Worms in coffee makers. Myth or reality?

Have you ever heard of small worms appearing inside a coffee machine? There are testimonials from people who have found these little buggers even inside coffee capsules, but is it true that worms can grow inside a coffee machine or a coffee capsule?

If true, it is not a widespread problem, as there are a few cases, a lot of misinformation, myths and hoaxes. The only explanation for lying on such a sensitive subject could be to harm the sale of certain types of coffee machines, especially coffee pod machines.

In this post, we will try to shed some light on this problem, or myth, of worms in coffee machines. In the most rigorous way possible, we intend to inform and reassure the concerned reader who has come to these pages eager for truthful information about this concern.

Where does the myth of worms in coffee machines come from?

Contrary to what some people think, the legend of worms in coffee machines (Nespresso, Keurig, Tassimo or any other brand) comes from reality. Yes, they are real facts, which have a logical explanation, but they are not attributable to any coffee machine, let alone to any specific brand or model.

What happens is that the story becomes an urban legend and has been used (perhaps intentionally) as a weapon to discredit certain companies or specific coffee machines. It has led to a proliferation of internet searches for “maggots in the Nespresso coffee machine“, “worms in the Dolce Gusto coffee machine“, and the like.

The snowball gets bigger and bigger; the cases appear on well-known sites or sites with a wide audience; the story is sprinkled with some real testimony (however isolated), et voilà! We have our urban legend for the rest of our lives.

Check this thread from reddit.com:

Just removed the little base that collects spilled coffee from our keurig in order to clean it and found 20 or so small white worms that I’m assuming are bug larvae crawling around inside. What are they? And how do I make sure something like that doesn’t happen again?

They were maybe grain of rice length and about half the width, if that. We live in the hot and humid south so we have some small fruit flys and other small bugs in the home from time to time, but no major issues. Could a fly have laid eggs in the base of the machine?


Can worms grow inside a coffee machine?

They can grow and develop in any environment where the conditions are right. For example, typical office coffee machines, which have a compartment where milk powder is stored, often play a leading role in many worm-related events in coffee machines.

Automatic coffee machines always have problems with this type of compartment, favouring a warm and humid atmosphere (the way a coffee machine works). Everything can be grown in them if you don’t care about cleaning the coffee machine.

Whether due to a deficiency in the food product or bad practice when cleaning/maintaining the coffee maker, the organic residues left by the milk can lead to the development of some larvae. Similarly, certain powdered products (milk, cocoa, ground coffee) should never be filled to the top in this machine precisely to avoid creating humidity.

For this reason, the maggots in coffee usually appear or end up falling in the tube through which the milk is served. This means that the problem does not usually affect users who serve themselves black coffee.

Who’s to blame for the worms in the coffee?

To sum up: in a very high percentage of cases, the appearance of worms in a coffee machine is usually related to a problem in cleaning or maintaining the coffee machine. In no case is it a problem of this coffee machine or of this or that brand.

Similarly, there are known cases of vacuum-packed products (ground coffee or powdered milk) that have developed offspring of this kind, probably due to a defect in the packaging process.

And, to finish, we have to say that this type of worm problem in coffee is as infrequent as any other health problem related to the food industry. There are very few cases of the total daily consumption of these products worldwide.

Recent articles: Coffee for Cellulite