Why Does My Keurig Coffee Taste Burnt?

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Does your Keurig coffee taste burnt? If so, you’re not alone. Many complain that their coffee tastes bitter or burned, even when using the right settings. So what’s going on, and how can you fix it?

Two common causes that coffee tastes burnt from your Keurig are that your coffee maker is dirty and oils have built up, or when using a reusable K-CUP filter, the coffee grounds used are bad, or the coffee roast you’ve selected is much too rich for your taste.

Let’s take a look at why your Keurig coffee might taste burnt, and some tips for making sure your coffee always tastes its best.

Coffee Bean Oil Buildup

Despite the practicality of a Keurig and your best efforts, coffee bean oil always manages to find a way to get to places it shouldn’t be. The problem is that it becomes rancid over time when it sticks around and eventually makes its way into your cup.

Sometimes this oil is welcome to help give a fuller flavor to your coffee, such as your local greasy spoon serving pot after pot, but at home, we tend not to clean as often, and the buildup grows foul.

The best solution to get rid of that coffee oil is to clean your Keurig by descaling it and physically clean it by taking it apart. Clean each piece with hot water and vinegar. Make sure you clean the needle well, as this is where most buildup starts.

Your Keurig Is Broken

In some cases, your Keurig may be malfunctioning, and your water is being heated way too hot.

Your Keurig is designed to heat the water to 192°F (89°C), just shy of the ideal 195°F. But water that is over 205°F will over-extract the ground coffee beans and cause them to turn bitter. This may give you a burnt taste when sipping your morning brew.

You could try using a thermometer to check the temperature of your coffee. It will be important to warm your cup beforehand so that the temperature of your mug won’t affect the coffee temperature.

If you don’t have the means to check the temperature, this Keurig problem is probably best dealt with with a Keurig Warranty, and an RMA may be in order.

Your Roast Is Too Dark

If you’ve decided to try a new coffee roast, it’s possible that it’s so bitter that it tastes burnt. Dark roasts and coffees made with Robusta coffee beans can trigger that burnt taste for some people.

On the same note, you might want to double-check your strong setting to make sure that your coffee is being brewed as normal.

Try using a medium or blond roast to see if that helps or not.

Have you been using too much ground coffee in your reusable K-CUP Filter? That’s another way to make a coffee much too strong for your taste.

If you’ve been using the same K-CUPS and brew settings and suddenly your coffee tastes burnt, then you can probably strike this one off the list.

You Have Bad Water

In extreme cases, the tap water you’re using may contain a ton of minerals that affect the way you taste your coffee. I don’t think water left in your Keurig too long would cause taste, but could make it a little less appealing.

High magnesium, calcium, and iron levels in your local water may be responsible for messing up your coffee.

Try flushing your Keurig with regular bottled water, then load it back up with more bottled water and make a cup of coffee as you would normally. Give it a taste and see if that helped.

Final Thoughts

While it’s certainly a bummer to have burnt-tasting coffee in the morning, you might be able to salvage your cup with a little extra sugar or cream to get you by.

Unfortunately, if your coffee still tastes burnt after the ideas I’ve shared here, you’ll probably need to contact customer care or replace your machine.

Written By Justin Micheal

Justin is not just the creator but also an author and editor for KitchenSanity. He does the majority of the cooking at home with his wife. His friends and family look forward to eating his delicious creations, which often leads to many questions about how they can replicate his meals at home. In his writing, he shares his passion and knowledge as a home chef from his kitchen to yours.