How Much Coffee Per Cup (The Perfect Brew Ratio Explained)

When it comes to making that perfect cup of coffee, one question often arises: How much coffee should I use? We get it – coffee is an art to some people – but let’s not overcomplicate things!

A good starting point is a 1:17 ratio. This means you should use 1 gram of coffee for every 17 grams of water. Because a standard cup size is 6 oz (177 ml), you would need 1½ – 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water to maintain the ratio.

Different brewing methods require slight adjustments to this ratio. In this post, I’ll break down the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for various brewing methods. I’ll also share a few tips and tricks to help you create a golden cup of coffee with every brew. 

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QUICK ANSWER: How Much Coffee Per Cup?

I’ve always believed the perfect coffee ratio is a matter of personal preference, but a good starting point is 1:17. This means for every gram of coffee, you’ll use 17 grams of water. Because a standard cup size is 6 oz (177 ml), you would need 1½ – 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water to maintain the ratio.

Too much coffee and your java will be acidic and bitter. Too little coffee and it will be watery and dull. 

First, Let’s Explain How Big Is A Cup Of Coffee

In the coffee world, and in line with standards of preparing a golden cup of coffee, a cup of coffee refers to 6 oz (177 ml) of freshly brewed coffee. But, because of personal preference–and coffee outlets oversizing their offerings–a big cup can be anything between 8 oz (237 ml) to 20 oz (592 ml). 

The Perfect Coffee Ratio (Golden Ratio Explained)

As mentioned earlier in the post, the coffee-to-water ratio determines the taste and strength of your coffee. That’s where the golden ratio comes in. The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) has a set of coffee ratio best practices laid out to achieve a golden cup of coffee. And they’ve determined the best one is 1:17. It’s considered ideal because it produces a balanced cup of coffee with a rich flavor. 

But the ratio is just a starting point. You may need to adjust to your own preferences. For example, if you like your coffee stronger, you may want to use a 1:15 ratio. If you like your coffee weaker, you may want to use 1:20. 

So How Much Coffee Per Cup? 

The best way to accurately measure your coffee is to use a kitchen scale. But, if you don’t have one at hand, the information provided in the tables below serves as a good reference. For the purpose of this post, we’ll use the standard measurement. 

How many grams of coffee per cup

Number of CupsGrams of Coffee

How many tablespoons of coffee per cup 

Number of CupsTablespoons of coffee

How many scoops of coffee per cup

Number of CupsScoops of Coffee

Coffee ratios for different brewing methods

While the golden ratio of 1:17 serves as a general guideline, different brewing methods may require slight adjustments to achieve the desired flavor profile. Let’s explore the recommended ratios for some popular brewing methods.

Drip coffee machine

Drip coffee makers, use a ratio of 1:17. For every 50 grams of coffee, pour 1L (34 oz) of water. 

Pour over/ Chemex

An ideal ratio for Chemex and pour-overs is 1:15. For every 400ml (13.5 oz) of water, pour 22 grams of medium-fine grounds.


The best Moccamaster ratio is 1:18. This translates to approximately 55g of coffee for every liter (34 oz) of water.

Moka pot

A Moka pot uses a 1:12 ratio, which is about 12g of coffee and 160 ml (5.4 oz) of water.

Cold brew

A cold brew uses a 1:8 proportion. For every cup of water, use 28 grams of coffee.  


The ideal proportion for the AeroPress is 1:16. Add at least 15-20g of grounds for every 240 ml of water to get a satisfactory brew. 

Our 4 Recommendations To Get The Perfect Coffee Ratio 

Having a couple of techniques up your sleeves paired with your favorite brewing method will ensure you consistently brew the perfect cup of coffee, even if you decide to adjust the ratio. Here are some factors to keep in mind when preparing a fresh cup of joe. 

  1. Use a digital scale to measure coffee
  2. Experiment with different brewing methods
  3. Brew freshly ground beans
  4. Use a burr grinder

1. Use a digital scale to measure the coffee

Measuring by weight rather than volume ensures you have accurate control over the amount of coffee you use. This also means you can replicate your preferred results every time you brew.

2. Experiment with different brewing methods

From pour-overs to the AeroPress, each brewing method has its unique characteristics that influence the flavor profile of the coffee. By experimenting with different techniques, you can find one that aligns with your taste preferences.

3. Brew freshly ground beans

Grinding the beans just before brewing preserves the volatile aromas and oils locked within the beans, which contribute to the overall taste experience. When exposed to air, ground coffee quickly loses its freshness, leading to a duller and less vibrant cup. 

4. Use a burr grinder 

A burr grinder provides a consistent grind size that ensures even extraction, preventing over-extraction or under-extraction. 

Final Thoughts

Mastering the art of brewing coffee involves understanding the ideal coffee-to-water ratio. The golden ratio of 1:17, equivalent to 2 tablespoons or 1 scoop of coffee per cup, serves as an incredible starting point. But personal preference may lead you to adjust the ratio according to your desired strength and flavor. If you’re seeking to enhance your coffee brewing experience, consider using a digital scale to precisely measure the coffee, using freshly ground beans for maximum aroma and flavor, and investing in a burr grinder for consistent grind size.

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