Our highly caffeinated friends often ask us, “What is the strongest coffee?” The term, “strongest coffee” means different things to different people. To me, it refers to a dark roasted coffee with the strongest, deepest and dark coffee flavor.
For others and for the majority of people, the term “the strongest coffee” means the cup of coffee with the most or highest caffeine content.
If you are in a rush I’ll tell you it is, at the time of writing, Black Label By Devil Mountain. A coffee with so much caffeine it should, and I am not joking around here, come with a public health warning!
Let’s just say it is more than a higher-than-normal caffeine content to put it politely!
Keep reading as we dig down and detail the topic of the strongest coffee and find out why it should be taken with caution!
What Is The Strongest Coffee?
Before we dig down straight into the topic, let’s first define what a strong coffee is. The term, as I touched on, is very subjective.
it will mean the caffeine content, a killer coffee that has plenty of punch and is considered a highly caffeinated coffee. Extremely high caffeine coffees have become popular during the past few years.
For someone else,
it is a great coffee that is lightly roasted and with plenty of unique flavors from the origin, and all the lovely light floral tastes.
For coffee drinkers like myself, a strong coffee is a deep dark coffee that has plenty of punch flavor wise. It’s a bold, full-bodied coffee and the amount of caffeine is not something that comes into consideration.
It’s all about that extra flavor. I’ll cover both aspects of flavor and caffeine content in this article.
Read: Peet’s Vs Starbucks
The Caffeine Content And The Factors That Contribute To A Strong Coffee.
How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee and what defines the very subject and topic of “most caffeine” and “strongest coffee” is often debated.
The amount of caffeine per cup will vary depending on the brewing method, coffee to water ratio and, of course, the brewing time.
Other factors that contribute to the caffeine content include the type of coffee beans, Robusta, Arabica, Excelsa or Liberica. Robusta coffee beans, while having less flavor, have up to 2.2x more caffeine than their more popular Arabica counterpart.
These two, Arabica coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans, account for 90% of all coffee beans sold in the world, with Arabica blends often having up to 20% Robusta beans added to enhance their caffeine kick.
Read: Best coffee for iced coffee
The Bold Flavors
Bold flavors, at most times, is determined by the roast profile, the coffee to water ratio and the brewing method.
A brewing method that is filter free or uses a stainless steel mesh filter produces a bolder coffee as all the coffee oils stay in the coffee. Usually, a bolder coffee, has a more concentrated coffee to water ratio.
Most of the flavors in coffee come from a good ratio, even the lighter flavors in a blond roast or light roast.
The Coffee Beans And The Strength
The strongest coffee in the world, the one with the highest caffeine content is Black Label, which is made by Devil Mountain. It has a crazy caffeine content of a whopping 1,500 milligrams per serving.
That amount of caffeine is more than enough to provoke a caffeine overdose. It is close to 4 times the recommended daily dose of caffeine by government health agencies in a single cup of coffee.
The equivalent of 7.5 12 ounce cups of French press coffee and 20 shots of Starbucks espresso. Those levels of caffeine are not for the faint-hearted and can induce caffeine toxicity.
Those coffee beans by Black Mountain are the very beans that have the most caffeine. Be careful, very careful if you are interested in trying them, as when you get to the 900 mg to 1,200 mg of caffeine you will start to experience the side effects of caffeine, which include stomach cramps, heart palpitations, flutters and the jitters as well as anxiety and panic attacks.
You will need to buy these online as coffee beans with these elevated levels of caffeine are not sold in coffee shops and, most likely, not in supermarkets in your locality.
Each different type of coffee bean will have different amounts of caffeine. Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans. It is the Arabica bean that is preferred due to their stronger flavor profile and better flavor profile over all.
Robusta beans, which I grew to love while in Vietnam, are cheaper to produce due to being more “robust” and resistant to disease and require less maintenance. They produce a harsh taste and are more bitter and less acidic. They produce a nutty yet grainy taste.
They have the highest caffeine level of all coffee beans.
