With this coffee to water ratio calculator, you'll find the perfect ratio for your cup of coffee. We've implemented a general formula for a coffee ratio (because many people claim that it doesn't matter which method you're using), as well as the ratios for three popular brewing methods: pour over/drip coffee ratio, French press coffee ratio, and cold brew coffee ratio. Just remember that the coffee taste is a subjective thing - our personal preferences may differ, so it's not a fixed formula which suits everybody. There are always as many opinions as people, but this coffee to water ratio calculator may be a good starting point to find your perfect coffee recipe.
If you're a coffee lover 🍵❤️, we have other awesome tools for you - caffeine calculator determines what's your daily caffeine dose, and our great coffee kick calculator predicts the level of alertness after a cup of coffee or two (may be especially useful during cramming for an examination session).
Coffee to water ratio
Let's start from the beginning - what is a coffee to water ratio? That's the amount of coffee needed per amount of water. The ratio is expressed in weight units, as those are the values which we can measure more precisely. To show it on an example:
If you have 1 gram of coffee and you add 1 gram of water, the coffee to water ratio will be equal to 1:1.
So if you choose to have 10 grams of coffee for 170 grams of water (which equals to approx. 170 mL), the ratio is 1:17.
It's easy, isn't it?
Water has the density of ~1 g/mL, so we can easily change from weight to volume units - one gram of water is equal to approximately 1 mL (the density is dependent on the temperature: it equals 1 g/mL for 39.2°F/4.0°C, 0.997 g/mL for 80°F/26.7°C and 0.959 g/mL for 212°F/100°C, so 1 is a pretty good estimation for everyday use). It doesn't matter which type of the unit we choose! The volume unit is implemented in this calculator as it's the unit type in which we usually express the amount of a liquid. Also you can choose a cup here, as it's also the volume unit.
For coffee, the conversion between volume and weight is not so obvious, as the density depends on the coffee type and grind. It's easier to weight coffee more precisely if you have a kitchen scale, as the volume depends on e.g. coffee squeezing - measuring coffee by volume is not the best idea. If you don't have a scale, you can make a rough estimation that one tablespoon is equivalent to around 5-7 g of coffee.
While browsing the Internet, you can find many different pages and tools to calculate the ideal ratio for your coffee. Some authors choose the regular coffee as 1:18 ratio, others pick 1:17 or even 1:16.
We've decided to use the 1:18 for a regular coffee, as that's the value which appears most often and is also recommended by SCA - Specialty Coffee Association (to be exact, they suggest 0.055 g coffee per 1 ml water which gives a 1:18.18 ratio). For strong coffee, the ratio implemented is equal to 1:15. If you want to try other ratios (e.g., 1:20 for weak or 1:13 for a powerful cup), choose the ratio by typing the second value directly into the calculator.
Finally, we've decided to implement all of the ratios from one source: little coffee place website.
Pour over coffee ratio (drip coffee ratio)
Pour over is a conventional method of brewing coffee. The basis is the same as everywhere - pour hot water over ground coffee beans, but there are many nuances and steps to do it properly. Here you can read about pour over method and tips on how to start yourself. In our coffee to water calculator, we've chosen the following pour over coffee ratios:
- 1:17 for regular coffee
- 1:15 for strong coffee
French press coffee ratio
French press method usually needs more coffee than pour over brewing technique. Some tools dedicated to French press method have a scale from 1:16 for weak coffee to even 1:10 for a strong cup. In our coffee to water calculator, we've chosen French press ratios:
- 1:17 for regular coffee
- 1:11 for strong coffee
But as we mentioned before, don't be strict about these values, experiment and find your favorite ones.
Cold brew coffee ratio
For a cold brew method, you need to use much more coffee than in other brewing techniques. The usual ratio is something between 1:9 to 1:7, but if you want to have your coffee stronger, you can use as much as 1:5 or even 1:3 (for making a coffee concentrate aim for 1:1). This coffee to water calculator defines:
- 1:8 ratio as a regular coffee
- 1:5 as a strong coffee
Steps to perfect coffee
But how to make a perfect coffee? After all, coffee to water ratio is not the only factor. You need to focus on:
- Water quality
Bad water can destroy all your efforts. Usually, tap water is a good choice, but of course it depends on the place you live. Hard water (with higher levels of e.g. magnesium and calcium ions) will bring stronger and bitter flavors and soft one - and distilled as well - is assumed to have no benefits to taste at all. Filtered or bottled spring water are also recommended.
If you want to be precise, you may find the water standards table useful (it contains recommended ranges for water pH, odor, alkalinity, minerals content etc.)
Grinding depends on the brewing method, but one thing is common to all of them - coffee beans should be freshly grounded. You can find a variety of grinders on the market: from simple hand ones, through blade to burr grinders - it's a matter of preference and budget which to choose. The grind size for which we should aim depends on the brewing method:
- Extra coarse is preferred for cold brew method;
- Coarse grind is the best for French press;
- Medium grind - for drip, pour over and Aeropress method;
- Fine grind - for espresso and drip coffee;
- Extra fine is intended to Turkish coffee.
Between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (which is 91-96 °C, as you can check in this temperature converter) - that's the temperature range for brewing which is most often recommended. Sometimes you can find more strict standards like 200°F ± 2°F (92.2 – 94.4°C). Of course not in the case that you're aiming for the cold brew.
- Brewing time
The time depends on the brewing method. For pour over/drip coffee the average time is 5 minutes, but it may depend on your coffee machine, grind, and water temperature. The general rule is that the colder the water is, the longer the brewing takes. In extreme case - cold brew method - it can last from 12 to 48 hours.
These are the four most essential factors, but don't forget about high-quality fresh beans and good filters!