K-Cup Counsel For Newbies: 4 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Single-Serve Coffee Experience

Are you new to K-cup coffee making? If you own a coffee machine that utilizes the pre-pack coffee pods, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the little "tricks of the trade" many coffee aficionados live by. These helpful tricks may help you produce a better cup of coffee, save you cleanup time in the kitchen and prolong the life of your coffee machine. Next time you prepare your coffee creation, think outside the K-cup box and take a tip from the experts:

1. Prep Your Machine

How do you prep a single-serve coffee machine? Simply by preheating the unit with hot water. Do this before adding your K-cup pod. Why should this be done? There are a couple of reasons for preheating your coffee machine, and it's a simple process.

Running hot water through your coffee machine will help clean it and rid the interior of residue and stuck-in coffee grinds, both of which can impact the taste of your coffee. After running the hot water through the machine, you might want to empty it into your coffee mug. This will help heat up your mug or cup, helping contribute to a better taste experience rather than drinking your freshly brewed coffee from a cold coffee mug. After emptying the hot water into your mug and letting it sit for a moment, discard the water. Now place your K-cup pod into the brew basket and you're ready to make coffee.

2. Give Your K-cup a Punch

This little trick is known as pre-punching the coffee pack. Simply place your K-cup in the brew basket of your coffee machine as usual. However, before closing the basket lid, gently press your finger down on the K-cup to puncture the bottom. You should hear a faint pop as you do, and this will let you know it's been punctured. Pre-punching or puncturing the K-cup will help prevent clogs inside the brew basket, making it easier to clean.

3. Go Bold

Are you looking for a stronger cup of coffee than offered with the standard K-cup pod? Try this "cheat hack": Double up by placing your K-cup inside an empty pod. Doing so gives you a bit more flavor or boldness. How so? The empty (used) pod still retains some of the aroma and flavor from the previous coffee grinds, thereby packing an additional "punch". You might also brew a smaller cup of coffee with a coffee pack labeled as "bold" or "dark roast." Since there is more coffee in each bold pack, brewing a smaller cup will produce a stronger flavor.

4. Remove Calcium Deposits and Scale in Your Machine Periodically

As you use your machine repeatedly, limescale will need to be removed. K-cup coffee tastes better when there are no scale and calcium deposits inside your machine. Additionally, descaling every few months helps you maintain and prolong the life of your machine. You may want to use descaling solution from your dealer to do this properly.

If your brewer has a removable reservoir, pour the descaling solution inside. Next, fill the empty descaling solution bottle with fresh tap water and pour it inside the reservoir. Simply do a "clean brew" by turning on the unit and selecting the "brew" button. You may have to repeat the process a few times in order to rid your machine of all buildup. When you are through with this process, be sure to clean the reservoir with a gentle detergent that is non-abrasive to prevent scratching.

Alternatively, consider buying the brewer cleaning cups made for single-serve coffee machines. They are easy to use and won't alter the flavor of your coffee by leaving a scent behind. Check out a shop like 11th Street Coffee for more information.