The Arabica beans have a lighter, airy yet sweet taste with fruity tones and a higher acidity. They require more attention during their cultivation and are thus more expensive to produce. They are approximately 2x more popular than robusta coffee beans, accounting for 60% of all global sales.
The Roast Profile And Strength
The roast profile of your coffee beans will determine how strong and bold your coffee tastes and their caffeine levels.
Dark roasts have the tendency to have a stronger taste because they have been roasted for longer and the longer your beans are roasted, the more of the taste is taken on from the roasting process.
Lighter roasts have more of the flavor from their origins, darker roasts have more of the flavor from the roasting process.
the darker the roast, the more of the caffeine content you have roasted out of your beans, meaning the lower the caffeine content but a stronger flavor that is bolder and more of a deep traditional coffee flavor.
A light roast is said to have a weaker flavor, I tend to disagree with the use of the word “weaker” It’s certainly different and lighter, less pronounced and more floral, but I wouldn’t say weaker. It just depends on how you define a coffee’s taste and flavor. It is almost like comparing dark chocolate and lighter or white chocolate.
There are a lot of variables to consider and the above statements, while true for the exact same coffee beans taken to different roast levels by the same roast master. Coffee beans from different farms, even from the same location, can have very different flavor profiles and a different caffeine content.
a different brewing method can alter the coffee strength, and even the slight difference between using a filter or brewing filter free.
It is a general rule of thumb that a dark roast coffee is stronger than a similar light roast. Most coffee drinkers will notice the difference as it is not a slight or subtle difference, it is very notable.
If you are a coffee lover and really want to train your taste buds to notice the slight differences in coffee flavor and coffee strength of flavor, drink it milk and sugar-free.
The Grind Size
The size of your coffee grinds will have a direct effect on both the intensity of flavor and the caffeine content of your coffee.
Finer grinds produce a stronger coffee as they enhance the flavor per ounce and increase the surface area of your coffee. The amount of coffee that is in contact with the water increases due to the increased surface area, which directly means stronger coffee.
Due to this increase in surface area, you must decrease the brew time for finer grinds as the extraction is very quick.
Think about the fine powder needed to brew an espresso shot and the 25 to 30 second brewing time required. Compare this to the coarser grids for percolator or drip coffee and the much longer brewing time.
Drip coffee, which requires a coarse grind size, does not have as strong caffeine content per ounce (per ml) than an espresso due to the reduced contact area despite more grounds being used per weight.
Due to the reduced surface area with a drip coffee, you need a longer brew time to get a good flavor extraction.
To be clear on the caffeine issue here, a shot of Espresso has on average 75 mg of caffeine per shot (30 ml) while a 12 ounce drip coffee can have approximately 200 mg of caffeine.
While a cup of drip coffee has a more crisp flavor and more caffeine in total, an espresso is bolder, stronger and has a greater caffeine content per ounce (per 30ml).
The Coffee To Water Ratio
The amount of coffee by weight in relation to the amount of water by weight used is a key factor that determines both how strong and bold a cup of coffee tastes and its caffeine content.
A cold brew, an espresso and a ristretto are often stronger in caffeine (per ounce) and bolder in flavor due to their more focused 1.5:1, 1:1 and 1:8 coffee to water ratios.
Countries That Produce The Strongest Coffee – What Country Has The Strongest Coffee?
The coffee plant is not one that can grow anywhere in the world, its cultivation is restricted to what is known as the “coffee belt” which is the belts of the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Normally, a minimum of 800 meters to 1,500 meters maximum in altitude.
The climate, and even the microclimate within a country and region, affects the flavor and caffeine content. There are so many variables, including the soil quality, the farmers’ ability to produce and take care of a good crop. The amount of rain and sunshine, air quality and elevation all play their role.
There is no particular country that produces a coffee that has significantly more body and flavor or caffeine content than others. The amount of caffeine in highly caffeinated coffee beans has a lot more to do with how they are processed than how or where they are grown.
The same can be said of the strength of flavor and body.
Vietnam has a particular reputation for strong coffee in terms of caffeine content. This is because the vast majority of coffee beans grown and drunk in the country are Robusta coffee beans.
