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Why does your coffee taste like potatoes (PTD error)?


 If you regularly taste coffee from around the world, you may have heard or encountered a situation where your coffee tastes like potatoes. Although the roasting, grinding, and preparation process is according to standards, the smell of raw potatoes in a cup of coffee is very strong, overwhelming the original delicate flavors and losing the inherent deliciousness. Why does coffee encounter this error? How to recognize and overcome it? Let’s find out with 43 Factory Coffee!


What causes your coffee to taste like potatoes?


Potato-flavored coffee or PTD (potato taste defect) is a taste defect encountered when tasting coffee that causes the coffee to smell and taste like raw potatoes. This error was discovered in 1940, but it was not until the 1950s that studies were conducted to determine the specific cause. The experimental process of finding the “root” of this error caused a lot of controversy. However, scientists are unanimous in the opinion that the PTD error in coffee flavor is caused by an unidentified bacteria, which occurs when airborne bacteria enter a puncture or tear in the crust. outside of the coffee berry.

Later, when French researchers studied coffee beans in Burundi, it was determined that the main reason coffee has a potato flavor is due to the harmful insect Antestia. Antestia (Antestiopsis orbitalis), an insect discovered at altitudes from 1,300 to 2,135 m – the optimal altitude range for Arabica coffee production. They create holes on the outside of the coffee cherries, allowing bacteria to enter and produce pyrazine, a foul-smelling substance that causes PTD. In addition, there are a number of other causes including coffee ripening quickly due to prolonged rain causing the coffee skin to tear or insects drilling holes in the coffee fruit.

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How to identify potato-flavored coffee error?


According to Counter Culture Coffee (CCC) PTD research, the average rate of potato-flavored coffee is 1 per 1,550 grams of coffee. This means that for every 1.5kg there will be one coffee bean with PTD. However, this ratio can be a coincidence and is difficult to recognize even when the seeds are whole. In fact, most of these defective seeds look completely normal and show no obvious signs of insect damage. Coffee that tastes of raw potatoes seems to be a defect that can only be detected through taste and smell. For example, if you open a bag of coffee and it smells like potatoes, there’s a good chance it’s a defective coffee bean that has a very strong smell.

Thoumsin – a coffee expert said that to recognize potato flavor errors in coffee, you need to pay close attention during the roasting and grinding process. You can grind small batches and check the flavor released after each batch of coffee. For example, if you grind 250g to brew in batches, you should grind 50g at a time and check for errors in each batch before brewing.

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How to fix potato-flavored coffee error?


Disadvantages: Potato-flavored coffee has no toxicity and is quite safe. However, the smell of raw potatoes is quite strong, affecting the flavor of the experience. Therefore, to avoid drinking a cup of coffee with this taste error you can:

– Grind coffee in small quantities enough for one use instead of grinding the whole bag at once. You can grind from 10 – 30gr each time

– Check the flavor from ground coffee powder. If you only smell the familiar, aromatic aroma of coffee, continue brewing and enjoy your wonderful cup of coffee.

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The error of potato-flavored coffee is very difficult to detect and difficult to avoid and requires a lot of effort in the coffee production and grading process. Therefore, choose specialty coffee from quality suppliers like XLIII Coffee – the brand developed from the predecessor 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!

Also, don’t forget to follow our news channel to update useful coffee news.

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