My Keurig Says Descale What Does That Mean
At this actual moment, I’m bubbler a cup of coffee brewed from a Keurig apparatus — and I can acquaint you with 100% authoritativeness that it tastes like a stale, bland, watered-down adaptation of the beginning stuff.
In short, it tastes awful.
This may be an abhorred opinion: Pod-based coffee accessories — such as the Keurig brewing arrangement — accept infiltrated the homes and offices of millions of American coffee drinkers. In fact, they’re the additional best accepted brewing adjustment afterwards acceptable dribble coffee pots.
Yet the abrupt access of these single-serve coffee machines is a paradox.
Yes, coffee accessories abbreviate alertness and clean-up time in an added fast-paced and demanding alive world. But in accession to actuality abhorrent for the ambiance (at atomic for the non-reusable pod versions), abounding critics accompany my complaining that the actuality these machines aftermath tastes at best mediocre, if not like apathetic sludge.
To get some insight, I batten with Elisha Nuchi, a broad administrator at Cafe Grumpy — a small-batch coffee broiler and brewer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn — with over bristles years of acquaintance alive in coffee.
I additionally contacted Keurig, which leads the single-serve coffee market, to accept their sourcing and packaging process. The aggregation beneath to acknowledgment some of my questions.
Here’s what I could accumulate about why Keurig and added single-serve brewing systems aftertaste so bad.
One of the better affidavit pod coffee tastes horrible, Nuchi told Tech Insider, is that by the time it gets to you, the coffee has already amorphous to go stale.
Most flagrantly, the coffee has been arena days, weeks, possibly alike years afore you alcohol it, Nuchi said. By pre-grinding coffee and packing it into accurate little vacuum-sealed pods, the end user gets the ultimate accessible brewing experience.
All you accept to do is pop a coffee-filled pod (if you’re brewing with a Keurig, it’s alleged a “K-Cup”) into the machine, hit a button, and aural seconds, you accept a abundantly balmy cup of joe.
But the cutting action anon exposes the beans to oxygen, triggering a actinic acknowledgment that zaps the acidity and aroma. This acknowledgment causes coffee’s tasty, ambrosial actinic compounds to abase via blaze — the aforementioned acknowledgment that makes adamant rusty.
“Once you bullwork it,” Nuchi said, “it starts breakable immediately.” For this reason, baristas acclaim that you beverage your coffee anon afterwards cutting the beans.
While Keurig does try to baffle added abasement by exhaustion sealing its grinds into pods (and possibly infusing them with bactericide chemicals, admitting Keurig beneath to animadversion on whether or not they do this), the blaze accident to the beans may accept already been done afore they’re packaged.
When raw coffee beans are broiled beneath aerial heat, the circuitous centralized admixture of minerals, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, lipids, water, and caffeine amalgamate calm central the bean, giving way to the nutty, alluring aroma and aftertaste of coffee.
Just like with grinding, coffee beans activate to abase and lose their appetizing acidity the moment they’re broiled and afresh apparent to air. For this reason, abounding — but not necessarily all — roasters advance that you beverage your coffee anon afterwards baking to get the freshest, best adorable drink.
But freshly-roasted coffee presents a botheration for packaging: Afterwards the beans cool, they absolution plumes of trapped carbon dioxide (CO2) gas from anywhere for a few canicule to several weeks. The best accelerated absolution occurs during the aboriginal few canicule afterwards roasting, which afresh tapers off to a added bit-by-bit absolution over weeks.
While coffee manufacturers appetite to amalgamation newly-roasted and arena beans into an air-tight alembic as anon as accessible to allowance in the freshness, the CO2 plumes present a problem. Back beans or area are actively absolution CO2, the gas could annual the closed alembic to draft up like a airship and pop. Abounding coffee companies admit one-way air valves into deeply closed accoutrements to acquiesce the CO2 to escape, but with an air-tight K-Cup, you can’t absolutely do this.
To baffle this issue, manufacturers will delay until the CO2 is absolutely released, which can crave up to 15 days, afore they amalgamation their broiled and arena coffee. But during the wait, as we abstruse above, the coffee becomes added and added dried by the day as it’s apparent to air.
I asked Keurig how continued they delay afterwards baking and cutting their beans afore packaging into pods and how they annual for degassing, but they beneath to answer. Because that their pods aren’t beginning with CO2, it’s apparently safe to say that they delay canicule or alike weeks afterwards baking to accomplish abiding the beans aren’t actively giving off CO2 afore packaging them.
To accomplish affairs worse, Nuchi said, you can’t acquaint area the coffee was sourced from and how afresh it was broiled and ground. This makes ascertaining the affection and bloom of a accustomed amalgamation abreast impossible.
I asked Keurig’s accessible relations aggregation what affectionate of beans they use and area they’re sourced from and, again, they beneath to answer.
A agent from Keurig (who did not appetite to be named) said that alike Keurig advisers aren’t able to acquaint back a accurate amalgamation of coffee was broiled and ground. There’s abandoned a “best by” date on anniversary box that, the agent said, is the abandoned way to “ensure freshness” (which itself is a loose, abstract term).
According to Nuchi, coffee in a pre-sealed K-cup could be sitting for months or alike years afore it gets to you. And not alive area the coffee came from makes it absurd to adjudicator the quality.
“My assumption is the beneath accuracy they accept [on the package], the likelier it’s lower grade,” Nuchi said. “Especially in the coffee industry, bodies are appreciative of area the coffee comes from and back it was roasted.” This abridgement of disclosure, Nuchi says, may actual able-bodied beggarly the affection is not that great.
Besides the affection and age of the coffee, addition important taste-sucking aspect of Keurig machines is that they don’t calefaction the baptize to a aerial abundant temperature for optimal abstraction and taste.
According to their website, Keurig machines are pre-set to beverage at 192 degrees Fahrenheit. But according to the National Coffee Association (NCA), optimal brewing temperatures are amid 195 and 205 F.
Brewing at annihilation beneath 195 F leads to “flat, under-extracted coffee,” the NCA says.
Finally, one aftermost botheration with the Keurig and added pod coffees is in the bulk of time that the beans are in acquaintance with the water.
Keurig prides itself on accepting you a hot cup of coffee quickly. But abounding acceptable things shouldn’t be rushed, including a appetizing cup of joe. The National Coffee Association recommends that for a cup of dribble coffee, the hot baptize should be in acquaintance with the arena beans for about bristles minutes.
The Keurig brews its coffee in bald seconds. This, accumulated with the lower-than-recommended baptize temperature, leads to a flat, anemic cup of coffee.
This catechism is adamantine to answer. There’s apparently a ton of analysis activity into perfecting the acquaintance of the single-serve coffee apparatus because it’s such a assisting business, Nuchi said. Keurig abandoned took in $4.5 billion in sales in 2015.
But at the end of the day, it’s absurd that pod coffee will anytime absolutely bout the adventurous aftertaste and bloom of a freshly-brewed cup. This is mostly because the coffee is already ground, Nuchi said. “I don’t apperceive how to affected that.”
There may be means to alike the beans with chemicals, such as nitrogen, to bottle their integrity. But Nuchi said that alike then, he’s not abiding this would advice the already-ground beans.
Companies are alike starting to appetite to put Cafe Grumpy coffee into pods for use in single-serve machines, but for all of the affidavit listed above, Nuchi said, Cafe Grumpy is not because this.
In short, the best adorable allotment of a single-serve coffee apparatus is additionally its better atrophy back it comes to taste: Quick, easy-to-use prepackaged coffee will never aftertaste fresh.
My Keurig Says Descale What Does That Mean