When it comes to weighing the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing a Keurig Brewing System, the same questions seem to pop up over and over. "How does the coffee taste?" "Isn't there a lot of waste with all of those K-Cups?" And if you already own a Keurig, you might be wondering, "How do I clean this thing?" Or perhaps you're thinking, "I wish my coffee was just a little hotter."
Having owned a Keurig for many years, I can tell you that all of these thoughts and more have crept through my mind at one time or another. Luckily, I've been able to find solutions for many of my challenges, so I thought it might be useful for some of you if I shared them in one spot. So if you've been questioning, "What's the best way to save money on K-cups?" and more, read on.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Keurig
Note that I'm only sharing simple and useful ways to improve the coffee made with your Keurig brewer. I'm not an advocate for any Keurig hacks that have the potential to harm your brewer in any manner.
1. How to brew a stronger cup of coffee in your Keurig
The best solution to weak Keurig coffee is to double up on your K-Cups. Brew two K-cups on the lowest water setting into one cup -- so for my brewer, that would be two K-Cups each with the 4-oz. setting. The drawback to this solution is that it's extraordinarily wasteful and expensive, so you may want to refer to Tip #5 instead.
2. How to make your Keurig-brewed coffee less bitter
A common complaint about Keurig-brewed coffee is that it's slightly bitter. A teeny, tiny pinch of salt (yes, really, but I do mean tiny!) will help balance out the acidity in your brew, making for a smoother cup of coffee. Try it and let me know if you agree!
3. How to brew a hotter cup of coffee in your Keurig
While my husband had me combing the Internet recently in search of how to brew a cooler cup of tea in our Keurig, I prefer my coffee and tea blazingly hot. Unfortunately, there is no temperature adjustment in either direction on the Keurig 2.0 models, a workaround for brewing a hotter cup of coffee is to first dispense a cup of hot water before brewing. This forces the machine to heat up a fresh portion of water, meaning you get the hottest cup of coffee possible.
Tip: Don't dump that hot cup of water! Allow it to cool down, and use it to water your houseplants. In fact, I use any leftover water from my kids' water bottles, etc., for this purpose.
4. How to clean your Keurig 2.0 brewer
Every few months you should clean and descale your Keurig. You'll be amazed at how much better your morning coffee tastes after a good cleaning! You could purchase a bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution to do this... but save your money, and clean it with plain ole white household vinegar!
Start by dismantling any removable parts and washing them in hot soapy water. The fill the water reservoir up with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water. Brew a hot water portion repeatedly until the reservoir is empty. Rinse the water reservoir out well, and then fill it with clean water. Run the hot water cycle again repeatedly until the reservoir is empty to rinse any trace of vinegar out.
5. Save money with a reusable K-Cup filter (save the earth, too!)
Even if you're not brewing two K-Cups for a stronger cup of coffee, using K-Cups day in and day out seems wasteful. With a little persistence, you can search out biodegradable K-Cups, but that still leaves us with another issue... K-Cups are just plain expensive!
When I originally reviewed my Keurig 2.0 a little over a year ago, the number one complaint was that you had to use Keurig-branded K-Cups, and reusable K-Cup filters did not work with the new system. So I was thrilled to spy this Brew & Save Reusable K-Cup which works with the Keurig 2.0 on the shelf at Walmart the other day! Priced at only $4.92, it eliminates the excessive waste while allowing you to brew your favorite ground coffee and saving you a bundle in the process.
Let me break it down for you:
One 16-oz. bag of coffee will make about 55 cups of coffee with the Brew & Save, which translates to about 41 cups for a 12-oz. bag of your favorite Starbucks blend.
- Starbucks Veranda Blend K-Cups (16-ct.), $11.98 = $0.75 per K-Cup
- Starbucks Veranda Blend Ground Coffee (12-oz. bag), $7.48 = $0.18 per K-Cup
That's a pretty significant savings. Am I right?! And it works perfectly -- check it out in the video below.
So there you go -- enjoy your less bitter, stronger, hotter, tastier and cheaper cup of coffee on me tomorrow morning!