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Coffee to Water Ratio: How It Affects Your Brew

Coffee to Water Ratio: How It Affects Your Brew

As a coffee lover, you’re wondering what the perfect coffee to water ratio is? We’re all aiming to create that perfect cup of coffee right?

Many factors influence this ratio, and it’s never a clear or straightforward answer. A few things that influence this ratio include the type of coffee you’re brewing and the type of water you’re using. The amount of time your coffee brews is also another important factor in determining this ratio.

If you want to learn more about how these factors affect your perfect cup, then read on! We’ll go over each one below so that next time you make a pot of joe, it’s just right for your taste buds. Let’s get started!

What is a Coffee to Water Ratio?

Coffee to water ratio is a term used in coffee brewing that refers to the amount of water used compared to the weight of ground coffee beans. The proper coffee to water ratio varies depending on your brewing method of choice for making coffee. Various types of brewing methods are why it’s important to understand the factors that can influence this ratio.

Just to make clear. When people talk about ratio, they refer to the strength of the brew.

What’s the “perfect” coffee to water ratio?

Is there something like the perfect coffee to water ratio? It’s hard to say because of the many factors that come into play when talking about this.

There is something called the Golden Ratio of coffee. These ratios have a range where you’ll, generally, will reach the most potential of your coffee. That range starts at about 60 grams of coffee per 1L of water. This is backed up by the SCA. This means a ratio of 1 – 15~18.

Remember, this golden ratio is just guidance. If it will be the best for you depends on a lot of personal factors that only you will be able to control or change. To increase your range of control, you can invest in a scale.

Why you should consider brewing according to ratios?

It’s very straightforward, proven data shows that making coffee with the right ratios, will get you in the optimal zone for great, if not the best, results.

Brewing coffee is a lot like brewing beer, baking bread, and so on. You don’t mess with the input because you want to control what you’ll have as an output. Sometimes you have things like: bread of the week, and that’s even a fixed recipe with a twist to it because it’s good and it sells.

What Influences Coffee to Water Ratio?

The type of coffee you’re brewing and the type of water you’re using are two things that influence your coffee to water ratio. Many other factors can influence your coffee to water ratio. However, these two things are the most common factors people consider.

The amount of time that your coffee brews are another important factor in determining this ratio. Other factors play a role in finding this perfect ratio, but we’ll get more into that later.

How Can You Master the Perfect Coffee to Water Ratio and Achieve Consistency?

There is no “one size fits all” coffee to water ratio. That’s why you need to find the right balance of flavors that appeal to you. This is a question that has been asked countless times, but it is never a clear or straightforward answer.

A few things to keep in mind when learning your perfect coffee to water ratio include:

  • The type of coffee you’re brewing (medium grind size for drip brews; fine grind for espresso shots)
  • The type of water you’re putting into your coffee (tap water, filtered water, and spring water vary greatly)
  • The type of machine you’re using to brew your coffee (drip machines require a different grind size than pour over brewers because the filter hangs above the carafe)
  • The amount of time that your coffee brews (brief contact times such as espresso require different ratios than drip coffee)

Coffee grinds are another important factor to consider when attempting to master your water to coffee ratio. The proper amount of ground coffee will vary depending on the type of brewing method you use. For example, pour-over brewers should have a fine grind size for even extraction whereas drip machines should have a medium grind size to avoid over-extraction.

The perfect coffee to water ratio varies depending on the type of brewing method you use, so each person needs to find their sweet spot based on their personal preferences. You can begin by experimenting with your favorite type of coffee until you find your preferred flavor profile. Then all that remains is to tweak your coffee to water ratio based on what you learn about blends and how they work with different ratios.

You may also want to consider purchasing an automated coffee brewer that has pre-programmed settings for several popular coffee recipes. These brewers can help simplify the process of getting your perfect cup because all you need to do is select the type of drink you want to enjoy and let the machine do the rest.

How Much Coffee Per Cup of Water Should You Use

The amount of coffee you use for your cup of water will vary depending on the brewing method you are using. Generally speaking, you’ll want to add two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water. This is a good place to start if you’re just beginning to explore different ratios and blends.

The Importance of the Grind Size

The grind size of your coffee grounds is an important factor when finding the perfect ratio for your taste preferences. The amount of time that your coffee brews also plays a key role in determining the correct grind size.

A fine grind should be used for espresso to allow only a brief contact time between the water and the coffee. This will ensure that you extract less caffeine and oils from the coffee grounds. Medium grind size should be used for drip brewers allowing a slightly longer contact time.

