Brewed Coffee Guide

The Ideal Coffee to Water Ratio

April 25, 2022 | Kurt Parker

brewing ratio

Even you buy the most expensive coffee beans, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll brew a tasteful coffee. Do you agree? That’s because you might have the wrong coffee to water ratio, making your coffee very watery.

How much coffee? How much water? These are two important questions you need to know to brew the best tasting ground coffee on earth. Coffee brewing is basic knowledge, but not all can get it right the first time.

Continue reading to learn more about the right water to coffee ratio in brewing.

What’s in the Article?

Why Does Brew Ratio Matter?

brew ratio how much coffee

For coffee drinkers, the coffee to water ratio matters since it affects if your coffee taste bitter. Some coffee makers put coffee to water ratio in the label to guide consumers.

By knowing the ratio, you can scale things up. Brewing coffee becomes easier when you know how much coffee you need to add to your water.

You need to use a digital scale to weigh the coffee grounds. You will get an accurate weight for your coffee ratio. For your water, you can use a measuring cup with high precision.

Avoid eyeballing the water level for it will just give you an inaccurate measurement.

What’s the Golden Coffee to Water Ratio?

standard coffee ratio coffee cup

Have you heard about the Golden Cup Standard? This coffee to water ratio was formulated by a professor in MIT in 1950. This ratio of brewing methods was based on a survey of many coffee drinkers.

This standard tells us to mix 55 grams of coffee grounds mixed with one liter of water. The resulting coffee to water ratio is 1:18. One part ground coffee to 18 parts of water.

The Golden Cup Standard is supported by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). There is a 10 percent allowance for the ratio. This standard talks more of the coffee brewing process rather than the ratio.

The coffee strength is expressed in Total Dissolved Solids. The expected strength of your hot or cold brew coffee is 11.5 to 13.5 grams of dissolved bean coffee.

Setbacks of the Golden Cup Standard

golden coffee to water ratio brewed coffee

There are certain setbacks of the Golden Cup Standard. Some people don’t mind it while others do. Let’s know some of them below:

  • Not all people will have the tools and time to compute the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). That will be inconvenient for most coffee drinkers.
  • The 1:18 coffee to water ratio is too thin, especially for low quality ground coffee or coffee beans. You need to have a thicker outcome after the brew method.
  • The Golden Cup Standard doesn’t consider adding milk to your perfect coffee. Some people like to have milk with their coffee at home.
  • You can use this coffee to water ratio through any brew methods. Whether you will have French press, drip coffee, or automatic drip, this standard is workable for all.

To minimize its setbacks, having a solid experience in the brewing methods is essential.

What are examples of the Golden Cup Standard?

brew time measure coffee

The best coffee will depend on your personal preference. People will have different tastes in their cup of coffee. Some like it strong while some like it smooth with milk. Personal taste will be the standard reference for getting the right balance for your coffee at home.

We’re done talking about what the Golden Cup Standard is, right? Just to recall, that will be around two tablespoons of coffee dissolved in six ounces of cold or hot water.

If this is too thin for you, you can make it a bit stronger by adding more coffee to the same water volume. Otherwise, you can retain the same coffee and reduce your water.

Now, let’s give some more detailed examples of this 1:18 ratio.

  • 13.1 grams of coffee to 8 oz water – good for 1 cup
  • 16 grams of coffee to 8 oz water – good for 1 cup
  • 26.2 grams of coffee to 16 oz water – good for 2 cups

The taste of your final cup will depend on your ratio and the quality of coffee beans you are using. The golden ratio stands on its reputation as the main reference for everyone.

What is the best coffee to water ratio per brewing methods?

filter coffee french press

Coffee makers know that the best coffee to water ratio differs in the brewing method. There are two main types of making your best cup of coffee – immersion and pour over. We’ll discuss them here for the best coffee to water ratio per brewing method.

There is a different ratio for cold brew coffee and French press coffee. So, what’s a suitable coffee ratio for each brewing method then?

Regular Coffee

Regular coffee is made by pouring hot water to your cup of coffee beans. Allow it to brew for a few minutes until almost all of the beans are dissolved. The coffee to water ratio for this is 66 grams per liter of water or 1:15. You can mix milk with this ratio and still get a good taste.

French Press Coffee

This is a manually made coffee. You will need to use a plunger, a cylinder-shaped carafe, and an integrated coffee filter. A French press allows you to get a full-body taste of your whole bean coffee. The coffee water ratio for this is 71 grams to one liter of water or 1:14.

Drip Coffee or Pour Over

This is one of the most popular ways of brewing your coffee. You will need a drip coffee machine or pour-over maker for this simple process. The hot water will be pushed towards the ground beans where it is allowed to brew and drip into the carafe. You will need to have a filter for your drip coffee.

The usual coffee water ratio for drip coffee is 1:17. If you want a stronger taste, then make it 1:15. Both ratios will result in a quality cup of great coffee.

Best Coffee Water Ratio for Immersion Coffee

immersion coffee ratio coffee pot

There are two main methods of brewing your coffee – drip and immersion. Let’s focus on the latter is getting the coffee to water ratio.

An immersion coffee is made is by adding hot water to a cup of coffee beans. Let it brew for 2 to 5 minutes. Try tasting it, so you’d know if it tastes fine or not. If it’s too thin, then you can add more coffee.

The common coffee to water ratio for immersion coffee is 1:17. If you want a stronger taste, that can be 1:15 or 1:14. Below are more examples for the different ratios:

  • Regular: 13.90 grams of coffee for 8 ounces of water to make one serving
  • Strong: 21.50 grams of coffee for 8 ounces of water to make one serving
  • Regular: 27.8 grams of coffee for 16 ounces of water to make 2 servings
  • Strong: 42.90 grams of coffee for 16 ounces of water to make 2 servings

Cold Brew Coffee Ratio

If you like to have a cold drink, you will also need to know about the right cold brew coffee ratio. For this one, it follows the 1:8 ratio. The main difference is that you have to brew it overnight to extract more flavor.

If you want it stronger, you can go for a 1:5 ratio. You also need to choose a freshly roasted coffee bean to get the best aroma. It also results in better flavor with good quality beans.

Brewing time matters

brewing coffee time coffee game

The duration of brewing your ground coffee or coffee beans also matter. The longer the brewing time, the more coffee particles are dissolved. This results to a more flavorful taste from your cup of joe.

The type of brewing method will also dictate how long you will brew your beans. For instance, in a drip coffee, it takes around five minutes for you to brew it. French press is around two to four minutes while espresso coffee is less than an minute.

Immersion coffee like cold brews have long brewing time. A cold brew is done for around twelve hours to extract all the aroma and flavor of the coffee beans.


coffee to water ratio

Having the proper knowledge for the right coffee to water ratio is important. It helps you make multiple cups of great coffee. Besides what we have shared, you can also try some water ratio calculator online for your reference. Whether you are using an espresso machine or just manually pressing your coffee, having the right ratio is essential.

Aside from ratio, there are other factors affecting the taste of your coffee:

  • Water temperature
  • Quality of coffee bean
  • Coffee bean grinders
  • Brewing time
  • Brewing method
  • Coffee filter

If you have any questions, feel free to browse our website. We are more than happy to help you with anything about coffee. You can also share this article with your friends and colleagues who might find it helpful.