When you bought a Keurig, you thought it was going to make your caffeine routine in the morning easy. But alas that was not to be. It didn’t really turn out to be the gadget you thought it would be where with a few simple steps you could be in caffeine powered nirvana with no hassle.
But more often than not Keurig brewed coffee tastes sort of metallic making true lovers of coffee go into an existential crisis that only they can when deprived of their favorite stimulant.
So how do you coax a Keurig into making coffee that is much tastier and less stale? Here are all the secrets.
The culprit often times is the water that you use. Tap water might be safe for drinking but may contain a hint of chlorine in its taste (unless of course you are in Scotland and tap water there is good enough to make single malts).
Jokes aside it is best to use filtered water for making your Keurig coffee taste a little bit more authentic. Since at times the coffee may taste bitter add a pinch of salt to make it taste less acidic.
Too often Keurig coffee tastes very watery and diluted. That is because of too much water and too little coffee. It makes all the difference when you use only 6 oz water. The K-cups are not always strong enough to brew 10 oz. It means more waste, but you can always choose to recycle to make you feel better about your carbon footprint and the melting icecaps.
At times you will find no matter what you do, the coffee has an aftertaste you don’t like. This happens when too much gunk has built up inside the machine, and along with it, there are bacteria. Clean the K-cup holder and the needle as well as the funnel with warm water.
Don’t put it into the dishwasher as all the parts of the Keurig are not dishwasher friendly. Just hand wash it with hot water and mild soap.
If you wish, you may use white vinegar too. Fill the machine with vinegar after having removed the filter. Let it rest for a while and drain it out. Next, fill it with water and warm it. Drain the warm water out, and your machine will be all clean and tidy inside.
Depending on the amount of mineral salt in your local water, the Keurig will get scales inside. These scales are magnesium salts that were dissolved in water. When the water gets warm, it leaves the salt behind. Descale it every 8 weeks to keep it in tip-top shape. It will heat the water faster and waste less energy.
This might sound weird, but for flavored coffee and tea, it is best to give it the K-cup firm shake so that the flavor crystals get evenly distributed.
After all, the K-cup has been sitting in a warehouse shelf for a few months, and the grounds settle in.
It takes about 2 teaspoons of coffee powder to get a great taste. Most K-cups don’t hold this much coffee. Buy a reusable K-cup filter and fill it with ground coffee. Use a medium grind level to get the best taste. Off the shelf, K-cup pods are not really the best tasting out there. It is best to use pre-ground coffee you have purchased or better still grind your own.
You may find that the DRM makes it impossible to use your own K-cup, and in that case, you have to use a hack. Use a knife to take the lid off a Keurig K-cup and place it on top of the unbranded K-cup! Voila, you are good to go.
One of the main issues with Keurig is that it refuses to heat water past about 195° F. the best hack to get past this is run a cycle before you brew. This allows the machine to get warmer and gives a stronger brew.
The last bit of coffee that comes out is the weakest. Don’t wait for the dribble but pull out the cup. Whatever flows out is collected in a sump which you need to clear out from time to time.
The best way to make the brew taste strong is to use dark roasted variety. Light roasts just don’t work out well, and the coffee tastes all watery. Remember that the finer the coffee is ground more the aroma and taste.
K-cup tea is just not worth it. Just use the Keurig to produce hot water and dip into it the tea bag of your choice. Works out cheaper and tastier as you will find.
Hopefully, that sets you up for using the Keurig like an expert barista could. If you are still not satisfied with your coffee, don’t throw the machine away. It can be used to boil water for soup and be good enough for something.…
My office phone rang last Wednesday afternoon with a call from a delivery man. He had something for me, so I directed him to my workplace and got excited for a fun birthday delivery from a mystery person!
Well it arrived, and I got spoiled, big time. My parents sent me an AMAZING fruit, veggie, and chocolate gift basket from the local fancy-schmancy grocery store, called Pete’s Frootique. It is a beautiful place to buy fresh local, and interesting imported foods. Shopping at Pete’s is a treat.
This humongous basket blew my mind, with it came an adorable little aloe vera plant and a bouquet of beautiful flowers! My otherwise very bland desk space is now all gussied up with greenery.
At the core of this basket, acting as a base on which the rainbow of exotic fruits and veggies was resting, was this thing:
I was pretty sure that it was a celery root (aka celeriac) but honestly, I did have to google image search it just to make sure. Sad? Kinda. It looked likely something out of a Goosebumps book to me. I envisioned its gnarly, coiled appendages slithering and writhing, getting completely out of control and gobbling up everything within reach of its insatiable celeriac tentacles. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I think I roasetd it before it started on its veggie warpath. Phew.
