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.