You have probably met a couple of people who only value strong coffee. Some coffee lovers load up their pour-over coffee filter, espresso machine, or whichever coffee maker with tons of coffee grounds. They assume that brewing with more coffee grounds gives a more caffeinated and flavorful cup of coffee. Such people claim they cannot get through their mornings without a very strong cup of coffee.
However, such assumptions are false. More coffee does not equate to better or stronger coffee. So what is the best ratio for making coffee? Let us discuss how coffee brewing works to help you understand the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for brewing coffee.
How Does Coffee Brewing Work?
Coffee brewing is like a science. It entails extracting coffee compounds such as oils, flavors, and caffeine from ground coffee beans. The way water and coffee grounds interact when they come in contact largely determines how coffee compounds are extracted. You get flavor from ground coffee because water dissolves soluble coffee compounds.
If there is over-extraction of coffee compounds during brewing, your coffee will taste bitter, flavorless, and dry. On the other hand, failure to dissolve enough compounds (under-extraction) will make your coffee taste sour and a little salty.
Best Ratio for Making Coffee
When brewing coffee, you need to avoid over-extracting or under-extracting soluble coffee compounds. To achieve this, you need to find a middle ground. You do not want to use very little ground coffee as there will be under-extraction. Similarly, you should avoid using excessive ground coffee as there will be over-extraction.
So what is the best ratio for making coffee? The golden ratio for brewing coffee is 1:16 (coffee to water respectively). That means 1 gram of coffee should be mixed with 16 grams of water. A measuring scale can help you get this ratio right. If you like, you can go lower to 1:15 or higher to 1:17. Besides this ratio, you need to get the grind size, water temperature, and brew time right.
Here are the best ratios for brewing coffee using different brewing methods:
- Regular coffee – When brewing regular black coffee without the need to make it special, a ratio of 1:15 or 66 grams of coffee per liter of water is sufficient. Also, you can use this ratio when making coffee with milk.
- French press, Aeropress, and cowboy coffee– Brewing with infusion or immersion methods such as the French press, cowboy coffee, or Aeropress works best with a ratio of 1:14 or 71 grams of coffee per liter of water.
- Drip coffee– If you prefer making coffee using the drip method such as the pour-over, a ratio of 1:15 or 66 grams of coffee per 1 liter of water will give you tasty coffee.
- Advanced home brewing– If you have specialty coffee beans and a premium burr coffee grinder, a ratio of 1:16 or 60 grams of coffee per liter of water should suffice.
- Cold brew coffee– Brewing cold brew coffee is exempted from the standard ratio. To make cold brew coffee, you will need to use a more concentrated ratio. For the best results, use a coffee-to-water ratio of between 1:2 and 1:4.
How Many Grams of Ground Coffee Should you Use Per Cup?
If you do not have a measuring scale, you can measure your coffee and water by volume rather than grams. However, you should note that cups come in different sizes. For instance, cappuccino cups typically hold 6 to 7 fl oz. A typical coffee mug ranges from 8 to 16 fl oz.
If you are using a cup and spoon as measurement units, use 1 to 3 tablespoons of coffee per cup or 1 tablespoon per 6 fl oz. However, using tablespoons and cups is relatively unreliable since you may be estimating the size of your cup. Try to get a digital scale for more accuracy.
How do you Brew Strong but Tasty Coffee?
If you want to brew strong but tasty coffee, you will need to use the correct brewing method, water temperature, and ratio. Also, you need to buy the right coffee beans. Doubling the amount of coffee will not give you strong coffee. For strong coffee, choose dark-roasted beans. If you want a more caffeinated brew, choose light roasts.