Can you really make Keurig coffee taste better?
I know there is a big debate in the coffee world surrounding the keurig. Lots of specialty coffee enthusiasts despise this machine while lots of casual coffee drinkers at the house really enjoy the convenience that the machine brings.
I was once a Keurig user. It made a single cup of coffee when I wanted it in a matter of a few minutes with hardly any work. I see the draw.
However, now I think coffee is so much more enjoyable when you take the time to brew it yourself. You notice how every little change actually makes a pretty big difference in the way your coffee tastes.
So, I stand somewhere in the middle I guess. I get the convenience aspect of it and I want everybody to have good coffee. While the keurig might not brew the best coffee in the world, there are some things you can do to get the most out of it while also being environmentally conscious.(like buying reusable filters.)
What Makes Keurig Coffee taste better?
No matter the brew method,making a good cup of coffee follows a few basic rules.
Buying whole beans and grinding fresh will always produce a better cup than pre-ground coffee.
Water temperature, grind size and brew time all work together.
If your water is too cold it will not extract enough of the goodness that the coffee has to offer.
If your grind size is too big then there is not enough coffee for your water to grab onto.
Another thing your grind size effects is the brew time. If your grind is too large the water will pass through too fast giving you a weak, flat tasting coffee.
If your grind size is too small then your water will have a harder time passing through all the coffee, increasing your brew time which results in an over powered, bitter cup.
Your coffee to water ratio is a very important thing to get right. You might be surprised what a few ounces of extra water would do to your overall taste.
First of all, one of the best things you can do to help yourself out is to start measuring everything in weight instead of volume. I think the easiest is to measure in grams.
The reason for this is because every coffee is different. For instance two tablespoons of a Colombian coffee might weight more or less than two tablespoons of a Costa rican.
The roast type and original density of the bean will determine the weight of your coffee.
The generally accepted ratio of water to coffee is 16:1.
For example, 320 grams of water to 20 grams of coffee.
Now, this is just a guideline, your tastes will be completely unique to you. So you will have to adjust to how you prefer coffee.
This is part of the fun, getting to explore!
How To make Keurig Coffee Taste Better
We know how coffee and water interacts with each other and a good starting ratio to making a perfect cup with our keurig.
If you’re brewing with a keurig the best thing you can do is get reusable filters.
Not only is it better for the environment but by using the reusable cups you gain lots of control. You are able to grind and dose the coffee yourself.
To figure out how to get a 16:1 ratio we need to first measure how much water is actually coming out of our keurig.
Depending on your model you will have different amounts of water to choose from.(4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz and 12oz.)
The model you have does not really matter, water’s weight will not change.
Converting ounces to grams is pretty simple. Each ounce of water weighs roughly 30 grams.
So a 4oz cup will be roughly 120 grams and a 10oz cup will be 300 grams.
Me personally I don’t trust the numbers on the machines. I guess it’s because I have had drip coffee makers in the past labeled as 12 cup pots BUT they are only using 4 ounces as a cup.What kind of cup is that?!
So, I’ve got trust issues with coffee makers!
I prefer to weigh the water that comes out so I know exactly how much I’m getting.
Now that you know how much water you’re getting per cup of coffee with the keurig it’s time to weigh your coffee and grind.
Since the Keurig has a quick brew time, usually around one minute. We need to have a fine grind.
I would go as fine as you can make it at as a starting point and then adjust to your taste.
Your grind size will depend on the reusable filters that you have purchased. Each filter may be a little different and most of them are metal filters.
Metal filters have larger holes in them compared to a paper filter generally allowing more coffee to pass through. I don’t know many people who like grounds in the cup.
So you will have to experiment at home to see which grind size works best for your taste and filter.
This is a place where the keurig really REALLY lacks. The keurig factory says that it will automatically brew your coffee at 192°F.
However, there have been lots of personal studies done on the internet by keurig owners that show that the water brews at a lot lower temps.
This may sound hot but most coffee enthusiasts agree that the ideal temperature should be at least 200°F (No higher than 202°F) to fully extract all of the flavors.
This temperature change may not seem like that big of a deal but it really is. Like I mentioned earlier, the smallest changes make big differences in your cup.
This is especially important with the Keurig because of the quick brew time.
Some people have found that they are able to bump their temperature slightly by running a warming cycle. Basically just brewing a cup without coffee in it.
If you follow the basic rules of making good coffee you can definitely get more out of your Keurig. Remember that all parts work together. Water temperature, brew time and grind size. With the Keurig start with a fine grind, this will make help the keurig out. A fine grind will balance out (as much as possible) the lower brewing temps and faster brewing process.
And of course, A sure way to a making Keurig coffee taste better is to use good coffee beans to begin with. There are so many good roasters today, really passionate people with a love for coffee that are combining coffee roasting and science. Making coffee roasting almost a culinary art form. We live in an exciting time for all coffee lovers.
Join in on the conversation. Have these tips helped you make better coffee?