For many people, a regular strength cup of coffee isn't enough -- they want big, bold flavor from their brew.
Contrary to what some believe, strong coffee shouldn't be bitter or burnt tasting at all. In fact, if it's properly made it will have a rich flavor that's delicious and distinctive.
With the right roast and grind, you'll be well on your way to a great cup of coffee that will knock your socks off.
If you want to make your own rich brew at home, here are 10 tips on how to make strong coffee.
The roast that you choose matters, so opt for one with a rich flavor.
Dark roasts, including French roast, will produce the strongest cup of coffee.
Arabica and Colombian beans are best for the job, even though they're more expensive per pound than robusta beans -- the latter is noticeably more bitter tasting.
Freshness is key, so use whole beans whenever possible.
The quality of your beans will show through in the final cup, and since you're going for strength that means all of the flavors will be concentrated.
Start with subpar beans, and you'll have a mediocre brew. Get decent coffee, and you'll enjoy the taste much more.
If you want to go all out, roast your own whole coffee beans in a popcorn popper. Source green coffee, which is unroasted, from your local grocery store or a site such as Sweet Maria's, Dean's Beans, or Burman Coffee.
Add the same amount of coffee beans that you would corn kernels to the popper, and then start the machine. After the cycle is done, pour the beans into a colander so air can circulate and cool them off faster -- don't grind the beans until they've completely cooled.
Grind your beans so that they're the appropriate size for your brewing method. A burr grinder is best, and you can choose between automatic and electric models.
The key is only grinding up enough to use at once so the rest of your coffee stays as fresh tasting as possible.
Use a pour over method, such as a Chemex, or French press for strong coffee without the burnt taste that can come from using a drip brewer.
If you have a high end automatic coffeemaker, you may not have any issues with bitterness or burnt tasting brew. However, if your model isn't producing the cup of coffee that you want, try switching methods.
If you're a fan of automatic drip machines, add a pinch of salt to your grounds before you start your brewing cycle.
Doing so won't make the coffee salty -- you only need to add a little bit -- but it will make the resulting coffee taste smoother and prevent bitterness.
French press coffee can be easily customized and it's a great method for making strong coffee.
The longer you allow the grounds and hot water to sit together, the more flavor and oils will be extracted.
To cheat a bit and create a strong cup of French press coffee quickly, use the size grounds that you would for an automatic drip machine, but don't increase your brewing time.
Be mindful of the ratio of water to coffee that you use, regardless your preferred method. If you're using a darkly roasted coffee, don't worry about using more grounds per cup of water than you normally would.
You should use a bit more coffee than you normally would if you're not using dark roast coffee, but don't go overboard.
Use about 1/3 more coffee and keep the amount of water you usually add the same. If you use a coffee scoop or measuring spoon, you'll make figuring out the ratio much easier.
Because people's tastes in coffee vary so widely, you'll definitely need to go through a bit of trial and error.
If you find that your brew isn't strong enough after the first time, add a bit more coffee or brew it for a longer cycle going forward.
If you think the finished coffee tastes like it will blow your head off, scale it back and use less grounds or a shorter brewing time.