Coffee beans from Brazil are expected to be more bitter this year.

Mike Colgan/KCBS Radio

Coffee May Soon Taste More Bitter

Mike Colgan
March 29, 2019 - 10:17 am

Coffee drinkers with developed palates may notice a change in the flavor of their morning cup.

Beans grown in Brazil are expected to be more bitter this year. Farmers there are picking coffee beans earlier than usual because of above average rainfall due to the El Niño effect. 

"Sweetness really comes from a longer maturation cycle," said Hiver van Geenhoven, co-founder of Chromatic Coffee in San Jose. "If there isn't enough sweetness and there isn't enough acidity from higher elevations or varieties that produce more acids, there's not enough of it to counteract the bitterness." 

The impact on the Brazilian coffee crop could disappoint the taste buds of many people as the more acidic roasts have been increasingly popular, said van Geenhoven. 

"That's why companies like Starbucks have introduced the blonde roast in response to people drinking more light-roasted coffees," said van Geenhoven. "Just having less of that charred, heavy, burnt flavor."

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