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Coffee Tips

Why Does My Coffee Taste Like Weed?

Coffee beans have different tastes. Most of them can be categorized into floral, fruity, spicy, nutty, or umami flavors.

These are the notes you probably look for when you are drinking your cup of coffee. But what happens when your coffee smells like weed?

Is it due to the type of coffee bean, a taste left behind after roasting, or something you did when brewing your coffee? Here are 7 reasons why your coffee could be tasting like weed.


clear drinking glass on brown wooden surface


1. Special Compounds in Coffee Beans

Coffee and cannabis have similar compounds that may give them a similar aroma. These are the same sulfur-containing thiol compounds that give weed its smell.

You are most likely to smell thiol compounds in coffee if it’s of low quality.

Some coffee beans also contain chemicals like Furfuryl Mercaptan, one of the chemicals that skunks spray. These chemicals may give the coffee a weed-like smell when present in high quantities in coffee beans.

The best way to avoid weed flavors or smells in your coffee associated with a type of coffee beans is by choosing better quality beans.

Some examples are;

  • Medium roast Tanzania Peaberry coffee has winey, velvety flavors characterized by hints of blackcurrant.
  • Dark roast Nicaraguan coffee with chocolatey, fruity flavors.
  • Mocha Java coffee with its bitter-sweet hints of chocolate and berry flavors


2. Stale Coffee

You may taste unpleasant flavors that remind you of weed or cigarettes in your coffee if it is stale.

It often occurs with oily dark roasts because they release the most oils after roasting.

These oils get rancid due to oxidation if you store coffee beans for too long or improperly. They release ammonia or a cigarette-like smell that will put you off.

Your only cause of action when this happens is to buy fresh coffee beans. It’s also important to store coffee beans properly to keep them from getting stale.


3. Badly Roasted Coffee


black coffee beans and gray mocha pot


Coffee enthusiasts will attest that coffee beans lose their flavor the more they are roasted.

Light roasts will give you the closest flavor to original coffee beans. They are characterized by fruity and floral notes.

The flavors change as the roasting process continues, and the sugars in coffee beans carmelize or more oils are released. You will notice spicy, winey notes dominating the brew at this stage.

Once your coffee beans reach the dark roast stage, you’ll identify chocolatey, nutty flavors.

But if you over roast the coffee beans, you may identify a burnt smell reminiscent of cigarettes or weed.

Therefore, choose light and medium roast coffees if you want to avoid coffee blends with a weedy smell.

4. Immature Coffee Beans

Your coffee could taste like weed if it’s made from immature green coffee beans.

Some coffee beans have a fruity flavor that you may associate with a weed. That could be because of the soil they are grown in or the process used to produce them.

An example is Kopi Luwak coffee from Sumatra, made from coffee beans that are excreted by Asian Palm Civet cats. These beans have a funny smell that some people will associate with weed.

If you want to avoid such coffee smells, look at the flavor profile of your coffee before purchasing it.

Avoid skunky tasting coffee by picking popular brews like Kenyan AA coffee which has floral, fruity, or spicy notes.

Coffee beans such as Robusta coffee are also likely to smell like weed because they are roasted for a lengthy period. Arabica coffee beans are better and contain more caffeine. Try them if you notice a weed-like smell in your Robusta coffee beans.


5. Improper Brewing Methods


person pouring coffee ion jar

How you brew your coffee can also make it smell acrid, pungent, murky, or burnt. That may occur if you use extremely hot water to brew your coffee.

Note this the next time you brew coffee and use the correct temperatures to create a better brew. The ideal temperature of water to use when brewing coffee is between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave coffee in the coffee maker or heating pads for too long, it may end up having a bitter, burnt, or weed-like smell.

Reheating it in the microwave may also have the same effect by changing the chemical flavors of the brew. Therefore, avoid reheating coffee and always make small fresh batches to keep it from burning and tasting like cigarettes or weed.

Your coffee brewing equipment could also make it taste like weed when brewed. That may be because your filter is dirty, or your coffee machine has a build-up of minerals that give any coffee you brew a strange flavor.

It’s best to always clean your coffee equipment properly before brewing coffee to get the best tasting brew.

6. Your Sense of Smell

While many things may make your coffee taste like weed, your sense of smell could also be a problem.

It may be affected by smoking, an ailment such as Diabetes, a sinus infection, nasal polyps, or an allergy.

That may cause you to feel it has a funny smell. Try asking a friend to taste your coffee and see if they have the same experience.

You could also taste and smell different coffee blends before buying one to find the blend or roast that most pleases your sense of smell.


7. Flavors in the Coffee

Your coffee could also taste like weed because it’s flavored with weed. Some people like the idea of drinking coffee with the aroma of cannabis. It’s similar to individuals who infuse their tobacco with coffee.

Flavoring coffee is a way of making blends that meet the flavor standards of individuals who want their coffee to have a unique taste.

An example of excellent cannabis-infused coffee beans, is herb-conditioned Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans from Compelling & Rich.

These coffees are processed through green coffee conditioning. It involves exposing unroasted coffee beans to vaporized weed at low combustion points.

All the THC from the cannabis is burnt off during the roasting process, leaving the beans with a weed aroma without the intoxicating effect.

You can buy weed-infused coffee beans online or from specialty coffee producers.



Drinking coffee should be a pleasant experience for you. Coffee is meant to taste and smell great and give you a fantastic boost.

Now you know why your coffee may taste or smell like weed. Here is a recap of the most important things to remember.

  • Purchase coffee from an expert roaster that produces excellent quality beans using the proper roasting process.
  • Avoid dark roasts because they are more likely to release a burnt aroma or flavor that may remind you of weed.
  • Clean your coffee-making machine regularly with vinegar and bicarbonate to eliminate any mineral build-up and dirt.
  • Brew coffee for the recommended time and use the right water temperature to keep it from burning.
  • Buy small quantities of coffee beans and store them in an airtight container in a cool dark place to prevent oxidation. That will keep them from developing a rancid smell similar to weed.


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