How Long Should I Brew My Coffee For

The recommended brewing time for an individual coffee will depend on the grind size of the coffee. A fine grind should be brewed for a shorter period while a medium grind should have a longer brewing time. Espresso should be brewed for less than one minute and drip brews should be brewed for 30-40 seconds?

Perfecting Your Technique

Just start at first. Don’t overdo the thinking before you start brewing. If you’re not sure what flavor to pick, start and experiment with different beans and blends to find out what tastes you like.

After you’ve picked the right flavors, you can start experimenting with the beans and ratio of coffee to water. You can’t expect to have that best cup from day one. Tweak the process and make sure you’re in a lot of control during the brewing process.

How to measure your coffee and water in a reliable way?

You can measure your coffee on the feel, which we don’t advise, and take a more data-focused approach, which we of course advise. Life can be easier if you look at the data and brew according to the ratios and input.

We advise you do this with a scale. There are a few advantages to it: you’ll be more accurate and efficient with your grounds, reducing waste in the process. You can tweak the recipe of your brew a bit and still be efficient. It’s all about accuracy!

Different brewing ratios for different brewing methods?

The golden ratio for brewing coffee isn’t the same or accurate for every brew method. You can view some ratios in our table and read on below.

Brew methodCoffee-to-water ratio
Espresso 1:2
French Press 1:15
Drip 1:15
Pour Over 1:17
Cold Brew 3:16


For espresso, the best coffee to water ratio is 1:2, so 1 part grounds for 2 parts of water. You’ll want to consider your flavor profile and do some taste testing before adjusting based on what tastes great for you personally.

French Press:

When brewing with a French Press or AeroPress, your beans will be immersed in water for the entire time that it takes to brew. This means you’ll need enough coffee and just under a 1:15 ratio of grounds to liquid – perfect if looking for a regular cup!

Drip Coffee:

Drip coffee is a method of brewing that most people think of when they want to drink their morning cup of coffee. With this quick and easy process, you can have hot caffeine in no time! The best ratio for making drip brews with your favorite bean blend is about 1:15 or 1 part ground beans to 15 parts water.

Pour Over:

Pour over your coffee with these ratios: 1:17 or 1 part ground beans to 17 parts water. You need a quality filter and make sure you use clean water, then heat the mixture until it starts boiling before pouring over the grounds for best results!

Cold brew:

Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. Typically, a cold drink has been made with heated water and then cooled down afterward – this process usually takes place in an ice bath or using refrigeration devices that freeze over time so they can chill your beverage quickly to below-freezing degrees Fahrenheit (or Celsius).

It’s different when you make cold-brewed beverages yourself! The best ratio for brewing these at home: 3:16 or 3 for every 3 parts of ground beans to 16 parts of water. When the coffee is ready, you can cut the coffee with water at a ratio of 1:1.

This is a welcome refreshment in the summer months.


How do you measure coffee without a scale?

You can do this with a coffee scoop. The golden ratio is about 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. One coffee scoop is equal to 2 tablespoons of coffee. But we advise you, if you can, to invest in a scale. This way you can save on time and scale up the quality of your brew!

What is the best ratio for coffee to water?

There’s no such thing as THE best ratio for coffee to water. The golden ratios for coffee are a generally accepted guideline and are backed by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) of 1:15~18. If you apply these ratios, you’ll be in the optimal zone for extraction but you need to tweak it to your personal preferences and adjust to other factors like brewing method, grind size. and so on.

How many scoops of coffee do I need for 1 cup?

You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of coffee for one coffee scoop and 6 ounces of water. About one coffee scoop should be enough for 2 cups of strong, black brew. You can reduce the amount if you want a less strong coffee. Also, think about the difference between a cup and a mug as a mug is larger than a cup. You’ll need 1.33 spoons of coffee for a mug.

What is the ratio of coffee to water in cups?

The standard ratio of coffee to water in cups is about 2 tablespoons or 1 scoop of coffee per 6 ounces of water. Adjust the ratio to alter the strongness of your cup of coffee!


Brewing coffee is all about control and keeping things consistent. A good guideline is coffee-to-water ratios.

The best coffee to water ratio is a matter of personal choice. No two people have the same taste buds, so you need to find your perfect cup by experimenting with different ratios, brewing methods, beans, and more until you hit your stride.

This is not an exact science, but if you follow these guidelines it should be easy to find your perfect cup. Always tweak to your satisfaction and be consistent about it!

As always, enjoy your coffee!