It’s no fluke that Keurig is one of the most popular names in the coffee maker space.
And, over the years, they’ve incorporated some innovative features into their machines.
One such feature is the ”STRONG” button.
It is present in many Keurig machines. And many have been asking, “What does the ‘STRONG’ button on a Keurig do?”
Here’s everything you need to know…
Table of Contents
How Does the Keurig “STRONG” Button Work? What Should You Expect?
According to Keurig, the STRONG button is a function that allows you to brew a bolder and richer cup of Joe.
Normally, regular coffee brewing takes less than a minute. That is after choosing brew style and cup size.
The STRONG button works by slowing the brewing process.
This adds about 30 seconds to the brew time, allowing water to saturate the coffee grounds at a slower pace.
In turn, this facilitates the extraction of deeper flavors. Thus, making the coffee extra strong and intense.
I know what you might be wondering…
How does slowing the brewing process lead to a stronger cup of coffee? Or, in other words, what is the science behind the STRONG button?
To get answers to these questions, you must first understand what happens during extraction.
A Quick Look at the Coffee Extraction Process
Coffee extraction can yield different flavors depending on several factors. According to the Paulig Barista Institute, the extent of extraction depends on factors like:
- Grind size
- Water temperature (the hotter, the better)
- Brewing time or water quantity
- And pressure (for espresso) among other things
And that’s because different flavors require different conditions for extraction to take place.
a) Short Brew (Under-Extraction)
It is more likely to result in a sour or thin cup of joe.
That’s because acids and oils are usually the first flavors to dissolve. And that gives the drink a somewhat salty, incomplete feel.
Due to the short extraction period, this cup lacks both sweet and bitter coffee flavors.
b) Medium Brew (Ideal Extraction)
Thisprocess offers a more balanced, sweeter cup.
It’s long enough to allow the extraction of coffee acids, fats, and sugars. This leaves you with a syrupy, ripe, and fruity coffee drink.
Plus, if you are keen enough, you’ll also notice slight bitterness too.
c) Long Brew (Over-Extraction)
Obviously, this takes more time; usually 30 seconds longer than a medium brew.
That said, this process facilitates the extractions of most coffee flavors including the deeper ones that are harder to extract.
Your cup of Joe might get a bit dry and bitter. That’s owing to the fact that the deep flavors extracted come from dissolved coffee fibers.
With all that in mind…
When you press the STRONG button on your Keurig Coffee Maker, you’re simply instructing it to do an Over-Extraction.
And that’s how you end up with a strong but bitter coffee drink.
3 Cool Benefits of Using the Keurig STRONG Button
- If you like your coffee strong, the Keurig STRONG button ensures that your coffee comes out more intense and bolder..
- If you’re all about your flavored coffee, the STRONG button helps to enhance the taste of your coffee as it extracts more flavors from your grounds.
- The STRONG button also ensures that you fully utilize the content of your K-Cup. A regular brew doesn’t extract all the flavors, but with the STRONG button, you get most of your coffee. This can be seen as avoiding wastage.
5 Pro Tips and Notes From Coffee Holli for Using Strong Button
1. Hot Water Magic…?
Did you know that hot water enables you to extract more flavors from your grounds?
Well, now you know.
So, next time, ensure you adjust the water temperature higher before brewing. But note, not all Keurig brewers have a temperature adjustment feature.
2. Correct K-Cup Placement is Imperative
It goes without saying…
You must ensure you place the K-Cup perfectly inside the pod holder.
Your coffee maker has two puncture needles; one at the bottom of the pod holder and the other at the top. Improper K-Cup placement can cause water leaks or hinder normal extraction.
Plus, with too much water, your coffee will likely not come out strong.
You don’t want that, do you?
When you place the K-Cup inside the pod, press it so that the bottom needle punctures the K-Cup. This ensures it is held firmly in place.
Making it easy for the top needle to puncture the K-Cup lid perfectly. Thus, preventing excess water dispensation or coffee grounds from entering the cup.
3. When Brewing Strong Coffee, Smaller Cup Sizes are the Best
Even though you can choose any cup size for the STRONG button, go for the smallest cup sizes.
Generally, the smaller the cup, the more concentrated your coffee flavors will be.
With the 4 Oz cups, the resulting coffee will have a higher coffee grounds to water ratio.
4. Try Not To Over-Extract Your Coffee Too Much
You should note that the bitter flavors gotten from over-extracting tend to be overpowering on other flavors.
When you extend the brew time by 30 seconds to get a strong coffee, there’s also a chance the coffee grounds may be too over-extracted.
This happens when the coffee ground’s bitter flavors overwhelm the sweet and acidic flavors. Thus, resulting in a bitter drink.
5. Only Use Fresh Coffee
Although the STRONG Button enhances coffee strength, brewing with stale grounds can also affect the taste of your coffee.
The Atlas Coffee Club asserts that coffee beans/grinds can be affected by several factors; including exposure to moisture, oxygen (air), heat, and light.
Freshness and proper storage are important.
In terms of storage, you should keep your coffee beans and grinds in an airtight container that’s not transparent.
And by fresh coffee, I mean 7 to 21 days after roasting. At this point the ground, beans or K-Cup should still have maximum freshness.
6. “Strong Coffee” Doesn’ Translate to “More Caffeine”…
Strong coffee simply means that the coffee contains a high amount of dissolved flavors including the deep, bitter one.
If you want more caffeine, consider buying grounds made from Robusta beans.
Which Keurig Models Have the STRONG button feature?
Keurig first introduced the Strong Button in the 2.0 models. But they’ve since discontinued the 2.0 machines while adding it to other models.
Here’s a list of models compatible with the Strong Button:
- K-Mini Plus
- K-Express Single Serve
- K-Duo Special Edition
With that in mind…
Using the STRONG button follows the same process for all the models. You simply press the STRONG button, choose a cup size, then start your brew.
Yes, it’s that simple.
Some models, like the K-Supreme Plus and the K-Supreme Plus Smart, don’t have the Strong Button. Instead, they feature provisions for adjusting the strength of your coffee.
The former has three strength levels to choose from while the latter has five. Basically, the higher you go the longer it’ll take the machine to brew and the more intense the coffee.
The Strong Button is present in many Keurig models; but how exactly does it work? Here’s what we know:
- The Strong Button slows down the brewing process by 30 seconds
- This allows you to brew a bolder and richer cup of coffee
- Using a hotter water helps enhance extraction
- Choose smaller cup sizes for a stronger coffee
- Using the STRONG Button can sometimes result in over-extraction.
And that’s all about the Keurig STRONG Button. So, if you desire a stronger and more flavorful cup of joe, go ahead and try it out.
Also, if you want to know other ways to make a strong coffee, leave a message in the comment box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, the Strong Button doesn’t affect caffeine content in any way. It only makes the coffee more intense. The main determinant of the caffeine content is the type of coffee grounds used.
If you really want that strong and bold cup of joe, you must choose the smallest cup available. Bigger cups will likely water down the coffee, loosening its strength and intensity.