coffee to water ratio

Coffee Brewing Water to Ratio Chart for the Perfect Brew

In this article we are going to explain what is termed the water to coffee ratio that will help you make the perfect coffee brew. This is a question that we get asked quite a lot here at The Perfect Grind website, by many UK buyers.

Just below we have given you the short answer if you are in a hurry, and simply don't have enough time to read our full article below.

Most people asking this question will just want the short answer. That is why we have provided this below, however, many coffee buffs will want to know more exact and precise details.

That is what you will find below.

The quick answer for the coffee to water ratio is that you should use 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water. That is often referred to as the coffee golden ratio.

Many people also use this formula which is a really great way of making coffee - 500 ml of water to 30 grams of coffee. If you have never tried that before then give that one try.

The coffee to water ratio is only really important when it comes to filter brewing or to pour over and drip coffee making. If you own any type of espresso making machine, a pod/capsule machine, or a bean to cup coffee machine, then the machine does all this for you.

It is really only when you want to use a process like French Press, a filter coffee machine, pour over, or drip etc, that the coffee to water ratio really becomes important.

coffee to water ratio

Coffee Standard Brewing Ratio

This can get really difficult to explain because people use different methods to measure their coffee, and also to measure the amount of water. As an example some people will measure their coffee in:

  • Ounces, grams, tea spoons, table spoons and cups

Likewise people will measure their water amount in:

  • Fluid ounces, cups, pints, and millilitres (cc)

In the UK we don't really use cups as a method and pints and ounces are also pretty old school. To keep things simpler we have included a ratio table below, that we think makes this task a  great deal easier to figure out.

Cups of coffee needed

Grams

Tablespoons

Fluid Ounces

CCs

1

10.6

2

6

177

2

21.3

4

12

355

3

31.9

6

18

532

4

42.5

8

24

710

5

53.2

10

30

887

6

63.8

12

36

1065

7

74.4

14

42

1242

8

85.1

16

48

1420

9

95.7

18

54

1597

10

106.3

20

60

1775

Hopefully this table makes it a great deal easier to figure out. Now, there is one important thing that we do need to point out. You can see from the above information that you have a choice of measuring the amount of coffee required, by either actual weight (grams) or by volume (tablespoons).

Weight is always the most accurate method. There are a couple of reasons for that:

  1. Tablespoons may vary in size and some people will use a level tablespoon and some may use a heaped tablespoon and anything else in between
  2. Coffee grains can vary in weight and density so a tablespoon of one coffee may way slightly different to another brand or type of coffee

You will often hear people referring to "scoops." Many types of coffee makers will come with a scoop, which is usually a plastic object. The manufacturer will then refer to this scoop in their manual.

A scoop is the equivalent of a tablespoon of coffee.

Best Way to Weigh Coffee

There are as you would imagine coffee scales which can be used to weigh coffee to a very accurate degree. Some of those have timers and they are a good choice if you like making pour over style coffee.

The reality is that any small kitchen scale will do the job really well. The important thing is that the scales are really good at measuring small weights.

My own preference is the Hario VST-2000B 1-Piece Coffee Drip Scale/Timer scales which is available at Amazon UK. These do an excellent job of measuring coffee and are one of the best selling scales on the UK market.

Video on Coffee Brewing Coffee to Water Ratio

How Much Coffee for 4 Cups?

The quick and approximate answer is 8 tablespoons of coffee to 24 fluid ounces of water (710 cc's) That will be close enough for most people. If you want to be really accurate you should weigh out 42.5 grams of coffee and 24 fluid ounces of water.

How Much Coffee for 8 Cups?

The quick and approximate answer is 16 tablespoons of coffee to 48 fluid ounces of water (1,420 cc's) That will be close enough for most people. If you want to be really accurate you should weigh out 85.1 grams of coffee and 24 fluid ounces of water.

How Much Coffee for 10 Cups?

The quick and approximate answer is 20 tablespoons of coffee to 60 fluid ounces of water (1,775 cc's) That will be close enough for most people. If you want to be really accurate you should weigh out 106.3 grams of coffee and 24 fluid ounces of water.

making coffee with water and coffee

Figuring Out What Strength of Coffee

No matter what guidelines there are in place for a coffee to water ratio, it ultimately comes down to your own personal taste and strength preference. Some people like their coffee weak, some mild and some just like it strong.

You can change that strength and taste in a number of ways which include:

  • The type of coffee bean that you buy
  • The amount of coffee that you use
  • Changing the ratio of coffee to water

We have always found that with a little tweaking here and there you will eventually end up with your favourite brew.

Conclusion

The important thing to remember is that the coffee to water ratio really only applies to what are classed as "the steeping coffee brewing method." This is where the coffee grains are steeped in water.

This is different to the typical coffee machine which uses water under pressure and forces the water through the grounds. With filter coffee making, pour over etc, the coffee grounds are left to steep in the water, for a period of time.

Enda McLarnon
 

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

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