Grinding coffee beans means you’re creating a larger surface area to extract their aroma, caffeine content, flavor, and oil through brewing.
Whether you plan to grind your own or buy a bag of pre-ground coffee, choosing the right grind size matters.
Since it can affect how well you draw out the contents, which grind makes the strongest coffee?
Answering this question is a bit tricky because of the number of brewing methods available.
What’s more, the coffee grind size isn’t the only factor that affects how strong or weak your cup will be.
By learning about how grind size affects flavor and strength, as well as which size to pick depending on your preferred brewing method, you’d be able to play around with your brews.
Does Finer or Coarser Grind Make Stronger Coffee?
If you’ve been brewing or drinking coffee for a long time, you know that there are several grind sizes: extra-fine, fine, medium, medium-coarse, and coarse.
To find out which grind makes the strongest coffee, let’s focus on comparing fine and coarse grinds in terms of how they affect extraction and steep time.
Aptly named, finer grinds are smaller and more densely packed when brewed.
Because they have more surface area, the water passes through the grinds more slowly than when you use coarse coffee.
Thus, the water has a longer contact time with the coffee grinds, leading to more flavor and caffeine extraction but a shorter steeping time.
The higher level of caffeine and flavor extracted is why fine grind makes the strongest cup of coffee.
That said, the typical fine coffee grind isn’t ideal for all brewing methods.
Using a coffee grind that is too fine (and even too coarse) for a particular brewing method will negatively impact your coffee drinking experience.
Too finely ground coffee will lead to over-extraction of flavors and oils, resulting in a gritty, bitter-tasting cup.
On the contrary, too coarse coffee grinds lead to under-extraction, so you will end up drinking a cup of coffee that is acidic, sour, and, at times, salty.
Which Grind Makes the Strongest Coffee?
Setting your coffee grinder to the finest grind that your brewing method allows is the best way to go about maximum extraction without going overboard.
To help you produce a tasty cup of strong coffee, here is a table of the recommended grind size for the most popular brewing methods:
|Brewing Methods||Grind Size Recommendations|
|Aeropress||Fine to Medium|
|Drip Coffee Maker||Coarse to Medium-Coarse|
|French Press||Coarse to Medium-Coarse|
|Pour-Over Coffee||Coarse to Medium|
|Siphon Coffee Maker||Medium|
|Single-Cup Coffee Maker||Coarse to Medium-Coarse|
|Stovetop Espresso Maker||Fine|
|Turkish Coffee Pot||Extra-fine|
How Can I Make Strong Coffee at Home?
Now that you know which grind size makes the strongest coffee for your chosen brewing method, it’s time to learn about the other factors affecting coffee strength.
Below are some essential tips to keep in mind when grinding and brewing your coffee at home.
Use a Quality Grinder
Having a quality coffee grinder will ensure you achieve the grind size you need and want.
You also have to maintain your grinder blade’s sharpness to achieve evenly sized coffee grinds.
While following the proper steps on how to use a coffee grinder is essential, you also need to keep your machine free of dirt and leftover grinds.
Doing so ensures nothing prevents the blade from grinding the bean efficiently.
Choose Dark Roast Beans
Even if you use the best coffee grinder and the right grind size, choosing rich-flavored beans will increase your chances of preparing the strongest cup.
Dark and French roast Arabica and Colombian beans are highly recommended. If they are too expensive for you, you can opt for medium-roast beans.
That said, you can purchase green coffee and roast them on your own using your popcorn popper.
All you have to do is measure enough beans; the amount should be similar to the corn kernels you use when making popcorn.
Set the machine to one cycle, and start the popcorn popper. Slowly pour the beans into a clean colander for proper airflow, and allow them to cool.
Once cooled down completely, you can either grind them or store them in an air-tight container.
Use Fresh Coffee Grind
The fresher your coffee grind is, the more flavor, oil, and aroma it has.
Hence, it is best to grind your beans as and when needed if you want to prepare strong coffee.
That’s why learning how many coffee beans to grind per cup of Joe is essential so that you only grind what you need.
Understandably, you might not have enough time to prepare a fresh grind each time you need your caffeine load.
You can grind beans enough for two weeks and store them in an air-tight container.
Be Mindful of the Brewing Ratio
The National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc. sets the standard coffee-to-water ratio to one to two tablespoons coffee grind to six ounces of water.
That said, you can increase the amount of coffee grind to 2.5 tablespoons if you are not using dark roast beans or fresh grind.
Master Your Brewing Method
Every coffee brewing method has unique features, so preparing a cup using a French press is different from brewing one using your drip coffee maker.
Ensure you master how to prepare a cup of Joe using your preferred brewing method.
A skipped step or misstep, such as not following the recommended steeping time, can affect how delicious and strong your cup of coffee will be.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment!
While finer coffee grinds ensure maximum flavor, aroma, caffeine, and oil extraction, bean and coffee grinder quality, grind freshness, brewing ratio, and brewing method mastery have significant roles too.
Start from these fundamental pieces of information, and don’t be afraid to experiment to achieve the coffee taste you want.
After all, one’s strong coffee isn’t the same as another’s.
Slowly adjust the brewing ratio, but don’t go overboard. Adding one-third tablespoon of coffee grinds at a time is ideal.
If you still don’t have a brewing machine, we highly recommend opting for one that uses a fine coffee grind.