Why Is Starbucks Coffee So Bad? (11 Reasons Why)

While Starbucks is the biggest coffee retailer in the world, it has its share of critics.

Do the critics have a point, and why do they feel Starbucks coffee is so bad? We looked into it and came up with some interesting details, so keep reading to learn more!

Why Is Starbucks Coffee So Bad In 2024?

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

To find out more about why Starbucks coffee is so bad, carry on reading for the following 11 reasons regarding this subject!

1. Over-roasted Bitter Taste

The biggest complaint that Starbucks critics have, who are mostly self-identified coffee purists, is that the coffee has a bitter taste because the beans are over-roasted.

Further, the critics feel that the beans are over-roasted because the batches are so large and of variable quality.

The roasting covers any variations in the quality and taste of the coffee beans. It also gives the coffee its bitter taste.

Some bloggers feel that Starbucks can get away with this because the darker roast has a big hit of caffeine, which customers mistake for good coffee.

In other words, Starbucks offers more caffeine in exchange for an authentic coffee flavor, and most customers don’t even realize that 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. Sugary Add-Ons

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

This does improve the taste, but it makes the Starbucks coffee drinks quite seriously unhealthy indulgences.

3. Incomprehensible Names

Anyone looking for just a plain cup of coffee will be stymied by the menu at Starbucks.

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

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. Overpriced

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

However, Starbucks customers don’t seem to mind the high prices and continue to buy the coffee even when the already high prices are raised still higher.

5. Inferior Coffee Beans

5. Inferior Coffee Beans Starbucks

Some coffee aficionados feel that Starbucks tries to get away with using inferior coffee beans by roasting them for a long time so that the predominant flavor is burnt coffee.

6. Stale Coffee Beans

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

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

By the time they reach the stores, the coffee beans have lost the fresh-roasted flavor.

Bloggers on Reddit feel that when compared to the taste of freshly roasted beans, Starbucks coffee smells and tastes stale.

7. Insistence on Uniformity in Dark Roasts Loses Complexity and Flavor

Coffee experts feel that the complex flavor of the coffee beans is lost when they are roasted for 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 feel that Starbucks coffee is too acidic. In fact, this is why sugar and cream are needed by a lot of people, to cover up the taste.

Bloggers on Reddit feel that even a basic blend from Costco has a better taste.

9. Too Much Sugar

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

In fact, Starbucks came in at the top of the “dessert in a coffee cup” wave, which is not to everyone’s taste.

There are many who feel that putting syrup in coffee is just plain weird and who are not on board with coffee as a dessert trend.

10. Tastes Bad

Critics who feel that Starbucks coffee just tastes bad may find some support from taste tests. Starbucks has been losing taste tests to McDonald’s for years.

When compared to local third-wave coffee shops and to the kind of coffee you get in Italy, Starbucks coffee definitely loses out on taste.

11. Anti-union

This criticism is not related to the taste of the coffee, but Starbucks is decidedly anti-union. The company is known as a good employer and offers many benefits to its employees.

However, the hostility to unionizing at Starbucks does leave a bitter taste.

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Starbucks Chai Tea contains caffeine, Starbucks honey blend, and is Starbucks almond milk sweetened.


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

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

Photo of author

Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

1 thought on “Why Is Starbucks Coffee So Bad? (11 Reasons Why)”

Leave a Comment