How to Make Keurig Coffee Less Strong

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 a Reusable K-Cup
  • 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

Switch to a Reusable K-cup

If your coffee is too strong for you, then decreasing the amount of ground coffee you use will solve your issue. Of course, with a typical pre-packaged k-cup, you can’t necessarily take out coffee grounds from it. So instead, you can purchase a reusable k-cup. 

They are simple to use and can be found here on Amazon

This is where you can experiment with how much coffee you put in the coffee filter. The more you put in, the stronger the coffee will be, while the less you put in, the less strong your coffee will be. It’s relatively simple. And because Keurig brew individual cup sizes, everyone can customize how strong or weak they like their coffee to taste.

Be sure to wash out your filters after each brewing process. Leftover coffee buildup can lead to bitter-tasting coffee. 

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 water quality, you ask? Isn’t water just that, water? Not exactly. Distilled water, filtered water and tap water might look the same, but they’re not. Distilled and filtered water are considered soft while the tap water is hard. But NEVER use distilled in your Keurig. Click the link to learn why.

Hard water is full of chorine and 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.

Table showing water hardness using grains per gallon of calcium carbonate

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.

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

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. Read more on why people add salt to their coffee.

Cocoa Powder

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. 

Check out 10 Ways to Flavor Your Coffee for more great tips.

How to Make your Keurig Coffee Taste Better?

There are a number of other things you can do that will improve the taste of your Keurig coffee machine. The primary reason why many Keurig’s stop brewing great tasting coffee, is a lack of cleaning and descaling.

*Cleaning and Descaling

Read Keurig’s instruction on cleaning before you start. Regular cleaning of all the removable accessories should be done at least once a week. This includes the water reservoir, drip tray plate, and pod holder. Use caution when cleaning around the pod holder as there are sharp needles to puncture your k cup.

Using warm water and soap will do the trick, but white vinegar can also be used. Just be sure to rinse out throughly afterwards.

Descaling is also essential to keep your machine running its best. Overtime, limescale builds us inside your machine that will negatively impact the taste of your coffee. Get a good descale solution, cleancaf is an excellent option and can be bought on amazon. Descale every 2-3 months.

*Use High-Quality Water

Ensuring your water tank is full of clean fresh water will determine whether your coffee tastes fresh. To read up on how the water quality affects your coffee and how to improve it, click here.

Keurig Not Working Efficiently?

If you cleaned and descaled your coffee machine and tried all our tips suggested, and it still isn’t producing coffee to you’re likely, it may be time to look into a new Keurig.

Before you do, check with Keurig’s limited one-year warranty to see if they can either fine-tune your device or replace it for free. There may be some defects that are out of your control.

Keurig’s typically only work great for 3-5 years, so if yours is leaking, not producing hot water, or not tasting great, you may want to buy a new one.

Final Thoughts 

If your Keurig coffee is too strong, you have plenty of options to reduce its flavor intensity. Try a new K-Cup flavor, switch to a reusable K-cup, or buy a new Keurig machine with more advanced coffee strength settings. Best of luck! 

One final note: If someone in your family or friend enjoys strong coffee, there are ways to give them exactly what they want. Check out our article, “How Does the Strong Button Work on a Keurig?”

Further Reading

Have more questions about your Keurig device?

  1. Do K-Cups need to be refrigerated? Click for answer!
  2. Can you use a K-Cup more than once? Click for answer!
  3. Common Mistakes of Keurig Owners. Click for answer!

What is the Ideal Temperature for Coffee?

When attempting to create the perfect cup of coffee, many factors come into play: coffee beans, grind size, brew method, and coffee-to-water ratio, to name a few. Another detail to…

outdoortroop-21 outdoortoop-20