A huge part of making great coffee is knowing how much coffee per cup that you need. That, along with grind size, water temperature, and brew time are what make a good cup of coffee.
So how much coffee do you really need per cup? The answer is between 1 to 2 tablespoons for every six ounces of water.
For really perfect coffee, ditch the tablespoon and measure using grams instead.
There is a little bit of flexibility here. You can use 1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoons, or anything in between. You can also use between 6 to 8 ounces of water.
The general consensus is that 6 ounces is a standard cup of coffee.
This ratio is applicable for drip, pour over, and french press coffee.
Here’s a quick reference table/cheat sheet in case you’re making coffee for a lot of people:
Cups of Coffee
6 ounces (170 ml)
2 tablespoons (10 grams)
12 ounces (240 ml)
4 tablespoons (20 grams)
18 ounces (410 ml)
6 tablespoons (30 grams)
24 ounces (580 ml)
8 tablespoons (40 grams)
30 ounces (850 ml)
10 tablespoons (50 grams)
36 ounces (1020 ml)
12 tablespoons (60 grams)
42 ounces (1190 ml)
14 tablespoons (70 grams)
48 ounces (1360 ml)
16 tablespoons (80 grams)
54 ounces (1530 ml)
18 tablespoons (90 grams)
60 ounces (1700 ml)
20 tablespoons (100 grams)
66 ounces (1870 ml)
22 tablespoons (110 grams)
72 ounces (2040 ml)
24 tablespoons (120 grams)
Playing around with the ratio
The ratio I’ve given above is not set in stone, of course, so you are more than free to play with the amount of coffee to adjust the strength.
The best way to tune your cup of coffee is to keep everything constant and change one variable at a time.
For example, if you make drip coffee but wish to change the flavor a little, keep the brewing method the same, keep the coffee brand and roast the same, keep the grind the same, and just add a few more grams of coffee.
Try using a slightly darker roast for a richer flavor.
If you want a lighter coffee, you can use a few grams less, or use a lighter roast.
The important thing with coffee is measurement! Measure, measure, measure, and you’ll get consistent results every time.
It may also be a wise idea to invest in a kitchen scale to help you measure.
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Once you’ve played around a little and gotten a ratio and recipe that you really like, you may find that you enjoy your coffee straight black instead of with milk and sugar.
How much coffee for cold brew
For cold brew, the ratio changes quite significantly. Because you’re now brewing with cold water instead of hot water, the molecules are moving much more slowly and they need a lot more coffee to interact with in order to extract the flavor.
There are a wide variety of tastes and preferences when it comes to cold brew, but you can use ratios of anywhere between 1 parts coffee to 8 parts water up to 1 part coffee to 2 parts water.
The more coffee you use, the more concentrated and strong the drink will be – so you may want to use it as a concentrate that you dilute with water or milk instead of something you drink straight.
How much coffee for espresso
Espresso is a very strong coffee preparation made by forcing high pressure steam through a very compacted puck of coffee grounds.
You want to use 6 to 8 grams of espresso grounds for a single shot(1.5 ounces of water), or 16 grams for a double shot(2-2.5 ounces of water).
Espresso is really strong so you want to use a medium to dark roast for the best flavor. Also bear in mind that the grounds are much finer in espresso, almost like a powder, so either measure on a weighing scale or use the scoop that came with your espresso machine.
Last update on 2019-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API