How to Make Strong Coffee More Flavourful with Simple Additives

If you're anything like me, you know there's nothing quite like starting your day with a robust cup of coffee. It's not just about the caffeine hit; it's the rich, intense flavour that really wakes up the senses. I've spent years perfecting the art of making strong coffee at home, and I'm here to share my secrets with you.

Making strong coffee isn't just about doubling the amount of coffee grounds you use. There's a science to it, and with a few simple tweaks to your brewing process, you can achieve that coffee shop strength without stepping foot outside your door. Let's dive into how you can transform your home brew into a powerhouse of flavour and energy.

Choosing the right coffee beans

When it comes to making strong coffee that truly stands out, the choice of beans is paramount. It's not just about picking any dark roast off the shelf. The origin, roast, and type of beans all play crucial roles in the final cup's strength and flavour profile.

First off, let's talk roast types. Dark roasts are often recommended for stronger coffee because they've been roasted longer, creating a more pronounced and bolder flavour. However, it's a common misconception that dark roast means more caffeine. In reality, light roasts can pack more of a punch since less caffeine is burnt off during the roasting process. What you're looking for in a strong cup is the flavour intensity, and that's where dark roasts shine.

Next, consider the bean origin. Coffee beans from different regions bring unique flavours and intensities. For example, beans from Ethiopia have a distinct floral and fruity taste, while those from Sumatra often carry richer, earthier notes. When I'm aiming for a robust cup of coffee, I tend to lean towards beans from Central and South America. They usually offer the perfect balance of boldness without overpowering bitterness.

Finally, whether to opt for Single-Origin or Blends can also affect the strength and complexity of your coffee. Single-Origin coffees, sourced from one location, often provide a unique and specific taste profile, great for experiencing the nuanced flavours of that region. Blends, however, are crafted to achieve a consistent flavour, combining beans from various origins to create a balanced, strong cup that's perfect for daily drinking.

When selecting your beans:

By paying attention to these details, I've been able to craft cups of coffee at home that rival those I'd get from my local café. And there's something incredibly satisfying about brewing the perfect, strong cup of coffee with beans you've selected and prepared yourself.

Grinding your beans to perfection

Grinding coffee beans just before brewing is a game-changer for anyone looking to brew a strong and flavourful cup at home. The grind size of your beans significantly impacts the extraction process, which in turn, affects the strength and flavour of your coffee. Let's dive into how I achieve the perfect grind every time.

First off, it's crucial to use a Burr Grinder rather than a blade grinder. Burr grinders provide a consistent grind size, which is key for extracting the full flavour and strength from your beans. Blade grinders, on the other hand, create an uneven grind, which can lead to a bitter or weak coffee.

Here’s a simple guide I follow for grinding beans:

  1. Measure Your Beans: I usually go by the golden ratio of 1:15, which is one part coffee to fifteen parts water. For a stronger brew, I'll tweak this ratio slightly to increase the coffee amount.
  2. Select the Right Grind Size: For a strong coffee, a fine grind is usually best as it increases the surface area in contact with water, enhancing the extraction. However, the exact grind size can depend on the brewing method.
  1. Grind Your Beans: Pop your beans into the burr grinder and select your grind size. Grind just the amount you need for your brew to ensure freshness.
  2. Brew Immediately: After grinding, brew your coffee as soon as possible. The longer ground coffee is exposed to air, the more flavour is lost.

By grinding your own beans and tailoring the grind size to your preferred brewing method, you’ll unlock a cup of coffee that’s not only strong but also rich in flavour. Remember, experimentation is key. Don't be afraid to adjust the grind size and ratios to suit your taste.

Adjusting your coffee to water ratio

In my journey to crafting the perfect cup of strong coffee, I've learned that the coffee to water ratio plays a pivotal role. It's not just about the grind size or the brewing method; it's about how much coffee you use compared to the amount of water.

Typically, I've found that a ratio of 1:15 (coffee to water) works well for a standard brew. However, when the goal is to make your coffee stronger, tweaking this ratio is necessary. Here’s what I do:

Here's a simple guide I follow:

  1. Measure your coffee beans. For a strong cup, start with about 18 grams of coffee.
  2. Grind the beans to the correct coarseness for your brewing method.
  3. Measure the water. For 18 grams of coffee, use 216 grams of water (if following a 1:12 ratio).
  4. Brew as you normally would, ensuring your brewing time is appropriate for the method.

Remember, experimentation is key. The ideal ratio for me might not be perfect for you. It's all about finding that sweet spot where the coffee's strength meets your personal preference. Adjusting the coffee to water ratio is a simple yet effective step towards achieving that robust, flavourful cup of coffee that energizes your day.

Experimenting with different brewing methods

When I've set my sights on making the perfect strong cup of coffee, adjusting the coffee to water ratio is just the beginning. I've found that different brewing methods can vastly alter the strength and flavour profile of my brew. Here's how I navigate through a few popular methods, keeping the quest for that robust cup in focus.

French Press

The French Press is my go-to for a richer, fuller-bodied coffee. It allows the coffee oils and fine particles to remain in the final cup, enhancing the strength and flavour.


The AeroPress can make an incredibly strong and smooth cup, almost akin to espresso, depending on how you use it.

Cold Brew

Strong doesn't always mean hot. Cold brew concentrates are bold, yet smooth, and can be made stronger based on the ratio and steeping time.

By trying different brewing methods and playing with the coffee to water ratios, I've learned there's an art to making strong coffee. It's not just about the method or the amount of coffee; it's about how these elements interact and the small adjustments you make along the way.

Enhancing the flavour with additives

Once I've mastered the art of brewing a strong cup, I always look for ways to take the flavour profile up a notch. It's impressive how a few simple additives can transform your robust coffee into a more complex and enjoyable beverage. Here, I'll share the essentials:

Making your enhanced strong coffee is straightforward. I like to keep things simple for ease and consistency:

  1. Brew your coffee following your chosen strong method – French Press, AeroPress, or Cold Brew.
  2. Choose your additive(s) based on the flavour profile you desire.
  3. For liquid additives like vanilla extract or milk, add them directly to your freshly brewed coffee and stir well.
  4. For dry additives like cocoa powder or cinnamon, consider dissolving them in a small amount of hot water before adding to your coffee to ensure a smooth blend.
  5. Taste and adjust. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation to find the perfect balance.

Remember, the goal here isn't just about achieving strength; it’s also about enriching the coffee's flavour to suit your palate. The beauty of using additives is the customisation it offers, turning your strong coffee into a more versatile drink that caters exactly to your tastes. So don't be afraid to experiment with quantities and combinations until you find your perfect brew.


Crafting the perfect strong coffee is an art that's deeply personal and infinitely customizable. I've shared how experimenting with additives like sugar, milk, and spices can transform your brew into a rich, flavourful experience. Remember, the key lies in adjusting the ingredients to suit your taste. Whether you're a fan of a sweet touch or prefer the complexity spices bring, there's always room to refine and perfect your cup. So, don't be afraid to experiment and find your unique blend. After all, the best cup of coffee is the one that delights your senses and perfectly complements your day.

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