I peeled this sucker and chopped it into small cubes, and did the same to a small butternut squash and a couple of yellow potatoes. I tossed them all in some simple seasoning, just salt, pepper, and olive oil – let me tell you, the smell in my kitchen was fantastic. I love the aroma of slow-roasted root veggies!
I roasted the butternut squash separately for another dish that I made, look how pretty it is! Like little bites of vegetable candy. Eff sakes I love squash. This dish is so great, any time of day. I had it for brunch this morning, post-workout, and it kept me full for hours. Feel free to tamper with the proportions of veggies, adjusting to your tastes/supply!
Roasted Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Egg
Toss chopped veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Bake on a baking sheet at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Divide between two plates. Poach four eggs to your liking, and place atop veggies. Enjoy with a dousing of your favourite condiments; hot sauce and balsamic reduction are my favourites!…
So, now that I’ve regained my composure, and am no longer in a blinding rage due to the original post for this recipe evaporating into cyberspace…let’s talk soup.
Soup and I have been on rocky ground as of late. I used to whip fantastic-tasting soups out of nowhere. In retrospect, I certainly took those strokes of culinary luck for granted, until I produced 3 batches of duds. My ego was beaten down and not until now have I been ready to open my heart up to another bowl of warm, wintery lunchtime love.
Soups are hugely convenient for me, as I work close enough to my house to walk home for lunch. I can just pull a serving out of the fridge and heat it up in no time flat, that gives me ample time to watch The View….err….I mean, plan my afternoon’s work at the office. Riiiiiiiigghht.
Since my confidence in winging soup recipes out of nowhere was at an all-time low, I decided to consult my new favourite cookbook for guidance. It’s one that I compiled as a fundraiser for the Banook Canoe Club, where I’m a member and fundraising chair. If I do say so myself, it’s awesome. So many people from the community pitched in; it has an awesome selection of recipes, with over 200 in total.
From the ‘Soups and Sides’ section, one in particular caught my eye. It was a submission from my friend/owner of Core Essentials Fitness Studio, Laurissa Manning. She and I spend a good portion of her classes chatting (in between gasps and grunted profanities) about restaurants, recipes, and products that we love or would like to try. She’s super knowledgable about nutrition and fitness; her contributions to the book are clean, and easy to make. Just the kind of recipe I needed to restore my faith in the power of a good soup.
The ingredients are pretty simple, but one in particular, the garam marsala spice, really sets this ahead of the pack. I’ve never used garam marsala before, so I picked some up a the Bulk Barn (many grocers likely carry it too, if not in the spice aisle check ethnic/indian section). It’s a warm spice, with a hint of cinnamon and cumin, and would do wonders for a curry or even sprinkled atop roasted sweet potatoes. It’s gonna get a lot of love in my kitchen!
The raita is optional, but adds a nice little contrast in flavours. Raita is similar to tzatziki, and is made simply of a yogurt base with diced cucumber and spices. I used mint and cumin. Not sure how authentic that is but it was friggin tasty. The cool, fresh flavour balanced nicely with the mellow earthiness of the soup.
Nutritionally, this soup is the bomb. Lentils are a great source of belly filling fibre and protein, and iron, which ladies, we can always use more of. Butternut squash has got loads of Vitamin A and C, as well as a nice little dose of fibre too. With only a tbsp of (healthy!) coconut oil, this soup has a negligible fat per serving and if made with low-sodium broth, will put store-bought soup brands to shame. Spend a little time making it this weekend and you’ll be SOUPER happy you did!
1 tbsp coconut oil (olive or other vegetable oil will do)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp garam marsala
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder (optional, omit for a mild soup)
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried lentils (or about 3 cups canned)
Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions, and spices. Heat until onions are soft and fragrant. Add broth, lentils, and squash. Bring the soup to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, or until squash and lentils are soft. Once everything’s cooked through, remove from heat and let it cool a bit before pureeing, in batches, in a blender or food processor. I think it could be great without blending too, I’d love to hear some feedback if anyone tries it chunky!
Calories from Fat 37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.1g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 42.0g 14%
Dietary Fiber 14.9g 60%
Vitamin A 298% • Vitamin C 55%
Calcium 10% • Iron 24%…