Keurig coffee is a wonderful invention that makes life easier, but it can be frustrating when the coffee is weak. Two of the first questions to enter my mind when I wake up every morning are: When will I get coffee? And how? These days, there are so many great options that it is tough to go wrong, but one thing you do not want is weak coffee.
Why is Keurig coffee so weak? Keurig coffee often tastes weak because of the packaging, which leads to stale coffee. Proper maintenance and different brewing methods can somewhat alleviate these things and make Keurig coffee stronger.
Weak coffee makes for a disappointing morning. With this article’s help, you will learn exactly why your Keurig makes weak coffee and, more importantly, how to fix it to get your Keurig making that perfect, strong cup of coffee to get your day started.
Why Is Keurig Coffee So Weak?
Coffee enthusiasts tend to disapprove of K-cup coffee for being weak and watery, and looking at the process by which Keurig prepares their coffee for consumers, they may have a point.
Keurig coffee is known for being the ultimate coffee convenience, but convenience comes at a price, namely freshness. To get you your coffee as quickly as possible, Keurig grinds the beans before sealing them in their K-cups.
As soon as the beans are ground, they become exposed to oxygen. This oxygen begins making the ground coffee stale. By the time it gets to you, the coffee in K-cups has likely been sitting for weeks or months, which is a lot of time for the coffee to stale and lose flavor.
Another issue with the packaging involves roasting. Just as grinding, once the coffee has been roasted, it begins to lose flavor. Since freshly roasted coffee also gives off carbon dioxide gas, it cannot be sealed in airtight K-pods until many days after roasting.
The end result is that K-pods are packaged with pre-ground and pre-roasted coffee, which begins to lose flavor and go stale as soon as these processes are completed. This lack of freshness hurts the overall boldness of the coffee.
The other culprit behind the bland taste of Keurig coffee is how the machine brews coffee. Keurig gives you a hot cup of coffee in mere seconds, but faster does not mean better quality.
First of all, Keurig does not use high enough temperatures for brewing their coffee. While this means you can enjoy your cup sooner, hotter water will extract more from the coffee.
Producing a cup of coffee so quickly has another issue: the amount of time the coffee beans are in contact with the water. By making a cup so fast, a Keurig does not give the coffee beans and water much time together. Traditionally coffee beans should be in the water for minutes, but a Keurig does everything in seconds.
How Can You Make Stronger Coffee with a Keurig?
If Keurig’s simply make weaker coffee, is there any way to get a Keurig to create a more robust cup? People who want both convenience and a strong cup of coffee to start the day have developed several hacks for making stronger coffee with a Keurig.
Use Reusable Pods with Freshly Ground Coffee
One of the biggest reasons that Keurig coffee is weak is its stale. With a bit of extra work, you can circumvent this problem. Keurig does sell reusable pods that can be filled with whatever ground coffee you like.
If you have a coffee grinder at home, it is a simple matter to grind your own beans and fill a reusable pod with this freshly ground coffee rather than with something that has been sitting on the shelf going stale.
Grinding your own beans for reusable pods also allows you to choose what type of coffee you use. You can pick higher-end coffee beans and brands that are open about their roasting dates to get the freshest coffee possible from your Keurig.
Controlling the coffee itself is probably the best way to get your Keurig brewing a better cup. However, if you want to get the most out of whatever coffee you select, you will probably need to use some additional methods as well.
Hack Your Keurig to Increase Water Temperature
Another big problem with the Keurig is that it brews at a less than ideal temperature. If you have some technological know-how (or just the ability to look up the instructions on the Internet), you can hack your Keurig to increase the brewing temperature.
Increasing your Keurig’s brewing temperature by even a few degrees will extract much more flavor from whatever coffee you use for a bolder cup.
Use Two Pods Per Cup
Another way to increase the strength of your Keurig coffee is to decrease the water to coffee ratio. After all, the less water there is, the less watered down your coffee will taste.
Decreasing this ratio means using more coffee per cup. To do this, simply put less water in the reservoir or select the lowest water setting from your Keurig’s options. Brew half a cup of coffee, and then do the same thing with a new pod to finish the cup. You will have the same size cup of coffee with twice as much coffee.
Pre-Warm the Water
Another popular method for making stronger coffee with a Keurig is simply to brew a cup of plain water first. Then, take this already heated water and put it in the reservoir to brew your coffee. Pre-warmed water is known to extract more flavor from the beans for a more robust cup.
Pull the Coffee Cup Away from the Keurig Early
When using your Keurig to help start your day off on the right foot, you must remember that the last few drops coming out of the machine are just hot water. If you want to keep your coffee more potent, you should pull the cup away before letting the flow of coffee stop completely.
Letting the coffee sit too long will let that watery, weak taste come through. There is an overflow reservoir in the machine, so you do not have to worry about the last of that water getting on your counter. Ensure that you clean the overflow reservoir occasionally and try not to burn yourself while grabbing the hot coffee.
Other Potential Sources of Weak Coffee
The state of your Keurig could also be a source of weak coffee, so you should think about whether your machine is being regularly maintained. There are two main culprits with machine maintenance that can create weak coffee.
- The machine is clogged.
- There could also be a build-up of certain impurities like chalk.
