Keurig Coffee Tastes Burnt, Reasons And How To Improve

Coffee Tastes Burnt

We all love the taste of coffee, and it’s a beverage that we often can’t live without.

Keurig is one of the most common coffee makers, and many people rely on this brand. But, unfortunately, some people have complained that the coffee brewed from Keurig machines tastes burnt. 

Burned coffee is when you brew your coffee, and it tastes like it's burnt. In this article, we're going to talk about the reasons why this happens, what you can do to prevent it and what you can do to make your coffee taste amazing again.

Your Keurig coffee maker is making burnt coffee. What could be the reasons why?

Let’s look at the most common reasons:

Internal Oil Buildup

The first thing that can lead to burnt coffee is internal oil buildup. The residue of previously brewed coffee typically causes this oil accumulation. If you do not clear the oil residue, it will contaminate your Keurig coffee. 

Fortunately, there's an easy fix for this problem. Wipe off the internal surfaces of your Keurig coffee maker with a cloth or paper towel soaked in vinegar. 

You can also use commercial cleaning products specifically designed to remove coffee oils, but vinegar will do just fine.

Use of Stale Coffee Beans

Was your coffee beans bought in bulk? If so, you should not keep them for an extended period. Oxygen, moisture, and light are all harmful to coffee beans. 

What can I do with stale coffee beans?
If you store your coffee in large bags, there's a good chance that some oxygen has already entered the bag, deteriorating some of the quality. 

Most coffee bags are made from a plastic film, which also holds moisture. If your coffee is in one of these bags for a long time without being used, warps and even mould can form. 

Stale coffee is unpleasant to drink; it produces horrible results when brewed. Pour out the old beans and use the freshest ones you can get your hands on.

Improper Coffee Preparation Methods

Another factor that contributes to the burnt taste of your Keurig coffee is the use of over-roasted coffee beans. If the beans are too roasted, your coffee will likely taste like burnt beans. 

As a result, we strongly advise using only freshly roasted coffee beans in your Keurig coffee maker. Another issue could be using too much hot water when brewing coffee because a boiling temperature of the water can eventually contribute to the burnt flavour of your coffee. 

Thus, it’s essential to use only the amount of water suggested in your Keurig’s instructions manual when brewing your coffee.

You’re Using Too Little Coffee Beans

The Keurig machines brew only one cup of coffee at a time. If you’re using too little coffee beans, then you may get a cup of Keurig coffee with a burnt taste. 

One first step to fixing this problem is to measure how many coffee beans you need for each batch of coffee. Do not exceed the recommended amount on the package, as you can destroy your coffee maker.

Improper Cleaning

The last reason why your coffee tastes burnt is improper cleaning. If you wait too long to clean your Keurig coffee maker, it may start to accumulate mould, dirt, and oil. 

It's best to take this Keurig coffee maker apart once in a while and wash it with mild dishwashing soap. You can also use a diluted vinegar solution for deep cleaning. Make sure that you rinse all the soap from the Keurig machine thoroughly.

Better brews with Keurig

There are a lot of ways to improve your Keurig coffees:

Use Quality Coffee Beans

Does quality of coffee beans matter?

Using fresh, quality coffee beans is essential when using a Keurig coffee maker. Coffee beans that are too oily or stale will produce bad cups of coffee and even build up inside the machine’s internal parts, resulting in an unpleasant aftertaste. 

Clean the Keurig Coffee Maker

By cleaning your Keurig coffee maker with a small amount of vinegar and warm water to remove any oils and residue, you can change its taste instantly. If you want to clean it, then use dishwashing liquid. 

However, if it is too much for you to do the whole thing simultaneously, clean the removable parts with a damp cloth and dry them with a paper towel. 

When you use a paper towel, avoid using the one you have used to clean up any grease or oil on the surface of your machine. You can soak the removable parts in a cleaner solution if you have time. 

Temperature of Water

The temperature of the water is critical when making coffee. If it is not hot enough, the coffee will taste colder than it usually would and may become bitter from over-extraction and under-extraction. 

Likewise, if it is too hot, the coffee will taste burnt or raw and may result in a painful or wet aftertaste. To get the ideal temperature for your Keurig coffee maker, you should use a thermometer. 

However, there are on-off Keurig models with a built-in thermometer, which is an easy way to get the right temperature.

Using Reusable K-cup

How much coffee do you put in a reusable K-cup?

The most effective way to increase the quality of your Keurig coffees is to start using Reusable K-cups. These K-cups are made from stainless steel, and they retain their taste even after thousands of brews. It means you won’t have to worry about the taste becoming bitter or burnt.

Preheat the Machine for Better Flavour

Many Keurig coffee makers come with a feature that allows you to preheat the machine just before making your coffee.

It will increase the quality of your coffee by allowing you to use less water when brewing, which leads to a more successful result. 

However, while preheating is acceptable for everyday use, it is not recommended for specialty brews where precision brewing is essential.