How To Make A Strong Coffee Weaker
Let’s assume you bought a bag of the strongest coffee that you could find and discovered that it is too strong for you. Waste not want not, and you don’t want to throw them away.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to tone down both the flavor and caffeine content.
Add Milk Or A Milk Substitute
Milk, both dairy and non-dairy milk substitutes, are a fabulous way to both dilute the coffee flavor and caffeine content. Milk and non-dairy milk are excellent ways to completely change the taste profile of your coffee.
You can add any type of milk that you wish, namely:
- Oat milk.
- Hemp Milk.
- Rice Milk.
- Soy Milk.
- Almond Milk.
- Tiger Nut Milk.
- Macadamia Milk.
- Cashew Milk.
- Pea Milk.
- Quinoa Milk.
- Coconut Milk
- Condensed Milk
- Evaporated Milk.
- Goats Milk.
- Regular Diary Milk.
Which milk you use will dramatically change how your coffee will taste. I encourage you to experiment and test.
Add More Water
Adding more water and diluting the coffee to water ratio changes the coffee strength in both caffeine and flavor.
As well as increasing the coffee to water ratio, you can reduce the brewing time and ensure a weaker coffee. You can also reduce the amount of coffee used.
Add Sugar Or A Sugar Alternative
Adding sugar will alter the taste by making it sweeter and less bitter. Which type of sugar you use will alter the flavor of your coffee.
Even the slight change from white granulated coffee to brown sugar changes the taste dramatically, much more than you would think.
Sugar alternatives you can consider include:
- Brown Sugar.
- Honey – all kinds.
- Coconut Sugar.
- Pearl Sugar.
- Maple Syrup.
- Cocoa Powder.
Naturally, I encourage you to experiment with your coffee and enjoy the ultimate coffee experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Is The Strongest Coffee
Which Coffee Has Highest Caffeine?
Black Label By Devil Mountain has the higher amount of caffeine with a shocking 1,550 mg of caffeine – far to much! And I don’t say that lightly, it is almost the equivalent of 21 shots of espresso from Starbucks. Even making a small cup of coffee has to have a degree of caution as the caffeine per ounce is very high.
Is Espresso The Strongest Coffee?
Espresso is not the strongest coffee, but it is the strongest coffee brewing method, much more so than regular coffee. The strongest coffee is a ristretto, which I like to call the baby brother of an espresso shot. It’s made in the same way as an espresso with a more focused and stronger coffee to water ratio.
What Roast Of Coffee Is The Strongest?
A dark roast coffee has the strongest tasting coffee and the highest caffeine content. The difference is minor, almost insignificant.
Is Americano Stronger Than Espresso?
No, an Americano is not stronger than an espresso, it is not weaker either as an Americano is made with a shot of water and is then diluted with hot water.
Which Coffee Is Healthiest?
The healthiest coffee in my opinion is a strong shot of espresso as it is a concentrate with nutrients, antioxidants and phenolic compounds.
Is There Anything Stronger Than Espresso?
Yes, a ristretto is stronger than an espresso as it made with a coffee to water ratio of 1:1 while am espresso is made with coffee to water ratio of 1:1.5. It’s a delicious coffee with an intense flavor.
What Coffee Is Stronger Light Or Dark?
A dark roast coffee is stronger, bolder and more intense than a light roast coffee. Dark roast coffee also has slightly more caffeine.
What Is The Strongest Coffee At Costa?
The strongest coffee at Costa is their medium cappuccino which has 325 mg of caffeine.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – What Is The Strongest Coffee
The strongest coffee in the world, the coffee with the greatest amount of caffeine with a jittering 1,500 milligrams per serving is Black Label by Devil Mountain.
As a responsible coffee lover and enthusiast, I advise you to be careful with a coffee of this strength. It can be toxic and end up making you ill.
If your friends are wondering what is the strongest coffee, send them a link to this article. Join our cool coffee community and share your coffee creations, recipes and anything coffee related. Find us on Facebook/Meta.