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How to Make Strong Coffee (Ultimate Guide to Better Coffee)

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So, you want your coffee strong? You’re not alone, strong coffee is a beautiful thing – rich, bold, and oh-so-smooth. In this post, you’ll learn all about how to make strong coffee.

We’ll talk a little about caffeine content but mostly about how to make your coffee taste stronger.

How to Make Strong Coffee

When it comes to making strong coffee it’s either about flavor or caffeine content.

  • More Caffeine: If you want more caffeine you can choose a lighter roast or longer brewing time. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine your coffee will contain, the best example being white coffee (best as in high caffeine not necessarily flavor). Measuring scoop for a scoop, a lighter roast contains more mass and therefore more caffeine. The caffeine content also increases the longer your grounds brew in water.
  • Stronger Flavor: If you want a stronger flavor you can adjust your water-to-grounds ratio, choose a darker roast, or try a different brewing method.

    How do you make strong coffee?

    There are three ways to make coffee taste stronger:

    1. Change the water-to-grounds ratio. For regular brewed coffee (in a drip coffee maker) the suggested ratio is two scoops (2 tablespoons) of grounds to one cup (6 ounces) of water. To make your coffee taste stronger add more grounds.
    2. Choose a darker roast. A dark roast will have a stronger flavor because the longer the beans roast the stronger/richer the flavor gets.
    3. Try another brewing method. If you are not happy with how your coffee tastes when you try to make it stronger, it might be time to try a different brewing method. More about that later.

    While it’s true that your coffee will taste stronger if you add more grounds, it may also begin to taste bitter.

    So, the best way to get a good strong cup of coffee is to focus on a good dark roast. You’ll also want to use the right grind.

    It’s also good to consider that a dirty coffee maker can add strange and unpleasant flavors to your coffee, so make sure to clean your coffee gear regularly.

    So let’s talk about dark roasted coffee beans and what kind of a grind you’ll need to get some good strong coffee brewing.

    How to Make Coffee Taste Stronger

    To make coffee taste stronger you’ll want to choose the right roast and grind. Otherwise, your coffee will taste bitter and bitterness isn’t better. Richer is, the richer the better.

    What is good strong coffee?

    To get a good cup of strong flavored coffee you’ll need to order a dark roast at the cafe or buy dark roasted coffee beans and make your own.

    You’ll be looking for those nice dark beans. The ones to the right in the following picture.

    Grades of Coffee Roasting

    what-kind of roast for strong coffeeWhen ordering coffee (or buying beans) you may wonder which coffee beans have the most caffeine.

    There are basically two types of coffee beans: arabica and robusta.

    Arabica has less caffeine than robusta, it’s more popular, and in my opinion – a better choice because of flavor. And because (as we all know) too much caffeine can lead to health problems.

    What kind of coffee beans make the best strong coffee?

    If you’re buying beans look for dark roasted arabica beans. The roast (light, medium, or dark) will be written on the bag somewhere (like the following photo of Reunion Island coffee beans) dark is best for a rich/bold flavor. But keep an eye on the flavor notes, they are important as well.

    (As a side point, I didn’t like the flavor of “Privateer” – the Reunion Island coffee pictured above, but their “Bullet” – which is an espresso medium roast was wonderful. The flavor notes made all the difference!  I brewed it in a stove-top espresso maker (Moka Pot) so it was strong and delicious.)

    If you’re getting beans from a roaster (or coffee shop) you can ask what types of dark roast they have. This can be an education in itself because they can help you choose according to the roast and flavor of the beans.

    At a cafe, you could just ask for a cup of their dark roast coffee, but don’t be fooled. That won’t mean you’re making the best choice in terms of caffeine count.

    If you want a strong cup of coffee with the least amount of caffeine you need to think of brewing time and serving size.


    Does Strong Coffee Have More Caffeine?

    A stronger tasting cup of coffee does not necessarily have more caffeine.

    You may have heard that espresso contains more caffeine than regular drip coffee but that’s not necessarily true. It may all come down to how you make your coffee. Among the top 17 best brewing methods are drip and expresso:

    • Drip Coffee Caffeine: In a regular serving of drip coffee (12 ounces) you’re getting about 120 milligrams of caffeine.
    • Espresso Caffeine: A regular shot of espresso, is only a one-ounce serving which contains around 40 milligrams of caffeine. Espresso has a much stronger, richer taste than drip-brewed coffee. If you drink 12 ounces of espresso you would be drinking more caffeine, but who does that?

    You may drink an espresso faster because of the small serving size, so keeping that in mind could help you avoid downing shot after shot and getting caffeine jitters. You could also opt for an americano, which is a shot of espresso with added water. Even with the extra water, it has a stronger flavor than regular drip coffee.

    Many popular coffee drinks are made from espresso which leads to a stronger, more flavorful drink than one made from a regular cup of brewed coffee.

How To Make Coffee Stronger

Now let’s look at how to make the coffee stronger at home. We’re going to talk about a stronger flavor, not more caffeine.

As already mentioned, you’ll want to get yourself a bag of dark roasted Arabica coffee beans. If you’re buying ground coffee look for the kind of grind that corresponds to the method you’ll be using to make your coffee.

What kind of grind to use for strong coffee

The same grind sizes shouldn’t be used for all coffee-making methods. The grind makes a difference.

All coffee lovers go through trying to figure out how to make strong coffee and wonder if finding a good coffee grinder would really make any difference. Back when it was our turn, we had a blade grinder but were reading (and talking) about how awesome burr grinders are. So, as a surprise, our daughter bought us one (awesome gift, right!?).

Our burr grinder has specific settings for the different kinds of coffee machines/methods used to brew coffee. We just set it to what we’ll be using (everything from superfine espresso to coarse French press grind) and we get the perfect grind every time.

what kind of coffee beans for strong coffee

If you are buying your ground coffee at a market or grocery store, the type of grind should be written on the bag. If not, keep looking until you find a brand that has it. It’s worth it, your coffee will taste better.

If you’re getting your coffee from a roaster or coffee shop, tell them your brewing method and they’ll get you the proper size grind.

Here is a breakdown of basic grinds for a few different methods:

  • Drip coffee maker: Coarse
  • French press: Medium/Coarse
  • Espresso maker: Fine

For the best tasting strong coffee, buy the beans and grind them yourself. To keep them fresh, grind them in small amounts and store them (no more than 5 or 6 days) in an opaque container (somewhere dark and dry).

Now let’s look at how to make strong coffee at home.


How to Make Strong Coffee at Home

It’s great to know how to make strong coffee at home because you can save yourself time and money. I like not having to leave the house to get me some strong coffee.

Making coffee at home can also help people (like me) who have food-related sensitivities.

So let’s learn how to make strong coffee at home sweet home.

How to make strong coffee in a french press

How to Make Strong Coffee in a Coffee Maker: 3 Steps

A drip coffee maker is probably where most people (in North America) start out making coffee at home.

    1. To make coffee taste stronger with a coffee maker use darkly roasted, coarsely ground arabica coffee beans – the fresher the better.
    2. Add more than 2 tablespoons per every 12 ounces of water, yes – you want to break that “golden ratio” rule.
    3. How much more should you add? That will be up to you, you’ll need to experiment because at some point your coffee will start to taste bitter.

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