Why Is Instant Coffee Sour? [Magical Fixes Inside]

Instant coffee can save you a ton of time. You also won’t have to deal with coffee makers and other stuff. But sometimes instant coffee gives you this weird sour taste even though everything seems to be right. Have you ever wondered what went wrong? Let’s see why.

Why is instant coffee sour? Instant coffee is sour because of the presence of Chlorogenic acid. If the coffee beans were lightly roasted, then the instant coffee would have a large amount of Chlorogenic acid making it sour in taste. If your instant coffee was made from medium roasted or dark roasted coffee beans, your coffee won’t be sour.

Sour Instant Coffee – What’s The Problem?

People prefer instant coffee for one reason. It is easy to make and saves you a ton of time in the morning.

If you’re a coffee person, then there is a good chance that you hate instant coffee. But instant coffee does have its advantages. Unfortunately, it is also possible to serve a sour cup of instant coffee.

So what happens there?

The sourness in instant coffee is mainly because of the acid content in it. If the beans were lightly roasted, your cup of coffee will have more acid content which can turn your coffee sour.

The main acid you can find in your coffee is Chlorogenic acid. This acid is a powerful antioxidant and it is one of the main benefits of drinking coffee.

But too much of the same acid can turn your coffee sour. There are people who love sour coffee. One such instance is the rise of hipster coffee. We wrote a post on the same, do read it if you’re interested.

Related Read: Why is hipster coffee sour?

This sourness in your instant coffee is imparted on it during the roasting process. If the beans are lightly roasted, then most of the acid content is left on the beans which mean the resulting coffee will be more acidic. Both medium and dark roast coffee will have less acid content in it.

If you don’t want a sour instant coffee, then you should make sure that the brand you’re going for is not very acidic in nature.

You can also improve the taste of your coffee even if it turns sour, but we’ll discuss that later.

Does Instant Coffee Have Less Acid Than Brewed Coffee?

Instant coffee comes with pretty much the same amount of acid as your regular coffee. You can’t control the amount of acid in your instant coffee but you can do that with your brewed coffee by selecting a medium or a darker roast if you’re looking for a less sour coffee.

Like we mentioned above, your regular coffee will have more or less acid content in it depending on whether its coffee bean is roasted light or dark respectively.

You don’t have this option when it comes to instant coffee as most manufacturers will not make this information public for their consumers.

How Do You Make Instant Coffee Less Sour?

Sour instant coffee is a small problem. Yes, it is terrible if you are not a fan of the sourness, but we have a handful of magical fixes that will make your coffee much better.



Adding salt to your instant coffee is a great way to reduce the sourness in it.

Just add a small pinch of salt to your coffee and it will elevate the coffee taste to the next level. This is also a handy trick if your coffee has turned bitter as salt can bring down the bitterness in your coffee effectively.


Adding cocoa to your coffee adds a subtle sweetness to your coffee. The taste is enhanced and you will find your coffee more in lines of hot chocolate which is nothing short of delectable.


Adding some milk to your coffee is probably the easiest way to battle sourness. Milk brings some sweetness to your coffee and thereby improves its overall taste.

If you’re not a fan of dairy milk, then you can also go for non-dairy milk like almond milk, soy milk, and countless other options on the market.


Cinnamon is another excellent alternative that can make your sour instant coffee better.

Add some cinnamon powder to your instant coffee mix and then make your coffee for the best results. You can also dust some cinnamon powder on top for a stand-out flavor.

Get Better Instant Coffee

Yes, you can chuck the inferior instant coffee out the window and get some good ones.

There are no clear criteria by which you can judge the quality of the instant coffee, but from what we have researched, here are some instant coffee brands that are not sour

If you’re asking which instant coffee is not sour, then the answer is right above this sentence.

Brew Your Own Coffee

Well, this is not what you would have expected, but it makes sense right?

Maybe it is time for you to switch to the darker side.

When you make your own coffee, you have so much control and you will be able to make the right coffee for you. This is the very reason why so many coffee lovers make their own drinks from the ground coffee and also detest instant coffee.

It takes more time and you might have to put some money into a coffee machine, but the resulting brew is heaven. You will know why people call this real coffee only when you make one.

Brewing your own coffee also opens up possibilities like iced coffee, specialty coffee, whipped coffee, espresso, and also gives you the freedom to choose your brewing method. You can also choose between arabica bean and robusta bean for a better experience.

Why Is Instant Coffee Sour? – Closing Thoughts

If you’re just looking for your daily dose of caffeine, then instant coffee is fantastic. It gives you decent coffee and keeps you energized for a good amount of time. But you do get the occasional sour coffee that can make you very upset.

When that happens, make sure you follow some of the tricks we’ve outlined above. You can also sour coffee altogether if you choose one of the better coffees we’ve listed above.

If you have any questions, do let us know and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible (not instantly, of course).

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