Why is Keurig coffee not hot enough?

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Johny Morrisson

There are 3 possible reasons why your Keurig is not brewing as hot coffee as it should be

  • Your Keurig is set at high-altitude mode.
  • Your machine might have Dried coffee grounds or calcium buildup which can decrease the efficiency of the machine.
  • The heating element or water pump of your machine might be malfunctioning.

If your Keurig is not heating the water well enough it doesn’t only give you a cold cup of coffee, but also a very weak and watery taste.

While Keurig brewers will never boil water as hot as traditional drip machines, achieving enjoyable drinking temperatures is possible.

With a few simple tips, you can easily turn up the temperature and get a piping hot coffee drink from Keurig every time.

Why is Keurig Coffee Not Hot Enough

How hot is the water inside the Keurig?

Keurig claims that the water temperature inside their brewers reaches about 192 degrees, which is just shy of the ideal 195-205 degree water temperature recommended for proper coffee extraction.

In my own tests using a thermometer in a Keurig K-Elite model, I found that water temperatures maxed out at 185-190 degrees. While that may be hot enough for some coffee drinkers, it leaves little room for temperature decline.

Fix 1: Rule out the high-altitude settings

Some Keurig models have a high altitude setting and if activated it will lower the water temperature for brewing. For instance, if your Keurig normally brews at 190 degrees, then at the high altitude setting it will brew at around 180 degrees.

The high altitude setting is meant to be used at above 5000 feet altitude.

I have recently encountered this problem with my Keurig K Elite when I accidentally turned on this setting and the K Elite started serving me a lukewarm cup of coffee.

To toggle the high altitude setting in K Elite, press the settings button until the mountain icon appears on the display. Then, use the arrows to turn the setting on or off.

To disable high altitude settings in K Select, power off the machine and press the strong and 8 oz buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds until the light goes out.

Keurig K Elite high altitude settings
The little mountain icon in the display panel shows high-altitude settings

To turn off high altitude settings in other Keurig models you can refer to the manual of your Keurig Model as every model has different settings.

Another solution is to reset the machine

Sometimes after changing the settings, you have to reset the machine due to some internal malware in the machine’s software.

If that’s the problem, resetting the machine will definitely solve your problem.

Simply remove the water reservoir and unplug the machine, leave it for 15-30 minutes and your machine will reset.

Here’s how to reset Keurig coffee makers

Fix 2: Clean and Descale your Keurig

If your Keurig coffee is not as hot as it used to be, most probably your machine is dirty and requires proper cleaning and descaling.

As calcium deposits and coffee grounds build up inside your Keurig, it reduces the efficiency of the heating element, eventually leading to a lukewarm cup of coffee.

The ultimate solution is to clean and descale the machine if you haven’t done it for a while. It is recommended to descale Keurig every 3 months or after 300 cups of coffee.

Here’s how you can easily descale your Keurig machine (It may vary depending on your model).

  • Empty the water reservoir and remove any remaining K-Cups.
  • Mix equal parts of water and descaling solution in the water reservoir (you can also use white vinegar).
  • Start a brew cycle by pressing the largest cup size button, and let the solution run through. Repeat the process until all the solution is drained.
  • Once the descale cycle finishes run 2-3 fresh water brews to rinse the machine.

Here are descaling instructions for every Keurig model

You also need to clean the Keurig needles to remove any accumulated coffee grounds.

For the upper needle, take a paper clip and carefully insert it into the needle holes. Move it around to dislodge any trapped coffee grounds.

Then, remove the K-cup holder and clean the lower funnel thoroughly to remove coffee particles.

Here’s a detailed guide on How to clean a Keurig Coffee Machine

Weird but a working solution

Remove the water reservoir and K cups, Turn the machine upside down, and spank it on the back gently 3-4 times. It is sometimes possible for dried coffee, dust, and dirt to get trapped inside the machine. Spanking will solve this problem.

tips to make Keurig coffee hotter

Keurig brews the coffee at around 190 degrees and by the time coffee reaches your cup, the temperature gets dropped to 165 to 175 degrees.

Here are some of my exclusive tips to get a piping hot cup of coffee from Keurig.

i) Heat Up your Keurig

To heat up your Keurig, turn the machine On and wait for the machine to get ready. Now run the machine without inserting the coffee pod by pressing the largest cup size button.

This simple step warms up the internal components and minimizes temperature drop during actual coffee brewing, resulting in a more satisfying cup.

iI) Pre-heat the cup

While running the pre-heating cycle place your coffee mug on the drip tray to catch the hot water.

This will preheat your coffee mug and there will be very little temperature drop.

The above two tips especially work very well if you live in colder climates.

Some other tips to keep coffee hot for longer

Choose Cups with Small Openings: Choose mugs with smaller openings or use a lid to retain heat; larger openings tend to cool drinks faster.

Use a Cup Warmer: A cup warmer plate keeps your mug hot between sips and they are pretty affordable.

Stainless Steel Travel Mugs Are Ideal: Stainless steel travel mugs with tight-fitting lids maintain coffee’s temperature for hours, making them the best option.

Keurig Model reviews

Final Thoughts

And there you have it – Solutions and Tips to fix Keurig Coffee not hot enough! I hope these hacks help you brew up a hotter cup of joe.

If your coffee is still not brewing as hot as it should be, there may be a problem with the water pump or heating element. When water is not being pumped through the brewer, the heating device shuts off to prevent the coffeemaker from overheating. In that case, you have to consult with a technician or Keurig Customer support.

Check out our guide on if your Keurig isn’t pumping water properly.

Let me know in the comments below if these tips worked or if you have any other hot hacks for getting your Keurig coffee extra steamy and delicious!


Can you just run hot water through a Keurig?

Yes, you can get hot water from your Keurig machine.
Just fill in the water reservoir. Don’t insert any pod into the machine and press the brew button. You will get a cup of hot water.

Can you adjust the temp on a Keurig?

Yes, you can adjust the temperature in advanced Keurig models like K Elite and the Supreme series.
But it is not possible to adjust the temperature in entry-level Keurig models.

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Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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