This post has been a long time coming. Many of us have found success in getting our unruly Keurigs to brew by smacking our machines, cleaning the puncture needles, and more, but how about preventive measures to keep our volatile machine humming and the coffee flowing?
That’s what this little post is about. I’ve found that running water through my brewer, after every couple of K-Cups that I brew, helps flush out coffee grounds.
Fellow Keurig enthusiast Ray Bowman recommends puncturing the bottom of your K-Cup yourself prior to brewing.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Yes, slapping your clogged machine usually works to clear the clog. But, usually at least, you should not have to do this — you can easily prevent the main source of clogs (excepting built up calcification) by relieving the (very common) internal pressure in the cups before starting the brews. I have posted several times on this problem and have just finished a thorough web-search on the issue — found several others who have also noticed this problem, and cured it much the same way I did: just puncture the cups before brewing — VERY easy to do. Just push the cup firmly down onto the lower needle before closing the “clamshell” and puncturing the lid of the K-cup! (emphasis mine) This punctures the cup and relieves the pressure safely, since the lower needle does not puncture the internal filter in the cup.
The upper needle, in contrast, dips directly into the coffee powder, and any internal pressure puffs some of the powder out into the hollow needle itself and/or into the surrounding area. This is an effective clogging process, if the cup has not been de-pressurized! One reason most K-cups are pressurized is that most people do not live at sea-level — at higher elevations, instead. And, atmospheric pressure is substantially less at higher elevations; so their cups will be pressurized by significant amounts. Also, some cups may be pressurized, even at sea level, as the manufacturers might fill the cups using some excess pressure. Make no mistake. this pressurized cup issue is REAL AND COMMON. Others besides me have noted it.
As for me, I had a particularly strong clogging problem (I live at 7000 ft elevation. I typically could not get even a few brews before my machine would clog! This happened about 6 times, within a week, and I was about to return my “piece of junk”. But, I noticed the tightly bulging lids on my K-cups, and the issue became obvious. When I punctured my cups first, the problem instantly disappeared! — never to return, after hundreds of brews! At first, I just used a needle to pre-puncture my cups –until Rob, another contributor here, mentioned that the lower needle passes to the side of the internal filter. So, just pushing the cup down onto the lower needle before closing the cup-holder would safely relieve the internal pressure! This takes less than a second longer than just placing the cup into the recess and closing the holder.
Repeat: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO DOUBT THAT INTERNAL PRESSURE IN THE CUPS IS THE MAJOR CLOGGING ISSUE!! It is up to you to take the utterly minute trouble to relieve that pressure, or very likely suffer far more clogs than otherwise. OR, you might try a new cup style: Kroger brands, perhaps others by now, use an “open” style cup (their “Simple Truth” model). The filter is “bare” — sticks out at the bottom of the cup — so there can be no excess pressure inside the cup. I have been using these lately and they have worked perfectly! — and, with NO failures of the filter, despite its protruding (strong filter, I guess). Note to the site-provider: please place information about the pressure issue at the entry of this site! This is something that should be understood by ALL K-cup users.”
Happy brewing, everyone!