How to Make Strong Coffee

How to Make Strong Coffee

Espresso is the soul of Italian coffee.

When it comes to the types of coffee, no matter whether you are an ordinary coffee lover or a senior coffee expert, it is difficult to explain the definition of each kind of coffee clearly. Just like the exact definition of espresso, different cafes, training centers, and even different baristas have their views on espresso, and a hundred people may have a hundred opinions or even a hundred ways of doing it.

Nevertheless, to make a cup of espresso, we all need to know the following tips.


What exactly makes a coffee stronger? 

Coffee comes in two main strong ways: caffeine levels and flavor. While these factors often go hand in hand, you may need to consider whether your priority is a stronger flavor or a higher caffeine content. Here are our tips for making your coffee strong and delicious!

1. Choose the perfect coffee beans
Good coffee beans are determined by two main factors: the type of coffee bean and the level of roasting. To brew the strongest and most intense coffee, you need to pay attention to both.
How to Make Strong Coffee
Two main varieties of coffee beans are available, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are more expensive, more difficult to grow, and are often considered to have the best flavor and least bitterness. The other, Robusta, contains more caffeine but has a less pleasant, more bitter taste. If you want the strongest, most interesting flavor, look for 100% Arabica coffee beans and you're on the right track.

If your focus is on caffeine content, you may want to look for a blend of tasty Arabica beans and caffeine-heavy Robusta beans. Robusta beans contain about twice the amount of caffeine, so adding them will increase the caffeine content of your coffee. However, keep in mind that Robusta beans also have a more bitter taste, so you may end up trading caffeine content for taste.

When you are brewing a strong cup of coffee, lighter flavors such as fruit, vanilla, and flowers are more likely to be lost. For this use, you may prefer a blend of coffee beans over a single source of coffee.

Roast Level
For the most intense flavors, you may want to purchase dark roasted beans. These are shiny black beans, usually with natural oils, that have been roasted for a very long time and have a bold, smoky flavor. While you may be most familiar with Italian, Italian, and French roasts, there are several other types, including Continental, New Orleans, European, and Vienna roasts, among others.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a higher level of caffeine but don't like bitter or overly bold coffees, try buying lightly roasted beans that have slightly more relative caffeine content.

2. Make sure the coffee is fresh
Even if you choose a wide variety of perfectly roasted coffee beans, you will miss out on a lot of flavors if they are not fresh. Stale coffee beans still contain a lot of caffeine, but will not produce a strong flavor.

Making sure your beans are fresh means checking that they have been roasted and ground recently. Coffee beans have the strongest flavor within one to two weeks of roasting. After about a month, they start to lose their flavor. Check your bag of coffee for a roast date, or try ordering from a coffee roaster that roasts to order and ship immediately. You can even bake the beans at home.

Another way to ensure fresh coffee is to buy whole beans and grind them before brewing. Grinding the required amount within 15 minutes of brewing will ensure a fresh, full-bodied flavor.

3. Choose a good brewing method

How to Make Strong Coffee
You can use any brewing method to make a cup of espresso, but some methods will be easier than others. For the most concentrated espresso, try an espresso machine or a filter pot, both of which are designed to pack a lot of caffeine and flavor into a small cup.

4. Consider the size of your grind
The amount you grind your coffee beans will have a big impact on the strength of your coffee. While your preferred brewing method will largely determine the optimal grind size, keep in mind that coffee that is too coarse can become tasteless and weak.

If you grind them too coarsely, they may not extract enough, which means they won't impart enough flavor to the water that flows through them. For strong flavors, you need to grind your beans more finely to fully extract them. But don't go too far: if you grind them too finely, they may end up over-extracted, leading to a bitter, unpleasant taste.

5. Add more coffee beans
The easiest way to make your coffee stronger is to use more coffee beans. By increasing the number of coffee beans or reducing the amount of water, you are sure to get a more highly caffeinated, fuller-tasting cup of coffee.

Commonly, the "golden ratio" of coffee brewing is two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water. For a cup of espresso, you typically use about one tablespoon of ground fruit per two ounces of water. To enhance your coffee, experiment by changing these ratios. If you want to get technical, try using a kitchen scale to measure your coffee beans.

You can do this using any brewing method. Brew a double cup of espresso, or brew two small cups into the same cup. Add more ground coffee to the pour-over, or fill the percolator with less water. No matter what brewing method you choose, it is easy to make stronger coffee.

Does Strong Coffee Have More Caffeine? 

Before answering this question, we have one more question to address: Is caffeine easily extracted during the extraction process of coffee?

Some properties of caffeine
Caffeine was first separated from coffee beans in 1820 by the chemist F. Lange at the request of the German writer Goethe.

The picture below shows the caffeine crystals extracted from coffee. Deposits of caffeine crystals can also often be seen in coffee processing plants, especially around roasters.

How to Make Strong Coffee

Although the amount of caffeine in our daily coffee consumption is measured in milligrams. However, caffeine is highly soluble in water, with each gram of caffeine dissolving in 46 ml of water, 5.5 ml of hot water (80°C), and 1.5 ml of boiling water.

In drip coffee, about 90% of the caffeine is extracted in the first minute, while the extraction level of the espresso is somewhat lower, closer to 75-80%.

Over 90% of the caffeine is extracted in the first minute.

There are many reasons for this difference in extraction, including coffee type, blending ratio, grind, water temperature, etc., but one key factor that explains this difference, keeping all variables equal, is - contact time. For espresso, a typical contact time is about 30 seconds, not enough time to fully extract the caffeine from the coffee powder.

The caffeine content of espresso and hand-brewed

How to Make Strong Coffee
With the above data, we can make a simple estimate of the caffeine content in espresso and hand-brewed coffee.

