Any way to make a good k-cup coffee?
October 22, 2007 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Is there anyway to make K-Cup coffee not taste like dishwater? We have a Keurig machine at the office and it makes just barely tolerable coffee. Are there any flavors out there that actually make a good cup? Are there any settings on the machine you can fiddle with?
posted by empath to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't go for the larger cup size, it uses the same amount of coffee grinds so it ends up being weaker. I don't know if this is your issue though.
posted by caddis at 8:48 AM on October 22, 2007

You don't mention which model of Keurig brewer you have at your office. If it's a B3000 than you have lots of brew settings to choose from. If it's older model, here's a few things you might try:

1) Run a batch of hot water through first (without a K-Cup.) That'll help ensure the brew process is hot as it can get.

2) With your chosen K-Cup in place, press the brew button, once. When the cup reaches the volume you want, press the brew button again to stop the brew cycle. (Works with B1000 and B2000, I think.)

3) Try Extra Bold coffees... they have about 20% more coffee in them. (I'm partial to Green Mountain's Sumatra Extra Bold and Kenya AA, but then again... I'm biased.)

posted by deCadmus at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2007

I know (because my office also uses the Keurig machine and the coffee is gross) that you can buy K-cups with decent coffee brands - link. What I don't know (because I never got around to buying any) is if getting better coffee actually improves the quality, or if the nastiness is inherent in the design. Unfortunately our model does not appear to have any settings that can be adjusted.

My company buys the Green Mountain coffee. I usually drink coffee black and unflavored, but I often mix in a packet of hot cocoa mix to the Mocha Nut Fudge flavor coffee, plus some milk if I have any. I'm not sure I'd call it good, but it is sweet and I can drink it.

If I don't want the sweetness and really just want coffee, the Nantucket blend is tolerable. I find the French Roast to be too bitter - and I like strong coffee.

Good luck, and update the thread if you find anything that you like.
posted by misskaz at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2007

It may be your water that's at fault, or an improper cleaning of the machine leaving some kind of icky soap residue.

They also make K-cups that you can fill with your own coffee/tea. I have one myself. They require that you remove the spiked cup holder, but it's pretty easy (on my model at least). I found my make-your-own k-cup at a specialty kitchen store, but I'm not sure of their availability.
posted by nursegracer at 9:12 AM on October 22, 2007

I didn't mean it LITERALLY tasted like dishwater, btw. It's just really weak and barely palatable.
posted by empath at 9:17 AM on October 22, 2007

I don't know the model, but it's definitely not one of the fancy ones. It's got one button on the front.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2007

The single biggest cause of really crappy coffee is a machine that hasn't been cleaned since it was installed. The second biggest is not using enough coffee for the amount of water.

For the first, clean the pot with baking soda and run vinegar water through the machine. Then run plain water through the machine until you can't smell the vinegar anymore. Vinegar removes scale deposits and other junk deposited by tap water over time. It's also safe for the machine, unlike random cleaners from the store where it's anyone's guess as to what chemical is in it. Baking soda is used because for whatever reason soap leaves a funny aftertaste that will poison the coffee for several batches but baking soda doesn't do this and works fine for the job.

For the second, you'll just need to use more grounds or less water. Not knowing the details of your particular machine, I can't advise better than that. At my last company, there was a knob that had two positions, 4 and 8. Using a "4" bag with the "8" setting would produce a very dish-watery coffee. Using an "8" bag with a "4" setting would produce coffee to wake the dead.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 9:24 AM on October 22, 2007

nursegracer: The commercial Keurig brewers don't accept the "My K-Cup" widget. It's a nifty thing for brewing at home, but works only with the B40, B50, B60 and B70 machines.
posted by deCadmus at 9:30 AM on October 22, 2007

Forse stop the first cup halfway, add another flavor cup and finish. It should be a little more tolerable!
posted by tonci at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've had excellent coffee from my Keurig machine with Coffee People K-Cups. They're all extra-bold, which I think is the main reason.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:44 AM on October 22, 2007

I always loved Gloria Jean coffee when I worked at a place that had a K-cup machine. The mudslide flavor was AWESOME.
posted by Lucinda at 9:49 AM on October 22, 2007

Green Mountain's Dark Magic is another acceptable choice.
posted by steveminutillo at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2007

One other thing you can do to make K-cup coffee stronger is this, if you have one of the home kinds, with the flip-up handle-like thing that opens the chamber where you put the K-cup:

After you push the button to start the brewing, wait until just a drop of coffee comes out, then lift the handle just enough to stop the brewing. Wait about twenty seconds (longer if you want it even stronger), then push the handle back down, thus resuming the brewing. The coffee will be significantly stronger than usual.
posted by cerebus19 at 11:34 AM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

The key is stopping the brew halfway through and using the bold coffees, but mainly stopping the brew.

At least I can't see through it anymore.
posted by empath at 8:45 AM on October 23, 2007

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