How to Make Strong Coffee in 6 Easy Steps

By Robert Parsons August 6, 2021

There are few things more disappointing than watered-down, weak coffee. We are here to tell you that if you’re experiencing far from superior brews, it’s for a reason. The best part? These reasons have a solution! 

Coffee that’s weak or flavorless is due to a few factors like roast level, freshness, or grind size. These, along with a few other elements, play a huge role in coffee strength – all of which we’ll cover in this guide.

What’s the secret to making strong coffee? Read on to find out.

1. Type of Beans 

Strong brewed coffee begins with the beans used. Grinding your own beans will give you ultimate freshness. This holds true as long as you use the right type of beans. 

Arabica and Robusta are two popular varieties of coffee beans. Arabica beans are more difficult to grow, hence more expensive. They do offer the best flavor (strong but not too bitter). Robusta beans contain more caffeine but have a more bitter taste. 

Either type of bean will give you a strong brew, but if you are looking for the strongest out there, go for 100% Arabica beans. If you want a brew heavy on caffeine, look for beans that are a mixture of both (Arabic and Robusta). Robusta has twice as much caffeine than Arabic, but they do compromise flavor. 

With this said, we recommend a mixture of both if you want the best of both worlds.

2. Roast Level 

Roast levels vary from light to medium to dark. If you want very high levels of caffeine without overly bitter or bold coffee, light roast coffee beans are a good fit. However, for the strongest flavor, go with a dark roast.

Some of our favorites include espresso, French, or Italian roast. These beans are dark in color, shiny, and often coated with natural oils. Most times, they’ve also been roasted for a long time resulting in a bold, smoky flavor.

Experimentation is key when picking the right roast level. Ask your local barista if shopping in store or check out online reviews before deciding on the right bean type and roast level. 

3. Freshness

So, you’ve selected the perfect bean type. None of this will matter if the coffee beans aren’t fresh. Stale beans will still have plenty of caffeine; however, they won’t produce as strong a flavor. How do you know if your beans have gone bad? Check out this guide to learn more.

A few tips to ensure bean freshness include: 

  • – Make sure beans have been roasted and grounded recently 
  • – Use beans within 1-2 weeks of roasting (they will have the most flavor then)
  • – Check “best by” dates on each coffee bag
  • – Buy whole beans and grind them just before you brew a pot
  • – Store coffee in a cool, dark place 
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4. Grind Size 

If you grind your coffee too coarse, you may end up with a weak brew. They will be under-extracted which simply means they won’t hold enough flavor when the water flows through them. 

For a strong, bold flavor, grind your beans finely. This will allow for full extraction, making it easier for the hot water to pull out the aromas and flavors. However, if you grind them too finely, you could end up with coffee that is over-extracted. This leads to burnt tasting, bitter coffee.

If you’re purchasing ground coffee from the store, go with a fine grind. Now, if you’re grinding beans yourself (which we encourage you to do), be sure to set your settings right. This may take some trial and error, but as the saying goes: practice makes perfect!

5. Coffee to Water Ratio 

This next point may just be the easiest way to make your cup of joe stronger. When you’re not getting the results you want, add more coffee! Increasing the number of beans (or adding less water) will get you a more caffeinated coffee with a stronger taste.

Golden Ratio: If you’re brewing a regular cup of coffee, you want to use two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. For shots of espressos, use one tablespoon of grounders per two ounces of water. 

To alter the strength of your brew, play around with these ratios. A few ideas include: 

  • – Brew a double shot of espresso as opposed to your usual single
  • – Brew 2 small cups of K-pods into one mug
  • – Use less water and more coffee grounds 
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6. Brewing Method 

There are several brewing methods you can use. While they can all make a powerful cup of java, some are easier than others. For the most concentrated cup of coffee, use an espresso maker or a percolator. Both methods will give you a cup filled with caffeine and delicious flavor.

The good news is that you can create strong brews using whichever type of brewing device you have. Simply keep the tips above in mind!


Now you know how to make coffee stronger. Don’t be afraid to go through some trial and error before you land the perfectly bold cup. Everyone’s tastes in coffee are different, so you’ll definitely need to experiment with differentiating brewing methods, roast levels, and coffee to water ratio. 

Keep the information above when making brews. For related content, be sure to browse our site. Happy brewing!