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Bitter Coffee


Bitterness is a key part of the coffee taste

Bitterness is an essential part of the overall taste of coffee. A certain amount of bitterness rounds off the taste of coffee and balances the other flavor elements.

You might hear the terms “fine bitterness”, “smooth bitterness” or “well-balanced bitterness” being used to describe coffees.

What makes some coffees more bitter than others? There are several factors. First, comes the bean; Robusta is more bitter than Arabica. Then comes the roasting; generally, a darker roast increases the bitterness of the coffee. A third factor is the brewing method, which is why espresso coffee tends to have a more bitter taste.

The next question is: how bitter should your coffee be? “Not too bitter,” or “Really bitter!” you’ll say. And quite rightly, because your standard of bitterness is a personal matter, like your choice of coffee.

However, we have to admit that the taste for bitterness is not a purely personal matter. To a certain extent, liking bitterness in food and drink is a cultural thing. Chinese and Italian cuisines, for example, use many bitter ingredients.

And tastes do change, as has been shown by the recent trends for dark “bitter” chocolate and espresso coffee. Sometimes bitter can be better.

Full-bodied NESCAFÉ products

If you like your coffee strong, here are two general tips: look for darker roasts and blends made with Robusta beans.

NESCAFÉ Original/Classic is a good place to start. Our signature coffee is made with a medium dark roast that gives it a rich full flavor. It is now available as NESCAFÉ 3-in-1, so you just have to add hot water for the perfect white coffee with sugar.

For more full-bodied strength you can also choose NESCAFÉ Black Gold, which is a blend of dark roasted Arabicas and Robustas.

Another popular option is NESCAFÉ Alta Rica, a very dark roast that’s rich, bold and smoldering. We use 100% Arabica beans but fully roast them to achieve the intensity of flavor and deep, rounded taste. A bitter, roasty finish makes this a complex and enjoyable coffee.

NESCAFÉ Espresso is also made from 100% Arabica beans. We wash and fully roast these finest quality beans to achieve the rich, intense taste needed for this classic type coffee. A short but deeply satisfying cup with a velvety golden-brown crema layer – the easy way to enjoy a strong cup of coffee.


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