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How to Stop Your Coffee Maker from Burning Coffee

Christen da Costa Profile image

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Updated August 28, 2022

Even if you have the best coffee maker, you may not be pleased with how your cup of coffee tastes. Some coffee machines produce a burnt or bitter taste that challenges even the most prominent coffee lover to finish their mug. That said, you can fix this issue by making a few changes to your brewing method and the way you grind your coffee beans. Read on to learn how to stop your coffee maker from burning coffee.


  • If your coffee has a burnt taste, the issue is likely the coffee itself or your brew method.
  • Dark roast beans are easily overheated, and you may want to switch to a lighter roast coffee.
  • Lastly, make sure your coffee isn’t stale and that your coffee machine is clean.

This is a frustrating issue to solve because there are multiple potential causes for all coffee questions. For example, your bitter coffee might come from cheap coffee grounds, your hot plate, or even your stainless steel coffee pot. You can try the automatic cleaning mode to fix the issue. But, it might be beneficial to know how hot coffee gets in a coffee maker or how to set your coffee maker timer, and other basic information about how to use a coffee maker before using advanced settings. Additionally, if you are curious about espresso, you can out our article on what is a pump coffee machine.

How to Stop Your Coffee Maker from Burning Coffee

Tools: Coffee grinder, airtight container, new coffee, scrub brush, dish soap

Insider Tip

Pay attention to the water quality of your coffee brew method. Using the right water can influence the taste in a big way.


Your water temperature can affect the taste of your coffee. Even if your brewing process was perfect, overheating your hot coffee will ruin the flavor, causing it to taste burnt. So, after your pot of coffee is done, you should remove it from the hot plate. It won’t keep your coffee warm for as long, but cold coffee will taste better than the burnt variety. Lastly, you can switch to a single-serve drip coffee maker so you’ll never overheat your brew. A single-serve coffee maker is still a versatile machine. For instance, you can learn how to make ramen in a coffee maker.


If you’ve had the same ground coffee lying around for weeks, it may be stale. Instant coffee will go stale faster than any type of coffee, but stale beans are still possible if not stored correctly. As ground and fresh beans are exposed to oxygen, your beans will degrade, negatively affecting the flavor. Ground coffee starts to go stale after seven days, so consider switching to whole beans or use a more airtight container for your coffee. Whole beans last for two to six months before going stale.


Dark roasts generally come from over-roasted coffee beans. So, if you opt for dark roast coffee, there’s a chance your beans were burnt when you bought them. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid a burning taste with specific brands unless you have your own roasting process. To fix the issue, switch to a lighter roast level.


As hot water runs through your coffee maker, mineral deposits and coffee oils can clog the water reservoir and other internal parts over time. Regularly clean your coffee gear to avoid burnt or bitter flavors. And if you have a stainless steel coffee maker you will want to know how to sanitize a steel coffee maker. Lastly, if you have issues with the cleaning light after doing so, read our guide to stop the light from flashing after cleaning your coffee maker.


Leaving your brewed coffee in a glass carafe on the hot plate will burn your coffee and ruin the flavor. Permanently remove your fresh coffee pot or use a thermal carafe instead.


Should I Unplug My Coffee Maker When Not Using It?

A coffee machine only uses about 1 watt per hour while on standby mode, so it doesn’t cost much to keep it plugged in. That said, you should remove your coffee from the machine as soon as it is done to preserve the flavor.

Why Does My Coffee Maker Make So Much Noise?

All coffee makers produce noise, but some, like those that use pumps or pressure to move water to the filter, are particularly noisy. That said, a noticeably loud coffee maker is a sign of coffee oil and other residues in the valves. To fix the issue, you can try to dislodge any buildup with a toothpick or thin utensil.

Will Reheating in the Microwave Burn Coffee?

You should not reheat your coffee in the microwave. While it won’t burn the brew, it will alter the taste, leaving it tasting sour or bitter.

STAT: According to a Gallup poll, 10% of coffee drinkers want to curb their coffee consumption. (source)

Christen da Costa Profile image