There is not much that can wake you up in the morning or keep you going the afternoon like a shot (or two) of espresso. Since you may not always have an opportunity to head over to the coffee shop you may try to brew some at home.
However, you might find that it simply doesn’t have a strong enough flavor or doesn’t give you that caffeine buzz you’re looking for.
At this point, you may be wondering: “how do I make a stronger tasting espresso that has enough caffeine kick?”
By brewing coffee that has a stronger taste, the higher the caffeine content. There are several methods of making an espresso stronger.
- Add more coffee grounds in relation to the amount of water.
- Use a lighter roast, as they create a stronger brew.
- Use a Robusta blended coffee
You may also have to change your brewing method or opt for finer grounds; in order to find what makes a better espresso.
How Do I Give My Espresso A Stronger Taste?
Maybe your espressos are suffering from a weak taste, and you want to up the flavor content.
A simple way to do this is to change the grounds to water ratio.
Another way is to change up the kinds of grounds you use.
How Do Make My Espresso Have More Caffeine?
The intensity of an espresso’s flavor is correlated to the strength (caffeine content) of the brew.
Normally speaking, the stronger the taste, the more caffeine it has.
By focusing on the quality and amount of coffee, we can get a stronger espresso; we’ll start off with the grounds to water ratio and how it affects coffee.
What Are the Grounds to Water Ratio?
First, we’ll take a look at the grounds-to-water ratio. In simple terms, the amount of coffee in relation to the amount of water.
The normal grounds/water for espressos ratio is 1:2, meaning 1 part coffee grounds to 2 parts of espresso.
An example of this ratio in practice would be using 20 grams of ground coffee for a yield of 40g brewed espresso. Which makes a ratio of 20:40, simplified as 1:2.
Use a Robusta blended coffee
Research shows that Robusta coffee has a higher caffeine content than normal Arabica coffee. It’s also rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, improve athletic performance, reduce the risk of diabetes, and can even improve a person’s mood.
How Much More Coffee Do I Add to My Espresso?
By adding small-measured amounts of grounds you can strengthen the flavor. However, note that a 1:1 ratio would yield you a Ristretto, which is much stronger and more bitter than your average espresso.
For some, it may be just what you’re looking for. For those who aren’t looking for something so potent carefully add small amounts instead of a 1:2 ratio, try something like a 1.5:2 ratio.
The most accurate way to add more grounds to your coffee is to use a scale to measure your coffee grounds and liquid; as well as researching the ratios that work for your preferred methods.
This will take some trial and error as what makes a good espresso is subjective to your own palette.
But finding the perfect balance is what makes a few bad shots worth it in the end.
Do My Coffee Grounds Affect Espresso Strength?
The type of grounds you use also matter. Many are split between whether to use a dark or light roast.
A lighter roast will be stronger and have slightly more caffeine. If you buy beans to grind yourself make sure to grind light roast beans into a fine but not too powdery ground. Again, this takes trial and error.
A good way to test the fineness of your grounds is to pinch a bit between your fingers.
The Pinch Test
If your grounds stick and easily compresses into a dense flat shape it is too fine.
If you pinch and it compact it is too coarse.
If your grind compacts into a lump and sticks to your finger it should be just about right.
What Makes My Espressos Taste Weak?
Have you ever made an espresso at home, only to have it taste watery, weak, overly bitter, or even sour?
This can be a result of a few things such as over-extraction, under-extraction, the age of your coffee, and the quality of your roast.
What Is Over-Extraction and Under-Extraction?
Extraction is part of the brewing process where water-soluble materials and compounds are removed from the grounds.
These materials usually made up of caffeine, carbohydrates (sugar), lipids (fats), and acids.
These compounds dissolve and turn the water into drinkable coffee; along with giving the brew the characteristics exclusive to that type of coffee.
When you over-extract your espresso, it means you left it brewing for too long.
The longest an espresso should take is about 20-25 seconds.
If your espresso becomes overly bitter and has a burnt taste, you’ve over-extracted it.
Under-extraction on the other hand is the opposite of the latter.
An under-extracted espresso has not had enough time to extract the flavors and aromas out of the coffee. Or it may not have extracted enough.
This will cause your espresso to taste watery, sour, or acidic.
The Quality of Your Grounds Matter
If you find that your espressos are still lacking in taste and strength, it may be an issue with your grounds or beans.
Coffee is best for about 7-10 days before it falls victim to oxidation and becomes stale.
So make sure to check the date on your coffee and only look for quality grounds/beans, which is the most important part of brewing quality espressos.