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How Much Coffee Should I Use?


It’s a common question I hear all the time: how much coffee should I use? It depends on how much volume you are brewing. This is where ratio’s come into play. Knowing the correct coffee to water ratio to brew with allows you to get great results with a 1 cup pour-over or a 12 cup auto-drip. The ratio allows you to scale up or scale down while keeping the coffee strength the same.
There are two ways to measure your coffee, by volume (scoops) or by weight. The most consistent, repeatable, and reliable way to get the same result day after day is by weighing the coffee and the water you use to brew with. Kitchen scales are not the most common household item and it can seem tedious, but I promise, it is very simple.
The golden ratio of coffee to water is between 1:15 – 1:17. For every 1-gram of coffee use 15-17 grams of water. Within this window you should get a proper extraction. A ratio above 1:17 (too much water) will produce weak and bitter coffee, while a ratio under 1:15 (not enough water) will produce strong and sour tasting coffee.
Knowing the ratio you like to work with allows you to calculate quickly how much coffee and water you should use. With a 1:16 ratio, a pour over using 22 grams of coffee to 350 grams of water produces about a 12oz cup. If you want to only use 18 grams of coffee next time, simply multiply 18 grams by 16 to get the amount of water in grams you should pour over the grounds. If you are using a manual brew method, place your device on top of the scale and weigh the water as you pour. If you are using an auto-drip machine, weigh the water and then pour it into the machine.
If you don’t have a scale yet, 1 level tablespoon of beans or grounds is about 5 grams. You will want to use 2 level tablespoons of coffee for every 6 fluid ounces of water you use to brew with.
Starting this month we will be offering free home brewing classes every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 1pm to explore how to get better tasting coffee at home. We are also moving our public cupping’s to every 1st and 3rd Saturday at 1pm. We hope you can join us sometime!