Coffee Facts

Does Your Reusable K-Cup Brew Weak Coffee?

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A glance at what Keurig owners are saying about the bad coffee from their reusable k-cups tells a troubling story. Many Keurig users that drink their coffee black have found that the coffee brewed in a reusable k-cup isn’t quite up to par.

It can be disappointing to find out your Keurig isn’t brewing the coffee you expect. If you’ve already moved (or tried to move) to using reusable k-cups exclusively, you’re probably aware of how tricky it can be to get a good brew. 

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Fortunately, hope is not lost. It is possible to get stellar cups of coffee from a reusable k-cup. There are several tips and tricks to punch up the strength and quality of your brew. We will discuss some ways you can convince your reusable k-cup to make stronger brews and high-quality coffee. 

Keurig Operation

Let’s break the problem down by first examining how a Keurig operates. The disposable k-cups most commonly used with a Keurig coffee maker include both the ground coffee and filter. When you insert the k-cup into the receptacle on the Keurig, large needle injectors puncture both the bottom and top of the cup.

The top injector is used to bring heated water into the k-cup. The bottom needle punctures the k-cup just below the cup’s built-in paper filter. As you may have guessed, coffee moves past the filter, out the lower needle, and into your cup.

A key feature of all Keurig’s is their ability to brew quickly; it should be just a few seconds before you have a quality cup of coffee in your mug. However, this is where we start to run into some problems with the quality of the brew.

Brew Time 

Reusable K-Cup Coffee

The brewing time, or amount of time that hot water is in contact with the coffee grounds, is critical to a high-quality cup of coffee. The amount of time that the grind is in contact with water directly determines how strong the resulting cup of coffee will be.

Are you starting to see the concern with a Keurig? It is a system designed with a fast brew cycle, and speed is the enemy of strong coffee.

Solving the Weak K-Cup Coffee Crisis

Don’t throw your Keurig coffee machines in the trash just yet; it is entirely possible to get a strong, well-brewed cup of delicious coffee using a reusable k-cup. There are tried-and-tested options that Keurig owners have found to increase the strength of their reusable k-cup’s brew. 

Experiment with Grinds and Water

Take time to experiment with brew settings that are right for you. If your favorite coffee tastes too weak, the first thing to examine is your water settings. Try brewing using a smaller amount of water to get a strong cup of coffee, though be prepared to do multiple brews if you are filling a large mug.

Play around with the size of your grind (if you are grinding your own beans) and the amount you are putting into the reusable k-cup. A fine grind that is firmly packed can slow down the passage of water through the k-cup, which increases the strength of the brew.

Try different combinations of grinds, amounts of coffee in the k-cup, and water settings to eke out every bit of coffee goodness from your brew. 

The K-Cup Hack

This modification is designed to do one thing: slow down the water moving through your k-cup. Remember, the enemy of strong coffee is fast brewing; you want to give the hot water more time to mingle with your ground coffee beans.

In just a few simple steps, you can upcycle an old disposable k-cup coffee pod into your reusable k-cup. Basically, you want to take a used disposable k-cup, remove the foil on top, and use scissors to trim the white plastic of the disposable cup until it nests inside the brewing basket of your reusable k-cup.

The used k-cup acts as a restrictor and forces the brewing water to spend more time contacting the grind.

Final Thoughts

Don’t give up on your reusable k-cup. With some brief experimentation or modification, you can make your coffee as strong as you like and get a decent brew. Be sure to choose a reliable, high-quality reusable k-cup for your coffee, and take the time to understand your Keurig.

Remember the basics: a more robust cup of coffee comes through using less water or allowing the water to spend more time in contact with the grind. Keep this in mind as you experiment with your reusable k-cup, and you’ll almost certainly end up with a cup of coffee that meets your satisfaction.

Happy Caffeinating!

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