Sometimes a single shot of coffee is just not strong enough, is it?
For an even stronger cup of coffee, one method you can use is called double brewing. Double brewed coffee can mean either:
- Coffee that has been brewed twice
- Coffee that has been brewed with double the amount of grounds
The goal from double brewing, whether you choose to brew twice or to use twice the grounds is still stronger coffee – but there are a few catches.
Brewing coffee twice is a little difficult because coffee becomes a lot more finicky once it’s prepared. If you overheat the coffee or brew it too much, it brings out a rather bitter flavor and although the coffee will definitely be stronger, it may not taste as good.
The other challenge of course is how to brew the coffee a second time. You may think it’s as simple as running it through a coffee machine again, but that’s not the case. Some coffee makers are not designed to run coffee through their tanks and pipes – and even if they can, you still run into the issue of the strange aftertaste.
The second option is very easy – just use double the grounds(so two scoops instead of one for a single cup) and your coffee will automatically be stronger.
Why you would want to double brew
Double brewing means double the caffeine. An incredibly strong cup of double-brewed coffee means you get a jolt of caffeine coursing through your system – for some people, it’s just the burst they need to get going or finish something big like an overnight project or study session.
For others, however, the caffeine may be too overwhelming and they may find themselves irritable or jittery with such a large dose of caffeine.
Double brewing also means extracting double the flavor – when done correctly, of course. The downside to it is if you don’t brew it correctly, you will end up with double the undesirable flavors(excessive bitterness for example).
The stronger flavor – when done correctly – is useful for making iced coffee.
Since the flavor is stronger, you can add ice to the drink without worrying about the ice diluting the coffee to the point of becoming tasteless. Even a shot of milk won’t hurt, and the coffee will still taste like the strong drink you love.
Effective methods for double brewing
Before seeing the two most effective methods for a killer double brew, there are a few issues that must be addressed – don’t skip them or else you risk ruining your coffee machine!
One of the biggest gotchas in double brewing is the fact that there are sometimes very tiny coffee grounds in single brewed coffee that don’t get completely filtered out(just look at the bottom of your coffee cup once you’ve finished drinking and you’ll see what I mean).
As a result, putting coffee through a drip coffee maker a second time can seriously mess up the machine, since they’re not designed to push coffee from their tanks into the filter – they’re designed for water, which is a much softer liquid.
When you are using a percolator in the second brew, make sure that the basket is cool before you put fresh grounds in it. An over hot basket will result in the grounds getting too hot too fast, and that will mess up the flavor.
Now on to brewing methods
Method #1: Using a drip machine then a french press
This is the best way to double-brew coffee and will give you the richest, fullest taste. Of course that does depend on the kind of roast you use, but this method is the safest and most straightforward way to do it.
Brew your coffee as usual through a drip machine, and once it’s completed brewing, put some fresh grounds in your favorite french press and pour the brewed coffee into the french press. Let it sit for around 5 minutes, push in the plunger, and pour yourself out some strong, fresh, double-brewed coffee!
Method #2: Using a percolator then a french press
Identical to method #1, except you are using a percolator the first time around instead of a drip machine. The result is nearly the same.
Method #3: Use a percolator twice
Percolators can be used twice with fresh grounds each time to produce a bold coffee. Just remember to let the basket cool a little before putting fresh grounds into it – if you are afraid your coffee will get cold too, then just run the basket under some cold water to cool it down quickly.
Then replace the basket, add your grounds, and you are good to go.
Method #4: Use a drip, then a percolator
First, brew coffee as you normally would through your drip machine. Once the coffee is brewed, throw in some fresh grounds to your percolator, and brew the coffee again through the percolator.
The drip and french press method has to be the best method for double brewing coffee – it produces the most balanced taste without any unnecessary bitterness or weirdness, and it’s the safest for your brewing equipment, too – the drip will brew excellent coffee from regular water and your french press can handle incredibly gritty liquids without a second thought.
What kind of coffee should you use?
That really depends and is completely up to you! Since you are brewing twice, you can use a combination of different roasts to get different flavor profiles and accentuate one taste over another.
Here are some good combinations to get you started, courtesy of this excellent blog post:
- Use medium/medium light roasts twice for great coffee you can drink hot
- Use light, then medium roast for using as iced coffee – the combination of light and medium brings out a rather bold flavor
- Use dark roasts twice for a very espresso-like strong flavor
To double brew, you’ll need the following stuff: