Concentration not Strength
It’s certainly been a while since I have written a proper blog post and I just had a few guests in our café ask the same exact question of “which coffee is the strongest?”. Since I hear that question in your emails too, I figured it's the perfect time to talk about strength!
Strength is a tricky subject but a very common word used to describe coffee. Much like "bold" it’s a bit vague and could mean several things. Does the strength describe how heavy the coffee is to drink (mouth feel)? Or maybe we think of strength as how much energy it gives us (caffeine content)? The most popular connotation for strength is how intense it tastes. I think that’s what most of us imagine; something heavy, intense and with a big flavor. Also a way of something: ‘don’t give me some watery swill!’
I hate the online recipe sites that tell you their life story before giving you the ingredients so let me just cut to the chase on which coffee is the strongest, then we’ll continue the article below.
Strongest to Lightest
- Wolves & the Mandolin
- Border Blend
- American Thunder
- Buon Giorno
- Deplorable Blend
- Frontier Espresso
- Settler Decaf
- Liberty Blend
Ok, so now we have a list here of our strongest to lightest coffees. In reality any of these can be made strong. Even the lightest, my personal favorite, Homestead can produce a heavy, thick cup of Joe. It goes back to the subject of this article and general kung-Fu wisdom; Concentration not Strength.
My typical ratio for a 12 cup Mr. Coffee pot is 2oz (60g) of coffee for a full pot. Now, I can make a really heavy cup of Homestead by just using more coffee grounds. Say, 3oz. Just to try and see how we like it. I’ve harped and harped on making coffee a fun experiment at home so many times. It is so much fun, and it turns something you love into a neat hobby. Don’t be intimated by the elite hipster nerds. You do you. Learn at your pace and have fun with every sip. I’m always here to help.
In conclusion, I believe "strength" has nothing to do with caffeine. We tend to imagine darker coffees as being "stronger", but the darker its roasted the more caffeine is cooked off. Lighter roasts have more caffeine. Strength has more to do with mouth feel, which sounds pretentious, but it’s a really important part of describing coffee. On the flip side it just sounds weird. “Yes, please I’d like a heavy mouth feel coffee”. Just sounds off. "Strength" is really mouth feel, and what we’re trying to say is "hey, I want a tasty cup of coffee that sticks to my ribs and isn’t watery or bland." Is that fair? How would you describe coffee strength?