Several factors affect a cup of coffee, but the ratio of ground coffee to water is one of the most critical. It’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, but it can make or break the strength and flavor of a cup. The coffee-to-water ratio is also an essential consideration when experimenting with different brewing methods and beans.
A common ratio is 1:17 for every gram of coffee to water. This is an excellent baseline for manual and automatic pour-over methods, as it balances the extraction of soluble flavors with a strong cup of coffee. This ratio is also well suited for light roasts, single-origin coffees and those seeking clarity in their cups.
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While this ratio is the most popular among home brewers, it’s important to remember that not all ratios are created equal. While there isn’t a magic number that makes the perfect cup of coffee, most well-balanced cups of coffee are consistently brewed using a ratio between 1:15 and 1:18.
When deciding on the perfect ratio, it’s best to use a scale to weigh your water and coffee. Although it’s possible to calculate the amount of coffee and water required for a recipe by eyeballing the weight of the ingredients, this isn’t ideal. The weight of a scoop can vary from person to person and even between the same brand of coffee, so it’s important to use an accurate scale when measuring out your coffee. In addition, weighing your ingredients will prevent under- or over-extraction, which can result in an unbalanced and bitter cup of coffee.