This morning, you brewed yourself a hot, steaming cup of Keurig coffee. When you took a sip, you couldn’t believe how strong the flavor is. You like a jolt of caffeine like anyone else, but not this much. How do you make the coffee a little less strong?
If your Keurig coffee is too strong, try these methods:
- Switch to dark roast
- Try different K-Cup flavors
- Upgrade to a Keurig 2.0
In this article, we’ll explain why these 3 solutions work if your Keurig coffee is too strong. We’ll also discuss why using water to dilute coffee from Keurig or any other brand can be dicey. You won’t want to miss it!
Keurig Coffee Too Strong? Try These 3 Methods for Less Flavor
Drink Dark Roast Coffee
Some people shy away from dark roast coffee, especially if they’re not so fond of a strongly flavored cup. Yet increasing the roast does not mean increasing the coffee strength as well. If anything, light-roasted coffee is more caffeinated.
This Insider article mentions that the reason dark roast coffee isn’t as caffeinated is that the beans roast longer. In doing so, they become dark and even burnt, which causes the beans to lose both caffeine and flavor.
In a comparison of volume, the light roast has more caffeine. Yet if you poured two cups of coffee in the same quantities and one was a light roast and the other was a dark roast, the amount of caffeine isn’t different.
If you’ve only ever drunk light roast coffee before, switching to dark roast can be a bit of an adjustment, admittedly. The flavor of dark roast is more intense, even if it is less caffeinated. That intensity is attributed to the bitterness of the beans and their prolonged roasting time.
Try Different K-Cup Flavors
If you’re new to the world of Keurig coffee, don’t paint yourself into a corner with flavors. You can select from 200 K-Cup flavors. Thus, if you’re finding that one is too strong for you, you can explore the 199 others until you come upon a flavor that’s more pleasing to your tastebuds.
The flavor profiles include vanilla, pumpkin, pecan, mocha, hazelnut, coconut, cinnamon, chocolate, chai, caramel, and blueberry. You can also choose from dark, light, medium, and medium-dark roasts.
In 2021, Thrillist partnered with coffee veteran Josh Taves to select the 19 best K-Cup flavors. Here are the top 10 for your perusal:
- Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend
- Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend
- Eight O’Clock The Original
- Starbucks Pike Place Roast
- Folgers Black Silk
- The Original Donut Shop Coffee
- Starbucks Sumatra Coffee
- Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll
- Green Mountain Coffee Hazelnut
- Newman’s Own Organics Special Blend Extra Bold
Give any of those 10 K-Cup flavors a try and your opinion on drinking Keurig coffee might change dramatically!
Upgrade to a Keurig 2.0
Yes, it might seem strange to tell you to buy a new Keurig when you’re not so sure how you feel about your current machine, but trust us on this. The brew strength options in the Keurig 2.0 are far superior to the OG Keurig known as the Keurig 1.0.
You get six brew settings, each intended for making a specific type of caffeinated beverage. Being able to customize the settings to such a degree makes it easier for you to adjust the caffeination and flavor of your coffee so it’s more appealing to you.
Want to Dilute Your Keurig Coffee with Water? Tread Carefully!
Why not try one of the easiest and quickest tricks in the book to make coffee weaker, which is to dilute it with water?
It’s because depending on which type of water you add to your coffee, the flavor can go from bad to even worse.
What do we mean by the type of water, you ask? Isn’t water just that, water? Not exactly. Distilled water and tap water might look the same, but they’re not. The former–distilled water–is considered soft while the tap water is hard.
Hard water is full of minerals, and not always the good kind, either. There’s magnesium and dissolved calcium as well as metals in some instances.
If you’ve ever washed your hands in your sink and felt like your hands were still dirty and even filmy, then you have hard water at home. That’s also true if your glasses have developed cloudy spots as caused by the metals and minerals in hard water.
In some parts of the country, water is naturally harder, and in others, it’s a lot softer. Here’s a map of the United States courtesy of Business Insider that breaks it down for you.
The red areas are where hard water is very common, the white areas are where hard water is mostly common, the blue areas are where hard water is less common, and the purple areas are where hard water is rarest.
So why does this matter when brewing coffee or trying to reduce its strength? Coffee beans contain a compound known as eugenol that augments the flavor, especially the woodsy notes of coffee. You need water in the brew to cling to the eugenol, as this is what will give your coffee a good depth of flavor.
Magnesium will link up with eugenol easily, which should mean hard water produces a more flavorful cup, right? Not necessarily. If the hard water coming out of your tap also contains bicarbonate, this will lead to a bitterer flavor.
Distilled water may contain some sodium, but not to the point where you’ll notice a difference in taste. This is the best type of water to use when brewing Keurig if you want its flavor tamped down. Don’t add too much though or your coffee will just taste watery!
What Else Can You Add to Coffee to Make It Taste Better?
Earlier, we talked about the huge variety of K-Cup flavors that come in nearly every taste preference. Yet if all you have for now are light roast or dark roast K-Cups and you find them too strong for your tastes, don’t dump your coffee in the sink yet! Try adding the following ingredients to soften or sweeten the taste.
A dash of ginger in your coffee is great around the holidays, as the beverage sort of tastes like a gingerbread cookie but without all the calories. If you have ginger powder, stir a teaspoon into your coffee cup. You can also slice ginger root and steep the root in your coffee.
Vanilla extract has an authentic vanilla flavor that you don’t always get with artificially flavored alternatives. Squeeze out a few drops at a time and then sample the coffee, adding more vanilla if necessary. Almond extract and hazelnut extract are fantastic options as well!
We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Although it sounds crazy to add salt to your brewed coffee if it’s already bitter, a small amount of sodium can counteract the bitterness so your Keurig coffee is suddenly tastier.
The delectability of cocoa powder will sweeten any cup of Keurig in an instant. You need only a teaspoon, so refrain from dumping too much powder in. Then it would just be overpowering. Stir well so you don’t have any clumps.
Perfect for springtime, cardamom lends Keurig coffee a flowery taste and aroma that will brighten your day. If you have whole cardamom pods handy, brew them with your coffee beans. You can also use ground cardamom, but only a pinch.
If the Cinnabon K-Cups are all sold out, make your own version at home with cinnamon in your coffee. Spicy and sweet at the same time, cinnamon feels like a treat. You can add some powder into your cup or even plunk a whole cinnamon stick in there.
If your Keurig coffee is too strong, you have plenty of options to reduce its flavor intensity. Try a new K-Cup flavor, switch from light roast to dark roast, or buy a new Keurig machine with more advanced coffee strength settings. Best of luck!