We had a private tasting group in over the weekend and we covered so much in discussion and practical demonstrations ( as we always do). One thing that often arises is strength of coffee. People say "I drink a number.... (insert any number) from the supermarket or "I like really strong coffee". It's a difficult thing to pin down really as there are a few factors that people judge strength on.
1, Roast Colour - A dark roasted coffee will bring out bolder flavours and be a little more bitter.
2, Robusta Vs Arabica - Robusta as a species is a lot earthier and has roughly double the caffeine of an Arabica varietal.
3, Extraction - Depending on your brew method the actual amount of coffee in your cup can hugely fluctuate. Under extracted or over diluted can affect the taste, flavour and strength.
A decaffeinated coffee ( take our beautiful Delirium 74 for example) can taste 'strong' and full of flavour but its not particularly dark roasted, clearly doesn't have any caffeine in, and is made from Arabica. We could take our Rampage 13 that is dark roasted and is made from 100% Robusta but under extract it and dilute it heavily. Both these processes will dictate whether you think the coffee is strong or not.
So, in summary, there are many factors that can cheat your taste buds into thinking something is strong or not. I would suggest you play around with brewing times, grind size and temperature of water with your existing coffee and see what difference you get. It can make a huge difference and means you can play around with flavours depending on whether its an afternoon brew or an early morning wake up call.
As ever, if you want any help or advice or fancy popping in for a quick tasting then get in touch.'Free coffee Fridays' will be back soon and I may even start doing Saturday and Sundays!
All the best