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Whether you’ve been gifted a Keurig or bought one of your own volition, it’s wise to understand the ins and outs of this machine before you give it a whirl. Just because many complain about this new-age automatic brewer, doesn’t mean that it’s a totally worthless device.
There are many workarounds that will optimize your cup of Keurig coffee.
So let’s diagnose one of the major troubles that we have seen reported. The dreaded weak cup of Keurig coffee.
Is Your Keurig Running?
No, this isn’t some new age version of the refrigerator prank call.
We’ve heard your woes and we’d like to offer a solution to a frequent problem. If your Keurig is making weak coffee then there are some easy workarounds before you start tearing the machine apart and dealing with its inner workings. Which can be troublesome all on its own.
We’re all aware that one of the major problems with K-Cup coffee is the taste that it comes with – sometimes the coffee from a Keurig is too weak. While K-cup brewing machines do allow you to freely make full cups of coffee (unlike the Nespresso Original machines) it just so happens that the taste is often not up to the mark.
The machines are fairly complex since they have the capability of delivering a hot beverage in just under a minute. The most obvious method is to use less water per cup and use a stronger k-cup. The Revv K-cup, and the Deathwish coffee company K-cups claim to be among the strongest K-cups on the market.
Check out this list of the ten best organic coffees that are packed into K-cups here.
There are plenty of strong organic k-cups out there so, its recommended to try those as well. It’s important to review the number of grams per K-cup of coffee because some money grabbers out there might be trying to give you less of those precious coffee grounds for your buck,
That would certainly lead to a lesser quality of the brew.
Another important factor in the brewing process and the selection of proper K-cups is that the base of the pod is round or has ridges.
We noticed that many of the better K-cups have a similarity. These K-Cups differ from other brands because they have ridges on the outside of their cups. Further investigation shows us that these ridges are helpful because they make sure the filter doesn’t stick to the sides of the capsule when hot water is added, which can lead to an uneven brewing process.
The ridges on the capsule and in the filter ensure that the coffee is dispersed evenly throughout the capsule so that the coffee doesn’t burn while it’s being brewed.
Even brewing, perfect amount of coffee. What more could you ask for?
Well, if you’re not sure that your choice K-cup brand is the problem? Let us look at some other reasons why you might not be getting the bold taste you want out of your Keurig coffee maker.
Treating The Problem
The easiest way to combat weak Keurig coffee is by using two pods on the lowest ounce setting your machine offers. Avoid the eight-ounce option whenever you can. You’re essentially just watering down your coffee since it’s the same amount of grounds regardless of how much liquid you use.
(If you’re feeling guilty about all the waste, Keurig offers a K-Cup recycling program).
Unbeknownst to the general public, you can also recycle your K-cups at home, just follow these four simple recycling steps.
A cup of joe from a Keurig can be notoriously bitter. The tiniest bit (seriously, just a pinch) creates a chemical reaction and mellows out the acidity and makes for a noticeably smoother taste.
The Merits of Using Your Own Grind
We all know that coffee is best when it’s freshly ground and used on the spot.
It’s an impressive feat that the K-cups are hermetically sealed to give coffee a long-lasting shelf life, with the added convenience of a pod. However, the experts are still out on whether this is truly the way to store coffee grounds or not. Simply breaking open those beans will leave them drying within nearly half a minute, and the airtight K-cups likely have oxygen within them to some degree.
This means that regardless of how well those K-cups are sealed, they’re still not the optimum way to have a perfect cup of coffee. The selection of ready-made Keurig pods also leaves a lot to be desired.
But alas, there is a workaround for some of the issues you’re facing here. Find yourself a K-Cup reusable filter, where you can use freshly ground or pre-ground beans of your choosing with the same instant gratification (and now satisfaction) you’ve become so accustomed to with your automatic brewer.
Now you can freshly grind your coffee beans before brewing and if you’re cutting down on your caffeine intake, this will still keep you in line.
Some Keurig K-cups are made with the industry standard in mind, which is actually between nine and 12.5 grams. Barrie House K-cups goes all the way up to 18 grams, which makes for a bolder tasting cup of coffee. So perhaps you should keep that measurement in mind when creating your morning single-cup grind.
What Does The Strong Button on a Keurig Do?
You’ve likely seen this option in the digital display menu of your Keurig before but never given it a second thought, like many of us.
So the strong setting can actually be used to your advantage.
The answer turns out to be pretty straightforward. The K2 increases strength by increasing the brewing time. According to an Aug 2014 PC Magazine review of a Keurig 2.0 K500, “for a regular 8-ounce K-cup, the K500 took 43 seconds to brew. For a strong cup, that number increased to 1 minute and 15 seconds.”
