What is Strong Coffee? Tips to brew a strong cup.
“I like to drink my coffee strong, which product do you recommend?” This is probably the most common question we are asked by both experienced and novice coffee drinkers who prefer to brew their own. And yet, there is no simple or direct answer. Why? Let’s try and break it down a little bit in this post.
Strong coffee holds a different meaning depending on who you ask, for some it means higher caffeine content, for some it means a bold lingering aftertaste, for some it refers to the consistency of the final brew and for some others it is a measure of bitterness.
Now, what is caffeine? Caffeine is nothing but a natural ingredient that is present in coffee, tea and cacao beans. When consumed, it is absorbed by the bloodstream and acts as a stimulant.
The amount of caffeine in a final brewed cup of coffee depends on a variety of factors including the type of bean (Arabica vs. Robusta) and roast profile (light, medium, dark) among many others. Within the super scientific coffee community, caffeine is actually measured and can defined as the amount of milligrams per ounce of coffee and that can be pretty subjective depending on how you actually brew your coffee.
In general, Arabica beans are known to have a lower caffeine content compared to Robusta. However it’s important to understand that during the roasting process, caffeine will start to break down at high temperatures. That means that with very dark roasts, you may see a lower caffeine content.
Most of us refer to strong coffee as a measure of brew consistency. The more watered down, the weaker the coffee tastes. Here are a few top reasons why your coffee is not as strong as you’d like:
1. Grind Size: Coffee is brewed when water interacts with the grounds. Coarseness of your grind determines the surface area available for extraction and thus how ‘strong’ your brew is. Larger the pieces, faster the water will pass through the beans. Finer the powder, longer is the contact time. So the grind level should always be informed by your brew method.
2. Brew Method: Your preferred setup to brew coffee is an important factor in the quality of the end product. When working with an Indian Filter Pot, your grind size should be medium-fine. This gives the water enough time to steep before slowly collecting at the bottom. Same goes when brewing with a Moka Pot. If you prefer a French Press on the other hand, the grind should be coarse. Else, you may end up with an over extracted, bitter, and muddy coffee.
3. Water to Coffee Ratio: If you’ve nailed down your grind size and brew method but are still not satisfied with the strength of your coffee, it’s probably because you are using too much or too little water. Change it up a bit and watch your coffee transform!
Strong coffee and its definition varies from person to person because it comes down to personal preference. You may have to try a couple of different things before you hit that sweet spot. Both our products – Brindavan Bold and Legacy Blend are available by default as a medium-fine grind, best suited for Indian Filter Pot or Moka Pot. If you’d like to customize your grind or have brewing questions, reach out to us, we’re here to help!