Coffee to Water Ratio Calculator

Created by Hanna Pamuła, PhD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Adena Benn
Last updated: Nov 29, 2022

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 that suits everybody. There are always as many opinions as people, but this coffee to water ratio calculator may be a good starting point for finding your perfect coffee recipe.

If you're a coffee lover 🍵❤️, we have other awesome tools for you - the caffeine calculator, which determines what your daily caffeine dose should be, and our great coffee kick calculator, which predicts the level of alertness after a cup of coffee or two. These tools may be especially useful when cramming for an examination.

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 that we can measure more precisely. For example:

  • If you have 1 gram of coffee and you add 1 gram of water, the coffee to water ratio will be 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?

You may wonder why the calculator has water in volume units (fl oz/ml) and coffee in weight units (oz/g). That's a good question! It's connected with ingredient density and coffee grind size:

  • Water has a 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 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 weigh coffee more precisely if you have a kitchen scale, as the volume depends on 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.

General formula

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 that appears most often and is also recommended by SCA - Specialty Coffee Association (to be exact, they suggest 0.055 g of coffee per 1 ml of 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 a 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. In this guide to pour over coffee, you can read more 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

The French press method usually needs more coffee than the pour-over brewing technique. Some tools dedicated to the French press method have a scale from 1:16 for weak coffee to 1:10 for a strong cup. In our coffee to water calculator, we've chosen French press ratios:

  • 1:17 for regular coffee; and
  • 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

You need to use much more coffee for a cold brew method 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

With our cold brew ratio calculator, you can determine the measurements of coffee and water that you need to prepare your cold brew concentrate.

If you want to read on how to make cold brew coffee, check this cold brew coffee guide and Jamie Oliver's recipe.

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 the following:

  1. 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 magnesium and calcium ions) will bring stronger and bitter flavors, and soft water - and distilled as well - is assumed to have no benefits to taste at all. Filtered or bottled spring water is 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.)

  1. Grind

Grinding depends on the brewing method, but one thing is common to all of them - coffee beans should be freshly ground. You can find a variety of grinders on the market: from simple hand ones, to burr grinders. What you choose is a matter of preference and budget. The grind size for which we should aim depends on the brewing method:

  • Extra coarse is preferred for the cold brew method;
  • Coarse grind is the best for French press;
  • Medium grind - for drip, pour-over, and Aeropress methods;
  • Fine grind - for espresso and drip coffee methods; and
  • Extra fine is intended for Turkish coffee.
  1. Temperature

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.

  1. Brewing time

The time depends on the brewing method. The average time for pour-over/drip coffee 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. The cold brew method can last from 12 to 48 hours in extreme cases.

These are the four most essential factors, but don't forget about high-quality fresh beans and good filters!

Coffee to water ratio calculator - how to use

Let's have a look at the example of how to use this coffee to water ratio calculator:

  1. Choose the brewing method. Let's assume you want to make a substantial amount of cold brew.

  2. Select the coffee strength. We want to choose another ratio that is provided in the calculator - 1:7, which is between regular and robust coffee. We are ignoring the strength box and typing 7 directly into the next line.

  3. Type the amount of one ingredient. For example, we want to make a cold brew from 10 oz of coffee.

  4. The coffee to water ratio calculator shows the amount of the other ingredient. In our case, it's 67.1 fluid ounces of water, which is approximately 0.52 gallon.

We'll emphasize that again - our tool is just a square one, and everybody should look for the perfect formula for oneself. Take inspiration from this article about searching for the golden coffee/water ratio, and experiment with your taste!

Hanna Pamuła, PhD
General formula
Strength and ratio
Strength
regular
which means 1 part coffee to
parts water
Amount of ...
Water
US fl oz
Coffee
oz
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