How To Make Keurig Coffee Stronger With or Without The Strong Button

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How To Make Strong Coffee With Keurig

Many people are drawn to Keurig machines because of how easy they make it to prepare a coffee in seconds. However, the taste of a K-Cup may not be for everyone. Some people think Keurig coffee is too weak or watered down. Some may find it too acidic. If you are lucky enough to have one of the newer Keurig models with a strong button, you can easily get a bolder, better tasting cup of coffee. If you don’t, I have some tips on how you can make your Keurig coffee stronger too.

Note that “strong” has has more to do with the taste of your coffee (bolder & intense) than the caffeine level. The caffeine content of your coffee won’t change much when you use the strong button. If you want pods with higher levels of caffeine, see my related post on K-Cups with the most caffeine.

What Does The Strong Button Do on Keurig? (select models)

The strong button available on some Keurig coffee makers makes it easy to brew a stronger and bolder coffee. This works by slowing down the brewing process by about 30 seconds. This allows for more time for the water to flow through the K-Cup so it can extract a stronger coffee from the grinds. Instead of a steady stream of water pushing through the pod, the strong brew button initiates a pulsating stream so the water stays in the K-cup longer. As a result, you’ll notice that coffee comes out in spurts.

Another benefit of the slower brew that comes with using the strong button is an enhanced flavor. Fast brews tend to be very acidic. The slower the brewing, the more balanced the coffee will be in terms of bitterness, acidity and sweetness.

Which Keurig Coffee Maker Models Come With The Strong Button?

Strength control was first introduced in the now discontinued Keurig 2.0 models, which began to be released in 2014. Now you can find this option in some of the newer and, usually, more premium Keurig models.

The K-Supreme Plus and Plus SMART don’t have a single strong button. Instead, you can adjust the strength of your coffee from balanced to intense using the strength setting. The Plus has three settings you can choose from while the Plus SMART has five. The higher the setting you choose above balanced, the longer the brew time will be to extract a more intense flavor. If you don’t alter the setting, the Keurig coffee maker will default to whatever is recommended by the manufacturer for that pod.

What If The Keurig Strong Button Is Not Working?

The strong button is working correctly if the cup sizes light up after you press it. If the cup size lights do not turn on, there is probably a simple solution that will work for you. The mistake most people make is that they insert the K-cup into the coffee maker BEFORE powering it on. Instead, turn the machine on first, open up the pod chamber, insert the pod and then close it. Try pressing the strong button now and you should see the cup sizes light up.

How To Make Stronger Coffee In Keurigs Without A Strong Setting?

If you have a Keurig brewer that does not have the strong button, the easiest way to make a strong coffee is to select the right pod. The darker the roast, the more intense the taste will be. Dark Magic is Keurig’s signature extra bold coffee pod. However, you can also find bold roast variety packs with strong pods from a number of different brands.

In addition to using a bold K-Cup, choosing a cup size on the smaller end will help you improve the strength of your coffee. Many Keurig models can make 4, 6, 8 oz coffees, but there are some that have an option for much larger 10 or 12 oz too. Since there is only a single standard size K-Cup, it is easy to understand why choosing a larger cup size and running more water through the pod may result in a weaker tasting coffee. Instead of picking a large cup size, you are better off using two pods on a smaller cup size setting if you don’t have a strong button.

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