Why Does My Keurig Coffee Taste Burnt? (How To Fix It!)

Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Jorian

You’ve had your Keurig coffee maker for a while and suddenly your coffee starts to taste like it’s burnt. Or maybe you just bought a new Keurig coffee maker and the coffee tastes burnt from the start.

There are a few different things that can cause your Keurig coffee to taste burnt. In this article, I’ll cover all the possible causes and solutions for your burnt-tasting Keurig coffee.

Why Does My Keurig Coffee Taste Burnt?

If you use vinegar to clean and descale your Keurig coffee maker, your coffee may taste burnt if you have not rinsed properly. If you use a refillable K-cup, the coffee you use may be too darkly roasted, causing your Keurig coffee to taste burnt. In addition, the heating element in your Keurig coffee maker may be broken.

keurig coffee tastes burnt

Table of Contents

There Is Still Vinegar In Your Keurig Coffee Maker

Many people use white vinegar to clean and descale their Keurig coffee maker. However, if you do not rinse your Keurig sufficiently after cleaning it with vinegar, you may find that some vinegar remains in your coffee maker.

This will result in getting a tiny bit of vinegar in your coffee every time. Vinegar can make your coffee taste burnt or it will just taste gross.

If you have cleaned and descaled your Keurig with vinegar, rinse it with at least a full tank of water. This will ensure that all the vinegar from the descaling process is flushed out.

If you do not want to run the risk of vinegar leaving a bad taste at all, you could consider getting the Keurig Descaling Solution.

Over Roasted Coffee

If you are using a refillable K-cup, it is possible that the coffee you are using is over-roasted and therefore your coffee tastes burnt. This can also easily happen if you roast the coffee yourself.

This usually doesn’t happen when you buy premade K-cups, but if it does happen. You may have purchased a K-cup that is roasted too dark for your taste. In that case, I would just try out some different roasts K-cups until you find one that you like.

over roasted coffee

The Heating Element Is Broken

In some rare cases, it can happen that the heating element of your Keurig coffee maker is broken. Usually, this is when it stops working and you get cold coffee from your coffee maker.

I read somewhere that it can happen that the heater limiter breaks. This causes the heating element to become way too hot. Resulting in too hot water running through the coffee giving your coffee a strange taste.

How To Make Your Keurig Coffee Taste Better?

It may happen that your coffee maker is working properly, you’ve rinsed it out, and you’re not using too darkly roasted beans, but your coffee still tastes burnt or just plain bad. In that case, here are some general things you can do to make your Keurig coffee taste better:

Use a Better Quality K-Cup

The K-cup you use has a lot of influence on the taste of your coffee. Cheaper K-cups usually contain only 11 grams or 0.40 ounces of coffee grounds, while slightly more expensive K-cups contain about 13 grams or 0.46 ounces of coffee grounds.

Because there is less ground coffee to extract from, the coffee will only ever taste good if you use the 6oz button.

The coffee beans used for cheaper K-cups tend to be older and not as strong in flavor. Cheaper K-cups also often use cheap plastic that gives off BPA when hot water is poured through them. BPA is not healthy for you and can cause your coffee to have a plastic taste.

Get a Keurig With a “Strong” Button

Although all Keurig coffee makers basically work the same way. One of the differences between the more expensive Keurig coffee makers is that they have a strong button.

When you press the strong button, the water flows more slowly through the K-cup. This provides more coffee extraction, resulting in a stronger coffee.

Don’t Use The Largest Cup Size Buttons

If you use the largest cup size, your coffee will taste weaker. Because more water flows through the same amount of ground coffee.

When you use a lot of water for the same amount of ground coffee that is really only good for a small cup of coffee, the coffee can also start to taste sour.

different keurig cup sizes

Get a K-Duo

If you want to brew a larger cup or a whole pod instead of a 6 or 8oz coffee every day, consider purchasing a K-duo. The K-duo has the ability to use the entire basket to brew filter coffee.

Because you can use a filter, you can control the amount of coffee and the grind. This also allows you to be sure that the beans are fresh and roasted the way you want them to be.

The K-duo makes it much easier to brew a full coffee pod compared to having to use separate K-cups until you have a full pod.

Keurig Coffee Still Tastes Burnt

If after trying all these things your Keurig coffee still tastes burnt. There may be something else going on that I don’t know about. Your best bet then is to contact Keurig customer service.

They may know of another solution or they may be able to repair your coffee maker or send you a new one if you are still under warranty.


If your Keurig coffee tastes burnt there are a few things that can cause this, To summarize:

  • You didn’t rinse your Keurig coffee maker properly after cleaning it with vinegar
  • You are using over-roasted coffee beans or a K-cup that is too darkly roasted
  • The heating element in your Keurig coffee maker is broken

I hope this article helped you with making your Keurig coffee not taste like a campfire anymore and that you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee now!

Thanks for reading!