Here’s How to Hack your Keurig for the Best K-Cup Coffee Possible

By Kristen Underwood — / Coffee Talk

Why is my Keurig making weak, watery K-Cup coffee?

Now, we can all agree that Keurig machines are best for convenience and certainly don’t hold a candle to the real deal from freshly ground beans brewed through a pour-over. Ask the world if they care while they’re falling over themselves out of bed and stumbling to their quickest route to being caffeinated possible. The simple answer here is no.

The world wants their coffee and they want it STAT. The best part of a Keurig is that you could be hungover or half-asleep and still make a cup just as good as a judge who is dead sober. Caffeine addicts drink that shit right up. But what happens when you’ve found that quick-fix and it leaves you with a weak, watery beverage seemingly acting as your morning java? Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, but lucky for you, there are a few things you can do to get a better cup. 

How can I make stronger coffee in my Keurig? I’ll tell you how.

1. Double up your cup.

This isn’t rocket science, people. If you aren’t satisfied with the strength your Keurig is pumping out, brew two K-Cups on the lowest ounce setting it has to offer. Try to avoid the 8 to10-ounce options whenever possible. Essentially, you’re just watering down your joe, since it’s the same amount of grounds regardless of the amount of liquid you’re using. Worried about the waste? Keurig actually offers a K-cup recycling program (and our Death Cups and Odin Cups are completely recyclable, too).

2. Keep it clean. 

Sometimes, the unpleasant flavors you experience in your cup are a result of bacteria and mineral build-up in your Keurig. I’m not calling you a savage, but I am telling you to clean your damn machine. You can keep your machine in tip-top shape just by running equal parts white vinegar and water through it. By filling the entire chamber with half vinegar, half water, and continuing to brew cups until it runs out, you’ll have a better brew in no time. Just make sure to run some fresh water through it at the end to get rid of the vinegar taste, first! 

3. Crank the heat. 

Coffee enthusiasts will argue that the temperature of the water in a Keurig isn’t nearly hot enough for how fast the process is. Try running a cycle of water through before brewing if you haven’t used the Keurig in a couple hours. This will heat the machine up and give you a slightly stronger pick-me-up.

4. Don’t forget to pull it out. 

The best advice you’ll ever hear, especially with your Keurig. The last few seconds of the coffee flow are usually the least potent. Sneak your mug out before it waters down your coffee to a useless beverage. Your Keurig's drain will catch the rest — just make sure to clean that out, too. 

5. The darker, the better. 

Hot water in a Keurig spends less time touching the grounds, so if you’re using a light roast, you might as well just buy water. Go with something that’s labeled as a dark roast or extra bold, and your cup will turn out nearly as bold as “speaking now” instead of forever holding your peace. 

Keurigs are simple and convenient. I see the draw. However, one of the most intriguing things about the world of coffee is exploring new techniques. If you’re looking for a stronger cup, you might be ready to level up to a pour-over. The options are endless!

Related: How to turn K-Cups into plant seed starters


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