Although Keurig coffee makers are incredibly convenient, they are often criticized by coffee snobs for brewing weak or watery coffee.
To counter that, Keurig started incorporating “strong brew buttons” in their latest models, especially the higher-end ones.
So, What does the strong brew button do?
Keurig’s strong button actually slows down the brewing process by adding 30 extra seconds, thereby increasing the amount of time the coffee grounds are in contact with the water. This prolonged extraction process actually makes the coffee taste stronger.
The craving of coffee enthusiasts doesn’t end with a weak cup of coffee that’s why a strong brew function in a coffee maker is important and Keurig understands it.
It’s a fact that Keurig doesn’t brew the strongest coffee, but rather simple and smooth coffee with much convenience and speed.
But does Keurig really brew a strong cup of coffee when you choose the strong settings?
Yes, It does! I have tested and used many drip coffee makers in my life. Strong button on other coffee makers doesn’t make much difference, but in Keurig, I can definitely say it makes a difference and strengthens the coffee drink. I think it’s because normal Keurig brew is too weak and a little extra extraction time actually adds flavors that are noticeable.
I believe Keurig’s coffee is only acceptable when the strong button is pressed, otherwise, it is too watery. In my opinion, Keurig coffee makers without the strong brew button are worthless, at least to me.
Keurig brewing systems are quick and brew coffee within 40 seconds after pressing the button. This brew time isn’t long enough to extract all flavors from the coffee grounds, when you press the strong button, the brew time is extended to 70 seconds, and that results in better extraction of flavors.
No, the strong button on Keurig has nothing to do with the caffeine level of your coffee drink. The caffeine content mainly depends on the amount and type of coffee grounds (or coffee-to-water ratio) you are using.
Since the amount of grounds in the K cup remains the same whether you press the strong button or not, the caffeine level does not change.
However, the prolonged brewing process can cause a little bit of increment in the caffeine content.
Read a guide on Keurig K cup caffeine content
How does a longer brew time make a strong cup of coffee?
In general, the longer the contact time between water and coffee grounds, the more flavors will be extracted and the drink will be stronger.
During extraction, acidic flavors are extracted first, that is why you might have noticed that Keurig’s normal brew is acidic.
The bitter and sweet flavors of coffee grounds begin to extract after that, which is why Keurig’s strong brew has a more balanced flavor profile with all the flavor notes of coffee.
In general, coffee strength refers to the amount of solids dissolved in the water, and as water contact with the grounds increases, more solids dissolve into the water, thereby increasing coffee strength.
However, here’s the catch, as I already mentioned, bitter flavors are extracted at the end and if you brew your coffee for too long you will get overly bitter and it will not be drinkable. The key here is finding a perfect tradeoff.
Since Keurig doesn’t allow users to control the brewing time, so this topic isn’t worth discussing.
Here are some other ways you can make your Keurig coffee stronger.
Some other ways to make stronger coffee with Keurig
1) User smaller brew sizes
The cup size you choose while brewing coffee with your Keurig actually has an effect on the strength of your coffee drink
K cups typically contain around 9-12 grams of coffee. And according to coffee experts, the best coffee-to-water ratio for a strong cup of coffee is 1:15 to 1:17.
Doing some math, 9-12 grams of coffee can only be sufficient for a 5-7 oz brew size.
With the Keurig, I only brew 6 oz cup size and that’s where I get my perfect and flavorful drink. Anything above that size, like 8, 10, or 12 oz is watered down.
You should only use 4 oz or 6 oz brew size if you really want stronger coffee, and if you are craving more coffee, brew two K cups instead of one larger size.
2) Preheat your machine
Water extracts more flavors from coffee grounds at higher temperatures. According to the Specialty Coffee Association, the best temperature for brewing coffee is 195 to 205 degrees.
Keurig claims to brew coffee at 192 degrees, but if the machine is cold, this temperature drops very quickly, and the water extracts flavors from coffee grounds at a much lower temperature.
That’s why it’s recommended to run a pre-heating cycle before actually brewing the coffee. In this way, the internal system of the machine will be heated. Consequently, the water temperature will not drop when you brew the coffee, thus resulting in a better flavor extraction.
3) Select the right K cups
Choosing quality coffee grounds or K cups is the key to making a strong and flavorful cup of coffee.
Dark roast or Medium-dark roasted 100% Arabica beans or K cups is a perfect choice.
