While Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee retailer, it has its share of critics.

Are the critics right, and why do they think Starbucks coffee is so bad? We looked into it and found some interesting details, so keep reading to find out more!

Why is Starbucks coffee so bad in 2024?

The most common criticism of Starbucks coffee is that it tastes bitter because the beans have been over-roasted in 2024. Additionally, all sorts of flavors, toppings, and cream are added to mask the bitter taste. Starbucks coffees are too sweet for many, making them unhealthy. They are also overpriced and the Italian names make ordering more difficult.

To learn more about why Starbucks coffee is so bad, keep reading for the following 11 reasons regarding this topic!

1. Overly roasted bitter taste

The biggest complaint from Starbucks reviewers, who are mostly self-identified coffee purists, is that the coffee tastes bitter because the beans are over-roasted.

Additionally, reviewers feel the beans are over-roasted because the batches are so large and of varying quality.

Roasting covers all variations in the quality and taste of coffee beans. It also gives coffee its bitter taste.

Some bloggers think Starbucks can get away with it because the darker roast contains a lot of caffeine, which customers mistake for good coffee.

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In other words, Starbucks offers more caffeine in exchange for authentic coffee flavor, and most customers don’t even realize there is such a trade-off.

However, on behalf of Starbucks, it must be said that the company has heeded this criticism and recently introduced its own Light or Blonde Roast.

2. Sweet supplements

As if the bitter taste wasn’t bad enough, critics add, Starbucks makes things worse by trying to cover up the bitter taste with strong flavors and syrups with lots of sugar.

This improves the taste, but it makes Starbucks coffee drinks very unhealthy indulgences.

3. Incomprehensible names

Anyone looking for a simple cup of coffee will be stuck with Starbucks’ menu.

Not only do the coffee shops all have fancy Italian names, but even the cup sizes don’t follow the sequence of small, medium, large, and extra large either.

Instead, at Starbucks, the cup sizes are Tall, Grande, Venti hot, Venti cold, and Trenta, making it almost impossible for customers to know how much coffee they are ordering.

4. Too expensive

Starbucks coffee is expensive and costs much more than similar items at other stores like Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s.

However, Starbucks customers do not seem to care about the high prices and continue to buy the coffee even when the already high prices increase further.

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5. Inferior Coffee Beans

5. Starbucks Inferior Coffee Beans

Some coffee enthusiasts believe that Starbucks is trying to get away with using lower quality coffee beans by roasting them for a long time so that the predominant flavor is that of burnt coffee.

6. Stale coffee beans

Although the bitter taste of Starbucks coffee has been debated, there is no doubt that Starbucks coffee beans are not freshly roasted, but stale.

That’s because all Starbucks coffee beans are roasted in a few processing centers before being shipped to stores.

By the time they hit stores, the coffee beans have lost the freshly roasted flavor.

Bloggers on Reddit believe that, compared to the taste of freshly roasted beans, Starbucks coffee smells and tastes bland.

7. Insistence on uniformity in dark roasts loses complexity and flavor

Coffee experts believe that the complex flavor of coffee beans is lost when they are roasted too long to achieve uniformity, as at Starbucks.

Roasting should release the natural flavors of the coffee, which can be nutty or fruity, with hints of blueberry and cherry.

8. Too acidic

Coffee experts also believe that Starbucks coffee is too acidic. In fact, this is why many people need sugar and cream to cover the taste.

Bloggers on Reddit believe that even a basic mix from Costco tastes better.

9. Too much sugar

Not only is Starbucks coffee too bitter and sour for some, it is also too sweet.

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In fact, Starbucks has led the “desserts in a coffee cup” wave, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.

There are many who think putting syrup in coffee is just weird and disagree with coffee as a dessert trend.

10. Bad taste

Critics who think Starbucks coffee tastes bad can find support in taste tests. Starbucks has been losing taste tests to McDonald’s for years.

Compared to local third wave coffee shops and the type of coffee you get in Italy, Starbucks coffee definitely loses in taste.

11. Anti-union

This criticism has nothing to do with the taste of the coffee, but Starbucks is decidedly anti-union. The company is recognized as a good employer and offers many benefits to its employees.

However, hostility to unionization at Starbucks leaves a bitter taste.

To learn more, you can also read our articles on whether or not Starbucks Chai Tea contains caffeine, Starbucks Honey Blend, and Sweetened Starbucks Almond Milk.

Conclusion

Starbucks coffee has been criticized for being too bitter and for having too many flavors and sugar added to mask the bitter taste.

Critics also believe that Starbucks coffee is too expensive. Finally, it doesn’t really taste good, since it regularly loses taste tests to McDonald’s.

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