How To Make Your Coffee Extra Strong

As most experienced coffee drinkers will tell you, there’s almost nothing worse than a watery cup of coffee. Weak coffee is an unfortunately common problem, with some pretty simple solutions.

If you feel like your coffee is missing some “oomph,” or you just want to make richer, more flavorful coffee, we’re here to help! Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth when you make your cup of joe.

Caffeine, Bitterness, or Richness?

Before going over how to make strong coffee, let’s first clear up the definition of “strong coffee.” When people say that they want their coffee to be strong, they can mean a couple of different things. 

Some people define a strong cup of coffee as coffee with the highest amount of caffeine. When looking for a cup of coffee, this crowd is looking for a rocket boost of energy to start their day, no exceptions! 

Others define coffee strength by its taste, or more specifically, its bitterness. Though it might be an acquired taste, to these folks, bitter coffee is the tried and true method for caffeine consumption.

The third and final group of people define their coffee’s strength by its richness instead of its taste or caffeine content. For this group, a strong cup of coffee is full-bodied and dark, with complex, vivid tastes that go beyond your typical gas station coffee cup.

So Who’s Right? 

All of them! When it comes to coffee preferences, there’s no wrong answer. It’s important to find your favorite way to drink coffee, and we’re here to help everyone on their coffee discovery journey. 

To help everyone find their perfect strong coffee, we have recommendations for all three categories of people! If you identified with any of the groups above, keep reading to find out the best way to step up your coffee game.

The Energizer Bunnies

First, let’s talk about caffeine-heavy coffee and what you can do to brew the best high caffeine coffee. 

Roast Type

When coffee is roasted, there are typically three types of roast; light, medium, and dark. These types refer to how long the coffee beans were roasted, but many people assume it relates to the levels of caffeine in the coffee as well. The most common assumption for many people is that a dark roast would take the cake, but is dark roast coffee stronger?

Not really. 

Light and dark roast coffees are relatively similar when it comes to caffeine, but light-roasted beans actually contain slightly more caffeine than their counterparts! While this doesn’t mean that switching to a light roast coffee will skyrocket your caffeine intake, it might be an excellent first step to bumping up the energy in your coffee.


Another common assumption about caffeine is that espresso drinks have high caffeine content. Many people will switch from coffee to espresso shots for this reason, but is espresso stronger than coffee?

Again, not really!

Espresso shots are highly concentrated and technically have more caffeine per ounce than black coffee. However, one serving of espresso (one shot) has about 80 mg of caffeine, while one serving of “regular” coffee can contain up to 120 mg of caffeine

You will get a more concentrated source of caffeine with espresso, but replacing your morning cup of coffee with an espresso shot won’t boost the amount of caffeine you’re getting. However, if you already bought your espresso machine, you can start making your drinks with a double shot of espresso. Just don’t overdo it!

The Bitter Bunch

If you think your coffee is too sweet or doesn’t have enough bitterness in it, you’re in the right place. Bitter coffee can sometimes be a sign of water that was too hot or an over-roasted batch of beans, but there are also ways to make tasty coffee more on the bitter side. 

The Dark Side of the Bean

As opposed to the caffeine seekers, if you’re looking to bitter up your brew, you should probably head towards the dark roasted coffee beans in your grocery store! Dark roasted beans are the beans that spend the most time with the roasters, and as a result, they can make for a nice, bitter flavor profile

Alternatively, you can try to find Robusta coffee beans, although you might have a hard time. Most coffee consumed in the U.S. is grown with Arabica coffee beans, but it’s still possible to find Robusta beans. Most commonly, you can find Robusta beans in instant coffee mix and some espresso blends.

Robusta coffee beans are significantly more bitter and can sometimes taste burnt or rubbery. However, they are much easier to grow, and if adequately tended to, a high-end Robusta can taste pretty good. Just don’t count on finding very many options!

The Richy Riches

If you’re searching for the richest, most decadent, and complex cup of coffee you can find, you fall into this category. Unlike the other two classes of people, the richness of your coffee cup depends more on the brewing method than anything else. 

How Much Is Too Much?

The best way to avoid watery coffee is to make sure you have the coffee-to-water ratio correct. The National Coffee Association suggests that you use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water to make the ideal cup of coffee. We recommend starting with this ratio and experimenting until you find the perfect richness. 

coffee maker

To increase the coffee strength, try upping the amount of coffee you use, but don’t change how much hot water you add. Do this gradually until you find the balance that fits your taste buds. However, it is possible to go too far and make a very bitter brew, so be careful.

Be Picky!

Another reason you might have watery coffee might come down to where you get your beans. If possible, you should always opt for freshly-ground beans, as these will have more robust, richer, and deeper flavors that can round out a cup of coffee. You should always try to buy whole bean coffee and grind it yourself if possible, as this can retain more flavor in your coffee!


Finding freshly roasted coffee is also a great idea, as grocery store coffee tends to be older, resulting in a less developed cup of coffee. Amora Coffee can fix both of these problems with our coffee subscription service!

We deliver freshly roasted (using our perfected 9-step roasting process) coffee straight to your front door, without a middle man! Sign up today to start discovering the joys of coffee, the way it was meant to be. 

1 comment

  • Great way to describe how we like our coffee, words can mean something different to any person your talking to. Thanks.

    Betsy Leeman

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