The first thing I taste when I make coffee is a wood fiber taste. By the second sip, its gone and the coffee tastes tolerable.

I buy a Costa Rican Arabica roast from BJ's. I buy several pounds and stick it in the freezer. I grind before brewing. Have just bought a Breville Smart Grinder Pro and a Behmor Brazen Plus drip coffee maker (gold tone paperless filter). My grind size on the Breville is 48, the high end of medium according to their guide. However, I might be inclined to call it fine as pictures I've seen on the web lead me to this conclusion. Also, grinds tend to float in the air as I grind. As to the Brazen, I brew at 204 degrees with a 1.5 minute soak cycle. I use eight cups (setting) of grinds to make six cups of coffee. I intend to experiment but I'd like to hear some expert advice also.

So, the question is, can I avoid that wood fiber flavor or am I stuck with it?

  • Interesting. I wouldn't be surprised by a bit of a fibrous taste if you were using an un-rinsed brown paper filter, but you're using a metal mesh filter. What roast level are the beans -- e.g., medium, dark, or even a more specific roast level like "Full City" or so? Can you describe the taste more -- like "astringent" or "dry" or other flavours? If you're looking for a first experiment, I would suggest that you try a paper filter to see if the taste is different. Your temperature and time parameters seem reasonable.
    – hoc_age
    Sep 7, 2015 at 18:24
  • Hello Hoc Age: In response to your questions, the specifics of the coffee are: Wellsley Farms, 100% Arabica, Medium Dark Roast. As to further describing the wood taste, I draw a blank. Its not particularly unpleasant, its just a wood fiber taste. With my previous coffee maker, I used a brown, unbleached filter paper. I sensed that wood fiber taste then, also. I would also add that I taste it through half & half. Clearly tasting is not an exact science. It may be that I'm particularly sensitive to the taste. However, I hoped that posting here would get me a few comments to consider. Today, I up
    – user39133
    Sep 8, 2015 at 14:23

3 Answers 3


I would suggest buying any other kind of non-flavored coffee (or borrowing some) and using your same parameters to make a pot. That should determine whether your machine/process is imparting that taste to the beans or if it's just the coffee itself.

Lightly roasted coffee often has tastes described as woody, grassy, or sometimes tea like. This can vary from very noticeable at light roast levels to not at all noticeable at moderate levels. Even if you have purchased those same beans before and were not expecting the taste, it's possible you purchased a bag less roasted than previous bags you have bought.


Try this and see if there's any difference.

Pre-rinse the filter. Place the filter in the basket and run enough water over it to wet all of the filter, and then let most of the water drip off.

Since you are using a medium-dark roast, try using slightly colder water - like 180 F. This will help to not extract unwanted flavors from the dark roast.

When you go to brew the coffee, wet the grounds just enough so that there's hardly a drip through it. Let it sit for 30-60 seconds, then finish brewing.

If you're grinding it slightly more coarse, which I would recommend, then you'll need to increase your brew time. Try a 3 minute cycle.

  • By the way, why are you freezing your beans? Freezing/refrigerating can cause condensation to develop on the beans before brew time - causing a loss of fresh flavor.
    – nateclonch
    Sep 22, 2015 at 19:04

For a dark roast, it's easy to brew at a too high temperature. I get precisely that fibrous, woody taste when I brew a dark roasted coffee at a temperature above 200°F. Lowering the temperature should help.

200°F (or higher) is appropriate for lighter roasts, however. This is coming from both experience and the advice I've gotten from experienced coffee business people. Lighter roasts are reserved for higher quality coffee so that the characteristics of the bean are revealed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.