When people want to get the coffee they want, they often talk about how “strong” it is. Furthermore, some people say they like their cup of joe “stronger”, and others prefer theirs “weaker”.
However, if you take a closer look at it, a coffee’s strength can mean different things. On top of that, people use it to describe various flavors. For some, strength is determined by its roast degree; the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee.
With that said, you should know that this isn't a true indicator of strength. Rather, the roast degree affects various factors, such as the coffee’s acidity, aroma, body, complexity of flavor, fragrance, and mouth-feel. Moreover, strength refers to the intensity of all of these traits.
If you want to make coffee based on the strength you want, what you’ll need to work on is the extraction process.
On that note, it’s worth mentioning that brewing can be quite tricky; it also tends to be the most overlooked process. It is because of these reasons that people are usually not able to achieve the taste and strength they want.
To help you get started on the right track, here are the three basic elements of extraction that you must pay attention to:
1. The Ratio of Coffee to Water
As suggested by coffee professionals, the ideal ratio of coffee to water you must go for is between 1:15 to 1:18. Then, you can adjust the ratio by adding more or putting less coffee, depending on how strong you want it to be.
This is the best ratio that will allow you to extract the desirable flavors of your coffee beans while leaving less palatable ones behind.
If you go more than the suggested ratio, you are likely extracting all of the flavors (both good and bad). On the other hand, if you go less than the ideal figure, you will end up with a bland cup as the flavors are not extracted enough.
2. Grind Size
You must remember this when brewing: the grinding setting you use must be based on how long the water will interact with the coffee.
For example, if you want to make an espresso, you will need a very fine grind. Since water will only interact with the beans for around 20 seconds, you need to grind the beans finely to get all the tasty flavors.
3. Brewing Method
As alluded to earlier, strength can refer to the level of body, acidity and caffeine content in your cup. Considering this, you can create a strong or weak coffee by using different brewing methods.
If you judge a coffee’s strength by its body, you can get a “strong” cup by using a french press. This method can make a coffee that is both flavorful and heavy-bodied. On the other hand, if you want a less strong brew, using a pourover is your best bet. This produces a lighter body and a cleaner cup.
If you think of acidity when you refer to strength, you can simply interchange the two. You can get a “stronger” cup with a pourover, while a french press will give you a cup with a mellower brew and brighter acidity.
Finally, if you evaluate a coffee’s strength based on its caffeine content, a cold brew or espresso is your best choice for a strong cup.
With that, you now know that there are different factors to consider when talking about a coffee’s strength. Furthermore, you can create a stronger or weaker cup depending on how you extract the coffee. There are different brewing methods and coffee-to-water ratios you can experiment on until you achieve the taste you want. While all of these may sound intimidating, don’t entertain the nerves—you’ll surely find the whole process enjoyable!
Looking for the best coffee in the US for your coffee experiments? You’ve come to the right place! At Cafe Joe USA, all of our products are made with carefully sourced beans from around the globe. Get your hands on our flavorful coffee beans—shop today!
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