Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt: Turn Every Cup From Bitter To Better

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Why Keurig coffee tastes burnt unraveled so that you know all the reasons why including how to clean your Keurig and how to make Keurig coffee taste better. 

Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt: Turn Every Cup From Bitter To Better
Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt

The recent pandemic has impacted the lives of everyone everywhere forever.

With more home-office set-ups, it’s not wonder that Keurig coffee systems sales shot by 10% in 2020.

Along with that, there has been a concern that Keurig coffee tastes bad.

Let’s find out the reasons!

Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt: Turn Every Cup From Bitter To Better 1
8 Reasons Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt 1

Why Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt?

There are a few reasons why your Keurig coffee tastes burnt.

It could be because the machine is not cleaned well, how you made your coffee, or the coffee beans you used. 

Let’s take a closer look. 

Buildup In The Keurig

Did you know that coffee beans have oils that lend them their aroma?

So if you have residual coffee from past brews, these oils build up in the machine.

When you make a fresh cup, the residue gets mixed with it and the Keurig coffee tastes bitter.  

Type Of Coffee Beans Used

Check if the coffee beans are fresh.

Stale coffee beans will not produce the best mug and you could end up wondering why Keurig coffee doesn’t taste good anymore. 

Check the expiry date on the package and don’t use expired coffee beans. 

You should always store coffee beans the right way to avoid them from getting stale. 

Water Temperature

The water temperature affects the taste of your coffee. Keurig coffee tastes burnt when you are using still-boiling water. Why? Oils, acids, and caffeine are extracted more quickly when the water is hotter. 

At higher temperatures, it is more difficult to control the pace of extraction because each of these ingredients has a different effect on the flavor of the coffee. 

This might result in over-extraction and you feel that your Keurig coffee tastes burnt.

Coffee Roasting Time

The coffee roast level and time can affect the taste of your coffee. 

In simple terms, the longer you roast your coffee, the darker the roast; hence, your Keurig tastes burnt. 

If the coffee beans have been over-roasted, your coffee will taste bitter. 

Invest in a home coffee roaster so that you can control the temperature and time to get the right flavor and taste of Keurig coffee. 

Quality Of K-Cups

There are so many different types of K-Cups you can get with various flavors and roast types. 

You can’t tell what’s inside these.

So, if there’s low-quality coffee inside the K-cups, you won’t get a pleasant taste of your coffee. 

To avoid this, always buy 100% Arabica coffee beans as Robusta beans are cheaper, are not of good quality, and produce bitter coffee. 

Water Quality

Another reason why your Keurig coffee tastes bad could be the quality of water you’re using to make coffee. 

It does influence the flavor and taste of your coffee if your tap water has an excessive amount of calcium or other minerals. Consider getting a water filter.

While bottled filter water is thought to be the finest option, tap water and filtered water are both acceptable.

Amount Of Water

The amount of water you use is crucial to getting the perfect cup of coffee. 

Suppose you don’t use enough water and too many coffee beans. 

Naturally, you’ll get a bitter coffee Keurig through no fault of the coffee maker!

Brewing Time

Brewing time is so important to make or break a cup of coffee. 

If you brew your coffee too long, there is over-extraction and the coffee will be bitter.

Brewing it not long enough will fail to extract the full flavor and aroma of the coffee, leaving you wondering why is my coffee watery from my Keurig.

How To Make Keurig Coffee Taste Better

How To Make Keurig Coffee Taste Better
How To Make Keurig Coffee Taste Better

There are several ways you can make Keurig coffee go from bitter to better. 

Starting with the water to choosing the best coffee brands, there are a host of things you can do to prevent Keurig burning coffee. 

  1. Choose Your Water Carefully

The secret to making great coffee is using fresh water. 

Better-tasting coffee is a given with a simple practice like filling the tank with fresh water each morning.

Additionally, significant factors include water hardness. 

Compared to soft water, hard water draws out more flavor. 

So, avoid tap water if the water in your area is soft water. 

You can make coffee without spending a fortune on pricey bottled water. 

Use filtered or bottled water if the quality of your tap water is poor and if it tastes or smells strong.

If bottled or filtered water is not an option, use a water filter. 

Note: Distilled water is not a good option as both this and soft water are poor at extracting coffee and will disappoint you with watery coffee Keurig. 

Another reason using soft water is discouraged is because the sensor in the Keurig machine reservoir can’t detect soft water and this leads to water leakage.

Speaking of water, avoid filling the reservoir in the Keurig all the way as too much water will leave you with a less desirable cup.  

  1. Pre-Heat Both The Keurig Coffee Maker And Your Mug

If you are constantly complaining about your Keurig coffee not being hot enough, you’re not being paranoid. 

It’s true that Keurig cannot brew coffee at a temperature higher than 192°F (89°C). Since you can’t change the temperature control, you can do two things. 

One, before making the coffee, run one brew cycle without inserting the pod to heat the machine to make the coffee a little hotter.

Two, rinse a mug in hot water before setting it down on a drip tray. 

This way, the coffee won’t cool off in a heated mug, and the temperature will remain constant and you will stop wondering why does my Keurig coffee taste bad.

  1. Use A Proper Roast And The Right Cup Size

Another frequent complaint about Keurig coffee is that the coffee isn’t strong enough or why does my Keurig coffee taste like water. 

Check your K-cups’ roast level and experiment with various cup sizes. Light, medium, and dark roasts are the three main stages of roasting. 

Dark roasts produce a robust, powerful coffee, while light roasts produce mild, flowery overtones.

Select dark roasted K-cups for Keurig coffee to make it stronger and get full-bodied coffee. Medium roasts can also be a nice option if you prefer something milder and less bitter. 

