Coffee To Water Brewing Ratio – The Coffee Basics

Coffee Water Ratio Guide

In general, people just brew their cup of coffee without any proper measure of the ingredients. You are here seeking info about Coffee to Water ratio, it simply means – you are getting serious about coffee!

You have a nice grinder, a good coffee maker, correctly roasted beans and even a kitchen weighing scale, and you also grind perfectly. But still, every time you brew, things always end up differently. Sometimes good, sometimes average and sometimes, Yuk. So, it’s time to look at your brewing ratio.

What is the Optimal Coffee to Water Brewing Ratio

For majority of people, the Taste palette saturates between the ratio of 1:15 to 1:18, where the larger number is water and smaller is coffee(so, don’t get confused anywhere).

A general guideline is called the “Golden Ratio” – one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences.

Check the cup lines or indicators on your specific brewer to see how they actually measure. And remember that some water is lost to evaporation in certain brewing methods.


As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t want to stress your mind much in this matter, use 1:17 first and then adjust accordingly by taste. If the taste feels light, decrease the ratio and do vice versa if it feels strong. Want even more easy – Use 2 Tbsp of coffee for a strong coffee cup which means, 8 Tbsp for 4 cups, 12 Tbsp for 6 Cups and 16 Tbsp for 8 cups of coffee. Similarly decrease the measure to 1 and 1/2 Tbsp per cup for medium strong and 1 Tbsp for mild cup of coffee.

But if you are looking to make your brewing more perfect, you have to adjust the ratios for various brewing methods. Below is our guide mentioning ratios in relation to brewing methods.

Drip or Manual Pour Over

Drip/Pour-Over Ratio

These 2 methods complement each other as the basics of brewing are same in both. A drip coffee maker is the most common brewing equipment found in most American households. This method requires less coffee because a steady flow of water runs through the coffee grounds. The time duration is of good length and so, the process extracts a good flavor profile.

So, for Drip and Pour over or Chemex, the ratio of 1:17 will give a mild cup of coffee whereas the ratio of 1:15 will give strong. Try between these ratios and you’ll be getting the best taste anywhere in between.

French Press or Aeropress

French- Press Coffee Ratio

Now this is for coffeeholic people. A french press and an aeropress are favorites of people who are close to coffee and love experimenting. The brewing process is in full control in these methods and that’s why, coffee to water ratio plays an important role.

There is a wide ratio span when we talk about mild to strong coffee and can vary from anywhere between 1:11 to 1:16. The 1:11 will give your coffee a bold taste and 1:16 will do mild. In grams, approximately 21 grams of coffee for each cup of french press coffee will give a strong flavor. Whereas for a mild cup, 14.7 grams of coffee for each 8 oz of coffee will do. You can experiment in between for your favorite taste.

Espresso Shot

A totally different process involves around in making espresso and so, ratio concept is a little different. An espresso flavor completely depends on the length of extraction – shorter extraction gives intense flavor. A ratio of 1:1 is typically called a Ristrestto and is the shortest espresso shot whereas 1:3 is a Lungo, meaning longer shot. In between, 1:2 is the basic espresso shot.

The calculation here is totally different. It’s because the espresso is more specifically a different brew with bolder flavors and less volume.

Moka Pot

Moka-Pot Coffee Water Ratio

The next is Moka, a form of making espresso without machine. But again, it’s a different game. To keep it short, we suggest to play with 1:7 ratio where 1 part of coffee is there for 7 parts of water.

For a 4-cup Moka pot, the filter basket can hold about 15-17 grams of coffee and so, there is not a lot to experiment with as the holding capacity is already fixed at optimal size. When you are brewing one cup, adjust accordingly by dividing the full quantity by number of cups.

Cold Brew

Though cold brew somewhere resembles pour over brewing but there is a major difference – the water temperature. In cold-brew, the extraction is done using cold water instead of hot and hence the process needs more coffee grounds. If we use the same ratio as in a pour over, the extracted coffee will taste watery.

So, for cold brew, we suggest to play somewhere between 1:2 to 1:7. The smaller the ratio, the more intense and bolder will be the flavors.

Wrap Up

Coffee To Water Ratio

Talk about coffee with some other and you will discover something more. A flavor profile or palette is different for each person and so, every coffee-cup cannot be the same for everyone.

A coffee is not any science, but it’s your virtue, your liking. So, ratio should not bound you from experimenting. The above guide should help you bring closer to a good cup, but not the best. The best cup is your responsibility, and for that, keep trying new!

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