Gourmet Single Cup Brewer™ Troubleshooting

The coffee doesn’t brew.

There are several things that can cause the Single Cup Brewer™ to not produce coffee.

  1. The simplest, and easiest to rectify this is to ensure that the water tank is pressed down completely. There is a valve at the bottom of the tank that will not open and allow water to flow through the unit unless the tank is securely seated. Remove the tank lid and press the tank down firmly. There is a notch that is in the top right hand corner of the back of the tank. The bottom of that notch should be about 1/2 an inch below the bottom of the white spout located in the same corner. The tank light should not be blinking on and off and the ‘REFILL TANK’ message should not be visible on the LCD display.
  2. The next step is to make sure that the needles are puncturing the K-Cup™ fully. Take one of the cups, put it in the brew head, and close the head. Wait for a moment then re-open the head and take a careful look, over the sink, at both the top and bottom holes. Are the holes going completely through the container? It could be that the needles are dull and are not fully puncturing the K-Cup™.
  3. Check and see if the water tank light is blinking off and on and if the LCD is displaying the message “REFILL TANK”. If the tank has too little water in it, the ‘BREW’ button will be disengaged and will not allow brewing to occur.
  4. Next is to check for blockage in the needles to assure that water is flowing through and not just getting clogged and going back into the water reservoir. In the needle in the brew head there will be 3 holes on the sides of the needle that need to be cleared with a toothpick, safety pin, or needle. The other needle in the K-Cup Holder basket has only one hole. After clearing these needles run a cycle of just water through the machine to clear the pathways if anything was clogged.
  5. The last check to make is to verify that decalcification is being done to the machine. We recommend using filtered or bottled water with the machine to reduce mineral deposits. However, even using that type of water, the brewer will get mineral deposits. It is recommended that, every 3 months or so for regular use, you decalcify/descale the machine. To do this, fill the water tank with a 50/50 solution of fresh water and white vinegar. Making sure that there are no coffee grounds or K-Cups™ in the brew head, place a large mug or container beneath it and brew through about half of the tank. Once that half-way mark is reached, let the solution sit in the machine for 1 to 2 hours with the machine on. After the 1 – 2 hours, brew through the rest of the solution and dispose of what remains in the tank when it gets too low for brewing. Fill the tank with just fresh water and brew through the entire tank to clean out any left over solution or mineral deposits that were loosened. If it has been some time since the last time the machine was descaled, the solution can be left in over-night and rinsed out the following morning and even then, if preferred, a second solution mix can be done and run through the same way.

Weak Coffee.

Sometimes, the coffee brewed by the Single Cup Brewer™ can come out weak. There are a few ways to make sure that this does not happen.

  • Coffee type – Some of the K-Cups™ are actually a lighter, milder roast of coffee so if you are used to something stronger, these will come out tasting weak, even overly watered down. Try some of the bolder flavors and roasts of coffee available.
  • Coffee Cup Size – Generally the optimal size cup for use with a K-Cup™ is the 8 oz. size. It may be beneficial to use a smaller cup size when brewing which will intensify the flavor of the cup. The more water that flows over the grounds, the less the oils of the grounds can disperse into the water. It works a little like taking a 30 minute shower. At the beginning the water is perfect but by the end, it’s cooled off though no adjustments were made to the temperature. The same with the oils, by the end of 12 oz. of water, there’s not a lot of oils and flavors left so that the end of the coffee brew is weaker, less intense, less flavorful then the beginning of the brew. If the cup size is kept lower then the intense flavor will be the majority of what is in the cup.
  • Number of Uses – Much as the analogy of the shower above talked about weaker coffee coming out in the end, the re-use of K-Cups™ will produce much weaker coffee each use after the first one. The K-Cups are only recommended for 1 use each and are designed to provide the the optimal flavor, aroma, and intensity during that 1 use. Also, re-use of the K-Cup™ can result in quick and thorough blocking of the upper puncture needle in the brew head as the grounds will generally be wet and will clump easier.

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