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Keurig coffee makers are a favorite for many coffee enthusiasts because they are fast and convenient. However, a familiar issue users face is that after a while, the coffee is watery and might not taste as strong as before.
Some might think this means their Keurig is breaking down and needs a replacement. But that’s not always the case! In this article, we will provide several solutions to get your Keurig brewing robust and flavorful coffee like it used to.
Why Is My Keurig Making Watery Coffee?
Your Keurig is making watery and weak coffee because of clogged needles, buildup from minerals or coffee oils, wrong brew settings, and over-used K-cups. It’s a good idea to clean and descale your Keurig to solve the watery coffee problem.
Let’s delve deeper into why your Keurig machine produces a weaker brew and what you can do to fix this issue before considering a replacement.
1: The Needles of Your Keurig are Clogged
If you have been neglecting the descaling of your Keurig for quite some time, a clogged needle could be the villain behind your Keurig watery coffee experience.
The crucial role of the needle is creating a perforation in the K-CUP to permit hot water. The water journey begins at the top and seeps into your coffee by passing through the bottom.
However, when a cleansing routine for the needle is delayed, it could lead to obstruction. An obstructed needle interferes with free-flowing water. Instead, allow it to spill over the top of the K-Cup directly into your cup, thus resulting in a water and weak coffee brew.
The Fix: Here’s how you can unblock the Keurig’s clogged needles
- Detach the water reservoir and power off the machine.
- Firmly hold the sides of the k-cup pod holder and remove it.
- Separate the funnel from the k-cup pod holder.
- Use a straightened paper clip or sewing needle to clear out the pod holder hole by circling it a few times.
- Rinse both the pod holder and funnel with clean water.
- Open the machine’s head and locate two holes beneath that have the top needles.
- Use the paper clip or sewing needle gently in these holes to clear any blockages.
Suggested Reading: How To Make Iced Coffee In A Keurig?
2: You Have Added Excessive Water
Another primary reason your Keurig coffee tastes watery is that there’s too much water mixed in. Adding excessive water dilutes the coffee’s core flavor and aroma, resulting in the coffee having a watered-down and weak taste.
The Fix: Occasionally, coffee made with a single K-cup can turn weak or watery. Hence, to achieve a bolder coffee flavor, consider brewing with two K-cups consecutively. A typical K-cup contains about 9-12 grams (0.3-0.4 oz) of coffee grounds. For the best taste, the preferred ratio of coffee grounds to water ranges from 1:15 to 1:20, depending on personal preference.
This means that a regular K-cup is best suited for making a flavorful cup of coffee that’s 5 to 7 oz in volume.
If you want a bigger serving of coffee, it’s better to brew two separate 4 oz or 6 oz portions rather than a single 12 oz serving or simply use two K-cup one after another.
Pro-Tip: Additionally, filling the water reservoir to just three-fourths or half can reduce your coffee’s wateriness. Also, the final few drops from the brewer are mostly water because the coffee grounds have already released most of their flavors early on. It’s best to remove your coffee as soon as the brewing stops. Don’t wait for those last few drops!
3: Your Keurig Machine Needs a Cleanup
Long-term use of your Keurig without proper cleaning can lead to a brew no strong coffee lover would want to have. Yes, we’re talking about a nasty buildup of minerals and coffee bean oils in your machine.
This unwelcome accumulation is often the sneaky culprit behind a weak, lackluster brew that leaves you disappointed rather than revitalized.
Moreover, the mineral or coffee bean oil buildup does more than mug your coffee of its rich, robust flavor. It is also a shady instigator of blockages and leakages inside your beloved Keurig machine.
The Fix: You can have a look at the manual online or take the following steps to clean your Keurig machine:
- Start by powering off the machine.
- Lift the handle to remove the pod holder from the top.
- Wash the outside of the pod holder with warm, soapy water.
- Gently clean the water reservoir using a soft cloth.
- Begin the descaling procedure.
- Fill the water reservoir with Keurig descaling solution or distilled white vinegar, then execute a descaling cycle.
- You can even clean your Keurig without using vinegar.
- Run the machine multiple times using fresh filtered water, without K-cups, to eliminate lingering odors or mineral buildup.
Pro Tip: To avoid limescale buildup, descale your machine every 3-6 months. Additionally, it’s good practice to clean your device each day after making coffee. You can also clean your Keurig without using vinegar.
4: You are Using Less Coffee Grounds Or a Lighter Roast
If your Keurig coffee tastes weak, it might be because you’re not using enough coffee grounds or lightly roasted coffee beans.
When brewing coffee in a Keurig with a reusable filter, you must use the right quantity of grounds to avoid under-extraction. Using sufficient grounds can lead to a more balanced coffee taste.
The Fix: To address this, add more coffee grounds the next time you brew, or choose a darker and stronger roast for a brew strength that matches your preference.
5: Your Brew Setting is Wrong
If your older Keurig has just begun producing weaker, watery coffee, it might be due to a wrong brew setting on your machine. Newer Keurig models come equipped with this “Strong” option, allowing you to enhance your coffee’s robustness quickly.
However, if you have an older Keurig model, there’s likely another cause for the diluted taste.
The Fix: Based on your Keurig’s model, there might be an option for a “strong” or “bold” brew. This function deliberately extends the brewing time. By doing so, the water spends more time in contact with the coffee grounds, leading to better flavor extraction and a more potent coffee.
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6: Your K-cups are Too Old
If you’re using your go-to K-CUPS, look at their expiration date. Though K-CUPS can last long in perfect conditions, they come with a “best before” date indicating when they’ll produce the most flavorful coffee. They may be past this date.
Stale coffee often leads to a less robust flavor. Even if you use a stronger brew setting, the coffee might still taste watery.
The Fix: Here’s a simple solution for this issue
- Always use fresh K-Cups
- Store your K-CUPS in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- A dedicated storage drawer or container can help keep them in optimal condition.
- Moreover, inspect the K-CUPS for any damage.
- If the cups are compromised or the seal is broken, air might have entered, making the coffee stale.
7: Your Keurig Coffee Machine is Not Hot
Another primary cause for watery coffee from Keurig is the cold internal pipes and wrong brewing temperature, particularly in chillier climates. The machine’s internal pipes can get cold when exposed to cooler ambient temperatures. This leads to the water not being hot enough, thus making it difficult to extract the full flavors from the coffee grounds.
The Fix: Run a cycle with hot water without a pod and the right temperature. For example, Keurig states that their brewers heat water to 192 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsius). This is the ideal temperature for making the best K-cup beverages, coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.
Related: Does a Coffee Maker Boil Water?
8: Lack Of Clean Water
Those who use tap water, especially in areas with hard water, often report a diluted coffee taste from their Keurig machines.
Tap water can have impurities that alter the taste and quality of your Keurig-brewed drink as they cause mineral and limescale buildup in the machine, thus leading to a weak and watery brew.
The Fix: Using bottled or filtered water in your Keurig’s water reservoir is recommended. Using filtered water not only preserves the flavor of your coffee but also enhances the aroma and taste derived from the coffee beans in your Keurig brew.
By now, you should know why your Keurig coffee might taste watery. I’ve provided simple and practical solutions to address this issue.
In short, make a habit of cleaning and descaling your Keurig regularly, and consider using a darker roast for a richer coffee flavor. Alternatively, brewing with two light roast pods or a single dark roast can give you a bolder coffee taste from your Keurig machine.