These are my recommended K cups for the Keurig machine.
There are only a few high-end Keurig models that have the Strong Brew feature, like the Keurig Elite and Supreme series. Recently, Keurig has launched the K mini plus it’s an entry-level model but surprisingly it has a strong brew button.
|Keurig models with Strong Brew Button||Keurig models without Strong Brew Button|
|Keurig K Mini Plus||Keurig K Mini|
|Keurig K Elite||Keurig K Classic|
|Keurig K Cafe||Keurig K Slim|
|Keurig K Duo Series||Keurig K Express|
|Keurig K Select|
|Keurig K Supreme Series|
Keurig Mini Plus
Keurig K Mini Plus is the only entry-level budget-friendly Keurig machine that has an option for a strong brew.
The Keurig slimmest model, the Keurig K-mini Plus is just like its predecessor Keurig K-mini but with innovative worthy upgrades such as a removable water reservoir, strength control, and storage for pods and cord.
Keurig K Elite
Keurig K Elite is a high-end Model that offers many customization features.
Keurig K Elite lets you control everything ranging from brew strength to temperature control and also has inbuilt features of altitude settings and iced coffee. One thing that I like the most about k-elite, is the huge water reservoir ( 75 ounces) and convenient hot water dispenser.
Keurig K Select
Keurig K Select is a mid-range Keurig model with a strong brew feature, It offers greater functionality, a larger water reservoir, and premium premium-looking appearance compared to the same range of products.
Keurig supreme series
Keurig Supreme is the latest series of Keurig featuring multi-stream technology to add extra flavors to your cup. This series has 3 models K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, and Supreme Plus Smart.
And without a doubt, Keurig Supreme is the best Keurig with a strong button!
Keurig K Supreme: It is the basic variant of the Supreme series with not a lot of customization options, but it has an option for a strong brew.
Keurig Supreme Plus: Keurig K-supreme Plus has 3 different brew strength options and 3 different temperature settings so it’s a fairly customizable coffee maker.
Keurig Supreme Plus Smart: Keurig Supreme Plus Smart has five different strength options from mild to intense and six different temperature settings from lukewarm to extra hot. It’s the most modernized Keurig model with Bluetooth and WiFi Technology.
Keurig K cafe
Keurig K cafe is the only Keurig model with a built-in milk frother that allows you to prepare a Cappuccino and Latte at the touch of a single button. Keurig K cafe also offers a 4 oz brew and a strong brew button for dense small coffee shots.
Keurig Duo series
The Keurig duo series is the only Keurig model that can brew both single-serve K-cup and up to 12 cups of the carafe and also features a strong brew button.
What does over ice mean Keurig
It’s a setting in some high-end Keurig models for brewing coffee over ice.
With the brew over ice button, Keurig brews at a lower temperature, and a smaller, stronger coffee so it doesn’t get diluted when poured over ice.
Currently, this feature is only available in Keurig Elite, Keurig Slim, and the Supreme series.
Also Read: How to make Keurig Iced Coffee
Final Thoughts on Keurig Strong Button
Keurig coffee makers are not well known for making the perfect cup of coffee, but they are well known for their convenience.
With pod-based machines, you can make coffee quickly and easily, but it isn’t much flavorful and it’s also not fair to expect to have a perfect cup of coffee in less than two minutes. You do have to compromise a little on taste.
But I believe that the strong settings on Keurig actually make some difference and make your coffee more flavorful and stronger than the normal K-cup brew.
It’s fine to show some patience and wait an extra 30 seconds for your machine to brew coffee if you want a stronger drink.
Read Related articles
Which Keurig Settings Makes The Strongest Coffee?
For a strong cup of coffee: Use the smallest brew size (4 oz or 6 oz), select the highest temperature settings (if your machine has this option), and press the strong brew button.
Why Is My Keurig Not Making Strong Coffee?
It is time to descale your Keurig machine if you notice the intensity and flavor of your coffee have declined.
Over time, limescale buildup and scaling inside the Keurig machine ruin the taste of coffee and also damage the machine. So, it’s always a best practice to descale your machine on time.
Can You Use the Keurig Strong Button For Tea?
Yes, you can use the “Strong” button on a Keurig machine for making tea, although it might not be the ideal setting for all types of tea.
Black tea will make a stronger brew, similar to how the “Strong” button works for coffee. However, the green could become too bitter if brewed too strongly.