why is Keurig making watery coffee and Tips to fix it!

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Johny Morrisson

Keurigs are conventional single-serve coffee machines known for their efficiency and speed. However, many users complain that Keurig makes watery or weak coffee.

There are several reasons Keurig makes weak coffee, including using large brew sizes, having a dirty machine, using low brewing temperatures, or using light coffee pods, etc.

The fact is Keurig Coffee will always be weaker compared to French Press or Espresso but it doesn’t have to be completely tasteless. So, in this article, I will discuss how to fix Keurig Watery Coffee and brew decent drinks out of it.

Keurig watery coffee

4 reasons why is your Keurig making weak coffee

The first issue is your machine might be dirty, if you have a new Keurig machine, you can skip these usual maintenance-related issues.

1) Your Machine Is Dirty

Keurig coffee can become watery and weak if the machine isn’t descaled regularly. The mineral buildup from hard water will cause clogging inside the machine over time. This prevents the full extraction and brewing of the coffee grounds, resulting in a diluted cup of coffee.

This also causes blockages and leakages inside the Keurig machine

Here’s a step-by-step process for descaling the Keurig machine.

  1. First, turn off the power. 
  2. Lift the handle, pull the pod holder out from the top, and clean it properly.
  3. Rinse and Clean the removable parts i-e the water reservoir and the drip tray.
  4. Proceed with the descaling process.
  5. Pour Keurig descaling solution or distilled white vinegar and water into the water reservoir and run a descaling cycle.
  6. After descaling, run the machine several times with fresh filtered water without K-cups to remove unwanted odors. 

I have prepared a detailed guide on cleaning every aspect of the Keurig Machine

How often should you clean your Keurig machine?

It is recommended to descale your machine once every 3-6 months to prevent scale buildup. Also, make a habit of cleaning your machine daily after brewing coffee.

2) The needles of the Keurig machine are clogged

Another reason for the watery Keurig coffee is clogged needles. Keurig has a needle on top of a machine specifically designed to pierce K cups.

Blockage in the upper needle will obstruct the flow of water, resulting in weak coffee due to under-extraction.

This also causes the problem of Keurig not being able to brew a full cup of coffee.

How to Clean the Keurig Needles

  1. Remove the water reservoir and turn off the machine.
  2. Tightly grab the edges of the pod holder and pull it out.
  3. Now, remove the funnel from the pod holder.
  4. Straighten one end of a paper clip or sewing needle and move it around in a circle a few times inside the hole of the pod holder.
  5. Also, clean the pod holder and funnel by rinsing them with water.
  6. Now for the top needles, open the head and look beneath. You will find a needle with two holes.
  7. Insert the paper clip or sewing needle in the holes and gently move it around to remove any clogged particles.

3) Using unfiltered water

The quality of water greatly influences your coffee machine’s taste and efficiency. There is no surprise as the brewed coffee contains over 98% water.

If you use tap water in the Keurig machine then make sure to install a water filter in the reservoir and use tap water only if it is drinkable.

Additionally, usage of unfiltered water causes scale buildup in your machine over time and causes maintenance issues.

Using filtered water improves the taste and aroma of your coffee and helps you get the right flavors from the grounds.

Read a detailed guide on What’s the best water to use in Keurig

4) your machine is not hot

This is the most common reason for Keurig’s watery coffee. Especially if you live in colder environments.

The internal pipeworks of the machine become cold as the temperature of the surroundings drops. Cold water lines result in a significant temperature drop, which makes it impossible to extract flavors from coffee grounds.

So what can you do to counter this situation? Simply run a hot water cycle without inserting the pod.

This will not only heat up the machine but also clean the remains of the previous brew.

If you have an advanced Keurig model (Supreme or Elite) that lets you control the temperature. Then always brew at the highest temperature settings.

Check out the guide if your Keurig is not getting hot enough

5 tips to get rid of watery Keurig coffee

Here are 5 methods to make your Keurig coffee stronger and more flavorful

1) Use the smallest brew size

Most Keurig models have five different cup sizes 4,6,8,10, and 12 oz.

And you must note that whether you push the 4oz or 12oz button the amount of coffee grounds in the K-cup will remain the same.

So what’s the key takeaway here?

Yeah, you are right! Use smaller brew sizes for a stronger cup of coffee.

Additionally, I think greater than 8oz serving in a Keurig machine is just useless. If you are brewing a 10 or 12-oz cup of coffee with a standard-size K-cup there is no doubt you will end up with a watery coffee.

A standard K-cup has around 9-12 grams (0.3-0.4 oz) of coffee grounds and the ideal ratio of coffee grounds to water according to National Coffee Association is somewhere between 1:15 to 1:20 (it’s subjective).

That means a standard K-cup is only capable of producing rich and strong coffee with a serving size of 5 to 7 oz.

So, if you are craving a larger mug of coffee then brew two 4 oz or 6 oz sizes instead of one large 12oz size.

Use smallest Keurig cup size

2) Make your Pull out Game Stronger

If you hate watery Keurig coffee make sure to pull out your coffee mug on time and don’t wait for the last few drops.

The reason is last few drops coming out of the coffee maker are primarily water. Since the coffee grounds had already extracted all the flavorful compounds in the beginning.

You should pull out the coffee once the normal continuous flow stops. Do not wait for those extra drops at the end since they are just water!

3) Use the strong button feature

Not all Keurig machines have this function. If your machine has this function make use of it.

Simply push the strong button on your Keurig or run the machine on the strongest settings.

This feature actually slows the brewing process down. In this way, the water and coffee grounds receive more contact time, which increases the extraction of flavors and makes the coffee stronger.

4) Use dark roast coffee pods

Always choose dark roast k cups for making a strong cup of coffee with Keurig. The reason is brewing time in Keurig machines is typically very short and only a strong dark roast can extract full flavors in that little time.

Dark roast pods simply have more intense, toasty, bitter notes packed into the grounds and extract flavors more quickly.

Don’t get me wrong – medium and light roasts have their place But they are not well suited for the faster Keurig brewing process as they mostly remain under-extracted.

Some of my recommendations are:

Checo Out Strongest K cups

5) Grind your own beans

I know you have bought a Keurig machine because of the convenience it offers. But that convenience comes at the cost of weaker and less flavorful cups of coffee.

If you really want a fresh and flavorful cup of coffee from the Keurig machine and you are willing to go the extra mile. Start buying whole-bean coffee and grinding them just before brewing.

You can buy reusable k cups and start using coffee grounds to brew coffee.

I know this sounds like a lot of hassle but you have to do it if you want ultimate freshness and strength.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our guide on troubleshooting weak or watery coffee from your Keurig machine.

For Stronger coffee, Always make sure you are using dark roast coffee pods. Adjust the brew size to be less water for a more concentrated cup. Preheat the machine by running a hot water cycle first. Descale regularly as well to keep internal components working properly.

I hope with these tips you are able to achieve a full-flavored and strong coffee from your Keurig that is not watery or weak.

If you have any other advice for extracting the best quality drink from a Keurig, please share it in the comments section below.

Also Read: How to make Espresso-like coffee with Keurig

If you have tried all the methods above and still you are finding your coffee watery then you have to switch your coffee maker. These comparisons might help you out.

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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