The Top 10 Keurig Coffee Mistakes 

Brewing coffee with a Keurig is easy, or so you thought. It turns out you might be guiltier about making some mistakes than you realized. What are the most common Keurig brewing errors?

Here are the top 10 Keurig coffee mistakes:

  • You don’t unclog the Keurig 
  • You never de-scale
  • You brew with tap water
  • You pour hot coffee into a cold cup
  • You never clean the Keurig
  • You don’t change the filter
  • You buy cheap K-cups
  • You use too much water
  • You don’t use spices 

Although it’s not fun to confess you’re doing something wrong, the sooner you can admit it, the sooner you can be on the road to fresher, better-tasting coffee from your Keurig. This guide will tell you everything you need to know, so check it out!

The 10 Most Common Keurig Coffee Mistakes – How Many Are Familiar to You?

You Don’t Unclog the Keurig 

This first Keurig coffee mistake is one you could be making without even realizing it.

While sure, in some cases, a clogged-up Keurig will be unable to brew you caffeinated goodness, that doesn’t always happen. In some cases, the machine still brews, just not as good as it used to.

The steam of coffee that comes out will be a lot thinner. You might also notice an increased presence of loose coffee grounds in your cup, which makes for quite a gritty, lumpy, unpleasant texture with every sip. 

You might assume that your Keurig is getting old, but since it works, you don’t guess something is wrong.

Well, even if some coffee is coming out, if it’s not the full stream, the machine is likely blocked. If you leave it like it is, it’s only a matter of time before the Keurig stops working.

Most Keurig blockages are caused by unbrewed coffee grounds that get stuck in the machine. Scale, which we’ll talk more about in just a moment, can also contribute to the problem. 

Anytime your Keurig begins producing coffee in a runny stream with noticeable grounds in the bottom of the cup, you have to unclog it.

Here’s what you should do.

First, take out the K-Cup holder. Next, detach the pod holder funnel and give that a thorough cleaning. 

Look for stuck coffee grounds, which you can remove with a small tool like a chopstick or even a paper clip, depending on how fine the grounds are.

From there, you should wash the filter screen and water reservoir to eliminate any debris accumulation. 

Now put everything back together. The next time you brew coffee using your Keurig, it will be a very different story than it was yesterday. The machine will work well again! 

You Never De-Scale the Keurig

When we talk about scale, which we mentioned above too, we don’t mean a coffee scale, but limescale or scale for short.

Limescale naturally accumulates on coffee machines from all sorts of manufacturers, not solely Keurig. If you brew with hard water, then your water contains calcium and magnesium.

Wait a minute, hard water? That’s right. The water that comes out of your taps can be hard or soft. 

You can typically tell if you have hard water because scale accumulation is an issue with your coffeemaker and your pipes.

Other signs of hard water include:

  • Your glasses and dishware frequently have hard water spots that you can’t easily remove
  • These hard water spots are also present in your bathroom, especially in your shower
  • Your skin always feels dry no matter what water temperature you use to shower
  • When you wash your hands or body, the water leaves a filmy layer that makes it hard to feel clean*-9+888888]7\\/

The limescale will continue to build up in your Keurig coffee machine until you begin using a soft water filter. 

The scale accumulation can block holes and openings in the machine, leading to thin streams of coffee or blockages like those mentioned above. Your coffee will also taste bitterer and bitterer.

We wrote about descaling products for coffeemakers here. It’s worth descaling your Keurig once every three months or so to keep it working well and its flavor fresh!  The descaler I use that works well is found here on Amazon.

You Brew Keurig Coffee with Tap Water

Speaking of fresh flavors, you’re getting far more flavor than you bargained for if you’re brewing Keurig coffee with tap water. 

According to Joe Cross, the producer of the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, tap water can contain a smattering of substances such as arsenic, lead, chlorine, heavy metals, and pesticides. 

Besides how wildly unhealthy some of those substances are for your health, there’s also the flavor. If you think you’re not tasting heavy metals or chlorine in tap water, do yourself a favor and try filtered water.

You don’t even have to brew coffee with it quite yet. Just take a big swallow of it after gulping down some tap water. 

It tastes different, right? In that you don’t really taste anything, just like how water should be.

On the blog, we recently discussed how approximately 98.75 percent of coffee is water. The less than two percent remaining is coffee.

Thus, you want to do whatever’s in your power to ensure you’re using high-quality water. It shouldn’t ever be brewed with tap water.

The chlorine in tap water will lead to a bitter flavor. When you consider that your coffee machine might also have a buildup of scale as well, then it’s really no wonder why your cup is barely palatable. 

To read more about what type of water you should use with your coffee, click here!

You Pour Hot Coffee into a Cold Mug

Here’s a very common coffee mistake that can affect the flavor of your cup, whether you brew with a Keurig, a Moka pot, or an espresso maker.

Coffee is supposed to emerge from your machine piping hot at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you pour that piping hot coffee into a cold carafe or mug, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. 

We discussed this in another recent post on the blog, but the hot coffee meeting the cold glass carafe or mug will cause the coffee to cool rapidly. 

