Why Does Keurig Coffee Taste Watery?

Keurigs are conventional single-serve coffee machines known for their efficiency and speed. However, Keurig does have some occasional flaws and annoying occurrences, and many people who use a coffee maker with K-cup complain that coffee tastes a little watery or weak.

Why Keurig makes a weak coffee? 

Keurig prepares weak or watery coffee due to a variety of factors such as your machine being dirty, the brewing temperature, the brewing time, coffee pods, using too much water, etc.

So, in this article, we will discuss why Keurig coffee tastes watery, the reasons and how to fix them.

Keurig watery coffee

4 reasons why is your Keurig making weak coffee

As described earlier, there are many reasons behind Keurig’s watery coffee. We have to knock this problem step by step.

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

Check your machine for any dirt buildup in the machine if using the machine for a longer period of time. Dirt buildup will cause blockage and ultimately lead to brewing weaker coffee.

This also causes blockages and leakages inside the Keurig machine

How to clean the Keurig coffee machine? 

For cleaning, you can use manual instruction, or you can simply download the manual from Keurig’s official website. Here are some general instructions and tips for cleaning your machine.

  1. First, turn off the power. 
  2. Take the pod holder out by lifting the handle and pulling the pod holder out from the top.
  3. Rinse the exterior portion with warm soapy water
  4. Clean the water reservoir with a soft cloth. 
  5. Proceed with the descaling process.
  6. Pour Keurig descaling solution or distilled white vinegar into the water reservoir and run a descaling cycle.
  7. Run the machine several times with fresh filtered water without K-cups to remove unwanted odors. 

Here are detailed instructions for descaling every Keurig model

How often should you clean your Keurig machine?

To prevent scale buildup, it is recommended to descale your machine once every 3-6 months. 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 prevent water from flowing into the k-cup, resulting in watery 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 take it away from the machine.
  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 observe two holes for the needles that need to be cleaned
  7. Insert the paper clip or sewing needle in the hole 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 overall efficiency. There is no surprise as the brewed coffee contains over 90% 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 when brewing coffee enhances 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 for 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.

Is your Keurig coffee not hot enough? Check out for a complete solution guide

5 tips to get rid of watery Keurig coffee

Here we discuss 5 methods by which you can make your Keurig coffee less watery.

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 for normal drip coffee is somewhere between 1:15 to 1:20 (it’s subjective).

That means a standard k-cup is only capable of producing rich and robust 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.

2) Pull out the coffee mug at the right time

If you hate watery Keurig coffee try pulling out the coffee cup without waiting for the last few drops.

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

You should pull out the coffee once it stops brewing. Do not wait for that extra drops!

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. The strong button will help you to make a strong version of coffee and make it less watery.

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.

The strong brew feature will also make the taste of Keurig coffee a little bitter. So, if you are entirely against bitterness Don’t use it.

4) use Dark roast coffee pods

If you are frustrated because of the weak Keurig coffee then you might be using light coffee pods.

I recommend you start using dark-roasted coffee pods with rich and intense flavors.

Some of my recommendations are:

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.

But 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.

Keurig machine Reviews

Final Thoughts on Keurig Watery Coffee

So now you are well aware of all the reasons why you are ending up with Keurig watery coffee. One of the most prominent causes is your machine is dirty.

Proper cleaning and maintenance not only prolong the life of your machine but also maintains the flavors and taste of your brew.

I have also listed 5 tips to get rid of weak Keurig coffee. You must be excited to follow these tips and I am sure you will get the best results.

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.