Light roasts lack flavor and are very acidic and weak.

Next, remember that using a single K-cup to brew 12 ounces of coffee is never satisfying. Pick a smaller cup size instead. 

The ideal cup size falls between 6 and 8 ounces.

Use two K-cups on the smaller cup setting if you need to create 10 or 12 ounces in a large mug.

  1. Use A Descaler To Remove Buildup

To remove the machine’s internal calcium and oil deposits, descaling is the process of running a certain type of solution or white vinegar through it.

By descaling every three to four months, you can remove the calcium and oil buildup in your machine to make Keurig coffee taste better. 

The buildup prevents the water from getting hot enough and you will get a lukewarm cup.

Plus, if the water isn’t at the right temperature, it will fail to bring out the flavor of the coffee and the result will be disastrous. 

Descaling not only removes the buildup but also improves the performance of your machine

A descaler can help you do that. 

  1. Use The Reusable K-Cup The Right Way

Reusable K-cups can’t hold two tablespoons of coffee that’s necessary for a strong 8-ounce cup of coffee. 

So, your best bet is to use a dark roast coffee and brew your coffee at a 6- or 8-oz setting.

Coffee grounds should not extend past the mesh’s top of the filter basket as you load it. 

Fill the filter with the desired amount of coffee, being careful not to fill it past the MAX fill sign if your reusable filter has a Max fill line.

To level the top, tap the filter onto your counter. Never tamp or press the coffee. 

  1. Choose The Right Coffee Grind And Roast

The perfect grind level is somewhere in the middle – not too coarse and not too fine. 

A too-coarse grind will result in watery coffee, while a too-fine grind can cause the water to take a long time to brew or easily become clogged.

So, choose a medium grind for the best results. 

Pick coffee that is described as dark or French roast for a large cup brew setting. 

Also, a good option is medium roasts.

Try to avoid breakfast blends as they are lighter roasts and when brewed at a larger cup setting, will give you watery coffee. 

  1. Clean Your Keurig 

If Keurig coffee tastes bad, it’s time to clean the machine. 

Regularly clean and maintain your Keurig coffee maker.

Every week, clean the external, detachable elements of your machine, change the used water filter cartridges every two months, and descale it every three to four months.

You may gradually improve the flavor and taste of your Keurig coffee by strictly adhering to this cleaning schedule.

How To Clean Your Keurig Thoroughly: Step-By-Step Guide

The number 1 reason Keurig coffee tastes sour is that you’ve probably made coffee for days without giving the machine a thorough clean inside-out. 

The oil and calcium deposits in the coffee maker hamper its full functionality and you keep wondering why does my coffee taste burnt from my Keurig. 

Before we go into the details of cleaning, here’s a list of what you need:

  • White vinegar or descaling solution
  • Keurig water filter refill cartridges
  • Both wet and dry soft microfiber wipes
  • Soapy water solution

So here’s step-by-step instruction on how to clean your Keurig.

  1. Unplug the machine before you take off the removable parts of the Keurig. 

You can take apart the water reservoir first, then take off the mug tray, lid, and K-cup holder.

Wash and clean these removable parts of your Keurig every week

  1. Use a soapy water solution to wash the mug tray and K-cup holder. 
  2. Wash the water reservoir and the lid with soapy water and remove all excess water with a dry and soft microfiber cleaning cloth

If you own a Keurig 2.0, then you should know how to empty the internal tank properly. 

  1. This is the perfect time to replace your old water filter cartridges with fresh ones. 

To maintain proper water processing functioning, you must change the used water filter cartridges every two months.

  1. Wash the exterior part of the Keurig machine and dry with a clean, dry, and soft microfiber cloth
  2. With white vinegar or a good quality descaling solution, descale your Keurig. 
  3. Check if coffee grounds are stuck to the needle of the machine. 

If so, you need to clean the Keurig needle to remove all deposits. 

How Often You Should Clean Your Keurig
How Often You Should Clean Your Keurig

My Keurig Coffee Tastes Bitter Even After Cleaning It

Why does my Keurig coffee taste bitter even after cleaning it properly?

Well, this could be because of the descaling solution or vinegar that’s giving you bad tasting coffee. 

To get rid of the vinegar taste in your coffee, here’s what you need to do. 

  1. Take the pod out of the machine.
  2. Completely fill the reservoir with water. 

Run the machine repeatedly until the reservoir is empty. 

Throughout this procedure, make sure there isn’t a pod in the dispenser.

This may require a total of two to three full reservoirs.

  1. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda if you’re still having trouble getting rid of the vinegar flavor. 

It has a fairly bland flavor that balances the bitterness and is known to neutralize the vinegar.

  1. After thoroughly mixing the baking soda into the water reservoir until it dissolves, run the machine three times.
  2. Repeat if necessary.

You could come across all sorts of weird problems with your machine but Keurig troubleshooting is easy if you know how to identify the problem.


Why Does My Coffee Taste Bitter All Of A Sudden?

There could be oil and calcium build-up in the coffee maker, the water used was not the right quality or too hot, the coffee beans were stale, the brewing time was too long or the beans were roasted excessively, or you used too little water with too much coffee or used low-quality K-cups.  

How Do I Get Rid Of The Nasty Taste In My Keurig?

Descale with white vinegar or any descaling solution to get rid of the nasty taste in your Keurig. If it still persists, run the machine without the pod and only with baking soda dissolved in the water reservoir two to three times. 

Why Does My Keurig Coffee Taste Bland?

Check the roast of the coffee beans you have been using to make coffee. A breakfast blend is light and will give you watery coffee. Choose a medium roast or a dark French roast to get a cup of coffee that tastes better. 

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