For all the caffeinators out there, the Keurig is no stranger to you. You probably have one in your house – and if you don’t, you know what they are but prefer a different way to make your coffee (we don’t discriminate here, except for tea – it ended up in the Boston Harbor for a reason!).
If you do have a Keurig, maybe you’ve always wondered what would happen if you pushed that button marked STRONG. Maybe you’re scared of it. We get it, but trying new things is (almost) never a bad idea. So, to coax you into pushing the big button, we’ll explain exactly what the Keurig strong button does.
A Brief History of Keurig Coffee
The Keurig coffee maker was the brainchild of John Sylvan and Peter Dragone, developed in 1990 by the pair as an answer to the coffee makers that allowed the coffee to sit in the brewing machine – which made it go stale and taste bitter. The pair partnered with Green Mountain Coffee Company in 1992 to create a single-cup brewing system that used the pair’s coffee pod cup creation.
Green Mountain Coffee Company marketed the first Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System in 1997, called the B2000, intended for office use. This was largely the first in a line of Keurig coffee makers.
This brought Keurig coffee to the forefront of businesses and people for the first time – paved the way for Keurig coffee to become the staple of American coffee connoisseurs of today.
How Does The Keurig Strong Button Work?
For those who like that extra bit of kick in the morning, or need the wake-up call of a strong coffee, you’ll want to know how the button works and why. The strong brew setting is intended to work only with k-cups filled with ground coffee.
Essentially, the strong button slows down the time it takes for hot water to seep through your k-cup. This makes the coffee stronger by elongating the amount of time the coffee sits in the k-cup. The button changes the hot water flow rate to short bursts of water, rather than a steady stream of water traditionally used in your typical morning brew.
This method also works for those who prefer iced coffee.
Why Does the Strong Setting Slow the Brew Cycle Down?
The purpose of the strong button on a Keurig coffee maker is to give you a stronger cup of coffee by elongating the amount of time that the coffee grounds sit in water, meaning that when the finished coffee into your coffee cup, it will have a stronger flavor. The goal of having the option to use the strong setting is to give yourself a bigger kick in the morning to get up and go!
Are Smaller Keurig Cups Stronger Than Larger Cups?
In general, smaller k-cup coffee pods are stronger than their larger counterparts, as they pack more coffee and therefore more caffeine into a smaller package. When soaked in water, the smaller coffee pods will release more coffee in a shorter amount of time – whereas the larger ones take longer to achieve the same degree of caffeination.
How Does Longer Brewing Time Translate into Stronger Coffee?
Making coffee is all about extracting the most amount of flavor and compound from the coffee grinds themselves by saturating them in water. Therefore, the longer coffee grounds are saturated in water, the stronger the coffee will be.
However, you want to be careful when brewing your coffee that you don’t brew it for too long and cause ‘over-extraction’. This will produce a bitter coffee taste that everyone hates.
Does the Strong Button Make High-Caffeine Coffee?
The Strong Button enables your coffee machine to make higher-caffeine coffee by slowing down the amount of time it takes your k-cup to release the coffee. This is done by elongating the amount of time that the coffee in your k-cup saturates in water.
The STRONG button changes the water flow of your coffee maker. Keurig coffee makers typically take about a minute to brew a coffee. However, using the strong function will mean that your Keurig will take about three minutes to make brewed coffee.
Caffeine is the stimulant substance released by coffee grinds once they’ve been saturated in water. High-caffeine products are found everywhere from strong coffee to Pepsi products.
Which Keurig Models Have the Strong Button?
There are a few different Keurig k-cup coffee maker models that have a “strong” button. These include:
Each of these Keurig coffee maker models makes wonderful cups of coffee on their own, and having the capacity to upscale that to something that makes a strong cup of coffee is something that’s sorely missing from most coffee makers.
Most newer Keurig machines will have the option to brew coffee in ‘strong’ mode, though some of the older Keurig machines may not. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make strong coffees with whatever coffee maker you have currently (if that coffee maker doesn’t have a strong setting), just that you’ll need to use some tricks to do so!
Can You Use the Keurig Strong Button For Tea?
If you must drink the nectar of the devil, then yes – you can use the Keurig Strong Button for tea. It will use the same brewing process as it does for your coffee, but your tea will simply be stronger in flavor, just like your coffee would be. Though, again, Boston Harbor.
You can also use your strong button for iced coffee.
How to Fix the Keurig Strong Button?
If you’re finding that your coffee isn’t strong enough and this fills you with
rage a burning desire to fix the problem, then you can try a few things to troubleshoot your coffee maker malfunction. Nobody likes weak coffee!
- Power Cycle: Try first power cycling your k-cup pod holder, by opening it and closing it again. This should cause your buttons to light up, including the “STRONG” button. If this works, hey, Presto! You’re back in business.
- Clearing the Needle & Water Lines: Over time, plaque and grime builds up from the caffeine running through your k-cup, which can affect your machines’ capacity to brew a ‘strong’ coffee. To fix this, you may periodically need to run vinegar through your coffee maker – this will cause a visceral reaction with the leftover grime, clearing it from your ‘needle’ – the drippy bit – and through your water lines. Leaving your machine clean and free to once again fill your life with joy.
Other Ways to Make Stronger Keurig Coffee
If you don’t want to use your Keurig’s strong coffee function, then you can do a few things.
- Buy stronger coffee! This is the most obvious step. Keurig has a “Dark Magic” blend that is considered stronger. Alternatively, you could choose a stronger type of k-cup from Devil Mountain Coffee Company or High Voltage Coffee.
- Choose a smaller cup size when selecting your cup size on your Keurig. The smaller the cup size, the stronger the coffee. Instead of brewing one cup of coffee using one Keurig with the proper cup size, choose a smaller cup size and use two pods!
- If you don’t use a Keurig coffee machine, you can find other coffee machines that use Keurig k-cups, or spend the money and buy one of the built-for-purpose Keurig models and never have understrength coffee again!
Whether you begin your day with coffee from your Keurig coffee maker or caffeinate throughout the day as a
coping mechanism productivity tool, we suggest that you try starting with a press of the strong button. If you like the kick it gives, then try one of these in the morning and see if you can make it throughout the day! A strong button is also a great option for those looking to cut back on the amount of coffee they drink daily.
Now, go and make
good choices strong coffee!