Coffee to Water Ratio


So you want the perfect cup of coffee… Well then you should know the guidelines of what parts of water and coffee to combine to give you the best results.

The guideline for coffee to water is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This is also know as the “Golden Ratio” for brewing coffee.

This should be adjusted to suit your taste preferences and a great place to begin.

However, using different brewing methods you should know the amount of coffee grounds to water ratio to give you a base of where to start from.

Coffee To Water Ratios

There is no right way, so long as you enjoy your coffee and aren’t going overboard with the caffeine intake. (Too much caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease, and can cause side effects like dizziness, shakiness, headache, or abnormal heartbeat)

Aeropress coffee to water ratio — 1:6

Alan Adler, the inventor of the Aeropress has the ratio of coffee to water to be 1:6. This brew ratio results in a strong serving. A concentrate, much like an espresso, you can add hot water or milk to your liking.

Cold brew coffee to water ratio — 9:40

There are many ways to make cold brew coffee. This cold brew recipe uses a Filtron, a reliable method of making a smooth cold brew. The Filtron® extract is highly concentrated. The amount of concentrate needed to make a cup of coffee varies, depending upon the brand of coffee used and the strength desired. Because the slightest amount of concentrate influences the strength of your coffee, experiment until you establish the right amount needed for the most satisfying cup of coffee.

Chemex coffee to water ratio — 1:17

American chemist Peter Schlumbohm (1896-1962) invented the Chemex brewer and recommends one rounded tablespoon of coffee per 5 oz cup into the filter cone. This is roughly a 1:10 ratio and this can be quite strong so many baristas would adjust that ratio between 1:13 to 1:17 instead. Try 1:17 on your first go and adjust from there.

Espresso coffee to water ratio — 1:2

1:2 is the most common ratio for espresso used in cafés today. Between the bitter 1:1 of a ristretto and the weaker 1:4 of a lungo.

French press coffee to water ratio — 1:12

After much research I wasn’t able to find any original or definitive coffee to water ratio for a french press, however 1:12 is what many coffee lovers and baristas have recommended through their recipes and experience.

Moka pot coffee to water ratio — 1:10

Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti invented this three-chambered pot which uses stove top steam pressure from the lowest chamber and pushes steam and water through the coffee grounds and up into the top chamber. Using a Moka pot the desired coffee to water ratio is 1:10. This should give you abut 2 small cups of delicious coffee from this vessel.

Syphon coffee to water ratio — 3:50

Loeff of Berlin invented the syphon or also known as the vacuum coffee maker in the 1830’s. Hario is one of the leading producers of syphon coffee makers and their recommendation are 15-17 grams of coffee per 250 grams water.
Note: this maker is also spelled Siphon.

v60 coffee to water ratio — 3:50

In my opinion one of the simplest and best ways of making good coffee is with a V60. Hario, also manufactures the v60 maker and similar to the Syphon they recommend a ratio of 3:50 for brewing. I made a post about the v60 brewing method you can check out.

Things To Know (Tips)

  • The Equipment – Your tools, from bean grinders and filters to coffee makers should be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
  • The Beans – The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by your favorite brewing process, but also by the type of coffee you select.
  • Freshness – Purchase coffee as soon as possible after it’s roasted. Fresh-roasted coffee is essential to a quality cup, so buy your coffee in small amounts (ideally every one to two weeks). See about coffee subscription services to delivery you freshness every month.
  • The Grind – If you buy whole bean coffee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for maximum freshness. If you want to see what grinders I use, check out my resources section on grinders.
  • The Water – If your water is nasty so will the taste of your coffee. The water you use is very important to the quality of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not good.

    If you’re using tap water, let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot, and be sure to use cold water. Avoid distilled or softened water.
  • Water Temperature – Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction of flavors from your grounds. At first I used a thermometer but I found letting my boiling water from the kettle sit for 45-60 seconds before I pour is the perfect temperature for me.
  • Brewing Time – The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important flavor factor.

    If you’re not happy with the taste of the final product, you’re likely either:
    Over-extracting – the brew time is too long
    Under-extracting – the brew time is too short

Final Thoughts

Experiment with the ratios and brewing times until you get the right balance for your taste. My preference is a Dark Roast with longer brewing times with topped off with half and half.


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