How To Brew Strong Coffee like A Pro

How To Brew Strong Coffee like A Pro

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 20:08

When you learn how to brew strong coffee properly, you will have and enjoy great coffee that is not overtly bitter and horrible tasting. There is a lot more to brewing a strong cup of coffee than adding more coffee or pulling a double shot instead of a single shot.

It is not always about the caffeine kick; sometimes, as it is in my case, about that strong robust flavor.

Keep reading and learn how to brew a great tasting strong cup of coffee that is concentrated in both flavor and caffeine.

What Is Strong Coffee?

Highly caffeinated coffee is the first thing that springs to your mind when you think of strong coffee. For others, it is all about a stronger flavor, a deeper, more traditional and typical coffee taste. For some, it is a highly focused coffee taste that is also high in caffeine content, like an espresso or ristretto.

For the sippers amongst us, myself included, a larger than double espresso is required to hit the spot. The strength of a coffee refers in exclusivity to the brewing method and using a higher coffee to water ratio.

This is how we get that stronger flavor in our cup of coffee. A strong coffee is in reference to the strong flavor of coffee and not the coffee caffeine content.

An espresso hits the spot for strong coffee as it is typically made using a 1:1.5 coffee to water ratio, stronger is a ristretto which uses a 1:1 ratio.

By strong, it is referred to the dark roast coffee flavor from freshly roasted coffee beans and not the floral lighter notes from light roasted coffee beans.

What Is Strong Coffee
Strong Coffee Is More Than Just The Caffeine Content

Read: Is cold brew stronger than espresso?

How To Make Strong Coffee With A Coffee Maker

Let’s now drive on and talk about how to make strong coffee with a coffee maker, using a French press, drip coffee maker and a moka pot to name a few.

Later, in the next section I’ll talk about how to make strong tasting coffee without using a coffee maker.

How To Make Strong Coffee In A French Press

A French press is one of my favorite ways of brewing coffee as this brewing technique is one of the few that gives you full control over the variables involved in brewing coffee.

First, this applies to all methods of brewing and not only to your quest to make a great tasting cup of strong coffee: buy fresh coffee beans that have been freshly roasted from your local coffee roaster.

Alternatively, and this is where it is worth your while, get in on the home roasting revolution and roast your own coffee beans and ensure maximum freshness.

Step 1: Weigh And Measure

We are going to use a 1:8 coffee to water ratio instead of the regular 1:12 to ensure you get a full-bodied, full flavored cup of coffee. If you are unsure, you can start with a 1:10 ratio, which is slightly weaker than what I am suggesting and notably stronger than 1:12 ratio.

To make a 360 ml (12 ounce) cup, use 45 grams or 1.5 ounces of coffee grounds. Weigh your grounds while they are whole. Grind them just as you are about to add your water and brew for maximum freshness.

Read: How to flavor coffee beans

Step 2: Boil Your Water

Take your 12 ounces of water to 96C (205F). Measure the temperature with a digital thermometer or, better still, invest in a digital electronic gooseneck kettle.

If you don’t have a digital gooseneck kettle where you can set the temperature, simply boil your water and let it cool down for 20 to 25 seconds.

While your water is boiling, almost boiling, you can grind your beans. Grind your 15 ounce, 45 grams of coffee beans to a coarse and even grind size.

Step 3: Add Your Grounds And Bloom

Add your grounds to your French press and give it a slight shake while it is on a flat surface to ensure a flat, even distribution of your grounds.

Then slowly, and evenly pour a small amount of your water until the grounds are covered. Stop and wait for 20 to 30 seconds until they bloom. This process simply allows the grounds to de-gas and release carbon dioxide.

Step 4: Add The Rest Of Your Water

Add the rest of your water slowly to your French Press coffee maker. Once full, give it a gentle stir for 30 to 60 seconds. Depress the plunger until it is just below the water line and let your coffee brew for 4 to 5 minutes.

Don’t forget to taste test frequently.

Step 5: Take The Plunge!

Press down slowly and evenly on the plunger until it reaches the bottom. If necessary, press down twice on the plunger. Once it is at the bottom, pour and enjoy.

Don’t leave any remaining coffee in your French press as it will start to over extract.

How To Make Strong Coffee In A French Press
French Press Can Make Strong Coffee

How To Make Strong Coffee In A Drip Coffee Maker

Making your coffee stronger with a drip coffee maker is very easy. Quite literally, you have little to nothing to do other than change the type of filter that you are using.

A paper filter has the unfortunate effect of removing all the coffee oils which contribute to the flavor. This is one of the reasons why you end up with a very clean taste with both drip and pour over coffee.

Changing to a metal filter is much better than using a paper filter or a cotton cloth filter. In addition to changing your coffee filter, you can use more coffee grounds and change the coffee to water ratio from a typical 1:16 to 1:12.

You can also double brew your drip coffee or pour over coffee by taking the brewed coffee and brewing with the coffee instead of water and using a fresh batch of coffee grounds for pulling out and extracting more flavor in the second round of brewing.

The result will be a more full-bodied coffee.