Cleaning the Keurig’s Interior
The easiest way to clean your Keurig is by following the instruction manual that comes with the machine. You can also find the manual online on the Keurig website. But some tips will help you to keep your Keurig clean in general.
- The water filter should be cleaned at least every two months.
- Put your machine on maintenance every three months to prevent minerals from building up.
- Check the needles regularly to make sure they do not clog.
- Clean every removable part of the Keurig once a week.
If you are cleaning the machine, try to use the manufacturer’s products. You can also use natural cleaners around the home like vinegar if you do not have cleaning products available.
When you clean the removable parts, make sure you dry them before putting them back together. After cleaning everything, fill the reservoir with white vinegar. Brew several cups until the vinegar runs out and then a few more cups with plain water. The inside of your Keurig will be squeaky clean!
Cleaning the Keurig’s Exterior
Before you put the removable parts of the Keurig together, you should clean the exterior using soap and warm water. If you are in a hurry, it is okay to clean the surface while the removable parts are already in place.
After you clean the outside, you can move to descale the machine. If you have a special descaling solution, feel free to use it in the water tank, but you can also fill it with a mix of half water and half vinegar.
Ensure you rinse the water tank multiple times after letting the vinegar and water solution sit for ten minutes. If you have used the tank’s descaling solution, also rinse thoroughly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Unclogging Your Keurig
There are a few different ways you can unclog your Keurig, and here are some that have been proven to work by Keurig owners.
The Paperclip Method
A paperclip is one of the simplest ways to unclog your machine, and if you are confident in your abilities, this is the method for you.
Straighten the end of the paperclip and look for holes near the Keurig’s funnel. Stick the straightened end in the pits to clean out any stuck ground coffee. You can do the same thing to get debris out of the coffee needle.
Keurig recommends descaling your Keurig occasionally to get rid of clogs. If you need a reminder for how to descale your machine, check out the section about cleaning your Keurig above.
The Straw Method
Take a plastic straw and blow through it to get air through your Keurig’s waterline. If there is debris stuck in the waterline, using a straw will push it out in a short amount of time.
The Strongest K-Cup Coffee Pods
If you do not have time for the more robust brewing methods, and your Keurig is well maintained, you can try experimenting with the K cups you are using. Here is a list of some of the strongest K cups.
- Green Mountain Coffee Double Black Diamond Extra Bold K-Cups are among the darkest coffees available and are not the coffee for timid coffee drinkers. So you know you are getting an intense, bold flavor.
- Death Wish Coffee K-Cups are well known for their solid and intense coffees for a good reason. If you want to get specific, Death Wish pods contain four times caffeine as the typical pod.
- Wake the Hell Up Dark Roast Ultra-Caffeinated K-Cups do what the name implies. With 50% more caffeine than your average cup, this coffee is sure to wake you up. Plus, Wake the Hell Up coffee is roasted in small batches for better freshness.
If you still are not getting the strong coffee you want from your Keurig, here are some last ideas that you can try to get your Keurig brewing bolder.
Check All the Buttons on Your Keurig
Not every Keurig comes with one but check to see if yours has the “strong” button. If it does, press the button, and you will hopefully never have that weak coffee problem ever again.
This magical button’s only drawback is that it takes more time than the standard brewing process. If you want to get strong coffee, you might have to wake up a little bit earlier.
Check the K-Cups
If you look closely at your different k cups, you might notice that the better, stronger pods have a distinct look that the weaker pods do not. The better cups have ridges outside of their cups, while the weaker cups have a round base.
The ridges on strong cups are vital because they better distribute the coffee. This ensures that the water makes contact with as much coffee as possible for the fullest extraction of flavor.
Make Your Own K-Cup
Maybe you spent some of your hard-earned money to buy your own My K Cup. It is going well, but it still does not seem to make coffee quite as strong as you would like it to be. If you want to make your reusable filter even stronger, you can insert the body of a used K Cup into it.
This makes a double chamber, which keeps the water longer and makes the extraction process better. Here are the steps for making your own stronger K-Cup:
- Remove the foil lid of the used K Cup and take everything out but save the plastic shell.
- Cut the very top of the plastic shell off and clean it.
- Lastly, insert the plastic shell into your My K Cup Body. The plastic shell top should sit just below the top of your My K Cup.
Use the Freedom Clip
There is a measure implemented in newer Keurig machines to prevent unauthorized Keurig pods. If you want to get around this, you can use a Freedom Clip to trick your Keurig into thinking that every pod is eligible for brewing coffee.
Obviously, you cannot buy a Freedom Clip from Keurig, but some online websites sell them. That way, you can use darker, richer pods instead of some of the weaker official Keurig pods.
Call the Keurig Helpline
The nice thing about Keurig is that they have an excellent, dedicated helpline for customers if your machine is still under warranty. If your machine persistently gives you weak coffee, you can speak with customer service to get a replacement Keurig.
Even if you cannot get a replacement, maybe the customer service line can give you more suggestions about getting more robust coffee while using the Keurig.
Using a Keurig is a fast, easy way to get your caffeine fix before heading off to work or school, but it can be frustrating for us who like a strong cup. Now you know several ways to make your Keurig coffee stronger and get both the convenience and taste you want!