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How Much Coffee? Get The Right Amount For Your Perfect Cup

How Much Coffee? Get The Right Amount For Your Perfect Cup

How does one make the perfect cup of coffee? How much coffee per cup? Do you like your coffee super strong or relatively weak? Do you prefer it slightly bitter or sweet? With sugar and milk or without? With so many preferences, how does one even begin to define the perfect cup of coffee?

The Speciality Coffee Association Of America (SCAA) defines 10 grams per 180 ml cup as the correct measure for a brewed cup of coffee if utilizing American standards. The SCAA recommends using their golden ratio, approximately 1:18, stating that 55 grams of coffee are needed for 1000 ml of water.

There’s definitely quite a bit more to creating the perfect cup of Java. This could all seem a bit tricky from coffee ratios, doses, measures, and conversions. Don’t fret; simply read on. We’ve got you covered!

How Much Coffee per cup? Get Your Coffee Dose Right

person scooping and measuring coffee beans for perfect cup

Most of us probably don’t think much about “dosing your coffee” as we would when dosing medications such as cough mixtures, etc. However, dosing your coffee is vital to ensuring the tastiest cuppa.

Coffee dosing refers to how much coffee goes into your cup. Correct dosing ensures you get it right every time, avoiding sipping a brew that is too weak or bitter.

A good guideline would be using 1-2 tablespoons (TBSP) of coffee for every 6 ounces of water. Some coffee lovers swear by the “recipe” of 60 grams per liter, or 30 g /500 ml, but coffee dosing is a little more technical.

Why Is Coffee Dosing Important?

Accurate coffee dosing is vital to creating a great cup of coffee with the perfect consistency, flavor, and caffeine content.

· Consistency

Dosing your coffee correctly each time ensures it won’t be weak today and strong tomorrow. No one has time or patience for a terrible cup of coffee, especially first thing in the morning!

Your daily cups will be consistently excellent when you know how to dose your coffee.

· Flavor

Incorrect dosing leads to disappointing flavors. Adding too much coffee produces a bitter drink, whereas too little coffee leads to weaker, watery brews.

You’ve got to get the right flavor to enjoy your cup of coffee fully.

· Caffeine Content

Dosing your coffee correctly ensures just the right amount of caffeine per cup. Weaker brews have a lower caffeine content, which will not provide you with your daily fix.

On the other hand, robust coffee could make you feel on edge. Neither scenario is ideal.

The correct coffee dosing guarantees a precise coffee-to-water ratio.

Coffee To Water Ratio

coffee water ratio for perfect cup

As previously stated, the SCAA has set a golden ratio standard at 1:18. But what does this suggest? The golden ratio indicates a 1:18 ratio of coffee grounds (in grams) to water volume (in ml). In layperson’s terms, you will have 18 units of water for each unit of coffee.

The coffee-to-water ratio can therefore be defined as the amount of coffee you use compared to the amount of water you require with that specific amount of coffee.

This ratio is generally considered the standard for coffee, although many won’t agree. This is mainly because how you drink your coffee depends on your preferences. Some may find the ratio 1:18 far too weak, while others are more willing to adhere to this recommendation.

It is still a good starting point, to begin with the golden ratio, especially if you still need to become a coffee connoisseur. You have the freedom to tweak things here and there until you find the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for your taste.

The Ideal Coffee To Water Ratio: 1:15 to 1:18

So, what is the perfect coffee-to-water ratio? How do we determine this?

The best ratio can be described as whichever works best for you! Although it is sensible to begin with the golden ratio if you’re all new to this, once you’ve played around with the numbers, you will have found your perfect ratio in no time.

Coffee-to-water ratios determine the flavor of your cup of coffee, such as:

  • 1:15- Tastes intense and concentrated.
  • 1:16- Smooth and bright flavor.
  • 1:17- Smooth and rounded flavor.
  • 1:18- Tastes lighter and “weaker.”

If 1:18 tastes too weak, consider trying 1:17 or 1:16. Finding your preference takes some trial and error. So, if you despise the taste of your cuppa, try adjusting the ratio before you head out to purchase a different type of coffee.

Coffee Grounds Per Cup

coffee ground ratio for perfect cup

Coffee-to-water ratios are one way of creating your perfect cup of coffee. Still, you may be more familiar with traditional measurements such as scoops, cups, spoons, etc.

Although these are prevalent household utensils, they are often deemed inaccurate as there are no international standards for a scoop. This results in several fluctuations and inaccurate, unreliable volumetric measurements, which will undoubtedly impact the final taste of your cup of coffee.

So technically speaking, spoons, scoops, and cups are incredibly unreliable.

The same applies to measuring water; eyeballing the amount is ten to one consistently inaccurate, and there is actually no universal definition of a “standard cup.” It differs worldwide. Hence the need for more accurate means of measurement.

Using a digital kitchen scale is the way to go for the most precise measurements. However, some may not have a scale, so we’ll provide some practical guidelines below for using other measurement forms.

How Much Ground Coffee Per Cup?

Working on the SCAA’s definition of 5fl.oz as a “Cup” and the golden ratio rule of 1:18, we can safely deduct that 8.3 grams of coffee are needed per 5fl.oz cup.

This is generally the same for most coffee machine manufacturers: 150 ml (5 fl. oz) of liquid is defined as a “cup.”

In comparison, a “cooking” cup is seen as anything from 236-250 ml, and it is notably different worldwide. This is more reason to opt for a kitchen scale for more precise measurements.