You’ll go through your morning ritual of pouring the coffee, stirring in the milk and cream (maybe some sugar too), and then allowing it to cool. 

What you don’t realize is that the coffee has already begun cooling the moment it touched the cold carafe.

Cooling will happen even faster if you pour the hot coffee into a cold carafe and then a cold mug. 

By the time you go to take a sip, your coffee tastes lukewarm, and you won’t be sure why.

There’s a very easy solution to this problem. Begin heating your carafe and/or mug before pouring the freshly-brewed Keurig coffee.

We recommend running the carafe under hot sink water and then dumping and drying it. You can do the same for your favorite coffee mug or heat it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time if it’s microwave-safe.

Keep repeating this until the mug feels warm to the touch but isn’t burning hot. You’re not trying to hurt yourself! 

For some other tips and tricks on how to keep your coffee warm, especially when going out in the cold, click here!

You Never Clean the Keurig Itself

When was the last time you gave your Keurig coffeemaker a thorough cleaning from top to bottom? 

If you can’t recall or if you have the sheepish response of “never,” then it’s high time for you to change that.

As we wrote about in this post, you want to make cleaning your coffee machine a fairly regular habit.

Each time you use the Keurig, you should clean the carafe and any other parts of your coffee machine that detach. You can use dishwashing detergent for this job or even insert your carafe into the dishwasher. 

Just make sure the carafe goes onto the top rack so it doesn’t come out cracked or otherwise damaged!

About once a month, you want to treat your Keurig to a deep cleaning. If you have those handy, you can use a commercial coffee machine cleaner such as Cleancaf or vinegar or salt. 

Finally, you want to continue applying the de-scaling product every three months to prevent limescale from building up inside the Keurig. 

If you commit to this regular routine, then your Keurig will continue working well for a long time to come! 

You Don’t Change the Coffee Filter

Most Keurig models aren’t compatible with a reusable coffee filter, especially the third-party reusable filters you might see advertised all the time online on sites such as Amazon. 

Instead, you’re stuck with disposable filters. 

While you don’t have to dump the Keurig filters after every use, you certainly don’t want to keep yours around forever either. 

If it’s been over two months, you need to change the filter, end of story.

The whole duty of a coffee filter is to trap in coffee grounds. However, that’s something your Keurig filter can only do decently well if the filter is well past its lifespan. That’s especially true if we’re talking about paper filters, which are the least durable of all. 

The more coffee grounds that get into your cup, then the grittier and chunkier the texture of your brew, as we mentioned earlier. You won’t want to keep using your Keurig if that’s the kind of coffee it’s producing for you! 

You Buy Cheap K-Cups

Keurig coffee machines are big business, as the brand is worth millions and millions of dollars. As K-Cups became increasingly popular, brands outside of Keurig wanted to get in on the K-Cup game. 

This means that the K-Cup market is oversaturated with options, with many of them well outside of the Keurig label.

If you stick to Keurig K-Cups only, you’ll find that there are some flavors you like and some that you don’t, but they’re all about the same quality. Once you get into third-party K-Cup brands, the quality becomes more negligible.

You can generally trust brands like Dunkin’ or Starbucks to produce a good-tasting K-Cup, but for other brands, it’s not the same story.

Buying cheap K-Cups because they cost less is a tempting proposition; we agree with you there. However, if you’ve drunk coffee for long enough, then it should come as no surprise to you at all that you get what you pay for.

If you buy cheap K-Cups, just like cheap coffee beans, you’re sacrificing richness and flavor to keep a couple of bucks in your wallet. 

Only you can decide what matters to you, but until you upgrade your K-Cups, your Keurig will continue to make blah coffee. 

You Use Too Much Water When Brewing

When brewing with a Keurig or any other coffee machine, the key is to follow the instructions and use the recommended quantities of ingredients. 

Although water may comprise more than 98 percent of your coffee, that doesn’t mean you want to overdo it on the water. Then your coffee will be 100 percent water and with practically no flavor. 

If your Keurig coffee always tastes watered-down and you know there’s nothing wrong with your machine, then it’s worth taking a few minutes to review the brewing instructions. 

Double-check that you’re not adding twice or thrice the amount of water because your misread the instructions. 

You Don’t Add Spices for Better Flavor

Use additional flavorings besides the overdone cream, milk, and sugar for a truly flavorful cup of Keurig coffee that you’ll look forward to every morning.

We wrote a post with plenty of awesome things to add to coffee for more richness, taste, and decadence. 

Spices go really well with coffee, especially allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon, and even cayenne pepper if you’re feeling brave.

In that same vein, unsweetened cocoa powder or a splash of coconut milk ought to really make a difference in how your Keurig coffee tastes.

Remember, if your coffee comes out with an absolutely awful flavor, a pinch of salt can really save the day. The salt blocks the bitter and sour notes of coffee so that even an abysmal cup tastes better. 

Final Thoughts 

The Keurig is a tough coffee machine to master, and so mistakes are common. Whether you’ve made a few of these mistakes or many of them, what matters most is that you fix them going forward. You’ll enjoy much yummier coffee as a result! 

How Do I Get the Best Flavor from a Keurig Coffeemaker? 

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