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This is the process of extraction. The flavors and chemicals are removed from the bean and dissolved into the water. To be more specific, What you will receive is coffee.

High-temperature water, longer brewing durations, and other factors can all contribute to an increase in the amount of coffee bean that makes it into your cup of java.

The solid components of a coffee bean are not removed during the extraction process, so you don’t have to worry about reaching the sweet spot by extracting the coffee to the point when the grounds are completely removed.

If they all wind up in your cup, you should still be able to see the grounds in your coffee if they are still intact.

What Effect Does Extraction Have on Taste?

Different compounds dissolve in water at different heat temperatures or depending on the chemical.

This is important in the extraction process since the coffee bean is composed of several different compounds.

The distinct tastes, lipids, antioxidants, and other substances found in the coffee bean are removed at different periods and varied rates from their respective coffee beans.

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Because each of these items has a distinct flavor, brewing coffee in a manner that over or under extracts the coffee can result in significant variances in the flavor of your cup of coffee.

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What Is the Best Method for Extracting the Perfect Cup of Coffee?

It’s crucial to have the right extraction level because it allows the coffee’s greatest flavors to make their way into your cup without being overwhelmed by the bitter aspects associated with over-extraction.

It’s critical to have the correct extraction level because it allows the coffee’s best qualities to shine through without being masked by the bitterness associated with over-extraction.

Making certain that you adhere to all of the timing and consistency requirements for your chosen brewing method will ensure that you obtain the optimal level of extraction every time.

You will be able to appreciate the richness of the coffee and the balance of acidity and finish as a result of this.

Can You Tell If a Cup of Coffee Has Been Under-Extracted?

In the same way that coffee can be over-extracted, it can also be under-extracted. This usually suggests that the water’s temperature was too low or that the water wasn’t applied to the coffee beans for long enough.

The outcome is under-extracted coffee, in which just the first flavors of the coffee grounds have leaked out of the coffee grounds and into your cup of coffee.

It is possible to identify if coffee has been under-extracted in a few different ways. Testing for extraction level (sadly, this isn’t always possible in cases of poor extraction) is done by tasting the coffee. The following are some examples of how you can taste while under extraction.

The coffee has a sour flavor.

If the coffee tastes sour, it may have been inadequately extracted. However, while all of these taste profiles are described in the same way as bitterness and acidity, sourness is not precisely the same as either of these flavors.

The flavor causes you to pucker your lips together or push out your tongue that is described as “sour.”

Coffee has a sour taste since acids are one of the first things to be extracted. Therefore, one of the most obvious characteristics of under-extracted coffee is sourness, which is also one of the most complex.

The coffee is a little thin.

Essentially, under extraction results in overly watery coffee and lacking in the presence of the coffee components.

Under-extracted coffee has a distinct flavor that you can detect. It tastes as though there isn’t enough coffee in the water, which is exactly what is going on in this case!

The coffee has a salty taste.

Aside from caffeine, one of the first things removed from coffee beans is salt. Although under-extracted coffee does not taste like you put salt into it, its flavor is much saltier than a balanced cup.

If your coffee has a distinct salty flavor, there is still another indication that it may be under-extracted.

What Are the Indicators of Optimal Extraction Performance?

In a perfectly extracted cup of coffee, no single note should be overshadowed by any other notes.

As well as the more chocolaty aromas, you should be able to detect a hint of sharp acidity.

Plenty of taste is desired, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming in a negative sense.

The number of coffee components in your beverage should be sufficient, but not so much that you can taste them in your mouth.

What Does Over-Extracted Coffee Taste Like, and How Can You Tell?

Over-extracted coffee contains an excessive amount of the coffee component in the beverage. Excessive extraction of coffee results in a loss of soluble content from the coffee grounds due to too much water in the mixture.

This contains flavors that we don’t want to consume in large quantities in our coffee.

The coffee has a bitter taste to it.

It should be bitter when you taste your coffee, not just a little bitter. This is one of the clearest symptoms that has been over-extracted.

Some bitterness is acceptable; for example, consider bittersweet chocolate and the depth that the bitterness imparts to the chocolate.

If the bitterness becomes overwhelming, it is likely that your coffee was over-extracted or that your beans were roasted for an excessive amount of time.

Once you realize that your next cup of coffee is ruined by over-extraction, it’s much easier to solve the problem.

The coffee has a bland taste to it.

Over-extracted coffee will taste bland. The overabundance of tastes, combined with their lack of balance, results in a coffee with the same dull taste as dirt.

It’s not so much a shortage of flavor as it is a combination of flavors that cancel each other out and make the tongue muddy.

The coffee has a dry taste to it.

This peculiar quality of over-extracted coffee is the most bizarre, but it is also the most memorable and the easiest to identify.

Is it possible that you’ve taken a sip of coffee and then instantly checked your cup to ensure there were no coffee grounds in it?

The coffee may be causing your mouth to feel dry and sandpapery without necessarily having any visible particles in it, which would account for the experience. This is over-extracted coffee.

What Causes Coffee to Be Over-Extracted in the First Place?

Several factors can contribute to the over-extraction of the coffee bean. But, ultimately, they all boil down to the same concept: too many coffee beans found their way into the coffee.

There are various ways in which this might occur, and being aware of them is the most effective approach to avoid having it occur to you.

If you want to make the perfect cup of coffee, you should avoid the traps listed in this section.

The temperature of the water

More quickly, water-soluble chemicals are extracted from their water-soluble compounds when the water is heated.

This comprises all of the components of coffee that we’ve discussed so far. Water for making coffee should be approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit in most cases (93 degrees Celsius).

If the temperature is raised above this point, the coffee will get excessively extracted. On the other hand, if you go much lower than this, the coffee will be under-extracted.

It’s Brewing Time!

Brewing time has a significant impact on the quality of the extracted coffee, particularly in brewing procedures in which the coffee grounds remain in contact with the water for an extended period of time rather than the water just passing through them.

The water should be in touch with the coffee grounds for a long enough period of time to produce an excellent cup of coffee, but not for too long that it dissolves all of the chemicals found in the beans into your beverage.

For brewing time, always refer to your user manual or guides for your preferred brewing method because it might vary greatly.


The consistency of your coffee grinds is the final important thing to consider when it comes to excessive extraction.

It is more difficult for the water to access the soluble chemicals in coffee beans that are not finely ground (or not ground at all!).

This translates to less coffee in your drink or coffee that has been under-extracted. The water can absorb more than usual if your coffee beans are ground too finely, and it can do so much faster if your coffee beans are ground too finely.

Ensure that your coffee grinds are not too fine if your coffee is still coming out over-extracted even after you’ve verified that you’ve got the water temperature and brewing periods correct. They should be able to stand on their own two feet a little.

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