Top 7 Reasons why Coffee Grounds get in your Coffee

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You are making a cup of coffee, you have done everything right, and once your finally have your cup of joe, it has grounds in it!

What gives? Now you have to make a whole different cup, or even pot of coffee because the grounds have found their way into the brewed coffee, instead of staying within the bounds of your filter, or coffee maker.

So why do coffee grounds get in coffee? Coffee grounds get into coffee mainly due to a failed filter, wether this be a hole in the filter, or the filter has somehow bent over when the water started to land on it. This causes c not only the water to miss the grounds, but also the grounds to find there way over the barrier and into your brew.

Lets dig in a little further to give you some ideas why you might have just ruined your brew this morning!

1. Filter is bent over

This is by far the most common issue I have found. Back when I was mainly using my automatic coffee maker more (instead of my Aeropresss Go), I would constantly have either my coffee grounds in my cup, or it be extremely watered down, and more usually both.

The problem was the result of my filter bending over when I was sliding the filter housing into the coffee maker.

Basically, it would bend over slightly, and when the coffee maker would push water onto it, it would then saturate it making it go flat over top of the grounds. Meaning water wasn’t brewing the coffee, and it also gave the coffee ground an opportunity to find its way around the filter, and into the brew.

How to fix this? It’s Easy! You should always slightly dampen your filter before putting it into your coffee maker. This not only helps with the taste, but it also makes it form, and adhere slightly to the walls of the filter housing so it doesn’t bend.

2. Filter has a hole in it

The next, and more obvious reason you may have grounds in your coffee is because your filter has a hole in it.

Every time you make a carafe or cup of coffee, you want to make sure that your filter doesn’t have any form of holes in it, as this is going to be the obvious culperate if you then found grounds in the coffee.

While this isn’t crazy common, it can still be an issue, and that extra second to inspect may mean you don’t have to spend the extra couple minutes and some waste to make another cup.

3. Too small of a filter

Every automatic coffee maker has a specific size you need to buy for it.

Mine for example takes a #4 coffee filter like these ones, however yours likely may take something else.

Do a quick search online for your model of coffee maker, and see what size you need.

If you have too small of a filter, when the brew cycle takes place, the grounds will quickly over power the filter, and flow over top of it and into your mug.

4. Too large of a filter

Going back to what we talked about earlier, where coffee filters may bend over and cause grounds to get past it. Having too large of a coffee filter will cause this time, and time again.

Make sure you don’t have the wrong filter for you!

5. Too many coffee grounds

Another easy way to mix your grounds, and brew into your coffee mug is to have just too many coffee grounds present. This can cause the water to back up, and not find its way through the grounds quickly enough and then overflow around your filter, and into the coffee.

Once again… messing with your delicious cup of coffee.

One great way to solve this, is by getting a scale (like this one) and weigh your coffee every time after your figure out the right amount!

6. Damage to the coffee maker

While it is rare, it is possible there may be damage to your coffee maker itself. An automatic coffee maker isn’t really prone to this issue, at least for the issue of grounds showing up in your coffee maker.

However when you look at coffee makers like French Press’s or something like an emersion brew device, you generally will have a plunger that separates the grounds from the brew.

If something is bent, or damaged, it would no longer seperate correctly, leaving you with some coffee grounds in your cup.

Do a quick check of whatever coffee maker you are using to make sure there aren’t any cracks, holes, or damage present.

7. Using the coffee maker wrong

The final reason you may have grounds in your coffee, is you just may be using the coffee maker wrong! Do a quick check to make sure all of the steps needed for your coffee maker are being followed.

While automatic coffee makers can be simple, if you are running into this issue with a manual coffee maker. It would probably be best to do some hunting around at some tutorials, to see what you are doing wrong. I mean, you could also always read through some of these articles on the site as well.

Another great way to fix many of these problems, is also to get yourself a metal filter. These fail less, are more durable, and you don’t ever have to worry about having to buy filters again.

Gear mentioned in this article


I hope this article helped you do a bit of troubleshooting as to why you are finding grounds in your coffee! While it likely is a simple thing like the filter bending over onto the bed of coffee, it could be less noticeable things that we have talked about.

Regardless, I hope this helped you enjoy your coffee experience just that much more!

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