You've Been Using Your Keurig Wrong This Entire Time

There's nothing like a warm cup of coffee in the morning. The pleasant coffee bean aroma and the extra java jolt is what many of us need to start our day. According to Market Watch, one of the main ways we satisfy this craving is by brewing a cup of joe with a Keurig machine, which is reportedly in 20 million households. However, there seems to be mixed reviews about how good the coffee is from Keurig machines. Business Columnist, Michael Hiltzik, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that java made from a Keurig "is typically a flavorless brew of brown hot water." Fortunately, there are some ways you can improve the flavor and deliver the best version of your morning brew. 

First, Thrillist recommends doubling up your cup. In order to do this, put the Keurig on the lowest setting and run the water through two different pods. When you use the 8-ounce option (or above), you're just watering down the coffee. The machine uses the same amount of grounds no matter how much liquid is used. Therefore, this will ensure you get the most caffeine that's possible — music to a coffee lover's ears.

How to create the best java with a Keurig

Taking it to another level, Tim Carman, food writer for the Washington Post, decided to conduct an experiment to create the best cup of coffee he could with a Keurig. He found that grinding your own beans and not using the premade pods was the best way to go. This technique allows you to adjust the ratio of coffee and lengthen the brew time. "One of our best cups was brewed with natural Ethio­pia Guji beans from Qualia," Carman wrote. "We stuffed 14.5 grams of finely ground coffee into the reusable basket, despite warnings from Keurig that finer grinds can clog the filter. We brewed it strong on the 8-ounce setting."

To get rid of any unpleasant flavors, it's also important to make sure your machine is clean. Thrillist suggests running white vinegar through the Keurig to help ensure it's in pristine shape. Load the vinegar in the area where you normally put the water and brew repeatedly until it's gone. Then pour some plain water into the chamber and brew again to remove any lingering vinegary taste. 

Lastly, Carman recommends using filtered water for the best taste. According to the Speciality Coffee Association of America, with regular tap water, the pH can be too high, which can lead to flat-tasting coffee — or it can be too high in sodium.

Now you're officially prepared to make the best cup of coffee you can from a Keurig. Ready, set, brew!

It's all about the water when brewing

Good coffee inherently comes from good water. That means that you might have to take a little extra care when it comes to preparing your Keurig for brewing. One of the biggest problems coffee fanatics have when using their Keurig brewer is that the water does not get hot enough.

Luckily, there's an easy fix for this. To get the water hot enough, you will need to run a cycle of water before making a cup of coffee. This is particularly important if the machine has not been used in a couple of hours. While the process is so fast the water usually doesn't have enough time to heat up enough, running a cycle of water or two before making coffee can raise the temperature a bit, according to Thrillist.

To really make sure that the cup is as strong as it could be, you also might want to pull your cup out from under the stream before the coffee cycle is complete. The last part of the cycle tends to be the weakest coffee, and if you watch closely, you might even see the stream of coffee get lighter in color. For the strongest brew you can get, don't let those last few moments water down your cup.

Make minor adjustments to your brewing strategy

Again, the process of brewing coffee with a Keurig is fast. While the time doesn't allow the water to always heat up enough, the short span also doesn't always allow enough time for extraction, which means you will likely end up with a weaker cup of coffee. To fix this, you can squeeze a used K-Cup pod body into a reusable filter cup as Thrillist explains. This essentially rigs a double chamber for the water to pass through, which stalls it and allows a longer period of time for extraction. It is just another way to hack a stronger cup of Keurig coffee. 

If you are really sensitive to acidity in coffee or tend to notice a sharp bitterness in your Keurig coffee, there is even a hack for that. To balance out the acidity in coffee brewed by a Keurig, add just the tiniest pinch of salt. It will cause a chemical reaction that will eliminate the bitterness, according to Thrillist.