How to Make Strong Coffee Using a Coffee Maker?


One of the most common questions people ask is, “Why does my coffee maker make a strong cup of coffee when I hit the button that switches from regular to strong?” The answer is simple. Technically speaking, a coffee maker doesn’t create stronger coffee by hitting its button; instead, the switch is just a mechanical way to control how fast water reaches the coffee grounds in a coffee maker or whether the brewing time has to be increased.

Different Methods of Making the Strong Brew in a Coffee Maker

There are two main ways to make the coffee stronger: Increase your water temperature or increase the brew time. 

1. Increase The Temperature Of Water. 

Keep the coffee brewing temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature to make a delectable cup of java. It can be achieved with a programmable water heater and an automatic shut-off function. 

2. Increase Brewing Time

This method is only recommended if you’re using a machine with a built-in grinder or an adjustable grind. It provides an experimentation space with the grind size, allowing different types of grinds to be used for a perfect cup of coffee. Managing the grind size would mean modifying the strength, color and flavor of the coffee mixture. For example, using a built-in grinder provides a granulated size from coarse to fine particles. A medium course setting is better for a strong brew while a fine setting is better for a regular brew.

3. Blend Two Different Coffee Beans

This is a method commonly used to brew a strong cup of coffee. Grind two different kinds of beans and use the same drip machine for 2-3 days. This will change the taste and flavor of the drink. You can start over again, using only one type of bean or continue with the recipe you were using. 

4. Single-Bean Method

Coffee drinks can also be made from pre-ground coffee beans. You can purchase ground beans from a specialty shop or grind them at home. Use the same way of preparing the coffee by following the steps above to get a different brew strength. 

Factors That Affect Brew Strength

Various Factors That Affect the Brew Of Prepared Coffee

1. Brew Cycle

A cycle of 2 minutes is standard but most brewers will need a minute and 40 seconds or a bit longer.

For the first two methods mentioned above, you’ll need a long brew cycle to allow time for the water to boil and then cool down slightly before the brewing process. A good rule of thumb is to figure out how long the machine takes to brew a full carafe. It’s not unusual for the unit to take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. 

2. Water Temperature

Anywhere between 175°F and 195°F is optimal. However, this can vary depending on the setup and coffee bean type. High temperatures mean quicker brewing (and possibly stale tasting), while low temperatures will produce weaker brews.

3. Type Of Coffee

This factor is a complicated one as every individual has a different taste and liking to a cup of coffee. But in general, the higher the grade of coffee, the stronger the brew. However, other details are also essential with the grade. 

4. Grind size

Grind size is one of the most important factors in the brewing procedure. Fine grinds tend to take more time for extraction and produce a weak brew than medium or coarse grinds. On the other hand, the fine grind provides more surface area for the water or milk to mix. The optimum grind size is a little coarser than normal and it requires more steeping for a better taste. 

5. Saturation

This process entails the extraction of coffee in the water. Moreover, this process is related to the strength of the brew. The slower it goes, the stronger the brew becomes. 

6. Filtered Or Not Filtered

Some people believe that it is better to use filtered water. But, the truth is that all coffee makers are designed to filter and pour through the coffee grinds. Non-filtered coffee would produce a more acidic cup of coffee and the taste has to be adjusted. 

7) Brew Ratio

The brew ratio refers to the amount of coffee grind and the water used in the coffee dispenser. If the ratio is 1:15, you will have a significantly stronger cup than if you used 1:10 or 1:12. This ratio is important because it alters the taste and flavor of the coffee. However, the thumb rule states that the grind size and strength of the coffee work simultaneously. 

8) Extraction Percentage

The extraction percentage relates to the amount of coffee extracted from the beans. This plays a key role in determining the strength of the brew. If the beans provide a high extraction percentage, it will give a more concentrated brew than if the extraction percentage was lower. Higher extraction percentages mean more intense flavor in each cup.

9) Bypass Brewing and Dilution

When you brew coffee using a bypass machine, the water does not go through the grounds but is rather “bypassed” around them. The result is a diluted cup of coffee in which there is less caffeine than normal. Dilution varies depending on how coffee beans are grounded. 

10) Coffee Machines 

Different coffee machines affect the strength of the mixture as well. The drip machines use paper filters that will not allow any coffee grounds to go into the cup. By contrast, the French press allows all of the coffee particulate to flow through. This provides a stronger brew and a flavored cup of java. 

11)  Number Of Grounds

This also affects the strength of the coffee. This is because more surface area provides for an improved mixing procedure. However, a pulverized version of coffee would diminish its strength. 

