I've heard a few good things about Intelligentsia coffee so I decided to order some. Once it arrived I tried it in my AeroPress and it turned out very, very sour. (several times)

Steps taken using AeroPress:

  • rinsed filter
  • used water that was 1 minute off boiling
  • brewed for 1:30 total
  • plunged just until I heard air through the filter

Coffee was so sour I couldn't finish it. Considering that I tried several times and that I've been using the AeroPress with great success for the past few months this has me very curious.

My Question

What makes a coffee turn out sour?

  • If you grab a grain of that coffee (or a small amount of grinded coffee) and eat it directly, do you feel the same sour taste? (trying to remove the preparation method from the equation...)
    – PabTorre
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 23:12
  • 1
    interesting point, I'll try when I get home and let you know Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 23:13
  • fwiw, my son moved to Chicago and we've both tried Intelligentsia and feel the same as you. In my press pot, I brew for four minutes. I recently purchased a different coffee with a sour taste but I'll try a finer grind as suggested in one of the answers and get back to this.
    – Rob
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 18:29
  • @Rob thanks for your feedback, I experienced a similar taste with a Conscious Cup coffee once as well so its not entirely isolated to Intelligentsia. Also, I was able to get a let sour flavor from the Intelligentsia by reducing the press time and water temp, but it wasn't a great flavor. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 18:31
  • @PabTorre I did try chewing a bean the other day, it didn't taste sour or bitter to me. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


When the water has too short of a time to extract the flavor from the bean.

Try grinding the beans a bit smaller.

  • I was going to wait till morning to try a finer grind on my coffee but curiosity got the better of me and I tried it now with the caveat that my taste buds might not be the same this afternoon. The coffee I used is one that is not the quality I normally buy and had, what I considered, a sour taste to it. I made it a finer grind for my press pot than I normally would. It had a richer flavor, as one would expect, but the sourness also seemed to go away. This is good news if it can save me several dollars a pound for coffee but I need to try this again in the morning.
    – Rob
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 19:42

The sour taste may be related to the aeropress method.

From this reddit and this thread in CoffeGeek it sounds like it may be related to under-extraction from either using water that is too cold, the grind is to coarse, brewing too fast, or using too much coffee.

Try adjusting your brewing process to improve the extraction.

  • 1
    You know what, I think I might have used too much coffee. I'll test it tomorrow morning and let you know my findings. Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 2:04

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