There are a lot of great reasons to want to drink coffee. For example, consider the following health benefits:
- Decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of colorectal cancer
- Decreased risk of multiple sclerosis
Then there’s the endless energy coffee provides.
And don’t forget the social aspect. I mean, how many first dates started with “Do you want to get a cup of coffee?”
Plus, coffee drinkers have a whole world of hilarious memes at their disposal!
If you don’t like coffee, that’s OK! Not everyone was born loving coffee like young romantic Manny Delgado.
Generally those who don’t like coffee are divided into 4 camps:
- Too bitter or don’t like the taste
- Makes them too jittery
- Too expensive
- Just like being different
Learning how to like coffee differs depending on which camp(s) you’re in!
Table of Contents
Reason 1: Too bitter or don’t like the taste
Most people who don’t like coffee say it’s because of the taste. Specifically, coffee is just too bitter. When they go to coffee shops they typically prefer hot chocolate or tea.
If you don’t drink coffee because you don’t like the taste, there are a few ways you can overcome it.
Solution 1: Stick with a light or blonde roast
The longer coffee beans roast, the smokier and more bitter they get. Stick to light and blonde roasts and you’ll get something naturally sweeter and brighter.
Among light roasts, I recommend African coffees. The Ethiopian coffee from Stone Street Coffee Company pictured here is a wonderfully bright and fruity cup without much bitterness at all.
Solution 2: Change your preparation
The unpleasant, bitter taste comes from specific acids which are extracted from the coffee bean. These acids are one of the 3 major types of compounds extracted, and they’re the last ones to be extracted as the image below shows.
To get your coffee to taste less bitter, you want to stop extraction before you pull those organic acids out of the bean. There are several ways to do this:
- Don’t steep your coffee as long (shorter contact time between hot water and grounds means less extraction)
- Use cooler water (the hotter the water the more rapid the extraction)
- Use a coarser grind (coarse grinds have less surface area, which minimizes contact and slows extraction)
Experiment with those 3 variables and you’ll have a smoother, more pleasant cup.
Solution 3: Add milk, cream and/or sugar until you can tolerate the taste
A lot of coffee snobs try to shame people for adding milk, cream or sugar to their coffee.
Seriously, who cares?
So go right ahead and start with the frappuccinos, sugary lattes and milky white cups of coffee. Over time you can reduce the amount of creamer and sugar and gradually come to enjoy the taste.
Mocha beverages are also a good “gateway cup” since they have chocolaty sweetness built right in.
Solution 4: Add a pinch of salt!
It may sound weird, but salt can act as a “bitterness reducer” by changing the way the tongue and brain perceive those bitter compounds. Try adding a pinch to the dry coffee grounds before adding water.
Reason 2: Makes them too jittery
Researchers in multiple studies have found that people break down and process caffeine differently at a genetic level. This means the same cup that barely wakes Sally Jo up each morning could keep you up until midnight.
(If you’re Sally Jo, try your hand at making double brewed coffee. Or you could just straight up eat some coffee beans.)
There are 2 solutions to this problem.
Solution 1: Try half-caff or watered down coffee
There’s nothing wrong with blending your caffeinated coffee with decaf to a caffeine concentration that works for you.
Solution 2: Try a darker roast
If bitterness isn’t a problem, try switching to a dark roast. Caffeine is broken down during the roasting process, which means coffee beans that have been roasted longer will contain less caffeine.
However, there’s a flip side to that argument: Though darker roasts have less caffeine per bean (or by volume), the beans continue to lose water the longer they roast and thus darker roasts have more caffeine by weight.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re used to measuring out your morning cup in tablespoons (or any other measure of volume) you’ll get less caffeine by switching to a darker roast. If you tend to weigh out your coffee, which is less common, then it’s better to stick with the light roasts.
Reason 3: Too expensive
A daily $4 cup of coffee at your local coffee shop would cost you $1,460 per year, so I get that coffee can be expensive.
The solution? Make your coffee at home.
Single serve coffee makers like Keurigs go for $80-$150 up front and then cost around $0.75 per cup thereafter. Still too rich for your blood? Get a simple pour over coffee maker for $10-$30, skip the pods and use coffee grounds for around $0.25 per cup.
Related: 33 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
Coffee doesn’t have to be expensive if you’re willing to make it yourself!
Reason 4: Just like being different
We all know the person who does something differently just so they’re aren’t part of the crowd.
If this is you, you have bigger problems than just not liking coffee.
The good news is you can just pour yourself a cup! If you haven’t been drinking coffee because everyone else has been, odds are you’ll be part of the 83% of U.S. adults who like coffee enough to drink it every day.
What about you?
Are you a coffee drinker who used to hate the stuff? How did you learn to like it? Share your story in the comments!