Can I Use Tap Water in My Keurig?


If you’re an average Joe just like the rest of us, you’re probably using tap water to brew coffee in your Keurig machine. But is it OK to use tap water in a Keurig? Is there a better way to brew coffee that is tastier, without using tap water?

The truth is that tap water running through your Keurig machine every day could cause it to become useless much quicker than normal. Not only that, but tap water also has a negative effect on the way your coffee tastes.

For those who don’t know, water is (besides the coffee itself) the most important ingredient to making your cup of java. Your cup of coffee is made of 98% water. Water is also the solvent for your coffee grounds. There are roughly 1500 compounds for flavor and aroma in your coffee, and the water you use is responsible for absorbing those compounds and defining how the final cup will taste.

Now, the specifics of water and coffee get very complicated. There is a lot of debate over what the exact mineral content should be for the perfect cup of coffee. A small mineral content is definitely preferable for a flavorful cup of coffee. But too many minerals are not a good thing at all. The one thing everyone does agree on is that tap water is not ideal to use.

What Kind of Water Should You Use in a Keurig?

If not tap water, then what kind of water should you be using in your Keurig? The consensus is that filtered water is better for brewing coffee. This is because filtered water will eliminate the unwanted minerals from being in your coffee. This holds true for all models from the K Mini to the K Duo maker.

Another suggestion is that you used distilled bottled water – though this of course is wildly expensive. Nobody can afford to just keep buying bottles of distilled water along with Keurig K-Cups. Plus, the Keurig 2.0 versions of machines have sensors inside them that don’t like distilled water. You cannot used distilled water with Keurig 2.0!

At the bare minimum, stop using tap water and start using filtered water in your Keurig machine. It will make your coffee taste better, the coffee machine will probably last a lot longer, and you can tell your friends about it and become a coffee snob.

Also see: Can Keurig Make Tea?

Why Should You Not Use Distilled Water in a Keurig?

Distilled water is perfectly fine for ordinary Keurig machines, meaning every type of coffee brewer that is not 2.0. Keurig 2.0 coffee machines come included with specialized sensors which detect mineral content in the water you pour into the water reservoir.

Here’s what happens when you use distilled water in a Keurig 2.0. The sensor doesn’t read the water and your machine gives you an error message. Your machine literally won’t think there’s any water inside of it because distilled water doesn’t have any mineral content.

In short, you have to use filtered water or bottled water with your Keurig 2.0. Distilled water literally won’t work.

Is Tap Water Bad for Keurig?

Believe it or not, tap water is bad for everything that you put it in. Tap water is known as “hard water.” This is because it has such high concentrations of minerals that the water can wreak havoc on everything you put in. Tap water can clog washing machines, dishwashers, the ice machine inside your refrigerator, and so much more.

When you put tap water through your Keurig machine, the mineral deposits will eventually cause the moving pieces inside the machine to become stuck or clogged. This is what descaling is all about. Descaling is the process of removing the congested minerals stuck to the inside of your coffee machine.

While most Keurig coffee makers come with a removable water reservoir, some have a dedicated water line that will only take tap water. These office machines need constant descaling.

If you must use tap water, be sure that you descale your machine frequently. If you keep good care of your Keurig and make sure to clean it before any mineral deposits can grow, it will last a lot longer. If you use tap water frequently and never clean the machine, it will stop working faster and cause your coffee to taste worse quicker.

Is a Water Filter Necessary for Keurig?

We know that tap water is awful for brewing coffee. We also know that distilled water doesn’t work with Keurig 2.0. If you’re not interested in purchasing huge quantities of bottled water for brewing coffee, regardless of how much better your coffee would taste, the next best thing is to use a water filter.

Some Keurig coffee makers have water filters integrated into them. These filters need to be changed every one or two months. But you can also purchase an external filter and filter your tap water before pouring it into your machine.

By filtering all your water before use, your Keurig will last longer and your coffee will taste significantly better.

home > Quick Questions > Can I Use Tap Water in My Keurig?

Evelyn J Stafford

Evelyn is a Coffee enthusiast and writer for Wins Coffee Bar. Her work has appeared in Bean Scene, The Home Kitchen and other publications.

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