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A lot of parents can’t get enough of a good coffee cup in the morning…Coffee is more than just a morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up; it’s an art form. Finding the perfect balance between the grams of coffee beans and water known as the ‘Golden Ratio’ is a science that requires precision. 

My article will talk about this concept and provide info on the best way to achieve the best coffee brewing ratio. It’s not always accurate and not the first thing on your mind in the morning when the kids are running around, but it’s a good general rule for those Dads who are not sure. 

espresso shots from an above angle

Understanding the Golden Ratio for Coffee

The Golden Ratio, developed by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), is a standard that guides coffee lovers in achieving the best cup of coffee. It’s the ratio of ground coffee to water used in brewing. In practice, it’s about using 10 grams of coffee for every 180 ml.

However, the golden ratio is not a rigid rule. It is a general guideline, and variations in coffee type, grind size, brewing method, and personal taste mean that the perfect ratio can be different for each person.

Coffee to Water Ratio

Maintaining the right coffee-to-water ratio is crucial because it impacts the strength and flavor of the coffee. Too much coffee can result in a brew that is too strong and bitter, while too little coffee can lead to a weak and watery cup.

The standard ratio suggested by experts is between 1:12 and 1:17, where 1 gram of coffee is paired with 12 to 17 ml of water. However, the SCA recommends a ratio of 1:16.7 as the ‘Golden Ratio.’ This means for every gram of coffee, you should use 16.7 ml of water.

Weighing Coffee for Accuracy

While using tablespoons or scoops can be convenient, it isn’t the most accurate method. The best way to ensure you get the correct amount of coffee is to weigh your coffee beans. Using a digital kitchen scale can give you better measurements, allowing you to achieve consistent results with your brewing process.

Bear in mind that the weight of a coffee bean can vary based on the type of coffee and its roast level. On average, a single coffee bean weighs approximately 0.1325 grams. Therefore, around 75 beans would weigh close to 10 grams, giving you the right amount for a single cup of coffee using the Golden Ratio.

Coffee Brewing: A Matter of Taste

While it’s important to understand the science behind the Golden Ratio, remember that coffee brewing is also a matter of personal taste. Some coffee lovers might prefer a stronger brew, while others might enjoy a milder cup. 

Adjusting the right amount of coffee slightly to suit personal taste is perfectly fine. We do this daily at home… Some days the coffee strength must be higher than other days…LIKE Mondays. 

We are all different and it is crucial to experiment and find the perfect balance that satisfies your caffeine addiction(like MOI) while trying to keep the general guidelines in focus. You can adjust the ratio based on your preference, using either a higher ratio for a stronger taste or a lower ratio for a milder cup.

As for me, I’m an espresso lover(addict) and I love strong-tasting coffee. It’s the perfect Dad drink and I highly suggest you sip a cup in the morning while you’re getting the kids ready for school. So the optimal ratios you use at home will differ greatly.

coffee cup with espresso and beans on the table

Understanding Different Brewing Methods

Different brewing methods can influence the coffee to water ratio. The brewing process for a French Press is significantly different from that of an espresso machine or a drip coffee maker. Each method requires a unique approach to achieve the best results.

Drip Coffee

Drip coffee brewing involves passing hot water through coffee grounds held in a paper filter. The water extracts the flavors from the coffee grounds as it flows through, then drips into a coffee pot or carafe below. The filter prevents any coffee grounds from entering the final brew, ensuring a smooth, sediment-free cup of coffee.

For drip coffee, a medium grind size is recommended. My wife is a Drip Coffee Queen…as in she makes “the perfect cup of drip coffee.” She makes a stronger cup when I need it. Otherwise, I use my Brikka to make my own espresso.

French Press

French Press is known for its rich and full-bodied flavor. The coffee grounds are steeped in hot water within the press before being separated by plunging the metal filter. This method requires a coarser grind size compared to drip coffee brewing.

A standard coffee to water ratio for the French Press is 1:15, meaning 1 gram of coffee for every 15 ml of water used.


For espresso shots, a higher coffee-to-water ratio is used to produce a concentrated brew. This method involves forcing hot water under pressure through a tightly packed bed of finely ground coffee. The recommended ratio for espresso is around 1:2.

Cold Brew

Cold Brew: A Unique Approach

Cold brew coffee takes a unique approach to the coffee-to-water ratio. This method involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period (usually 12-24 hours).

The recommended coffee to water ratio for cold brew is 1:8, making it significantly stronger than other methods. This concentrated brew can be diluted with water or milk to create a smoother and more balanced serving.

The Impact of Grind Size on Coffee Brewing

The grind size plays a significant role in the coffee brewing process. The size of the coffee grounds can affect the extraction rate and, consequently, the taste of the coffee. For instance, a finer grind can speed up the extraction rate and improve the overall taste. On the other hand, a coarser grind can slow down the extraction and result in a less flavorful cup.

Water Temperature: An Essential Factor

The temperature of the water used in brewing can significantly influence the taste of coffee. When the water is too cold, it can result in flat, under-extracted coffee. Conversely, if the water is too hot, it can degrade the coffee flavor. The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is around 200°F (93.0°C).

Brewing Time: Finding the Sweet Spot

The brewing time, or the contact time between the water and the coffee grounds, is another crucial factor. The ideal brewing time varies depending on the brewing method. For instance, in a drip system, the ideal brewing time is around 5 minutes. For a French Press, the contact time should be around 4 minutes.

Calculating Serving Sizes for Consistency

Determining the serving size for your coffee is essential for calculating the correct coffee and water measurements. You can tweak the coffee-to-water ratio to suit your taste preferences. For a bolder flavor, use a 1:7 ratio (1 gram of coffee for every 7 ml of water). For a milder brew, a 1:13 ratio is recommended.

Golden Ratio of Coffee. Pinterest Pin
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Ideal Ratios for Various Brewing Methods

The ideal grams of coffee vs water ratio can vary depending on the brewing method used. Here is a quick guideline:

  • Pour Over (V60, Chemex): 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee for every 16 ml of water.
  • AeroPress: 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee for every 16 ml of water.
  • Siphon: 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee for every 16 ml of water.
  • French Press: 1:15 or 1 gram of coffee for every 15 ml of water.
  • Cold Brew: 1:8 or 1 gram of coffee for every 8 ml of water.

Brew Time Done

The amount of grams you need for your coffee highly depends on you as a coffee drinker. It involves finding the right balance between the coffee beans and water to achieve the perfect cup of coffee.

While coffee experts recommend general guidelines and ratios, it’s essential to remember that the best cup of coffee is one that suits your personal taste. Don’t be overwhelmed with ratios, ml, and grams of coffee at 5 am in the morning…

Do your thing! Play with these ratios as needed and the most important thing is…enjoying those priceless cups of coffee during your busy day. 

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