Less Brewing Time

Another way to improve the quality of your Keurig coffees is by reducing the brewing time. The average cup of coffee needs 5-10 minutes of brewing time, depending on how strong you like it and how fresh the beans are. 

If you often run out of coffee, consider reducing this time. It can also help you save on the cost of Keurig coffee bags, as it will allow you to use fewer coffee beans, too.

Select darker roasts

If you’re making your Keurig coffee for the first time, use darker roasts. Darker roasts are less acidic, less bitter, and have a better consistency than lighter roasts.

However, if you want to get the full flavour of the beans, then you should select a medium-dark roast.

Change the Filter

Too much coffee can burn your Keurig coffee maker, so it is essential to change the filters regularly. Keurig recommends changing the filter every month, while some users recommend replacing it every two months or even more. 

If you do not change your filters frequently enough, there's a chance that they will become blocked, preventing airflow and affecting the flavour. Changing your filter also helps keep the machine clean and extends its life.

Use fresh water

You should use fresh water every time you make a cup of coffee with your Keurig machine. Using too old or too dirty water can affect the taste of your coffee. 

For example, if the water is stale or complicated, it may build up inside your machine and affect the taste of your Keurig coffee. You should use filtered water for better-tasting coffee.

How to repair your Keurig

If you have a Keurig coffee maker that malfunctions or burns, repairing it can be an excellent option for coffee lovers. However, there are some things you should know before you do:

Follow the instructions

Although Keurig has provided some troubleshooting tips, if your machine is in a burnt state, then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the best type of repair kit to use. 

In addition, you should consider that you may need additional components when repairing your machine and thus will require purchasing several parts at once.

Clean Up Your Machine

Before you start repairing your Keurig, clean it up properly to remove any dirt and debris from the inside of the machine.

To do this, you will need to take apart the components of your device and use a kitchen washing liquid or a solution of vinegar and warm water to clean them thoroughly. 

Pay extra attention to the rubber gaskets, as they are essential components of your Keurig, and you do not want to damage them.

Replace the Power Cord

If your Keurig is not turning on, it may be due to a faulty power cord. It can be dangerous and cause fire or electric shocks.

To fix this issue, you will need to identify which model your Keurig belongs to and find a new power cord for that type. You can replace most power cords within half an hour. 

Replace the Water Tank

If your Keurig is not heating water, this could be due to a faulty water tank or some blockage in the machine.

How much does it cost to replace water tank?
To check for blockages, make sure that all filters are clean and free of debris and there are no coffee grounds stuck in any filters or holes.

How do you stop coffee from tasting burnt?

Just shut off the machine immediately and unplug it. If your Keurig water tank is broken, you will need to replace it. You can find a new water tank kit online or at local retailers.

How do I get rid of the nasty taste in my Keurig?

Rinse the water tank with warm water. Then, repeat the cleaning process by emptying and rinsing the tank again with vinegar and water or a solution of warm water and vinegar.

To make sure you have removed all contaminants from your Keurig, repeat this process until you are satisfied with the result.

Are you supposed to shake K-cups?

Most Keurig K-cups are not designed to be shaken or stirred, so you should try not to do it. However, if you want your coffee with a lot of foam, then shaking the K-cup will give it more of the kick that you want.

How often should you change Keurig filter?

Regardless of the model, you should change the filter every few months. Keurig recommends changing the filter every three to six months, but users have reported that it is essential to do it even more often.

In fact, if you use dirty water or make coffee more frequently than other people, you should change your filter on a monthly basis. Using a dirty filter can lead to problems such as leaks and the burnt taste of coffee.

Why should I not use distilled water in my Keurig?

You should not use distilled water in your Keurig. Distilled water does not have the minerals required for brewing coffee properly, so it will not make the coffee taste as fresh as freshwater would.

If you use distilled water, you can get mineral deposits inside your machine and damage its internal components. It will also shorten the lifespan of your Keurig coffee maker.

How do you make Keurig coffee taste like a latte?

Use a dark roast K-cup, add two ounces of half and half (or non-dairy creamer), and then pour the hot water into your mug.

To get a steamed milk foam, you will need to use a frothing wand or milk steaming machine.

Which K-cup coffee is the least bitter?

The Caribou blend has the least bitter taste, which makes it ideal for espressos. Similarly, Sumatra and French roast are also less bitter than many other K-cups.

These coffee flavors are available in all coffees from Keurig machines, including specialty coffees, flavored blends, additive-free coffee, and decafs.

Why does my Keurig coffee taste metallic?

You may be using water with a high mineral content or water that is very hot for brewing. Another reason is that you are using an old filter.


The Keurig is a great machine to have, especially if you are in the market for an affordable coffee machine.

However, like any other product on the market, it has problems and can malfunction if not properly cared for. 

So, you can follow the tips above and have a perfect cup of coffee every time. As long as you strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions and know-how to fix any issues that arise on your Keurig, it will serve you for a very long time.

Avoid burnt coffee for life - follow these tips to make the best coffee possible!

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