If you are accustomed to supermarket coffee, you may not be particularly concerned with attaining a proper coffee to water ratio. However, if you want to improve your home coffee brewing skills, you will need to learn how to properly measure coffee. This especially true when you start purchasing freshly roasted quality coffee beans.
Measuring Coffee by Volume
The National Coffee Association recommends 2 level tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water (the standard American cup of coffee is 6 ounces). This is a good starting point to get in the ballpark of where you should be.
If you are using an automatic drip brewer, this is probably a good bit more coffee than you have been using. However, I wouldn’t recommend this measurement for supermarket coffee as it will probably be far too bitter. Check out my previous post on coffee beans to learn more about different kinds of roasts and beans, and where you should purchase them.
For automatic drip coffee pots, you also need to be aware of how the lines on your carafe translate into ounces. Many drip pots use different measurements compared to the standard cup size. For example, my Cuisinart coffee maker uses 5 ounce measuring lines.
Measuring Coffee by Weight
In order to be truly precise, you should measure your coffee by weight using a kitchen scale. All you have to do is zero out the weight of the container for your grounds and add the desired weight.
Measuring by weight allows you to use whole beans or grinds easily and still be consistent across different brewing methods. Once you get into the routine, you will discover that this is a really easy way to be consistent and your preferences will be better informed.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you should get one! Not only is a scale helpful for measuring coffee but also makes portioning things much easier and is useful in cooking. Click here to check out some top-rated inexpensive scales on amazon.
The Coffee to Water Ratio
I personally use two different ratios depending on the coffee brewing method.
- For single serving coffee of regular strength, I use 10 grams of coffee for every 6 ounces of water. You can also multiply the amount of water (in ounces) by 1.67 to achieve this measurement for any serving size.
- For single serving coffee of lesser strength, or for coffee for multiple people, use 10 grams for every 8 ounces of water. To maintain this ratio for other serving sizes, multiply the amount of water (in ounces) by 1.25.
Coffee to water ratios are widely debated and ultimately it will come down to taste. My chosen ratios result in coffee that is not too strong (I usually drink it black).
Measuring coffee properly will enable you to accurately decide if you like a particular style of bean or not. You don’t want to disregard great coffee because you used a dense bean and your coffee was too strong and bitter. Making this simple change along with buying great coffee beans will dramatically improve your daily cup.
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