What Does The Keurig Strong Button Do And How To Use It

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keurig strong button

The Keurig Strong button is a feature on newer Keurig models that lets you brew dark, rich, and powerful coffee. 

To use it, all you have to do is pop a capsule in your machine, press the button, and run a brew cycle! 

Of course, there’s a bit more nuance to it than just that. 

If you’re new to the Keurig Strong button and want the full rundown on what it does, you’re in luck. I’ve done some trial and error and put together a complete guide to the Strong button for you. 

Let’s jump in!

How Does Keurig Strong Button Work?

keurig strong button top view

To put it simply, the Keurig strong button makes a more flavorful cup of coffee. It’s a feature the Keurig team added to counteract the coffee machine concerns of several coffee drinkers. 

You see, after the original Keurig models came out, many users complained that their Keurig coffee was weak, sour, or acidic. 

The Keurig team created the Strong button to put these problems to rest.

This button causes the Keurig coffee maker to extract more bitter and sweet compounds from the coffee grounds. This makes a more balanced and fuller brew. 

You can find the Keurig strong button only on the latest models, including:

  • K-Elite
  • K-Supreme
  • K-Cafe
  • K-Select
  • K-Express Single Serve
  • K-Duo Special Edition
  • K-Mini Plus 

So, how does the Keurig strong button do it?

Basically, when you press the button, it slows the entire brewing process

You see, sugars, acids, and oils don’t get extracted at the same time. These compounds play huge roles in your coffee’s texture, flavor, and aroma. 

Because sour compounds and acids are the easiest to be extracted, quick-brewing results in a sour and acidic cup.

On the other hand, when you slow down the extraction process, you wind up with a stronger and more aromatic cup of coffee. 

A standard brew takes about 30 seconds, but the brewing time is doubled with the Strong button.

Strong button doesn’t lead to more caffeine. You’ll get roughly the same caffeine content, even if your coffee tastes stronger. 

Does Longer Brew Make Stronger Coffee?

Strong coffee has bolder flavors, a more potent aroma, and a more balanced taste. The exact strength actually refers to how many coffee solids are dissolved in the water. 

When coffee is stronger, it has a higher ratio of dissolved solids to water. 

How can you dissolve the solids in coffee, you ask? Through extraction. 

When you force water through coffee grounds, you dissolve the solids in coffee to create your beverage

The longer you take forcing water through the grounds, the more solids you’ll dissolve in the water. That means that the longer you brew coffee, the stronger it will be.

With the Keurig Strong button, you brew the coffee for longer, meaning you dissolve more solids. This gives you a stronger cup of coffee. 

Other Methods to Brew Stronger Coffee With a Keurig

If your Keurig machine doesn’t have the Strong button, don’t worry. There are still different ways you can do to brew a stronger cup. 

These methods are easy, and you can do them regardless of your Keurig model. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways to brew a stronger coffee using your Keurig.

Chose Extra Bold K-cups

The simplest way to make your Keurig coffee stronger is by changing your K-cups

Instead of using regular K-Cups, opt for those which are labeled “extra bold.” These cups use darker roasts and often have higher caffeine content. 

As a result, they’re much stronger than your standard K-Cups. 

You don’t need to do anything special to use them, either. Just pop them in your Keurig and run the brew cycle!

Keep Your Keurig Coffee Machine Clean and Well-Maintained

Another easy tip for brewing stronger coffee is to keep your Keurig clean.

It’s also the best way to brew a good-quality coffee while preventing your machine from possible breakdowns. 

You should clean your machine about once a week by descaling the inside and wiping down the brew chamber. You should also wipe down the needles. 

This helps remove coffee grounds and buildup, which can lead to weaker extraction. As a result, you get stronger, properly extracted coffee when you use your machine.

Brew 2 K-Cups Pods in One Cup

Another easy hack is to brew two different K-cups. 

Do this by brewing each coffee pod with the lowest size setting (6-ounce) rather than using one pod with the highest size option.

If possible, use extra strong pods to enhance the effects.

The only downside to this solution is contributing to more waste to the environment. Instead of one, you’re throwing two pods at the same time. 

So, it’s up to you whether you want to try out this solution for a stronger coffee. 

Heat Up Your Machine Before You Brew 

If your machine does not have the Strong button, you can warm it up before brewing your coffee. It’s easy to do. 

You just need to brew water for a few cycles before placing your pod in the machine.

By warming up your Keurig before you use it, you can brew a stronger cup of coffee. 

Remove Your Cup Before It Brews Your Pod Completely 

When brewing coffee, you’ll notice that the machine’s last few drops appear lighter and more watery. This is because the Keurig brewer has already extracted most of the coffee from your pod. 

You can remove your cup from the machine before the brewing process is completely done. 

This easy hack results in a better-tasting coffee with stronger flavors and richer texture.

Brew With The Smaller Cup Option

You can also get a stronger cup of coffee when you choose a smaller brew size setting on the machine. This allows less water to penetrate the coffee grounds, giving you bolder and stronger flavors. 

Also, try to avoid the 12-oz option if your Keurig coffee machine has one. It generally results in brewing a more watered-down coffee with a weaker taste, and almost no flavor left. 

Your best bet for strong coffee is to go for the 6-ounce option. This is the smallest cup size, but it brews the most concentrated coffee.

Use Reusable K-Cups

A simple and sustainable way to make a stronger coffee is using reusable K-filters. These filters allow you to choose the coffee grounds you want. 

Also, you can personalize your coffee by using stronger coffee grounds. 

That way, you get a stronger cup of coffee even if you don’t have the Strong button at your disposal. 

Use The Best Coffee Water Ratio

You’ll get a tastier cup of coffee when you have the right coffee-to-water ratio. 

Always stick to the 1:16 ratio recommended by coffee experts. That means using five ounces of water per coffee pod. 

How to Fix the Keurig Strong Button

The Keurig strong button is working correctly if it lights up after you press it. But, if it doesn’t light up, there’s a quick fix you can use to get it back on track. 

You see, you have to open and close the pod mechanism before the strong button will work.

Here’s how to check: 

  1. Power your machine on.
  2. Open the pod chamber as if you were going to insert a pod and then close it again.
  3. Press the Strong button. 
  4. The cup sizes should be lighting up.

If the button still doesn’t work after trying this hack, then it’s best to reset your Keurig or contact customer support. 


Thanks to the Keurig strong button, you can enjoy extra-strength brews. This button prolongs the brewing time to extract more flavors and make your coffee taste better. 

But if you have the older Keurig models, fret not! There are other ways to strengthen your coffee, such as choosing extra bold Keurig K cup pod or using two pods at once.

If you really love strong coffee and want to step up your game, however, I highly recommend you consider a Nespresso machine. Check out this review of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus to see what I’m talking about!

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Jessica Fleming-Montoya
Jessica is a seasoned caffeine-addict who spent 3 years behind the bar. Her early coffee days took her from the commercial Starbucks scene in urban DC all the way to helping launch a craft coffee shop in California. Today she prefers sharing her years of coffee capers through media, although you’ll find she does it with a trusty cup of coffee by her side.