Greetings coffee lover. It’s time to dig deeper into the rich grounds of our obsession and share some little-known hacks that you need to know about K-Cups.
These hacks will get you a better cup of coffee, and we’ll leave no stone unturned in what we explore, so bring your spirit of adventure and let’s dive into these K-Cup Hacks you won’t soon forget.
Bring the Heat
As much as we love our Keurigs, the truth is that the temperature of the water isn’t as hot as many other methods we use to brew a delicious cup of coffee (on the first run, that is).
K-Cups brew in less than a minute, so to really wring the most flavor out of your coffee pod, the water has to be screaming hot.
Run a cycle of water through your Keurig before you brew your actual cup of coffee, and it should make the next cycle hotter, which will pull some more flavor out of your Keurig K-Cup pods.
This tip is not for those who are watching their blood pressure, but it absolutely does work.
When your coffee is done brewing and is still piping hot, add a pinch of salt (kosher salt works beautifully). This trick works just as well with French Roast as it does medium roast coffees, and it doesn't matter if it's a caffeinated or decaf blend.
The heat of the coffee should dissolve the salt fairly quickly, so give it a stir to distribute. The salt reacts chemically to the coffee and cuts the acidity, which makes the coffee less bitter (some studies show that salt is better at reducing bitterness than sugar).
Try this trick when you're enjoying a sweet treat with your coffee-- you'd be amazed how a little saltiness can bring out the smooth, sweet flavors of something like a Krispy Kreme donut like never before.
Pure Water, Pure Bliss
It can definitely be easier and more convenient to fill up your Kuerig’s water reservoir using run-of-the-mill tap water, but remember that your cup of coffee is only as good as its ingredients.
While tap water in most places in the US is typically safe overall, it can contain trace elements of things like aluminum, copper, iron, and lead (and in some places fluoride). While it might not be enough to harm you, the cocktail of additives may absolutely alter the flavor of your K-Cup.
Consider instead using filtered water in your reservoir to get a crisp, clean-tasting cup of coffee. And don’t worry, you won’t have to be wasteful: you can generally leave water in your Keurig reservoir for 2-3 days. You don’t want to risk letting the water sit much longer than that to avoid any bacteria or grossness from the still water.
Hot Water on Demand
While we’re on the topic of water, it’s easy to forget that outside of brewing coffee, your Keurig machine is an almost-instant hot water dispenser.
If you’re in a rush to make some breakfast or lunch and want to skip the microwave, you can use the searing hot water from your machine to make foods like
- Instant soup (everyone needs a Ramen fix sometimes)
- Instant oatmeal
- Tea (using the hot water and steeping the bag, not a pod)
The options are sort of limitless, and the water gets pretty hot. Keurig reports that the temperature of the water inside most of its machines is 192 degrees (though they also mention it varies greatly when it comes out).
You can count on the water being around 185 degrees or so, which isn’t far from the boiling point of water (212 degrees).
Double Barrel Java
This tip is not for the cost-conscious but can get you an extremely potent and extra-flavorful cup of coffee that can rival the tastes of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (or come very close).
For an extra hit of flavor, use the lowest ounce setting on your Keurig (typically 6-ounces), but use two pods. This is going to get you 12-ounces of concentrated flavor, so don't be afraid to try it with some powerful K-Cup varieties like Original Donut Shop, or even our mid-flavored and delicious JOJO JAVA Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Pods.
This will make your light roast coffee explode with flavor, but be warned: try this at your own risk with dark roasts. This tip is great for decaf coffees because you get double the flavor, but not double the caffeine.
Don’t Drink Gunk
Like oil changes for your car, taking the time to properly clean out your Keurig can go long overdue (in fact, coffee makers are some of the dirtiest things in some people's kitchens).
It’s important to keep your Keurig clean for a few reasons, but the top two are:
- Your Safety: Seriously. Cleaning a Keurig is not something many people remember to do, and it’s often been way longer than you think it’s been since the last time you did it. We’re not trying to scare you (well, maybe a little), but many parts of your Keurig are moist, dark places and are absolutely ripe for the growth of gross things like mold, bacteria, and yeast. You definitely don’t want to drink any of that.
- Flavor Preservation: As your Keurig runs each time, it slowly builds up tiny layers of calcium during its brewing process. While these aren’t toxic, the calcium can build up and hinder the flow and performance of your machine. This is known as “scale,” and can keep you from brewing delicious coffee.
If your machine is dirty, you’re drinking gunk, and you don’t need to. There is a simple process called “descaling” that you should perform every three months (set a reminder in your phone or you’ll forget to do it for another year).
Keurig sells a product to run through the machine called Descaling Solution, though many folks use white distilled vinegar to break up the calcium deposits.
Try These Tips With Jo-Jo Java
You're now equipped with the hacks you needed to get a better cup of coffee, but be sure you're starting with amazing ingredients.
Our coffee roasters produce flavors that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Green Mountain Coffee, Peet Coffee, and Caribou Coffee just to name a few.Try one of our ethically sourced, fair-trade variety packs, and feel just fancy enough that you have standards. Get yours now.