How to Get the Best Tasting Brew from Your K-Cup Coffee Maker

If you need a cup of coffee (or three) every morning to start your day, you want a cup that tastes savory and fresh. 

If your Keurig coffee maker feels slightly off or disappointing of late, you should read this first before you toss it out. 

Whether you love or hate Keurig machines, you can’t deny their unmatched convenience. These pod-based, single-serve coffee makers complement our modern, on-the-go lifestyle perfectly. 

Yet, there is a give and take: the coffee can sometimes hold less flavor and is weaker than your regular cuppa joe. 

Don’t give up on your coffee maker, Keurig machines can redeem themselves with these simple hacks. This article looks at 5 simple ways you can make your Keurig coffee taste better.

coffee capsule

Why Does My K-Cup Coffee Taste Bitter?

Are you experiencing Keurig coffee that tastes burnt, bitter, weak, or lukewarm? This is every coffee lover’s worst nightmare.

Keurig coffee makers aren’t responsible for that bad coffee taste. This only happens if they are not well cared for. 

Even though all you put in K-cup coffee makers is water and little pods when spills of water and coffee cohabitate in the brewer, it leaves room for mold, oil build-up, and bacteria to grow.

How Can I Make My K-Cup Taste Better?

If you want to retain the good taste of a K-cup, you should:

  • Clean your machine.
  • Change the water filter.
  • Follow the descaling schedule.

Let’s look at these factors in detail below as well as a few more tips you can consider.

set of similar coffee capsule

Clean Your Machine Regularly

To clean a single-serve coffee brewer, you need to unplug it and pull out all removable elements. These are:

  • Lid
  • Water reservoir
  • Drip tray
  • K-cup holder

Wash these pieces by hand with soapy warm water. Then dry them on a kitchen towel, except the K-Cup holder. This one needs a little more work. Take it apart to remove debris around the needle; do this with a clean metal paperclip. 

Whereas single-serve coffee makers may vary, many models work similarly. 

One helpful tip is to use white vinegar to clean your Keurig at least once a month. To do so follow these steps:

  1. Pour white vinegar in the water reservoir. 
  2. Brew until the vinegar runs out.
  3. Flush out vinegar smell from the water reservoir by running a few cycles with water.

Alternative: Use water with lemon juice – instead of vinegar – to clean. 

Use a Bolder Roast

If you are unhappy with the strength of your coffee, why not switch to something bolder? That’s if you have been using a light roast to no avail. 

A light roast can feel like drinking coffee-flavored water. This is because the hot water doesn’t come into contact with the ground coffee as much in a Keurig machine. If you upgrade to a dark roast or bolder blend of coffee you won’t have to complain about weak coffee ever again.

Read more: Medium roast vs. dark roast coffee explained 

Add Some Salt to Your Coffee

Overly bitter coffee in the morning is a no-no. It quickly ruins your day. 

If you’ve ruled out the idea that the coffee itself is the issue, then the Keurig single-serve brewing process is to blame. 

Why not smoothen out your coffee’s taste with a pinch of salt? A small pinch at that. 

The result? 

A lowered acidity which cancels out the bitter taste in your cup and enhances its natural bold flavors. 

Use More Pods

If you are a fan of the large size settings Keurig machines come with and your coffee just isn’t there yet, try this instead. 

You can use two coffee pods to do the job of one. Lower the ounce settings on your machine as a high setting results in a weak, coffee flavored water. 

 A lower setting ensures you get the most aroma and flavor out of each pod. 

Preheat your Coffee Maker 

The best temperature for brewing your coffee is 250°F. Most Keurig coffee makers’ default setting is at 192-195°F. If this combines with the fast brewing process the result is an under-extracted, weak tasting coffee. 

A newer model will let you choose what temperature you prefer. The only problem is no model is yet to be set close to the best brewing temperature. 

Even so, there are ways to bump up the temperature. You can run a hot water cycle before you brew your coffee and heat up your Keurig before you add in the pods. This allows your single-serve coffee maker to get hot enough to make a more flavorful blend. 

Here are a few more noteworthy tips:

  • Do you ever take note of the cup you use? Sounds crazy, we know. But get this, professional wine tasters will only taste wine in a particular shaped glass. So why not the same for coffee connoisseurs?

  • The type of milk you use and how you use it can affect the overall taste of your blend. When choosing milk, look at the protein and fat content.

    Protein is essential for creating microfoam (little bubbles) during heating. The fat content creates less acidity and bitterness.

    If you boil milk, it can make your drink taste bad.

    To make your drink creamier and avoid splitting when it is heated, try out a Barista Almond Milk. You need to treat any additives carefully to ensure you do not ruin the result.

  • The same way you need to be cautious about the type of milk you use, water is also important! Some people swear by filtered water vs. tap water.

    The difference?

    Filtered water or even bottled water is better to use if your tap water is acidic or metallic. This affects the sourness or sweetness of your drink according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

    Filtered water is more beneficial to your health because it has fewer impurities.

If you are pulling your hair out and grinding your teeth over your K-Cup coffee maker, try giving the Keurig helpline a call. 

They are extremely helpful and are aware of the issues you may encounter. If the problem is really bad, their support warranties might allow you to get a new machine.

Can I use K-Cups Twice?

K-Cups are designed for one use only. If you want a decent cup of coffee every morning, don’t reuse pods. You will over-extract the coffee grounds and leave them weak and flat. 

It seems wasteful to use one pod and throw it away after, doesn’t it?

Many Keurig brewer owners agree with this view. So why not try the My K-Cup designed by Keurig, which has a reusable stainless steel coffee filter and housing? 

Better yet, why not use your own ground coffee? My K-Cup allows you to fill it with your own ground coffee and brew.

This way, you can control the amount of coffee that goes into your cup. You don’t always have to buy pods to use with your coffee maker. There are many options available for a reusable coffee filter. 

To do so, you only need a coffee filter that is compatible with Keurig, like My K-Cup. This way, you can:

  • Choose your own roasts.
  • Decide the grind.
  • Add as much ground coffee as you’d love to make the perfect brew.

This gives you more control over the process and could create a better flavor of your K-Cup coffee. 

What Coffee is Best for Keurig?

To get the most out of your K-Cup pods, you need the best single-serve coffee maker available.

barista making coffee

Whether you are a bargain shopper on the hunt for a good deal or an aficionado willing to spend every penny to get a good cup of coffee, the right model is out there for you. 

Before you buy a single-serve coffee maker, ensure you go through the reviews of each model to find out what other users think of the machine. When it comes to coffee makers, Keurig is good at what it does- their products are upgraded twice a year

If you like your coffee strong, we recommend using darker roasts. Choose a coffee that says French or dark roast. There are also a couple of medium roasts that make the cut. House blends fall under the latter category.

If you want to avoid an overly watered down taste in your coffee then steer clear of light, breakfast blends. This is because they are bright, have a light body, and lose their precious flavor when brewed with large cup settings. 

You can buy a K-Cup filter in a variety pack from brands such as Starbucks and Green Mountain online. 

Want to Know More?

If you want to know more about coffee such as:

And so much more…

Clearly Coffee has you covered. We have a vast library of articles that you can read and put to good use. You can turn your regular coffee experience into an exciting one with our unforgettable tips. If your goal is to be a coffee connoisseur, we can help you get there.

Have you used any of these hacks before? Clearly Coffee has many more tips you can use when it comes to your all time favorite beverage.

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