You’ve chosen a great brewing method, bought the right equipment, found a bag of fresh, gourmet coffee beans. You’re ready to brew! It may be tempting to throw coffee in and start the process. But you’ll want to consider one more thing: what’s the best coffee-to-water ratio? That’s where our handy coffee calculator comes in.
How much ground coffee do you need per cup? It depends on your brewing method. Some methods, like cold brew and French press, leave the coffee in contact with the water for longer, meaning that you’ll need less coffee for each ounce of water. Other methods, like espresso machines, work quickly and at high pressure, so you’ll need much more coffee for each ounce of water.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry: you won’t have to do any math. We’ve put together this simple coffee calculator to help you figure out the right coffee ratio.
Why does the coffee ratio matter?
If you want to produce coffee that’s flavorful and rich — without being bitter or weak — you’ll want to perfect your coffee-to-water ratio. If you use too little coffee, you’ll end up with weak, under-extracted java. On the other hand, if you use too much coffee, you might end up with a bitter, over-extracted mess. The right ratio lies in the middle ground: just enough coffee to fully flavor your water, but not enough to make it undrinkable.
What are the best coffee ratios for every brewing method?
The best coffee ratio depends on which brewing method you choose. What’s the best drip coffee ratio, French press coffee ratio, or cold brew coffee ratio? Scroll down to find out! Here are the best coffee-to-water ratios for every brewing method:
1. French Press Coffee Ratio
The best French press ratio is 1:12 — meaning one part coffee to 12 parts water.
For example, if you’re using a classic 34-ounce French press, you’ll need about 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of coffee.
2. AeroPress Coffee Ratio
There are countless ways to brew using an AeroPress (here’s our favorite), all with slightly different ratios. But a good place to start is a 1:13 AeroPress coffee-to-water ratio, which translates to 0.5 ounces (15 grams) of coffee for every 7 ounces (200 grams) of water.
RELATED READ: Our complete review of the new AeroPress Go
3. Drip Coffee Ratio
For instance, if you’re brewing four cups (32 ounces), you’ll want to use just over 5 ounces (140 grams) of coffee.
4. Espresso Coffee Ratio
Pulling a shot of espresso involves high temperatures, high pressure, and very little time. For that reason, you’ll need more coffee relative to water. Use a 1:2 coffee to water ratio for espresso brewing — meaning half an ounce (15 grams) for each one-ounce espresso shot.
Looking to upgrade your espresso setup? Find a great espresso machine.
5. Cold Brew Coffee Ratio
The best coffee-to-water ratio for cold brew is 1:5, or one part coffee to five parts water. If you’re using four cups (32 ounces) of water, that’s 6.4 ounces (181 grams) of coffee.
Keep in mind that this will produce a cold brew concentrate, so you’ll probably want to add water when it’s ready to drink.
6. Pour Over Coffee Ratio
What coffee ratio should you use for pour-over brewing methods? The best pour-over ratio is 1:17, or one part coffee to 17 parts water.
For a 12-ounce cup of coffee, that’s 0.7 ounces (20 grams) of coffee grounds.
7. Siphon Coffee Ratio
Siphon brewers are impressive coffee makers, and with the right ratio, they can produce tasty, clear coffee. The ideal siphon coffee ratio is 1:16, or one part coffee to 16 parts water.
What does that translate to? If you’re using four cups (32 ounces) of water, you’ll need 2 ounces (57 grams) of coffee.
Are you looking for a great siphon coffee maker? Read our reviews of the 10 best models!
The Bottom Line
Figuring out the perfect coffee-to-water ratio is crucial to brewing a great cup of coffee. Along with grind size, the ratio is one of the biggest factors in coffee flavor — and you don’t want to waste gourmet beans on mediocre cups of coffee.
We hope this coffee calculator and guide helps you use the right coffee-to-water ratio every time. Stop wondering how to improve your coffee and start enjoying it!
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