How do you take your coffee?
This question can be answered in a multitude of different ways—with cream and sugar, black, extra strong. But what does “strong” coffee even mean? Do you want a coffee that can bench press 370 pounds? No, that doesn’t sound right. When it comes to coffee, you have to be specific. There are a few different ways to make a cup of coffee “strong”.
The next time you attempt to brew a “strong cup of coffee”, keep in mind these 5 tips sure to satisfy any palate.
But first and foremost, we need to get some semantics out of the way. “Strong” isn’t a flavor; it’s a degree of flavor intensity. So whether you’re brewing for yourself or someone else, know the definition of “strong”. Find out what flavor you enjoy the most and then find a blend that embodies that flavor accordingly. Now with that tid-bit out of the way, here we go:
1. Use fresh coffee
The older the coffee, the more time it has had to lose its flavor. For example, the first brew of a new bag is amazing. The last brew—not so much. If you store your beans properly, you won’t have this problem. Bottom line, the fresher, the stronger and better your coffee will be.
2. Wait to grind
Piggybacking off of the freshness rule, keep in mind that coffee loses a bit of flavor after grinding. So wait to grind until the last minute! Doing so will provide more flavor, therefore a “stronger” coffee. Another insider tip: invest into a good grinder!
3. Correct ratios
If you don’t use the right coffee-to-water ratio, your coffee is not going to taste right. Too much water and it’ll taste weak. The general ratio is 1-2 tablespoons per 6 oz. of water, with 1T being a mild brew. With that in mind, 2T would give you a strong cup.
4. Clear water, full mugs, can’t lose!
If the water you brew with tastes “off”, so will your coffee. Your coffee will only be as good as the ingredients you use to make it. We’re not saying you need to brew with bottled water, but we are saying that you should brew with clean, purified water. The second part of this is to make sure your brew temperature is between 195-205°F. Any hotter and your coffee will taste burnt. Any colder and it won’t properly extract the bean’s flavors and oils. If you’ve ever been to one of our cupping sessions, you’d learn this from the masters.
5. Test it
Lastly, the best way to brew a “strong” coffee is to embrace your inner “Goldilocks”. Keep the previous steps in mind and test a couple of batches to find your own version of a “strong” cup. When you find it, document your process so you can replicate it.
A “strong” cup of coffee is a philosophical ideal—not a way of ordering. You have to be specific and to the point. In doing so, you’ll be happy with your order and that much closer to enjoying the best coffee that The Roasterie has to offer!