3 things needed for strong coffee
It seems like lots of people prefer that intensity and energy boost, but are puzzled with the question HOW to prepare coffee that good at home, or even WHAT strong coffee really is?
The other day we were wondering how to explain making of really strong coffee. However, we figured that it’s not as simple as putting 8 spoons of coffee into your cup, there’s some science involved. Ready to unlock these secrets?
Do you really know what strong coffee is?
The most important part is here. I already wrote about what espresso is and is not (link), so this time let’s discuss about something we simply call strong coffee, and what really provides that energy boost.
Some would say that strong coffee is just an espresso shot, where others might imply that it’s coffee with a lot of caffeine in it. Some, I hope, would say that strong coffee needs to have a special taste. And all of these people would be almost correct. If we combined these answers together, we would get a pretty clear definition – strong coffee is defined by a particular taste, and higher amount of caffeine.
Of course, you couldn’t measure caffeine quantity by simply taking a sip of your coffee. We are going to evaluate its strength by taste and appearance first. Strength, as a caffeine boost, comes a bit later. While you’re waiting for that kick, be careful not to gulp down too much of your drink – 300 to 400 mg of caffeine per day is along the OK line. It means that it’s not recommended to go over 5 espresso cups, or 11.7 cans of Cola.
We got the basics about coffee strength, so how can we prepare a cup like that?
The most important element for intensity – coffee itself
The logic here is simple – if you choose good coffee, everything else is just details, but if you choose the bad one – nothing else would make it better.
Well, maybe 4 spoons of sugar and some milk. Just kidding!
We both know that if coffee is thick and a bit bitter, it seems strong for us. If we added enough caffeine to it, it would not only look, but also work as a strong drink. What can you do to make your coffee stronger?
- Choose darker roasted beans that provide a little bitterness (and strength)
- Look for lighter roast if you want higher caffeine concentration
- If you want to get get more caffeine, as well as thickness in your cup, choose a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans instead of 100% Arabica.
- Freshly roasted and ground coffee can reveal more variety and intensity in taste (e.g. chocolate, nut, or even fruity notes).
It takes some time
It’s key to understand this. We think that just prepared espresso is that strong coffee bomb everyone’s craving for, but God, try drinking that cold coffee that you’ve left on the table 8 hours ago. Yup, that’s right.
Espresso is intense and comparatively strong, but preparation lasts only 30 seconds. Meanwhile, brewing coffee in a cup, using a French press or Moka coffee maker makes the process pretty lengthy. Caffeine is an element that dissolves in water, so the longer your coffee connects with water, the stronger your drink will be.
However, sometimes you can take a small shortcut and instead of longer brewing simply add a little more ground coffee. This way you would change the water and coffee ratio, generating more caffeine in the end.
So we covered the basics of coffee and preparation time, is there something else we should know?
Right brewing method is the key
If you’re a coffee lover, you should know that you can find more ways to brew coffee than just pouring it over in a cup.
Personally I use Chemex and French press coffee makers at home. While using Chemex, you can decide on your own how to prepare coffee, and how long ground coffee should contact with water. V60 coffee maker is also similar in that way. In both cases, I get coffee that I would never get tired of. While using the French press coffee maker, you can let ground coffee sit in water for a longer time, this way increasing the amount of caffeine. This rule also applies when using the Aeropress brewer.
Of course, there are lots of other ways to prepare your morning cup of coffee. I already wrote about some of them while talking of 6 better ways to brew coffee (link). The others can easily be found on the internet, or just at your neighbour’s. For example, pretty often you can find this small, pointy, metal moka brewer. It’s also a great tool for strong coffee, and can be a fun toy for your children, too.