Why would our favorite coffees have no taste when using the Keurig My K-Cup?

by Diana
(Fort Smith, AR)


QUESTION:


We recently purchased a mini Keurig single serving coffeemaker & a couple of My K-Cups so we can use our favorite coffees instead of always having to use pre-made K-cups.

We love the coffee maker, however, each time we brew a cup of our own coffee & no matter how much or how little ground coffee we use, the freshly brewed cup of coffee has little or no taste. We have tried several times to use varying amounts of coffee in the little K-Cup basket, with no better results.

We are now wondering if there is a certain type of "grind" that is used for the coffee in the K-cups such as "espresso grind" or "drip grind" (or one we don't know about).

We are using the same ground coffee that we've used & enjoyed with our drip coffeemakers for years. Can you help with this?

Thanks.


ANSWER:

We also have a Keurig brewer (the Keurig B60) and use the My K-Cup. We use it for the same reason as you – so we can use the brewer to brew whatever coffee we want.

And yes, you’ll probably find that the problem lies with the grind of the beans. I have found that the medium grind I would use for a drip brewer does taste thin. That said, as part of my own experimentation, I also found that if I ground the coffee too fine...as if for an espresso machines...the My K-Cup clogged up.

There seems to be a sweet spot, somewhere between a drip brewer grind and an espresso grind.

Once you get it right, you should find that your Keurig + My K-Cup makes a nice, tasty brew.

Comments for Why would our favorite coffees have no taste when using the Keurig My K-Cup?

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Oct 20, 2013
possible reason
by: Darla

Distilled water needed for kuerigs seem to make coffee blander or something.

Oct 22, 2010
Disappointed in taste
by: Carolyn

I was so excited to get my Keurig. I like my coffee hot and strong. I wasted my money thinking I could get a better cup of coffee. Back to my two cup Melitta. It makes much better coffee. All of the coffee and cup sizes I tried with the Keurig are luke warm and lack any depth of flavor. Yuk.

Sep 07, 2010
My K-Cup works great!
by: Ernie in Colorado

As for the grind size I tell them to grind my coffed two settings finer than the French Press setting. As for the watery taste? I had the problem. I even did one cup with a clear coffee mug. Very watery in looks and taste. The fix? I was not tightening the lid on the My K-cup to the full position / stop. I.e. you really have to tighten it all the way or the water will push out the side of the lid and not through the coffee and out the bottom. Give it a try. Tighten the lid till you feel it hit the stops. Good luck!

Jul 07, 2010
Lack of taste
by: Doug

The optimal temperature to release the flavonoids in coffee is 195-205 degrees F. The Keurig brewers peak at 192 degrees. I use a darker roast with the My K-Cup, which helps a bit, but neither that, nor any of the K-cup varieties I've tried match the flavor from my old Mr Coffee.

Oct 21, 2009
Temperature to low
by: Like it Hot!

I think the problem with my Kuerig is the brewing temperature is just too low, I can suck down the entire cup of coffee immediately after a brew--is there a way to increase the temperature? I buy the premade pods and the strongest brew I can buy and I am not happy with this coffee maker.

Apr 03, 2009
The problem is the time in contact with the beans
by: Cardo

I've tried these systems, but I find the problem lies in the amount of time the water is in contact with the beans - coarse or fine grind. There's literally one hole that blasts through the little tiny K-cup in seconds and that's supposed to make a tasty cup of coffee? I have yet to experience it as they all taste watery.

Apr 03, 2009
grinding to a halt
by: michael d.

"....Mr. D. is quite mistaken in that the SMALLER grind particles will show the increase in terms of both pores available to soak up water and the rate of absorption at which the water soaks into said pores as it takes less time to fully saturate a smaller piece of nearly anything organic...."

Right,, as I said,, the coarser grind will not saturate as fast as the powder,[ finer grind ] allowing the water to pass and flow through the cuplet without backing up or clogging. Sure the coarser grind is somewhat sacrificial but it allows the coffee to brew. It is much like adding sand to fine soil to Increase porosity in this case,, allowing the coffee to brew. When these "organic particles" wet out they swell and lock together now allowing the water to get through so the larger less saturated particles pack a bit less, letting the water pass.

I think finding the perfect grind is the right thing but the mixing of grind size will allow you to use a 'too fine' grind in case say you bought or ground up 5 lbs. of coffee thatis Too fine OR you have a pre ground coffee that you love but it is too fine.

From what I have learned about flavors being extracted from coffee beans it is the first 20% extraction that has the best flavor after that % it is all downhill.. so whatever you get from the coarser grind that Mr Duck says has saturated at a lesser rate / is still contributing to your overall good flavor.

I always thought that Silex brewed coffee was cool,
1. because of the way it sort of defies gravity, and
2. I love the idea that the grounds float freely in the water and you can see the extraction process from clear water to full fledged coffee.....michael d.


Apr 02, 2009
Don't mix your grinds!
by: A. Duck

I'm not familiar with the Keurigs from personal experience so I'll withhold commenting on them specifically and focus my comment more to grinding coffee with a plausible speculation at the end in terms of equipment.

I have to take issue with Micheal D's suggestion even though I will generally concede the point that if one method simply tastes better than another, and it doesn't jack up your equipment, then roll with it and enjoy your now-better tasting cup.

I have never found an instance in which multiple grinds was advised for either a commercial or residential setting. Also, Mr. D. is quite mistaken in that the SMALLER grind particles will show the increase in terms of both pores available to soak up water and the rate of absorption at which the water soaks into said pores as it takes less time to fully saturate a smaller piece of nearly anything organic.

Multiple grinds will give your cup and inconsistent flavor to say the least. The varying particle size will have reached their optimal water contact/extraction time at different time lengths, thus causing this inconsistency. Some smaller particles (or, "fines") will over-extract while you are waiting for the larger ones to fully saturate. Or if you extract too early to favor the smaller grind size, the larger particles will be under-extracted and your cup will still come out tasting wonky.

When your flavor coffee is off, it very nearly always one of the following things:

A) Proportion (water to coffee ratio may be off)

B) Grind (Play with your grind to determine which tastes best without causing hardships on your equipment)

C) Freshness (Fresher coffee is mo' bettah)

D) Water (Coffee is over 98% water, what you put in is what you will get out)

E) Equipment cleanliness (Coffee oil quickly turns rancid and tastes like...rancid coffee. Don't be "that guy")

Having listed all those, I suspect something different. Most residential coffee brewers do not have heating elements large enough to sufficiently heat the water to an optimal or even acceptable brewing temperature that can unlock all those flavors that make us swoon.

I don't know what coffee maker Diana had before but I would suspect that whatever it was, it brewed the water hotter than the Keurig does. This completely explains why she would have gotten flavor before, but not now while changing only the brewing apparatus which is, obviously, a huge change.

Apr 02, 2009
it is in the grind
by: michael d.

here is my suggestion..grind most of your favorite coffee fine.

grind some of it coarse

mix it together,, 4 fine to one coarse

then fill you little cuplets,,,,,

the coarser grind will increase the porosity and absorbability of the brewing coffee ground and it won't clog up or back up and run over....

I tried this when I wanted to use less expensive Latin coffees that are wonderful and much more reasonably price that even regular thin American coffees....and.....I got an abundance of FlaVor...

michael d.

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