I'm at a loss. I have tried everything to make coffee taste as good at work as it does at home, eliminating as many variables as possible. I do not do anything different in my brewing between home and work, but the coffee at home is hundreds of times better.

Let's start off with the basics... Equipment: We have a Bonavita BV1900TS at home and the older Bonavita BV1800TS at work. I have the all-stainless-steel carafe up here at work and use Melitta #4 bleached filters because of the different filter cone shape on the 1800 model, whereas at home I have (or had until it broke) the glass-lined carafe and Bunn bleached standard-size filters.

Now about supplies: I'm using whole-bean coffee that I've roasted, which is never more than two weeks old. The coffee is really good. When I do a Clever at home, it tastes as that served in a really good coffee shop with baristas who know what they're doing. My water is always Ozarka Spring Water. It's world's better than Brita-filtered tap and seems to be the best of the spring waters available in this area without spending a ton of money. And, again, it makes for great coffee at home.

Making coffee: I grind my coffee just before brewing at a drip grind size and use somewhere in the neighborhood of 10g per cup. I rinse both filters under water for 15 seconds or more and shake dry. We have no hot water at work currently, so I rinse under cold. Now I had the coffee to the filter basket and fill the reservoir with spring water. Last step, I turn the machine on.

So at home, the coffee I get out is exquisite. At work, it tastes like I'm licking a cup of hot postage stamps. What is happening?! Please help!

  • aging of equipment? calcification?
    – MTSan
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


Since most of your variables above have been addressed and matched. Below are an additional few i could think of -

a) Servicing of equipment. At least descalling once per month depending on how often machine gets used.

b) Someone at work "serviced" you machine with a strong dose of descaller, or didnt flush the system 3 times for both group head and steam wand. It is probable you are tasting descaller. To prevent descaller taste, use food grade coffee descaller recommended for your machine, any other chemical product maybe too strong and leave a lasting taste like CLR, vinegar etc.

  • Great tips! I'll definitely try descaling again. I did it six months or more ago, but I really haven't been using the machine much since then because it makes such terrible coffee. And I'm the only one who touches the machine, because I'm the "coffee guy." When I was using Brita-filtered tap, I know limescale built up in the internals. And I used a citric-acid-based descaler, which just tastes like lemons if it's still present. Thank you! Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:08

My money is on the difference in temperature. I get that woody, fibrous taste with dark roasted coffee brewed at temperatures that are too high. When I brew the same coffee at lower temperatures (lower than 200°F) the woody, fibrous taste goes away.

If your roast was on the light side, then temperature is probably not the problem though. I never get that woody taste from light roasts ever. Besides, light roasts (of high quality coffee anyway) should be brewed at higher temperatures to better bring out bean characteristics IMHO. That's what I've learned from coffee business people who know their stuff, and that's also been my experience.

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