I Skipped My Morning Coffee. Why Am I Still Bitter?

Containers of Bitterness

I have had a nasty bitter taste on my tongue for weeks. Actually, it has been months off and on. It comes for a few weeks, goes for a couple months, and then it’ll be back again for a few weeks.

No, it’s not a metaphorical bitterness. There is literally a gross taste in my mouth whenever I’m not actively eating, chewing gum or if I haven’t brushed my teeth (and tongue) in the last half hour.

I’ve searched the internet various times on a whim: “bitter taste on tongue”, “bitter taste water bottle”, “bitter taste tongue coffee”, “bitter taste dying”.

I thought it was my new hand lotion. I stopped using it. I was careful not to chew my nails. But it was still there.

I thought it was my water bottle. I switched to a different bottle. I soaked the lids of all my bottles in vinegar and washed them a few times. But it was still there.

Then I thought it was my coffee maker. I just recently ran it through with vinegar so it should be clean, but maybe I didn’t rinse it well enough and the acid in the vinegar is reacting with my coffee to give me super-acid-angry-tongue.

This morning I decided to test this theory. Rather than stumbling into the kitchen, concentrating hard to avoid burns from scalding hot coffee, I stumbled straight into the shower and concentrated on staying upright.

It was two and a half hours before I made it to the coffee shop for that first cup. By the time I got there, I felt like my head was being squeezed in a clamp in a serial killer’s super secret workshop. And the mental fog…Oh boy.

I feel like a cliche. I’ve never experienced this much withdrawal from caffeine before. I guess my intake has greatly increased since The Great Child Takeover, also known as the day my son was born.

At the cafe, I didn’t put the lid all the way on my cup and spilled coffee all over my boob. Then the baristas tried to explain their 10 coffees = free coffee system to me and I had to tell them to give up because I couldn’t follow anything yet. They were very understanding.

I still feel like a dork sitting here with coffee stain on my boob. Somehow it’s more embarrassing to have stains on my clothes when I don’t have a toddler actively clinging to my legs.

The result of my experiment? The bitter flavor was lessened, but it was still there even before I had that first cup of coffee. Perhaps the bitterness of the coffee is simply exacerbating another problem.

The search for an explanation and cure for the bitterness continues. Hopefully, I’ll be updating soon claiming, “mystery solved!” With any luck, it will be something horribly embarrassing and incredibly entertaining so it will make a worthy blog post.

Until then, please comment if this has happened to you. What was it and how did you fix it? Or if you have any ideas. Am I chewing on grass in my spare time? No, but feel free to ask.


4 thoughts on “I Skipped My Morning Coffee. Why Am I Still Bitter?

  1. I’m currently experiencing the same problem, except it’s kinda a milky taste. I’ve drastically cut down on coffee since I’m incubating now. However, when I do have coffee, the taste get’s worse. Since I’m due in November, I wonder if this is going to change…let me know what you hear…

  2. Have you eaten pine nuts lately? Cheap pine nuts from China cause something called “pine mouth”, which makes your mouth bitter for weeks at a time. It is pretty horrible, and makes it worth the extra cash to shell out for some nuts imported from somewhere other than China.

  3. Erica, I do remember reading that the taste disturbances is something that can happen during pregnancy. I suspect it will go away after she’s born. That does make me wonder, though, if what I’m experiencing is also a hormonal thing since I’m still nursing Sidd and he recently cut back a little. I also recently started getting my period again so maybe it just has to do with getting back into the cycle.

    Laura, thanks for the link. I hadn’t thought to check out Wikipedia. There’s a lot of good info in that article. I think I will make a trip to the doctor, mainly so I can stop thinking of the worse-case-scenario. I’ll also be going to the dentist soon so I’ll be able to rule that out (or in) as well.

    Krista, that’s fascinating. I did recently have some pesto and if I remember correctly pesto does usually have pine nuts in it. I still have doubts as to whether that was the cause because this has happened a couple times before and I think there’s little chance that I’m eating bad pine nuts every few months. One of the articles I read about pine mouth seemed to say that it was fairly rare. But who knows? If I don’t learn anything from the doctor or dentist, I may have to start journaling everything I eat when the taste appears and disappears.

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