Now that we know that 8.3 grams of ground coffee are needed per 5 fl. oz liquid let’s see how more than 1 cup would size up to grams of coffee and tablespoons.

Brewed cups (5 fl. oz. each) 150 ml Grams of coffee Tablespoons (TBSP)
1 8.3 1.6
2 16.6 3.2
4 33.2 6.4
6 49.8 9.6
8 66.4 12.8
10 83 16
12 99.6 18.2
14 116.2 22.4
16 132.8 25.6
18 149.4 28.8
20 166 32


Coffee Measurements and Conversions

Using the golden ratio (1:18), we know that one cup takes 8.3 g of ground coffee. Now, let’s outline a few quick examples using the above table as a reference. This requires some Maths skills, but it’s pretty simple, don’t stress!

  • To make 4 cups of ground coffee: To make 4 cups of coffee, we would need 33.2 grams of coffee. That is 5fl. oz x 4 cups= 20fl. oz equals 600 ml. 600 ml /18 equals 33 g.
  • To make 8 cups of coffee: 5 fl. oz x 8 cups= 40 fl. oz= 1200 ml of water. Using the 1:18 ratio, divide 1200 by 18. This is equal to 67 grams of coffee for 8 cups.
  • To make 12 cups of coffee: Using the same calculation method, we’d say 5fl. oz X12 cups= 60 fl. oz = 1800 ml of water. Divide 1800 by 18. This equates to 100 grams of ground coffee for 12 cups.

Weighing everything in grams is recommended for precise measurements and consistent results each time. When brewing coffee, measuring the water in grams is also recommended.

It may sound strange to do so, but in the coffee world, weighing your water in grams, too, results in the most consistent brews.

A handy little coffee-water ratio calculator is available online to simplify measurements and conversions. Check it out here and see if it simplifies things for you a bit more.

How Many Scoops Per Cup?

Nowadays, most coffee makers have a pre-measured scoop for measuring your coffee. A coffee “scoop” is typically 5 grams (1 tablespoon).

One tablespoon (TBSP) of coffee for every 4 ounces of water would suffice for those without a digital kitchen scale.

How Many Coffee Beans Per Cup?

One would need 70 coffee beans per cup for the golden ratio. If you have the patience to count all of those beans, great. If not, you can aim for around one and a half tablespoons of beans per cup or work on 10 grams of beans per cup and see if the coffee strength works for you.

How Much Coffee For Different Brewing Methods?

There are a few aspects that could also aid you in determining the best ratio to go with when brewing your coffee, one aspect being the particular brewing method used.

So, suppose you’re willing to experiment a little out of the golden ratio range. In that case, the following guidelines are worth considering:

  • Regular coffee: 1:15 (66g/1 liter). Consider this ratio when making regular coffee for ordinary people.
  • French Press: 1:15 or 1:14 (71g/1 liter). Infusion brewing methods often require a more substantial ratio.
  • Drip Coffee: 1:15 (66g/1 liter). This ratio is recommended mainly for pour-over coffee methods made with basic coffee grinders.
  • Advanced home coffeemakers: 1:16,6 (60g/1 liter). Be bold and play around with wider ratios such as 1:16 or 1:17, especially if you’re a more experienced coffee maker owning top-notch coffee grinders at home.

From the guidelines above, the type of brewing method usually calls for the ratios to be adjusted accordingly. Wondering why? Let’s answer this question by examining the two brew methods.

  1. Percolation method: This is technically defined as water passing through a bed of coffee—for example, the pour-over coffee method. A suggestion is to work on around 60g per liter.
  2. Immersion/Infusion method: This method is generally when all the coffee and the water are in contact with each other during the entire brewing time—for example, French press, Aeropress, etc. Here the recommended dosage would be 70-75 g per liter.

The Immersion method (specifically the French press) needs more coffee because these brews are less efficient at extracting flavors from coffee than pour-overs. Simply put, the water behaves differently in both brewing methods.

The coffee and water sit together much longer in an immersion method than in the drip method, such as the pour-over method. A French press needs more extraction time, so less coffee is vital to balancing out the flavors and ensuring that your measurements and ratios are correct.

By measuring your coffee in grams or ratios, one can expect to achieve the optimal taste for your perfect cup of coffee through an efficient and successful brewing process.

Tips For Consistent Coffee Brewing

Let’s look at some additional tips for helping you to brew a cup of coffee consistently. The aim should always be focused on accuracy by weighing the amount of coffee and the amount of water too. This is definitely the ultimate secret behind the perfect cup!

  • Consider your type of grinder: The size of your ground particles matters. A burr or mill grinder is best as it produces a consistent and uniform coffee ground size. Blade grinders are substandard, resulting in a more coarse and uneven texture.
  • Different textures of coffee: Check what type of grounds are needed. For example, an espresso needs the finest grounds, whereas machines such as the auto-drip can accommodate coarser grounds, etc.
  • Different quality of coffee beans: Always use high-quality coffee beans as the quality can impact your dosing ratios, thus affecting the overall flavor too. Poor-quality beans lead to a weaker-tasting brew.
  • Water temperature and quality: Use high-standard (fresh) water inside your coffee maker. Be sure to check out the brewing temperature instructions of your coffee machine to ensure the correct, optimal temperature is being adhered to.


The golden ratio of 1:18, or 10 grams of coffee per 180 ml cup, is a great starting reference for making a cup of coffee. This ratio might be ideal for some, but others may prefer a different flavor. Don’t be afraid to change and adjust your coffee dosages to satisfy your taste preferences. After all, coffee is such a personal thing, and only you can define a perfect cup.


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