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If your morning coffee tastes more like plastic than a rich and smooth cup of joe, you may be wondering why it's so synthetic. In this blog post, we'll uncover the culprit behind this unusual taste and explore the possible causes, from contaminated equipment to the type of filters used. Get ready to discover how to fix this uncommon coffee issue and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee again!

Common Causes of Plastic Taste in Coffee

Water Reservoir

One common cause of a plastic taste in coffee is the water reservoir in coffee makers. The reservoir is usually made of plastic, and if it is not cleaned properly before use, it can contribute to an unpleasant plastic taste in the coffee. To resolve this issue, thoroughly clean the reservoir using a mixture of water and white vinegar. This can help to remove any lingering tastes and odors from the coffee maker.


Outgassing is another factor that might cause a plastic taste in coffee. This occurs when gases are released from the plastic parts of a coffee maker, mostly due to their being wrapped in packaging material. Outgassing is sometimes mistaken for a sign that the coffee maker needs cleaning. However, the plastic taste caused by outgassing can usually be resolved by allowing the coffee maker to air out before use.


Leaching is a process in which plastic components come into contact with hot water and release particles into the liquid. This can cause a plastic taste in the coffee, especially if the coffee maker is not made with BPA-free components. The risk of leaching increases with the temperature of the water being used. To minimize the risk of leaching, ensure that your coffee maker is made with BPA-free parts and avoid using overly hot water. It is important to use a commercial-quality espresso machine or coffee maker that has high-quality parts - even in your home.

BPA and Phthalates

Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are chemicals that are often found in plastic products. BPA is known to be hormonally active, while phthalates are classified as endocrine disruptors. These chemicals may also contribute to the plastic taste in coffee. It's crucial to use coffee makers that are made with BPA-free and phthalate-free components to maintain the quality and safety of your coffee.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why coffee might taste like plastic, such as the water reservoir, outgassing, leaching, BPA, and phthalates. By selecting a coffee maker with the appropriate materials and maintaining regular cleaning routines, one can mitigate the occurrence of plastic taste in their coffee.

How to Remove Plastic Taste

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

To remove the plastic taste from your coffee maker, it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Start by taking out the filter basket and water reservoir and placing them in the sink. Turn on the hot water faucet and run enough hot water into the reservoir to fill it about halfway up to the top of the interior. Use a mild dish soap and warm water to clean the filter basket and the reservoir. You might also consider using baking soda as a natural cleaning agent. Baking soda can help to neutralize odors and might be effective in addressing the plastic taste issue as well.

Another cleaning solution that can help eliminate the plastic taste from your coffee maker is to mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Pour this mixture into the water reservoir and run the brewing cycle. This process will clear the brewing channel, removing any trace of a chemical taste. Additionally, vinegar is a great disinfectant and cleaner that can improve the overall freshness of your coffee maker.

Using Alternative Cleaning Solutions

In case vinegar and baking soda are not effective enough, there are other alternative cleaning solutions to help you get rid of the plastic taste in your coffee maker. One such alternative is lemon juice, which is a natural acid that has excellent cleaning and deodorizing properties. Mix lemon juice with an equal amount of water and run the solution through the brew cycle, followed by rinsing it thoroughly.

Some people have also found success in using vodka or isopropyl alcohol to clean the inside of the coffee machine. However, it is crucial to handle these substances with care and ensure that you rinse the coffee maker thoroughly after using them; otherwise, they might leave their own taste or odor behind.

Lastly, consider investing in a coffee maker with a stainless steel reservoir, as this can instantly solve the plastic taste problem. Although this option is more expensive, it is a worthwhile investment for those who prioritize taste and health.

In summary, the key to removing plastic taste from your coffee is to maintain a clean coffee maker using various cleaning methods such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or even vodka and isopropyl alcohol. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure a fresh, plastic-free coffee experience.

BPA-Free and Health-Friendly Options

BPA-Free Coffee Makers

One of the main concerns when it comes to the taste of coffee and its plastic-like flavor is the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical used in making certain plastics, and it has been linked to health problems such as heart issues and diabetes. Hence, it is essential to opt for BPA-free coffee-makers to avoid potential health risks and improve your coffee's taste. Some popular BPA-free coffee makers include the Chemex Classic Series Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker (8-cup), Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker, OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker, and Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup Original Coffee Brewer, among others.

Glass or Stainless Steel Alternatives

Another way to ensure a better-tasting coffee without the plastic flavor is to use glass or stainless steel alternatives. Glass and stainless steel coffee mugs are a preferable choice compared to disposable cups, as they are less likely to leach chemicals into your beverage - especially when exposed to heat. Moreover, they are an eco-friendly option to reduce the usage of disposable cups.

When it comes to coffee brewing methods, pour-over options like the Chemex Classic Series or the Hario V60 Glass Coffee Dripper provide excellent results. These methods use glass or ceramic equipment that allows you to brew coffee without the risk of harmful chemicals leaching in, leading to a cleaner and better-tasting cup of coffee.

In addition, opting for paper filters that are specifically labeled as BPA-free ensures that you prevent any unwanted chemicals from ending up in your coffee. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and enjoying a perfect cup of coffee should be a priority, and using BPA-free products and alternatives like glass or stainless steel can contribute to achieving this goal.

Other Factors Influencing Coffee Taste

Genetics and Taste Perception

One of the lesser-known factors that can influence how your coffee tastes is your genetics. People have different sensitivities to tastes and odors based on their genetic makeup. This means that one person may perceive a plastic-like taste in their coffee, while another might not taste it at all. Individual taste preference plays a big role in how coffee is experienced, and there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for why some people may taste plastic in their coffee.

Brewing Equipment

The coffee equipment used for brewing can significantly impact the taste of your coffee. A few key aspects to consider include:

  • Water Reservoir Material: Low-grade plastics used in coffee maker water reservoirs can sometimes cause a plastic taste in your coffee. This is often the result of normal "outgassing" of internal plastic components.
  • Coffee Maker Quality: The overall quality of your coffee maker can affect the taste of your coffee. Poorly constructed machines or those with lower-quality parts may produce coffee that doesn't taste optimal.
  • Temperature Control: The temperature of the water used for brewing plays a significant role in coffee taste. The ideal brewing temperature is around 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 degrees Celsius). Coffee makers with poor temperature control often result in coffee with off-flavors, such as a metallic or plastic taste.
  • Cup Material: The material of the cup you drink your coffee from can also impact the flavor. For example, different materials like stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic can retain heat differently and thereby alter the taste of your coffee.

In summary, factors such as genetics, the materials used in coffee makers, and brewing conditions can all contribute to how your coffee tastes. Understanding these factors and optimizing your brewing equipment can help improve the taste of your coffee and reduce any plastic-like flavors.

Drip coffeeFilter coffeePour over coffee
Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine - Majesty Coffee
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