Drinking coffee is a big part of many people’s morning routines so that they can get that much-needed kick to start a more productive day. There are others who like to grab a cup of coffee when they go out to visit friends or at other smaller social engagements. There is no exact winner when it comes to what type of coffee is considered the best amongst consumers. Some prefer coffee that isn’t too strong, while others like to have coffee that has a deeper flavor and stronger composition for a more caffeine-heavy effect that can help them power through a long day. If you are a part of the second bunch of people, it is highly likely that you are very selective about the type of coffee that you choose to drink. Not everything makes the cut, which can send you around in circles, trying to find the perfect beans or the strongest coffee.
Before getting into details about the composition of a good strong cup of coffee, it is important to understand the difference between stronger flavor and more caffeine content. While a lighter roast may give you higher caffeine content, it is not necessary that the flavor is going to be stronger. This guide will help you understand ways in which you can make your coffee stronger, so keep reading!
What Is a Good Strong Coffee?
As discussed before, if you want a more caffeinated cup of coffee, you should opt for one that is brewed with the help of lightly roasted beans. However, if you want coffee that tastes strong – in terms of the flavor – it is recommended that you opt for a darker roast of coffee beans, whether it is to brew your own coffee or order a cup at the local café. The primary requirement for a good cup of coffee is high-quality beans that have been roasted to perfection to give you a darker color of beans. Keep in mind that there are many different roasts – all at different stages of color – that are available to purchase and the stronger you want your coffee to be, the darker the color of beans that you choose.
The next section will give you some more information about the different kinds of beans that are widely available in the market, and the ones that work best for a cup of strong coffee. However, there are some other factors that also influence the strength of the flavor, some of which will be discussed at a later stage, so that you are fully equipped to make your ideal cup of coffee.
Types of Coffee Beans
If you are planning to order some beans – or even ordering yourself a cup of coffee at the café – you may be curious as to what type of beans are used to make coffee. As beans make up the basic components of a strong cup of coffee, the right ones will make all the difference in the long run. To put it simply, there are two main types of coffee beans, and sometimes a blended version that has both these types. The two types of coffee beans – arabica and robusta – are briefly discussed below.
- Arabica – Popularly considered the superior quality coffee beans, arabica coffee beans have lower levels of acidity and a delicate flavor that make them very highly sought after. The production of these beans is usually carried out at higher altitudes and need more labor inputs. The yield is also relatively low, which makes them more exclusive and expensive.
- Robusta – The second type of coffee beans are robusta beans, which can be much more acidic than the arabica ones. In addition to the higher amount of caffeine that is present in these beans, they are also harsher in terms of flavor. These cost less than arabica coffee beans, as it can be grown with fewer restrictions like low altitudes and warmer climates.
Best Beans for Strong Coffee
Picking the right beans for your coffee can help you achieve the right kind of flavor that you have been looking for. The best option in front of you – if you brew your own coffee – is purchasing dark roasted arabica beans. These are high-quality beans that have been roasted a little more than others, which end up enhancing the strong flavor of coffee that you are looking for. The roast can be determined by looking at the markings on your bag of coffee beans, which will mention whether the roast is light, medium or dark. The dark roasted beans will give you the richest – and boldest – flavor.
If you are buying your beans from a professional roaster, you can also try to talk to the person in charge and find out what are the different kinds of dark roasts that they offer. They will be able to guide you through the options and help you pick the one that suits your needs best. Finally, if you are just ordering yourself a cup at a café, you can mention that you want a cup made with their dark roast.
Common Brewing Methods
Many people are surprised to find that there are many different methods to brew their favorite cup of coffee each day. While it may be difficult to cover all the different methods here, some of the more popular methods of brewing coffee are mentioned below:
- Espresso – The most commonly used methods for brewing a cup of coffee in cafés is the espresso machine. Here, hot water is pushed through a layer of coffee that placed on a filter.
- Drip Coffee – Also known as filter coffee, this method involves pouring some hot water over coffee beans that have been ground well. The product is strained through a filter made out of paper, or even a mesh.
- French Press – This method uses a small brewing device – called a French press – that consists of a beaker and a plunger. After pouring hot water over the ground beans, the mixture is allowed to steep for a couple of minutes, after which the plunger is pushed down to remove the drinkable parts from the coffee beans.
