Why Some People Don't Like Coffee (And How to Fix Them)

Why Some People Don't Like Coffee (And How to Fix Them)

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
5 minutes of coffee drinking

Not everyone's palate is sophisticated enough to enjoy the nuanced flavors of coffee.

Most of those people, we call "children." But believe it or not, there are even a few fully-grown humans who just don't appreciate a strong cup of joe.

If you know one of those people who just can't seem to get into the strong flavors of coffee, don't worry! There are ways to fix their problem.

Now, if someone just doesn't like coffee there's no reason to force them to drink it. After all, that leaves more coffee for you, right? This isn't really about converting non-believers, it's about helping those who want to like coffee like the rest of us, but just can't seem to get there.

If they're willing to give it another shot (see what I did there?) you can help them re-discover coffee, and unlock all the health benefits that come with it.

The first step, besides having them admit they have a problem, is understanding why they don't like coffee in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons people don't like coffee:

Reason #1: They've Been Burned By Bad Coffee in the Past

This is probably the most likely reason you'll find. If someone has had a bad experience with coffee, they're likely to write it off entirely.

When you're used to drinking cheap grocery store coffee or (shudder) instant coffee, then switching to a higher quality coffee can be a bit of a shock to your system. But it's worth the shock, because once you've had a taste of the good stuff you'll never go back.

The key to helping someone enjoy coffee is, well, to find a coffee that's roasted well and has a flavor profile that they enjoy. Once someone finds a coffee with flavor notes they enjoy—for example, chocolate—they can start to appreciate all the subtleties that make coffee so amazing.

You know what they always say: "Mocha is the gateway coffee." They always say that. All the coffee people say that.

Reason #2: They Don't Know How to Make Good Coffee

If someone has only ever really tried the coffee in the break room at work, or some kind of abominable pre-packaged "coffee drink" from a gas station, then it's no wonder they don't like coffee. Those things barely even qualify as coffee, and they're usually made out of sub-par beans roasted eons ago that have been sitting around in a can.

You wouldn't base your opinion of wine on a half-empty box of Franzia left in the break room fridge after the infamous holiday party where Toby from HR got too drunk and punched a hole in the drywall. So why do people do that with coffee?

Brewing a good cup of coffee is an art and a science. There are many different ways to brew coffee, and each method brings out different flavors in the beans. You can still brew great coffee with a standard drip coffee maker, as long as you’re starting out with high-quality beans in the first place.

If someone has only ever had coffee made one way—the wrong way—then they're not really experiencing all that coffee has to offer.

Tip: Introduce them to our Ultimate Brew Guide and see if that changes their opinion on coffee!

Reason #3: They Don't Like Bitter Flavors

We get it, coffee is an acquired taste. Like dark chocolate, olives, and red wine, coffee takes some getting used to—and our taste buds typically change over time as we age. But the thing is, coffee doesn't always have to be bitter—in fact, it needn't ever be bitter if you don't want it to be.

If someone is sensitive to strong bitter flavors, and has only tried drinking coffee black, then they're missing out on all the deliciousness that coffee has to offer. 

Adding some milk, cream, or some of that damn flavored creamer that comes in a huge plastic jug with a picture of a pumpkin or The Grinch on the front can help take the edge off the bitterness, and make coffee much more palatable.

In any event, it's a good way for someone to ease into things when they're not used to the strong flavors of coffee.

Genetics Can Also Play a Big Part in Our Taste Preferences

We've had a lot of fun here today ribbing people who don't like coffee. But in all seriousness, the truth is that some people really just don't enjoy the bold flavor of a strong cup of coffee—and that's okay. 

Besides, there's some evidence to suggest that our taste for coffee may be determined by our genes. As a study from Northwestern University finds, a taste for both black coffee and dark chocolate are found in coffee drinkers who have a genetic variant that indicates faster caffeine metabolism.

That was a mouthful, but basically it means that if you're able to process caffeine quickly, you're more likely to enjoy the bitter taste of coffee. So if you just don't like coffee as much as the next person, it might not be your fault!

If you're fortunate enough to be in the group of people who enjoy the rich flavors and mouthfeel of a strong cup of black coffee, then lucky you—your ancestors probably did too. Because of your bloodline, you get to enjoy the unique flavors of one of the most delicious beverages in the world on a higher level than mortals.

And if you don't like coffee, well... there might be hope for you yet!

There's a coffee for everyone out there. For those who need an extra kick, check out Black Insomnia's Extreme Caffeine coffee. Smooth, bold and packed with flavor.

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