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Why You Need to Get Your Coffee-To-Water Ratio Right

For any coffee enthusiast, one of the most important aspects of brewing a perfect cup of coffee is getting the right coffee-to-water ratio. It might seem simple, but the truth is that it can make or break the taste of your coffee. In this ultimate guide to brewing ratios, we will explore the importance of the coffee-to-water ratio, how to calculate it, and some common brewing methods and their respective ratios. So, grab a cup of your favorite coffee, and let's dive in!

Why Is Coffee-to-Water Ratio Important?

The coffee-to-water ratio is crucial because it determines the strength and flavor of your coffee. Too much coffee in relation to water will result in a strong, bitter taste, while too little coffee will make your brew weak and watery. Finding the perfect balance will ensure that you have a delicious cup of coffee that is just right for your taste buds.

How to Calculate Coffee to Water Ratio

Calculating the coffee-to-water ratio is quite simple. All you need to do is measure the number of coffee grounds and water you plan to use and then compare them in terms of weight or volume. The most common way to express this ratio is in grams, as it is more precise than using volume measurements like cups or tablespoons. For example, if you have 30 grams of coffee grounds and 500 grams of water, the coffee-to-water ratio would be 1:16.67 (30:500).

Common Brewing Methods and Their Ratios

Different brewing methods require different coffee-to-water ratios to achieve the best results. Here are some popular brewing methods and their recommended ratios:

1. Pour Over/Drip Coffee

The pour-over or drip coffee method is known for its bright and clean flavors, with a light to medium body. The recommended coffee-to-water ratio for this method is 1:15 to 1:17. This means that for every gram of coffee, you should use 15 to 17 grams of water. For a standard 12-ounce cup of coffee, this equates to approximately 22-24 grams of coffee to 360 grams of water.

2. French Press

The French press is a favored technique for making coffee, resulting in a strong and bold taste. The perfect proportion of coffee to water for this method ranges from 1:12 to 1:15. In other words, for each gram of coffee, 12 to 15 grams of water should be used. To make a typical 12-ounce cup of coffee, this translates to about 28-30 grams of coffee combined with 360 grams of water.

3. Aeropress

The Aeropress is a flexible coffee-making technique that can produce various coffee tastes based on the particular approach employed. Typically, the proportion of coffee to water for this method ranges from 1:14 to 1:16. This implies that for each gram of coffee, you should use 14 to 16 grams of water. For the typical 12-ounce cup of coffee, you would need roughly 25-27 grams of coffee and 360 grams of water.

4. Espresso

Espresso is a strong coffee drink created by pushing hot water through very fine coffee grounds at high pressure. The perfect ratio of coffee to water for espresso ranges from 1:2 to 1:3. In other words, for each gram of coffee, you need to add 2 to 3 grams of water. So, for a regular 1-ounce espresso shot, you would need around 18-20 grams of coffee and 36-60 grams of water.

5. Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is prepared by immersing coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for a prolonged duration, typically between 12 and 24 hours. A suggested ratio of coffee to water for this technique is 1:4 to 1:8, meaning 4 to 8 grams of water should be used for every gram of coffee. To make a regular 12-ounce cup of coffee, you will need roughly 42-48 grams of coffee mixed with 360 grams of water.


Finding the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for cold brew coffee is a matter of personal preference and experimentation. Start with the recommended ratios and adjust according to your taste, taking into account factors such as bean type, grind size, brewing time, and water temperature. With a bit of trial and error, you'll soon discover the perfect cold brew coffee that suits your taste buds.

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