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Brewing Disaster: The Day My K-Cup Exploded

Updated: 25 minutes ago

If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you’ll know it can be quite an unsettling experience. It can take you by surprise and make you worry that your machine is broken.

It also makes a mess that you do not want to clean up first thing in the morning—and let’s not forget that an exploding K-Cup can injure you because it contains hot coffee!

What causes a K-Cup to explode?

Keurig's customer service advises: "If you have a puffy K-cup foil top, the puffiness is caused by a build-up of gas inside the cup. (The tech says that the presence of gas signifies that the beans were freshly ground when the K-cup was filled.) Exploding

K-Cups seem quite common, no matter what brand you use per Keurig".

With that in mind, consider why K-Cups can turn on you and explode.

K-Cup Exploded
K-Cup Exploded

What, Exactly, Is A K-Cup?

It’s important to know what a K-Cup is and how it works so that it will be easier to fix the problem of exploding K-Cups.

A K-Cup is a small plastic cup filled with ground coffee and sealed with a foil lid. It also contains a filter. When you put a K-Cup into your machine, you’ll hear a pop sound when you close the machine, and the brewing process will begin to brew a delicious cup.

The machine punctures the K-Cup’s foil lid to pour hot water over the coffee inside. The hot beverage moves through a paper filter, and a hole located underneath the K-Cup enables this liquid to enter your cup.

During this process, water is pumped through pressurized hoses that enter the machine’s heating chambers to the optimal temperature.

If you end up with an exploding K-Cup that sprays coffee across your kitchen instead of filling your cups with grounds.

Most Common Reasons Why K-Cups Explode

To prevent your K-Cups from exploding in the future, you’ll have to ensure you know why they exploded in the first place! Here are some common reasons for exploding K-Cups so you don’t have to deal with this problem again.


This is from freshly ground coffee that can not degass like a coffee bag with a degass value.

When your machine's needle punctures the K-Cup, the excess air causes pressure inside the cup to build and burst, similar to how a balloon pops.

While you CAN NOT prevent too much air from being in a K-cup due to fresh coffee and no degassing valve like on a coffee bag, you should inspect your K-cups before using them. You can spot that there’s too much air in a K-cup by the fresh coffee, so notice the lid's shape.

If it’s rounded, then it’s packed with gas/air. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it – prevent it from exploding in your machine by poking it with a pin to release some of the air before using it in your coffee machine.


Who knew that altitude could have such an effect on your K-Cups?

Making coffee using K-Cups at an altitude higher than 6,000 feet can cause pressure to build inside them to the extent that they explode.

To prevent this from happening, puncture the K-Cups with a small pin before you brew coffee with them to relieve some of the pressure. (As seen in the video above).


Your machine contains two needles for coffee brewing. One pokes a hole in the K-Cup lid, and the other makes a hole in the bottom.

This process can be disrupted if these needles become clogged and ineffective, exploding your K-Cup.

It would be best to regularly inspect your coffee machine to ensure the needles are in good condition.

You can also clean the needles with a paperclip pulled open and straightened. Push the paperclip into the needles to remove any coffee that has accumulated.

Afterward, you should run water through the machine to remove any other coffee built-up. The water will help remove it and flush it out of the machine so that it doesn’t cause problems.


If you’ve tried some solutions to fix the problem of exploding K-Cups, but you’re still experiencing it, you might wonder what to do. While your exploding K-Cups won’t damage your machine, they could indicate a manufacturing problem with your machine.

Some people have expressed problems with exploding K-Cups in their machines even after they tried to deal with and prevent the problem, such as by trying some of the above-mentioned tips.

If this happens to you, it’s worth contacting the manufacturer to find out if there’s a problem with your machine. It could be a manufacturing error that has resulted in the cups constantly exploding with too much coffee in the pod.

Related Questions


While this doesn’t necessarily mean your K-cup exploded, it points to the need to clean your Keurig machine needle (Review the cleaning video above).


Exploding K-cups are not fun. They can cause a mess and be a rude awakening in the morning when you only want to enjoy a cup of coffee in peace. In this article, we’ve looked at some of the most common reasons why K-cups explode so that you can prevent it from happening again.

We’ve also discussed how to clean your machine properly. Now, it's time for another cup of Peacemaker Coffee!


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Jun 13, 2023

I am a big fan of your coffee products and your blog. Keep up the great work.

Replying to

Greg, Thank you so much!!

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