Espresso Taste Sour Like Vinegar

Espresso Tastes Sour like Vinegar (3 Reasons Why)

There is a distinctive feel, taste and aroma to every espresso cup you make. Your brew could either be too weak or too strong depending on the extremes of your experience.

Good espresso smells great and has a sultry sweetness that appeals to the palate.

Bad espresso on the other hand might either be too watery or too strong. When you wince after every sip, then chances are that your brew is too ‘strong’.

Sometimes, your espresso will taste vinegarish-highly acidic, with a small tinge of metal at the end (some people will say that it tastes sour, even bitter).

Whichever way you might describe it, we can all relate to how vinegar tastes, which is the problem we are looking to fix!

So, your espresso tastes sour like vinegar? Here's three reasons why this might happen. 

Your machine’s cleanliness is not up to scratch

Yeah, this happens. And there is a whole ton of reasons why it does. Your beloved coffee beans contain a number of essential oils, and while these make for a wonderful flavor, they can build up within your machine and give you a bad taste in the mouth-literally.

This taste can also be caused by films of dirt, mold, bacteria and calcium that end up lining your portafilter over time.


Extraction is a process in which you have to strike a delicate balance between the flavor you take from the coffee grinds and the levels you leave in there.

When you under-extract your espresso, you simply don’t take enough flavor out of your grinds, and this causes the sourness and tinges of salt that dominate your concoction.

The tartness in there is caused by the natural acids available in fruits that would in a normal brewing process be counteracted by sweeter, more pleasant flavors.


This occurs when you contrive to ‘cleanse’ your coffee of all its favorable tones. In a nutshell, you milk your coffee dry, leaving it tasting deprived.

Sure, we all know that caffeine should be bitter, but a cup of espresso needs to taste great because of all the other additional components in there, and not bitter, dry or even empty because of all the things the cook did wrong!

Final thoughts on why espresso tastes sour

Your brewing time, temperatures and the size of the grinds you are working with all have an effect towards how your espresso tastes when you finally sit down to sample it. A finely extracted cup of espresso gives your throat a wonderful caress and has all your delicacy palates tingling.

Thanks for stopping by to read our post on why espresso tastes sour like vinegar. If you have any questions or would like to add your insights, please leave your comment below... we look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time... happy brewing!

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