The best part of being a coffee enthusiast is experimenting with different roast profiles and coffee bean tastes. With complex notes that run the gamut from fruity to savory, you can try almost any type of finish that’s sure to please your palate. So, let’s take a look at how you can find your ideal coffee strength with this brew guide – keep reading to find out more.
An Explanation Of Roast Strength
People often wonder what the strength differences are between light, medium and dark roasts. Well, that will depend a lot on the type of bean you use, who makes it and who’s drinking it. After all, no two fresh whole beans will taste exactly the same, so there’s no easy answer. In general though, you can expect dark roast to contain the most robust, full-bodied flavors like nutiness, chocolate, caramel and spices. Light roast, on the other hand, is more sweet, acidic with citrusy, tangy and floral notes.
Taste Strength vs. Caffeine Strength
A lot of people don’t clarify whether they want a strong coffee in terms of taste or in terms of caffeine. There’s a pretty substantial difference.
Unfortunately, unless you’re buying a specialty brand of coffee, most roast profiles have marginally different caffeine levels. So, you’re not necessarily receiving a huge energy boost by drinking one roast color over the other. The most important thing to remember when trying to brew a caffeine-strong cup of coffee is to reduce the bean-to-water ratio.
If by strength you’re referring to the flavor, however, or how intense it tastes, then the answer may be harder to pin down. You can expect dark roast to offer more depth of flavor but varieties tend to blend together. With light roast, you get a more complex finish that may be off-putting to those who prefer something more traditional. A medium roast sits right in the middle and offers a good mix of both. It depends on the needs of each individual batch of beans.
Start With Your Coffee Beans
A delicious pot of coffee starts with high-quality beans. With so many different strengths to choose from, you may have to experiment with different brands before finding a bag of beans that connects with you. But, try evaluating your beans by some of the following criteria in order to start narrowing your preferred strength. Remember, there’s no wrong approach and this is where you get to have fun experimenting.
- Origin country or growing zone
- How much processing goes into roasting the bean
- Bean variety, whether Arabica or Robusta
- Whether it’s a pure roast or blended batch
- The mouthfeel of the coffee type, also known as viscosity
- Buy coffee with a recent roast date, as freshly roasted beans will always taste better
Grinding Your Coffee Beans
To achieve the freshest-tasting cup of coffee, buy recently roasted beans and grind them immediately before putting them in your brewing machine and pressing start. A burr grinder or blade grinder can be a budding barista’s handiest tool to have, breaking down coffee to a uniform size. Remember to always avoid buying pre-ground products, because they’ll likely be stale by the time they hit your pantry shelf.
Burr grinders are generally the highest-recommended type of device for this purpose. That’s because they’re completely adjustable, allowing you to achieve a certain coarseness or fineness with your grind. From there, the grind size can be used throughout a number of different brewing methods, from French press to espresso to pour-over, depending on what the recipe calls for.
To achieve the best coffee strength, the right water-to-bean ratio is incredibly important. Normally, the rule of thumb for beginners is to use one tablespoon of grounds for every four to six ounces of water. Depending on how flavorful you want your coffee or how much you want to boost caffeine levels, you can adjust your ratio to include more water or more grounds.
Another important component about achieving a strong coffee is to make sure your water is at the appropriate temperature for a proper brew. Your brewer should reach a temperature of 200°F to 215°F, which is near-boiling or boiling (the final temperature will depend on the specific recipe you’re following). Water that’s colder than that will result in under extraction that’s sharp and sour, while water that’s too hot will turn your coffee bitter.
Remember to always use the proper safety equipment when dealing with boiling water and other hot beverages. Never handle hot brewers or saucepans without oven mitts or other protective gear for your hands.
Finally, you’re ready to prepare a strong pot of coffee. But how long should you let it brew? The amount of time you leave water in contact with grounds will dictate how strong of a result you get.
In general, the majority of coffee brewing methods only take a few minutes. For example, a drip coffee machine can brew your coffee in 10 minutes, while an espresso machine may be done in just 30 seconds. On the other end, cold brew can take up to an entire day to complete the flavor infusion process.
To make adjustments with the strength of your coffee, try messing with your timer to improve extraction. If there’s a noticeable bitterness, shorten the brew time, while an abundance of acid means you need to lengthen the brew time.
Have Fun Experimenting With Different Coffee Strengths!
Now that you understand some of the key things that affect coffee strength, you’re that much closer to becoming a master brewer yourself. Remember that you can adjust anything from brew time to water temperature to the ratio of grounds and so much more. At the end, you’ll have tried a variety of coffee strengths that will help you narrow down a favorite – best of luck!
Are you searching for the perfect coffee strength? Try Inflight Fuel today!
For a coffee that is flavorful, bold and offers the perfect caffeine level, then reach for a bag of Inflight Fuel. With light, medium and dark roast beans, sourced from local farms in the Dominican Republic, you get a coffee that tastes great and works hard. No matter what type of strength level you prefer, you’ll find a tasty option with this high-quality coffee product. So, no matter where life takes you, make sure you’re prepared by picking up a bag of Inflight Coffee.