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What's the Proper Coffee to Water Ratio?

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What's the Proper Coffee to Water Ratio

Your morning cup of coffee can set the stage for an amazing day. A freshly brewed mug can make you feel energized and ready to take on the world. But a cup of watery java that tastes like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Let's just say that bad days aren't born, they're brewed. If you've ever sipped a substance that surely doesn't taste like the delicious bag of coffee beans you've purchased, you may be missing the proper water to coffee ratio.

At Real Good Coffee Company, we know how important your morning cup of joe is. As the provider of the freshly roasted coffee that fuel men and women around the country, we understand that brewing the best batch of coffee isn't always a simple feat. Knowing how much coffee per cup of water to use in your daily grind is essential to serving up the perfect cup. Let's talk about why the coffee water ratio is so important and how it changes between different brewing methods.

What's the Proper Coffee to Water Ratio?

Coffee is more than just a cup of caffeinated liquid. In fact, so much happens between from the growth of the bean to the final brewed batch that great tasting coffee is quite complex. If you're a regular coffee drinker who prefers to brew their own cup right from the comfort of your own kitchen, you know that preparing a truly fantastic cup of coffee requires more than a coffee maker and some grounds. Along with the right equipment, homebrewers must also have an understanding of brewing.

Water is one of the strongest factors that influence your coffee's taste. Knowing which type of water your beans are brewed in — for example, hard, soft, tap or distilled — can help you choose which type you should use at home. Although you may be able to tell the difference between tap, distilled, softened, bottled or filtered water, you also need to understand that the right coffee brewing ratio is based on the amount of water you use as well.

The Golden Coffee Ratio

Is there a perfectly measured amount of water and coffee that creates the best taste every time? Many people believe that there is an ideal coffee water ratio. One of the guidelines is referred to as the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio states that you should prepare 17.42 units of water for every 1 unit of coffee or, alternatively, use a single or two tablespoons of the coffee per 6 ounces of water. You can then adjust this amount to change the taste, making it stronger or weaker.

Of course, the Golden Ratio is only a general guideline that does not necessarily apply to all types of coffee brewing. Some coffee brewers will suggest using a 1:17 coffee to water ratio regardless of the type of coffee you're trying to make. Others have stated that 98.8% water to a 1.2% grounds creates a weaker cup of coffee while the slight variation of 98.5% water to 1.5% grounds will make the coffee strong.

Generally, a regular coffee will have a 1:18 ratio, with a stronger coffee having a 1:15 ratio. Reference this serving size chart for a general coffee to water ratio:

  • 1 serving of regular coffee: 8oz of water | 0.45oz or 13.1g of coffee
  • 1 serving of strong coffee: 8oz of water | 0.53oz or 16g of coffee
  • 2 servings of regular coffee: 16oz of water | 0.88oz or 26.2g of coffee
  • 2 servings of strong coffee: 16oz of water | 1.1oz or 31.5g of coffee
  • 4 servings of regular coffee: 32oz of water | 1.77oz or 52.4g of coffee
  • 4 servings of strong coffee: 32oz of water | 2.13oz or 63g of coffee

Proper Coffee Brewing Ratiots

Along with minimal adjustments to time and temperature, the smallest changes to the amount of water you use and how much coffee per cup you're trying to brew can drastically impact the taste. A French press coffee ratio may be different than the coffee to water ratio drip coffees require. To truly get the perfect cup of any type of coffee, no matter how many cups you wish to make, you need to learn their proper coffee brewing ratios. Let's look at coffee brewing ratios for pour-overs, immersions and cold brews.

Drip Coffee or Pour-Over

Drip coffee is one of the most popular and common coffee-making methods in the home. These coffee makers are easy to set up and operate, and many have their own bean grinders built-in as well. This method is ideal for those who want to have their coffee prepared with as little effort as possible, especially those who want to experiment with various bean combinations and drip coffee ratios to create the perfect blend.

Pour-over coffee is also a simple method of coffee brewing, however, it provides an opportunity to be more experimental with the brewing process. Instead of waiting for a drip coffee maker to run through its programmed cycle, those who use the pour-over method can control the pour of the water, its temperature and how long it's left to brew. This method is great for those who want to take the time to really discover how minimal adjustments to temperature, time and water can dramatically change the taste.

Generally, a drip or pour-over coffee will have a 1:17 ratio, with a stronger coffee having a 1:15 ratio. Reference this serving size chart for a drip or pour-over ratio:

  • 1 serving of regular coffee: 8oz of water | 0.5oz or 13.9g of coffee
  • 1 serving of strong coffee: 8oz of water | 0.53oz or 16g of coffee
  • 2 servings of regular coffee: 16oz of water | 0.9oz or 27.8g of coffee
  • 2 servings of strong coffee: 16oz of water | 1.1oz or 31.5g of coffee
  • 4 servings of regular coffee: 32oz of water | 1.9oz or 55.5g of coffee
  • 4 servings of strong coffee: 32oz of water | 2.13oz or 63g of coffee

Immersion

Immersion Brewing

While drip or pour-over coffee lets the water pass through the grounds, immersion brewing is a method in which the coffee is immersed within the water and left to brew. The grounds are completely saturated for the chosen length of time and no flavor is lost to a filter. French press coffee is a popular type of immersion brewing in which the water is pressed out from the grounds. This typically results in a coffee with a bolder taste.