Double Up Your Cup
The easiest way to combat weak Keurig coffee is by using two pods on the lowest ounce setting your machine offers. Though these settings can vary, it’s advised to avoid brewing with the eight-ounce option whenever you can. You’re essentially just watering down your coffee since it’s the same amount of grounds regardless of how much liquid you use. (If you’re feeling guilty about all the waste, check out Keurigs new K-Cup recycling program).
Because the hot water in a Keurig spends way less time actually touching the grounds, any light roasts turn out like coffee-flavored water. If you’re buying Keurig’s ready-made pods, pick something that’s a dark roast or extra bold.
Keep It Clean. That’s an order.
The fact remains that plenty of the issues that Keurig users face stem from the cleanliness of the machine. If you’ve got strong mineral water in your tap, this can promote deposits that will clog and slow the machine, and potentially impact some bad characteristics into your brew.
Perhaps most Keurig users eventually give up and learn to make coffee without a coffee maker.
So if you don’t want to be coffee maker-less then it’s always good to keep your coffee arsenal clean. Some of the unpleasant flavors in Keurig coffee are the result of bacteria and mineral build up. Keep your machine in tip-top shape by running white vinegar through it. Fill the entire chamber with vinegar, and continue to brew cups until it runs out. Then, run some plain water through it to remove any vinegary taste, and you’re good to go.
The Keurig company has also released a line of cleaning pods that help maintain the hygiene of the brewer. These fit like normal K-cups in the machines portion pack holder and might keep you from having to worry about descaling as often.
However, the descaling issue should also be considered noteworthy in Keurig maintenance.
There are many quality descaling solutions available for the Keurig, and they are very easy to implement as long as you are regular with your cleanings.
It’s easy enough to use apple cider vinegar to clean your Keurig as well. Pending you make sure to run plenty of water through it after. However, if your coffee maker hasn’t been cleaned in a considerable amount of time then you will have to devote more time to running vinegar through it. Older models will have to use more cycles than if you were cleaning a newer machine, for obvious reasons.
How to Increase Keurig Water Temperature
This is the biggest issue coffee enthusiasts have pin-pointed about how a Keurig operates. It’s important that the temperature of the water is high enough for optimized extraction of coffee grounds. To account for this, run a cycle of water before brewing if you haven’t used the Keurig in a couple hours. This heats up the machine and can make the water a few degrees warmer, giving you a slightly stronger-pick-me up.
Yes, Keurig doesn’t really use the exact amount of hot water needed to prepare the best Coffee, and this is a major problem. So, something that you can try is that you can run the machine without a K-Cup first in order to heat up the machine.
Once you do this and the machine is heated up, you can discard that water, insert and K-Cup and run it again. This would heat up the machine a little more than usual and might actually let it extract more coffee, giving you the taste that you’re looking for. This is one of the methods that are worth trying because it actually helps overcome a limitation that comes with the machine for everyone from the very moment you get it
The last few drops are usually almost just water because almost all the processing is done. Most of the time, it only waters down your coffee further, making your coffee watery even if it wasn’t so until a while ago. So, it seems like a good option to try removing your cup before they get into it because that might just save your coffee.
However, should you decide to try out this method, it is really essential to be careful. So, we really hope that you think it out and take adequate caution before you try out this method.
This should always be the last thing on the list. And you should try out every other option before you even think of doing it because this is a really extreme step- because you’re actually going to take apart your machine!
K-Cup Coffee Too Bitter?
This can also be a factor in the realm of bad tasting automatic brews. If your coffee is too bitter and you want to fix that then try using the high altitude setting.
Designed for those that live in higher altitude environments, there is a specific “High Altitude Setting” which lowers the overall temperature of the brewing system. This quickly results in everything being brewed at 192 degrees Fahrenheit (89 degrees Celsius). The “High Altitude Setting” is available on each of the Keurig 2.0 brewer models, but first generations models may not be equipped.
So, assuming no other ideas work for you, it’s worth giving the Keurig helpline a call. They can be very helpful and support warranties that might allow you do get a new machine if problems are really bad. There are many tricks to fixing these new-age automatic brewers and Keurig is very aware of the problems that its users encounter. If you’re interested in stronger coffee they can give answers too.
As always we hope that you’ve learned a fair bit about how to make stronger coffee with your Keurig. If you don’t want to make coffee by hand every morning and the automatic brewers of the world aren’t impressing you, then check out our many reviews on fantastic coffee making gear.