- Cold Brew – This method works well for people who don’t enjoy hot coffee. Here, you allow the coffee to steep in some amount of water for a long period of time – ranging from 12 hours to even 36 hours – after which it is strained and served.
Other commonly used methods include a manual drip, moka pot, a vacuum pot or siphon, a percolator, single serve coffee, k-cup and so on.
Different Types of Strong Coffee and Their Components
Before getting into the different ways in which you can strengthen the flavor of your coffee, let’s try to see the different options in front of you when it comes to the types of strong coffee. It is also interesting to see what are the different components of these different types of coffee – all of which are made with espresso.
- Espresso – The basic component of all the other versions – and a popular beverage amongst people across the world – is an espresso. It is a thick liquid that has a strong flavor of coffee and comes with some dense foam on the top. It may not have too much caffeine but it offers a very strong flavor.
- Americano – If you take a shot of espresso and add some hot water to it, you will get an Americano.
- Latte – A latte is a popular drink with two parts of espresso and one part of steamed milk. In addition to this, some milk foam is added to the top.
- Cappuccino – Another version of coffee with milk is a cappuccino, which is prepared with one part of espresso, one part of hot milk, and one part of milk foam.
- Mocha – If you enjoy the combination of chocolate and coffee, a mocha may be ideal for you. It has equal amounts of espresso and chocolate, some steamed milk and whipped cream.
- Macchiato – If you are looking for a stronger kick, this drink has a double shot of espresso, along with some milk. While the flavor is strong, the amount of caffeine is lower than drip coffee.
How Can I Strengthen the Brew?
If you are looking for ways to get out more flavor from your beans so that you have a strong cup of coffee each time, there are a few things that you can try out. While some of them are related to the type of beans, others are related to the method that you use to brew your coffee.
First and foremost, the grinding of beans is a crucial step in preparing coffee. Different methods of coffee making require different levels of fineness – for example, superfine powder for espresso and coarsely ground beans for a French press – so it is important to ascertain what works well for your methodology. Make sure that you only grind the beans right before brewing, otherwise some flavor can be lost. As the beans get finer, the amount of time required to get the flavor out will be reduced.
Increase the Ratio
Getting the right coffee-to-water ratio can make all the difference in preparing a strong cup of coffee. If you are measuring the ingredients by weight, one unit of coffee is typically used with 16 units of water. If you think that the brew still isn’t strong enough, you can increase the quantity of coffee when you start brewing the next time. Different ratios work for different people so you will have to figure this out by trying multiple times till you reach your ideal coffee strength.
Increase Temperature of Water
If you want your coffee to be stronger in a shorter period of time, you can consider raising the temperature of the water that you are using. As the water gets hotter, it will be able to extract more and more flavor, at a quicker pace. A great way to measure the temperature is using an infrared thermometer, but you don’t need to worry if you don’t have one. Just remember that you don’t want to increase the temperature so much that the flavor is lost because of burning.
Take Note of the Time
It is important to brew the coffee for the right amount of time. Allowing it to steep for the right amount of time helps you reach the ideal brew where all the flavor of the coffee has been incorporated into the water without any of the unfavorable elements — that could’ve possibly entered if the coffee had been brewed for too long. Usually, two to four minutes are enough if a French press is being used and about five minutes for the regular drip method.
Fix Your Brewing System
Sometimes it is difficult to achieve the right flavor of coffee if the device that you are using to brew it is malfunctioning. To ensure even extraction of the flavor, you will need to check the coffee maker or device to see whether the water is falling in an even manner and wetting all the ground beans evenly.
Try to Change Your Method of Brewing
If you aren’t able to get the right flavor with your existing brewing method, you can try a new method altogether. For example, an AeroPress can help you make strong coffee – as strong as a French press – in a shorter period of time. The espresso is the strongest version that you can opt for.
If you don’t want your coffee to have the strongest possible flavor, ensure that you are consuming it immediately after it has been brewed. Letting it lie around will make the beverage seem flat and flavorless, which can destroy your entire coffee drinking experience.
Getting your hands on a well-brewed cup of strong coffee can give you all the energy that you need to power through a stressful day. Hence, it is important that you invest your time and money in figuring out the best coffee beans and methodology for that perfect cuppa coffee!