Generally, a French press coffee will have a 1:17 ratio, with a stronger coffee having a 1:11 ratio. Reference this serving size chart for a French press coffee ratio:

  • 1 serving of regular coffee: 8oz of water | 0.5oz or 13.9g of coffee
  • 1 serving of strong coffee: 8oz of water | 0.7oz or 21.5g of coffee
  • 2 servings of regular coffee: 16oz of water | 0.9oz or 27.8g of coffee
  • 2 servings of strong coffee: 16oz of water | 1.5oz or 42.9g of coffee
  • 4 servings of regular coffee: 32oz of water | 1.9oz or 55.5g of coffee
  • 4 servings of strong coffee: 32oz of water | 2.9oz or 85.8g of coffee

Cold Brew

Technically, cold brew is a form of immersion brewing. However, there is one significant difference compared to other coffee brewing methods — the water is not heated. This requires the process to take longer and the decision to either brew it at room temperature or cooled in a refrigerator can make just as significant of a change in taste as using different coffee brewing ratios.

Generally, a cold brew or immersion coffee will have a 1:8 ratio, with a stronger coffee having a 1:5 ratio. Reference this serving size chart for a cold brew coffee to water ratio:

  • 1 serving of regular coffee: 8oz of water | 1.0oz or 29.5g of coffee
  • 1 serving of strong coffee: 8oz of water | 1.6oz or 47g of coffee
  • 2 servings of regular coffee: 16oz of water | 2.0oz or 59.0g of coffee
  • 2 servings of strong coffee: 16oz of water | 3.2oz or 94g of coffee
  • 4 servings of regular coffee: 32oz of water | 4.0oz or 118g of coffee
  • 4 servings of strong coffee: 32oz of water | 6.4oz or 189g of coffee

The Importance of Brew Ratio for Making Coffee

No matter which type of coffee you're making, the coffee grounds to water ratio is important — especially if you're making multiple cups. Knowing how much water to use with the right measurement of grounds ensures that you get a great tasting brew at any volume. Though you can measure by volume, different beans have different densities, so it's best if you measure by weight. We recommend that you use a coffee ratio calculator or a brewing ratio chart when preparing your favorite coffees at home.

5 Tips for Brewing Coffee at Home

Tips for Brewing Coffee at Home

Want to make the perfect cup of coffee at home? At Real Good Coffee Company, we know that being able to brew batch after batch of your favorite coffee is a great skill to possess. Knowing the coffee to water ratio for drip, pour-over, French press and cold brew is one of the first steps you need to upgrade your brewing potential. Whether you're making your first cup or trying to perfect your brewing method, here are five tips to help you with the process:

  1. Make sure you have the right tools. If you're going to take the time to make your own cup of coffee, then you want to be sure you make it correctly. Depending on how much money and time you want to invest in your coffee brewing equipment, you can purchase a variety of tools like bean grinders, filters, percolators, digital scales and tampers. At very least, we recommend that you invest in a quality grinder and coffee maker of your preference.
  2. Use the correct coffee brewing ratio. As discussed above, you need to understand how different coffee varieties are brewed if you want to produce a quality cup. Keep a coffee ratio calculator handy on your phone or print out a brewing ratio chart to ensure that you use the proper coffee to water ratio every time.
  3. Grind your coffee as soon as you can to the brewing time. You want to keep your coffee as fresh as possible which means grinding your beans at the right moment. Don't grind overnight to have them ready in the morning. Instead, be ready to grind just before you begin brewing them. Make sure you're also grinding the right size for your specific beverage. An espresso machine may require a different grind size than a pour-over.
  4. Be precise and consistent in your brewing. Who hasn't had a rushed morning with hardly any time to drink let alone make a cup of coffee? Although you may be tempted to adjust your brewing process to get your cup quicker, this will substantially impact the taste. You want to be as measured and consistent in your brewing as possible to ensure that your time and effort yield you the quality taste you crave.
  5. Use freshly roasted, premium coffee beans. What's the point of making your own coffee if you're using prepackaged grounds or beans that were roasted ages ago? The choice of beans is just as important as how it's roasted and brewed. When choosing a coffee, make sure the beans you're buying will deliver the best taste possible. Look for companies that have a history of sourcing and roasting premium beans that give the full body flavor you need to get your morning going.

Brew Your Coffee With the Right Amount of Beans and Water

Try Real Good Coffee

Although you can go to any corner cafe and purchase a to-go cup of coffee, there's something about a home-brewed mug of freshly roasted coffee that just tastes better. If you love starting your morning with a steaming cup of joe, we invite you to try Real Good Coffee. Made for the everyday coffee drinker, Real Good Coffee Company is a proud Seattle roaster that provides you with premium quality coffee without the high prices that boutique coffee brands charge.

All four of our whole bean coffee selections are packaged as two pounds of 100 percent Arabica beans. Try our Breakfast Blend Light Roast, Donut Shop Medium Roast, Dark French Roast or Organic Dark Roast today. We guarantee 100 percent satisfaction on every order — if you don't love our Real Good Coffee, we will happily make it right. Maintaining a proper coffee to water ratio is important — make sure you're using the best beans possible in every brew. Shop our coffee options today.

 

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