Brew That Coffee STRONG

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Written By: Brianna Snyder

There’s really no one better qualified to tell you about strong coffee than Teah Teriele, marketing manager at Death Wish Coffee.

For those unfamiliar with Death Wish, the Round Lake, New York-based coffee is known as the literal strongest in the world. Founded in 2012, DWC has carried the banner for most-caffeine-per-ounce coffee, so, like we were saying, you can bet on Teriele to know how to make a super strong cup of coffee. Concerned about the health effects of strong coffee so are we that's why we did our homework on "How Coffee Effects Your Health".

Like here’s one thing we learned: Whether you’re craving the strong taste of coffee or the strong effects, they’re bound to go hand in hand.

“A lot of times, the things that affect taste affect potency, too,” Teriele says in a phone interview with Pure Healthy Living. That makes sense: If it tastes strong and it smells strong … it’s probably strong. And in fact, Teriele says Death Wish founder Mike Brown didn’t actually set out to find a super-caffeinated coffee. He was interested in the strongest-tasting coffee. So there’s your origin story.

Even with the strongest coffee in the world, though, it’s possible to brew the potency of taste and strength out of your pot if you’re not making it correctly. Likewise, it’s easy to overbrew yourself a real bitter cuppa if you’re not careful. So we asked Teriele to give us a foolproof method of coffee brewing that gives you the smoothest, strongest, best-tasting cup of coffee you can get. If you prefer cold brew checkout these instructions for making cold brew like a pro


Measure by weight instead of by volume.

This is actually a good recommendation for cooking (especially baking) in general. A tablespoon of coffee can vary pretty dramatically--even if you’ve leveled the grounds off to the edge of the spoon, the coarseness of the ground, the condensation in the air, the microgram of coffee above the lip, all of those can affect the actual quantity of coffee you’re putting in your French press or whatever--so if you’re going for precision (and you should), it’s worth it to weigh your ingredients.

“You want to make sure your brewing ratios are in line with the strength of the coffee,” Teriele says. She cites the Specialty Coffee Association’s brewing recommendation, which is:

When cupping, the ratio of 8.25 grams (whole bean) coffee (± 0.25 grams), to 5.07 fluid ounces (150 ml) water shall be used. When adjusting due to vessel size, a ratio of 1.63 grams (whole bean) coffee per 1 fluid ounce of water (or 0.055 g coffee per 1 ml water) shall be used.

Whew. That’s some coffee-nerd stuff for sure.


Grind your beans a liiiiiittle finer.

“Not too fine. Not like mud,” Teriele says. But depending on your brewing method, a finer grain will net you a stronger-tasting and -feeling cup of coffee. And it’s important to grind your beans just before you make your coffee. That ensures the freshest, bestest taste.


Use manual brewing methods.

In other words, your French presses, your percolators, your vacuum coffee makers. Any brewing method that gives you control over the temperature of the water is going to give you the best and strongest cup you’re looking for.

“You’ll find a traditional drip coffee maker doesn’t get hot enough,” Teriele says. “When you’re doing manual methods, you can get the water up to the 195 to 205 degrees it should be.”

She warns that even Moka pots can fail to get hot enough for that perfect brew. The popular Italian pot tends to brew the coffee too quickly, bypassing important water-coffee quality time.

What Teriele loves is the Chemex, which uses extra-thick filters. Those filters help mitigate some of that bitterness associated with strong coffees. In fact, she says, “A lot of manual methods can make the coffee bitter. The Chemex makes for a cleaner cup.”

Plus, she adds, it’s a pretty device. “It looks great on your countertop,” she says.