How To Make Strong Coffee In A Drip Coffee Maker
You Can Double Brew Your Drip Coffee

How To Brew Strong Coffee In A Keurig

There are a couple of hacks that you can do to get a stronger coffee from your Keurig. One is to put hot water instead of cold water into your K cup machine to get a slightly higher extraction temperature.

A higher temperature will slightly accelerate the extraction of the flavor compounds from the ground beans.

You can also combine a reusable coffee filter and K-Cups and get a bolder, stronger cup of coffee. The functionality here is due to the water getting trapped in the filter for longer, resulting in longer extraction and brew time.

You can couple that with the hack to increase the temperature.

Another way, not quite advisable but nonetheless viable, is double brewing your K-Cup capsules. Brew with one fresh capsule and then putting your coffee into the water tank and using a fresh K cup and running a second brew. Your machine will then use the first coffee instead of water and what will come out is a double brewed Keurig K cup coffee that is strong and bold.

How To Make Strong Coffee In Moka Pot

The best way of making a stronger coffee with the moka pot brew method and getting the resulting coffee taste stronger is by double brewing or using slightly less water.

Your ability to make stronger coffee is very limited as you can’t really use more grounds once you have filled the coffee basket.

If someone came into my coffee shop and requested a strong moka pot coffee, to make the coffee taste stronger I’d use fresh dark beans, grind them as small as I can and double brew to ensure that stronger flavor.

How To Make Strong Coffee In Moka Pot
A Few Simple Techniques Will Make Your Moka Pot Espresso Stronger

How To Make Strong Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

Making strong coffee without a coffee maker is just as easy as the above-mentioned methods. One of the best brewing techniques that requires no coffee maker or coffee machine of any kind is cold brew.

How To Make Strong Cold Brewed Coffee

I’ll leave it up to you to use freshly ground coffee or whole beans. Instead of the regular 1:8 coffee to water ratio you can bring this down slightly to 1:6. Getting an amazing coffee and cold brew is to double brew it. The first brewing cycle I advise you use hot water to extract all the high temperature compounds during the first brewing cycle.

You will get better results when you brew this round at room temperature. The cycle for cold brewing will require you to filter out the current coffee grounds from the hot brewing cycle, cool down the brew to almost freezing point and then add a fresh batch of coffee grounds. Brew this second cold brewing cycle in your fridge and taste test every few hours.

The result will be an amazing tasting coffee that has both the hot and cold flavor compounds perfectly extracted.

How To Make Strong Brewed Coffee With Instant Coffee

The simple and unique method for making strong brewed coffee with Nescafé is to use more coffee granules. Use two teaspoons per 12 ounce cup. Add your water. Once your cup is ready, taste it and add another teaspoon or two until you get the desired taste and strength.

How To Make Strong Brewed Coffee With Instant Coffee
Adding More Granules Makes Your Instant Coffee Stronger

How To Make Coffee More Caffeinated

The easiest way to increase the caffeine content of your coffee is to increase the extraction time. The next best way is to increase the amount of coffee as a ratio. The greater the coffee to water ratio is, the stronger it will be in flavor and the higher the caffeine content will be.

Another option is to double or even triple brew your coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Strong Coffee

The espresso brewing method makes the strongest coffee as the coffee to water ratio is more focused, and it is a hot brewing method. Heat and hot water brewing plays an important role in the extraction of flavor compounds and caffeine.

The strongest espresso based drink is a ristretto.

To make an extra strong coffee and make your coffee taste stronger without altering anything in your brewing technique all you need to do is to alter the coffee to water ratio and make it more focused. If you are using 1:16, change it to 1:14 or 1:12 for a strong coffee that has more flavor and more caffeine.

The easiest way of adjusting the strength of your coffee is to increase the amount of total dissolved solids in your coffee. The best way of doing this is to make your ratio of coffee to water stronger.

What is considered as a very strong coffee ratio depends on the brewing method that you are using. Drip coffee, which has a normal coffee to water ratio of 1:17, a very strong ratio would be 1:12.

Pour over coffee which is brewed with a 1:16 or 1:15 ratio. A very strong coffee ratio would be 1:12.  The moka pot coffee brewing method uses a 1:10 ratio normally. A strong ratio would be 1:8 for this method.

For cold brew coffee a 1:8 ratio is normally used. To make a strong coffee drink with this method you would need to use a ratio of 1:6 at least.

Yes, brewing time plays an important role in how strong a coffee is. This though doesn’t mean that a longer brewing time is always good. You must monitor and be careful of over brewing your coffee and ending up with a coffee that is too strong and overtly bitter.

Yes, the smaller the grind size, the greater the total surface area that is in contact with your hot water, which results in a stronger cup of coffee. This is why the very fine powder like grind for an espresso requires such a short brewing time of only 25 seconds.

 Frappé-Ing It All Up – How To Make Strong Coffee!

If you have read this far, you know exactly how to make strong coffee using a variety of techniques and coffee brewing methods to make a coffee both taste stronger and to increase the caffeine content without the unpleasant flavor of being over brewed.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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