Looking for a little help with my recent (1 year) horrible coffee

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by Drewskie »

For reference, I strictly use the Hario v60.
I'll try to make this short. I've been using the v60 for probably 7 years or so, and after the first few months I was able to consistently make excellent coffee that could rival the coffee shops. About a year ago, everything just started kind of tasting flat and boring even though I had not changed any brewing parameters.

I figured for sure it was the grinder, so ended up upgrading to a Vario, which didn't really help at all. I was trying three different grinders but getting the same boring results across all of them.

Since my coffee was boring and flat, I thought it was under extracted so I started grinding finer, which I think actually made the cups taste worse. I never got any bitterness so they weren't over-extracted, and that is what confuses me, no matter how fine I would grind, they would still just taste boring, maybe slightly astringent.

I tried grinding way course a few times and the coffee definitely tasted a little better but was still very underwhelming, which leads me to believe it is something with the grind, although I'm not exactly sure what. I try to stick with a grind that is around the size of table salt.

This has been happening with multiple different coffees. A friend of mine gives me samples so at any time I probably have 10 to 15 different samples from different roasters and they all pretty much taste the same. Occasionally I can make a good cup, but it's nothing like I used to make.

Is there any hope for me? I would sort of like to completely start over but I'm not exactly sure how.

I also just ordered the Kalita Wave to try but I haven't actually practices with it yet.

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#2: Post by yakster »

Does coffee shop coffee still taste good to you? Checking your senses.

Have you changed your water? Your water source could have changed, even if you haven't moved and might be impacting your coffee.

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Randy G.

#3: Post by Randy G. »

Have you had Covid or taking any new medications?
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#4: Post by Jeff »

What does your friend think of your coffee?

Sometimes our own points of reference as to what "good" is shift. I know mine did during the last three years with all the isolation.

Drewskie (original poster)

#5: Post by Drewskie (original poster) »

Well, I probably should have put this in the original post but I have not visited a shop in the last 3 years. I pretty much been a hermit since old Covid came 'round.

I probably should try it though just to see if it's actually my coffee or just a broken mouth.


#6: Post by Milligan »

I doubt it is your gear or coffee. I don't think you will find a smoking gun that easily. I'd lean more toward changing expectations or something like a viral infection. Have you noticed other foods not tasting the same or not as good as they used to be?

Drewskie (original poster)

#7: Post by Drewskie (original poster) »

Same. And it's like a flip just got switched off, went from making great cups to absolute garbage. I keep thinking about the infection thing but haven't really noticed anything else tasting way off.


#8: Post by CoffeeIsWeird »

Hi Drewskie,

I haven't been able to make decent coffee at home for the last 3 years, pourover or cupping. Most of them are flat and taste ashy. No clue why. As they say, I've tried "everything"...

That said, I consistently enjoy pourovers (or even espresso) from some of my favorite coffee shops. Fragrant, juicy, full of flavour. So don't lose trust in your taste buds please.

How about visiting some coffee shops in your area more regularly in order test/calibrate your taste buds?


#9: Post by kushkush »

I didn't see you mention it, so it's useful to check in on what water you're using. If you can access distilled bottles it might be worth buying something like TWW or equivalent and going from there. If I had to guess I would assume you are using tap water that's quite hard and is making brews taste flat and unenjoyable.

Drewskie (original poster)

#10: Post by Drewskie (original poster) »

Crystal geyser water, which is what I've been using for probably 7 years and used to produce excellent cups. I keep wondering if they switched up their water somehow but I don't think it would make this much difference.