12) Method For Brewing

The method of brewing is also important in determining the strength of the mixture. If you want to have a stronger brew, don’t use any milk or cream to cut the coffee. This would dilute it and reduce its flavor and aroma. 

What Does the Strong Setting on Coffee Makers Do?

The strong setting on a drip coffee maker will either increase the brew time or temperature. In addition to it, the unit can deliver more quantity of water on the coffee grounds. 

With a Keurig coffee maker, the strong button is a multiplier, increasing water flow while decreasing the temperature. This usually produces a relatively weak coffee since the temperature will be less than 175 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you intend to increase the strength of the coffee to maximum, hold down the button until the light changes. This will result in a steady water level rise along with temperature for better flavor extraction. 

How Keurig’s Strong Setting Brews a Stronger Cup

This depends on the brew time. The Keurig’s strength setting is determined by how long the water is on the grounds. The longer you allow it to brew, the more caffeine it will extract. 

This feature is great for specialty coffees or those that are flavored with chicory or other flavorings. Since the brewing control mechanism works manually, the taste and aroma of the beverage can be handled with consistency. 

Do Small Keurig Cups Have Stronger Coffee Than Big Cups?

Stronger Keurig coffees work better with a smaller cup and can be brewed at any time of the day. The smaller cups are more convenient to store and serve. Plus, the concentrated taste is easier to handle. Try using a 12- or 16-ounce cup for optimal results.

How Can We Make A Low-Strength Coffee Mix By Accident? 

A coffee maker of the Keurig variety is one of the most convenient devices to make a cup of coffee. However, if you accidentally put in too much percolator water or use too strong a grind, you might get a weak or flavorless brew.

This is important because coffee drinkers take pride in their brewed coffee tastes and aroma. If you make a poor mixture by accident, it is not an easy fix to make. 

Is There Anything Wrong With Brewing Coffee at a Lower Temperature?

The short answer is yes. It depends on how the coffee is being brewed. In general, the lower the temperature of the water, the more stale-tasting the brew will be. The extraction process would be limited too.

Coffee Makers With Adjustable Brew Strengths

There are plenty of coffee makers with adjustable brew strength settings. Some machines don’t have this feature but can still adjust how strong the brew can be made. You will need to use the timer function on the machine at least once near the end of the brewing process, if not sooner. This will increase the water temperature, which will correspondingly increase the flavor and caffeine levels in the cup. Some of the different coffee makers with brew settings include: 

1) Hamilton Beach 46201 

This coffee maker allows modification and adjustment to the strength of the coffee mixture. It has a strength selector with three settings, allowing you to brew anywhere from a weaker cup of coffee to a stronger one.

2) Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT

This machine allows customization of the brew strength by selecting between 5 different levels of strength. It provides an option between the mildest brew and a strong one without compromising on taste or convenience.

3) Krups KM9008 Cup On Request 

This unit has an adjustable valve that lets the user control the brew strength by selecting from three levels of strength – mild, medium, and strong. The user can use this setting to their benefit depending on the preferred coffee strength for a particular situation.

4) Cuisinart DCC-3200

This Cuisinart comes with a brew strength selector. It is adjustable between settings of mild, medium, and strong. The machine has a timer function to also assist in this process.

5) Beverage-a-Matic/Breville PB2

This machine has a brewing strength selector with five levels, allowing efficient brewing of coffee. It also features a digital display on the machine that lets you know when to add coffee grounds and what strength has been chosen.

6) Cuisinart DTC 800-CAM Italian Super Automatic 

This machine features adjustable brew strength settings. This allows full control over how strong the coffee would be without compromising on taste or convenience.


Whether you brew your coffee or buy it, you have to consider the strength of the mix too. Coffee drinkers enjoy their drinks served on a variety of different levels. So, if you are a coffee aficionado, make sure that you know how to make a strong one. If you want your coffee to be stronger or even weaker, follow the instructions in the article to get the desired results.

As indicated, using the right amount of coffee grounds matters too. The number of grounds used in making a cup of coffee can affect its strength and taste. Hope this article was informational and useful. Good Day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the best water to coffee ratio?

A. 1-2 tablespoon of coffee with 6-8 ounces of water makes up for an enjoyable cup of coffee. Brew the coffee and have a tasty cup at any time of the day.

Q. How do coffee and temperature work together?

A. According to the Coffee Association of America, 90% of the contact time between water and coffee should be at a temperature of 92-96 degrees Centigrade. However, in manual brewing, this can be achieved by letting the water boil for 3-5 minutes before mixing it with ground coffee.

Q. How does one know if the coffee is strong?

A. Take the actual components of the coffee into consideration. These include the type of beans, size of the ground, extraction method and others. On the other hand, the effect of caffeine on a human body varies from person to person.