For one serving of Espresso, the caffeine content is about 7*0.01*0.75*1000 = 52.5mg.
Using 7g of coffee powder, the caffeine content in coffee beans is about 1%, assuming 75% of the caffeine is extracted.

For a pot of hand-brewed, the caffeine content is about 15*0.01*0.9*1000 = 135mg.
Using 15g of coffee powder, the caffeine content in coffee beans is about 1%, assuming 90% of the caffeine is extracted.

A pot of hand-brewed coffee has more than twice the caffeine content of a serving of espresso!
That means that if you drink a cup of espresso, you will consume about 30-50 mg of caffeine, while drip coffee is about 65-120 mg.
Of all these are only averages and estimates.

Safety of Caffeine
The physiological effects of caffeine have long been under study. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classifies caffeine as a GRAS substance (GRAS-generally recognized as safe).

In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority stated that "the daily intake of 400 mg of caffeine does not increase the safety risks for adults (except for pregnant women)." This amount is roughly equivalent to five cups of regular drip coffee.

How to make a strong Espresso coffee with Espresso Machine at home? 

When you searched for this article, I guess you already have some research on how to make a cup of espresso, maybe you often see this sentence: Italian espresso is coffee brewed with finely ground coffee powder in a high heat and pressure environment. The standard volume of the espresso is 30 ml (deviation is only 5 ml), and the production time is 25-30 seconds.

I believe many people have many questions after seeing this sentence, so let me share, as well as, what I do.

Question 1: Does the 30 ml you mentioned include coffee oils?
The proportion of coffee oil accounts for 1/3 of the whole cup of coffee, and the volume varies from 10-15 ml. It is the coffee oil that gives espresso its attractive aroma and taste. Some people do not include the coffee oils when defining the volume of espresso, which I think is biased.

Question 2: Why is espresso only 30ml?
Indeed, espresso is not able to fill the whole coffee cup. You can always see some customers in the cafe complaining: "Why is there only so little? Where does all the rest of the coffee go?" It is still very important to spread the knowledge of coffee.

Question 3: Must the coffee be made in 25-30 seconds?
Not necessarily. I have made perfect quality espresso in 40, or even 45 seconds. As with all recipes, the time I give is just a reference to ensure that most of the coffee you make will taste great.

Question 4: How much ground coffee do I need to use to make each cup of coffee?
Typically, it takes 7-12 grams of ground coffee to make a cup of espresso, and 14-24 grams for a double. With a wide range of values, there are a lot of choices when making coffee and you can find the amount of powder that works for you based on your taste preferences. The amount of powder I use when making coffee with the double head handle is about 20-24 grams, but of course, this value is for reference only.

Question 5: What about Double Ristrettos (double espresso)?
Many baristas make double espresso using a double head handle and 18-24 grams of ground coffee to make 30 ml of coffee. If you choose to make a 60 ml coffee, the coffee will taste very different. While traditional preparation techniques will ensure a constant quality of coffee, you will still need to adjust the brewing method and technique depending on the variety of coffee and the degree of roasting.

Question 6: What is the real high-quality Italian espresso?
To this, I can only say: Only good coffee is high-quality coffee! If the taste of coffee is memorable, your customers will love the coffee you make. This is the best reward for the growers and roasters who have worked so hard for coffee. Whether coffee is good or bad is entirely a personal and subjective judgment, so there is no need to be too strict when it comes to drinking coffee.

Well, having mastered the secrets of espresso, let's take a look at the other types of coffee derived from it! Remember, in the world of coffee, there is no absolute "right" or "wrong". As long as the coffee tastes good, nothing is a problem!
How to Make Strong Coffee
To make this coffee, you need a cup of espresso, a 90 ml glass or ceramic coffee cup, and 2-4 tablespoons of whipped milk and milk froth. You can also make a macchiato using espresso and 1 tablespoon of plain milk froth.

Piccolo Latte
"Piccolo" means "small" in Italian, so literally, this coffee is a small latte. To make this coffee, you need a cup of espresso, a 90 ml glass or ceramic coffee cup, and milk whipped to a fine texture. The thickness of the milk froth should be 0.5 to 1 decimeters.
You can also make a Piccolo latte using espresso and a regular latte cup.

Black coffee (Long Black)
To make black coffee, use a ceramic mug with a volume of 180-220 ml (preferably tulip-shaped). Pour 3/4 of the hot water first, then pour a double shot of espresso. You can freely adjust the espresso-making time according to the coffee variety and roast level.
You can also use regular espresso or double espresso to make black coffee.

Flat White
This coffee requires a ceramic cup (preferably tulip or bowl-shaped) with a volume of 180-220 ml, a cup of espresso, and milk whipped to a fine texture. The maximum thickness of the top layer of milk froth should not exceed 0.5 dm. The milk froth should perfectly complement the coffee oils.
You can try different varieties of milk to make Flat White coffee.

To make a Latte, you usually need a glass with a volume of 180-220 ml, a cup of espresso, and whipped milk. The thickness of the milk froth is 1-1.5 dm.
You can also use a larger cup, such as a glass with a volume of 250-280 ml to make a latte.

To make a cappuccino, you need a ceramic cup with a volume of 180-220 ml, a cup of espresso, and whipped milk. The thickness of the milk froth is 2-2.5 decimeters. Sprinkle the top with chocolate powder.
You can also reduce the amount of milk froth or leave out the chocolate powder.


Choosing good quality fresh coffee beans, grinding them, choosing the perfect brewing method, and experimenting more will help you find your flavor of super espresso. Don't be afraid to experiment, and remember my five tips that will hopefully help you make strong, delicious coffee every time.

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