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How to make strong coffee 101

One of the great things about coffee is that every person can have their own personalized brew.

If you prefer your cup of coffee light and sweet, you can have it like that. If you want coffee as dark as your soul and hot as hell itself, you can make it just like that too. 

But what if you want your coffee strong, or at least stronger than usual? There are some rules when it comes to making good coffee, and following them will certainly give you a perfect cup–but maybe what you want is something with a little more oomph. 

black coffee in cup

What Do You Mean By Strong Coffee Beans?

The first thing to ask yourself is what exactly you mean by “strong” when it comes to your coffee. 

There are a few things that the word can mean, and they aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive.

 Some people consider strong coffee to be a brew with a heavier, deeper flavor. Other people use “strong” to refer to higher caffeine content. 

In general, for coffee pros, the adjective “strong” refers to a cup of coffee that has a deep, rich flavor and usually a heavier mouthfeel compared to other brews. 

Some brewing methods that tend to lend themselves to a stronger cup include French press, Turkish, and percolated coffee. In Turkish brews, the strength comes from the fact they usually use dark roasts that are ground very fine and subject to immersion.  

Methods that typically produce strong coffee at home without needing to adjust the typical water to coffee ratios tend to include more contact between the water and the beans. 

If you’re looking for a higher caffeine strength in your morning cup at home, there are ways to make that happen, too! 

By adjusting the type of coffee plants used and related processing factors, some coffee producers have found ways to boost the caffeine content of their beans. The end result is a cuppa that’s more or less the normal but a jolt that will leave even a dedicated coffee lover buzzing for hours.

Strong Coffee Is Dense

Strong coffee, in the sense that most coffee lovers use the term, means a brew with deep, rich-tasting notes and a heavy mouthfeel. 

Generally speaking, strong coffee has more of the oils from within the coffee grounds–either through a more prolonged extraction or a tiger ratio of grounds to water or a combination of the two. 

This results in more oils from the coffee grounds emulsifying into the brew, which means the liquid in your mug is thicker and richer. There’s a reason that strong coffee sometimes gets compared to motor oil- often a stronger coffee is thicker and syrupy. 

The methods for getting stronger coffee contrast with the methods for lighter, brighter brews: unlike the French press, which gives you a rich coffee taste and complex flavors, pour-over and, to a lesser extent, drip coffee gives you a more simplified, adaptable, and lighter result. 

It’s possible to make strong coffee using these lighter brewing methods, but this lends itself to lighter-bodied coffee –so better to stick with tricks that work.

reverse latte in a cup

How To Make Strong Coffee: 3 Quick Tips

There are three methods that you can use to get a stronger-tasting flavor from your coffee. 

You can adjust your coffee to water ratio, use darker coffee beans, or you can change your brewing process. 

Let’s dive into what each of these methods means and what changes they make to your coffee.

1. Tighten The Coffee To Water Ratio

The easiest trick to make a stronger cup of coffee is to alter the ratio of coffee to water

The associated ratio of your coffee-making process has a significant impact on the taste–as you might have noticed accidentally when you put in too much coffee or not enough water when you’re sleep-deprived.

When it comes to drip coffee, the golden ratio is a surefire way to make sure your brew is as close to perfect as it can be. 

But, if you like your coffee strong, you can experiment with adding more ground coffee before brewing with the method of your choice. We recommend starting small and building up the strength, keeping ratios in mind.

2. Use A Darker Roast

By using a dark roast coffee, you can boost the flavors often associated with stronger coffee. 

Many darker coffees and some specialty coffees also use robusta beans in addition to arabica, which lends sharper, more intense taste along with supercharged caffeine content — Italians tend to prefer robusta for espresso roast for a reason!

For boosting the strength of your brews, switching to a darker bean can bring more roasty flavors to your cup. 

2 espresso shots

3. Switch Up Your Brewing Method

Some brewing methods inherently give you a richer, fuller coffee flavor in your finished brew, and if you’re looking for strong coffee, this is one of the tips that you’ll be glad you read!

French pressed, Moka pot coffee and espresso methods result in a stronger coffee due to how the grind and the brew method interact with the beans and water ratio. 

Espresso, for example, uses a very fine grind and forces a small amount of water through the coffee. This results in a richer, creamier coffee in your mug. 

Moka coffee works with a slightly larger but similar enough grind and under pressure. It’s about as close to espresso when brewing manually as you can probably get in my opinion (although it isn’t the same).

On the other hand, French press uses a much coarser grind but keeps the water in contact with the grounds for a more extended period, extracting deeper bodied notes. If you want a stronger coffee, avoid methods that result in lighter-bodied brews. 


Enjoying a stronger coffee at any time of the day and making your favorite brew stronger isn’t that difficult. 

By adjusting the amounts of your essential ingredients, changing the methods you use, or opting for darker beans, you can get the results you want.

As always, keep experimenting – try a different roast, source of beans, and method one by one. Soon you’ll find what works for you!