How to Fix Weak Coffee? (Quick Guide)

In this article, we explain all you need to know about learning how to fix weak coffee.

how to fix weak coffee - black coffee on a table top
Several remedies could be made to fix a coffee

Have you ever brewed yourself a cup of coffee only to take that first sip and realize that it is entirely too weak? We’ve probably all been there at some point and the immediate disappointment definitely puts a damper on the morning. However, there are several remedies to fixing weak coffee and today we’re going to go through a few of them.

There are probably a few different options that come to mind when you ask yourself, “How do I fix weak coffee?” Typically the main answer includes some variation of increasing the number of coffee grounds used per cup of water.

However, depending on what type of coffee maker you’re using, this can be tricky. I’ve used many different types of coffee makers and each one is very different when it comes to how strong the coffee is.

When I first went to college, coffee pots weren’t allowed in the dorms, so I sneaked in a mini coffee-maker that I kept hidden under the sink. Unfortunately for me, I had no idea how to adjust the number of coffee beans I had used for my 12 cup coffee pot to a 3 cup coffee pot and ended up never using it.

This happened for me because I was using a traditional coffee pot that was unlike the type I was used to. For traditional coffee pots as well as french presses and Keurigs, the strength of the coffee is entirely dependent on how much coffee is used. If you change this factor, the flavor of your coffee will change too.

Although figuring out how to strengthen your coffee is easy, actually strengthening your coffee to perfection is a different story. Figuring out the balance between coffee and water can be difficult, especially when you haven’t even had your first cup of the morning yet.

First, we’ll discuss how to fix the weak cup of coffee that you just brewed. Probably one of the best ways to quickly fix a cup of weak coffee is to add espresso. Although you may not own an espresso machine, there are some ways that you can make your own espresso without one.

Atlas Coffee Club provides three different ways to make your own espresso shot, using an AeroPress, a Moka pot, or a French Press.

If you don’t have the time to make an extra shot of espresso for your weak coffee in the morning, quicker options include adding creamer or syrup. Espresso syrup (learn more), as well as Mocha creamer, can both provide the extra kick that your coffee needs. Instant coffee is also an excellent product to keep on hand because if you run out of espresso syrup or creamer, adding some instant coffee will improve the strength immediately.

Although David Lynch stated, “Even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all,” good coffee is still the goal. We’ll discuss in this article three common coffee makers and how to strengthen your future cups of coffee with each one. Below, I’ll include a breakdown of how to strengthen your coffee to perfection using a traditional coffee maker, a french press, and a Keurig.

How To Strengthen Your Coffee To Perfection

freshly brewed cappuccino coffee on a brown cup
Coffee can be make in various ways

When it comes to traditional coffee makers, french presses, and Keurigs, strengthening your coffee relies on two major factors: the amount of water that you’re using and the amount of coffee that you’re using.

These factors are especially true of traditional coffee makers. If you put too much water into a traditional coffee maker and not enough coffee, your coffee will be incredibly weak.

Keurig, like traditional coffee makers, relies on both the amount of water used and the amount of coffee used. However, Keurig’s strength can be more easily controlled by choosing which size cup one would like to use.

If you are using a k-cup, the amount of coffee that you’re using is already established and you need to use less water.

However, if you’re using a reusable k-cup with coffee grounds, you can help to control the strength of the coffee by adding more coffee grounds to the k-cup and/or less water per serving.

Finally, with a french press, you have more options regarding how to make your coffee stronger. Probably the easiest way would be to either use more coffee or use stronger coffee. Another option would be to brew your coffee for a longer period of time (at least 4 minutes.)

Because there are many different in-depth ways to increase the strength of coffee, below I’ve included each of these three ways of making coffee and the different methods you can use.

Traditional Coffee Maker

For the traditional coffee maker, the ratio between your water and your coffee is everything. If your coffee is too weak when using a traditional coffee maker, the first thing you should do is to keep the amount of coffee constant and decrease the amount of water. When you finally find the flavor that you like, take note of how much water and coffee were used.

Then figure out the ratio and incorporate it every day. For instance, if you used ten cups of water and 1/2 cup of coffee grounds, your ratio is .5:10, meaning that 5 cups of water would need 1/4 cup of water, and so on.

The positive side of a traditional coffee maker is how many cups you can make at once. Once you figure out exactly how you like your coffee and how to make it that way every time, you can fully enjoy the massive amounts of coffee that your coffee maker provides and can share your new skills with guests!


The Keurig provides more opportunities to change the strength of coffee than the traditional coffee maker. With Keurig, one of the easiest ways to make your coffee stronger is by making the cup size smaller per k-cup. However, although that may work, no one really wants to drink less coffee or, even worse, have to brew two cups to fill a mug.

If you’re using a regular k-cup, try buying a different brew. Better yet, buy a bunch of different flavors and see how you like them, you may surprise yourself!

If you’re not using a regular k-cup but a reusable one, try filling the k-cup higher with coffee grounds. If you want even stronger coffee, buy a stronger blend AND fill the k-cup higher. You will definitely see a difference.

French Press

french press with a white coffee mug
The recommended ratio for a French press is 1:15 in grams

The French Press provides the most options for making your coffee stronger. Three key things that you can try are brewing your coffee longer, using more coffee, and using a stronger blend.

Typically you should steep your coffee grounds for four minutes, but you can always do it for longer. You can also try using more coffee.

The recommended ratio for a french press is 1:15 in grams, but you can play around with those numbers and see how you like the difference. Alex Evans, a barista from Ohio, says one of the best things to do is to “Buy a scale! Consistency is key.”

One of the best ways to increase your coffee strength with any coffee maker, but specifically a french press, is to buy a stronger blend. Because you blend your own coffee beans for a french press, you can have a lot of fun with this.

Try going to your favorite coffee shop and buying their beans, or even try mixing some beans from a group of your favorite place. The possibilities are endless.

How To Fix Weak Coffee: Related Questions

When using a traditional coffee maker, what ratio should I start with?

Typically a good ratio to start with is 1:1, one tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup of water. Whatever number of cups you’re putting in the water reservoir, use that many rounded tablespoons of coffee grounds.

This will be a good starting point and will tell you whether to go with more or less coffee/water in the future.

When using a reusable k-cup, how far should I fill it up with coffee grounds?

There’s typically a line inside of the reusable k-cup that tells you the recommended amount. However, everyone is different and likes their coffee a different strength. I typically fill mine up as high as it will go and still close.

What do I do if I don’t have any creamer or syrup to fix my weak cup of coffee?

The best thing to do at this point is to add a little bit of instant coffee. If you don’t have instant coffee, placing some grounds in a strainer and pouring the coffee through once or twice will at least offer a little bit of an improvement.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.