If you’re a self-proclaimed coffee snob, you’re probably only drinking Keurig coffee due to extenuating circumstances. Such as, you’re in caffeine withdrawal while at a non-coffee lover’s house, or something terrible happened to your French press (our condolences) and this emergency inspired you to rescue the Keurig you got for Christmas from your regift closet. Indeed, most avid java drinkers think K-cup coffee isn’t strong enough, according to the blog Coffee Dorks. The brew just tends to be tepid and weak. This is because, among other reasons, for optimal results, coffee grinds should brew with water between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for at least five minutes, and Keurigs are set to brew at 192 degrees and take seconds to brew (per Business Insider).
Having a good, strong cup of K-cup coffee isn’t impossible, though, with a few tweaks to your Keurig routine. First thing’s first: Remember that the bigger the cup, the more watered down the coffee will be. Also make sure you’re choosing bold flavored K-cups. Still, these options aren’t going to rival freshly roasted whole beans, in flavor or intensity. But don’t give up hope!
You can hack your Keurig to brew stronger coffee
If you’re feeling McGyver-ish, or are truly desperate for strong joe, or both, you can actually go beyond the brew settings and the K-cup flavor choices and hack your machine to increase the heat and intensity of the brew. One simple trick to pre-heat the machine is to run plain water through it for one cycle, then brew your own cup, as pre-warmed water extracts more coffee flavor (per Thrillist). Another hack, suggested by cookbook author Mark Bittman, requires using two pods per cup. Fill the water reservoir with only half the water required for a cup, and insert your K-cup, then fill the water halfway again and brew your second pod. “This makes coffee that is precisely twice as strong as usual,” Bittman noted in Medium, but he admits it is “still not strong enough.”
Ready to take things to the advanced level? You can grind your own fresh beans, avoiding the problem of K-cup coffee being a bit stale (who knows how long it’s been sitting around), and put them in a reusable K-cup. You’ll need to know exactly how many grams of freshly ground coffee to use in each pod to accomplish this, so first, you’ll want to cut open a disposable K-cup, weigh the grounds, then use that amount in each reusable cup (via National Post).
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