coffee ratios: we’re going to talk about
How much coffee should I use to brew a cup of coffee? In terms of filter coffee?
Now, I’m going to talk about this in three separate stages :
We’ll take a look at:
Coffee ratios: why would I recommend grams per liter?
So first thing, why would I recommend grams per liter? There’s a number of different ways people do recipes and ratios. The most common one still is to recommend scoops per cup. There’s no international standard for scoops. A scoop contain about seven grams. It could contain about 10 or 12 grams. Now, the problem I have with Scoop’s or cups or tablespoons or teaspoons or all of that sort of stuff is that they’re volumetric measurements, which means that they’ll have massive fluctuations in actual weight depending on a few different factors. For example, if I were to use, let’s say, a dark roast, medium ground coffee, and I have a perfect level scoop of that that might weigh around seven, seven and a half grams.
If I went for a light roast finer ground coffee, that might weigh eight, eight and a half grams. Well over 10 percent more. And that’s me being really careful in learning the same volume each time. It’s very easy to have small variances in that volume result in pretty big variances in the gram weight you’re using in the day to day morning coffee brewing. Using scoops will mean some days your coffee is good and some days it’s not, even though you seemingly did the same thing.
But volumetric measurements, they’re just not very reliable. Then there’s the other commonly used ratios of like one to 14, one to fifteen, one to 16. These break my head. I can’t deal with these. They kind of work completely backwards to me. Those kind of ratios are pretty useful. If you know how much ground coffee you have and you want to work out how much coffee you can make. That is never a problem I have in the mornings.
Usually I have a desired amount of coffee that I want to brew. I don’t want to work out how much ground coffee I need, how you know, what weight of coffee I need to start with. So using a one to 15 ratio, I can’t do the maths on that. If I need I need 500 hundred of coffee. I’m not dividing five hundred by 15. First thing in the morning, however, if you give me a grams per liter. Well, if I’m brewing half a liter then I need 60 grams a litre. Then I need half that, which is 30. That’s not I don’t need my phone and a calculator for that. I can just do a quick little bit of maths. I like it also because typically a cup, an average cup is about 250 miles brewing or about eight ounces. And that scales really nicely, whether I’m making one or two or three or four or more two to the grams per liter ratio. You know, I’m using half a litre, a full liter, three quarters of a litre. The maths is never complicated
And there is one other kind of ratio that deserves a special place in hell. The mixed unit ratio, if you are recommending grams per ounce. Get out, get out. Go away. You do not belong. Just get. That’s all. What are you doing? That’s the worst thing in the world. Don’t. Ah. I mean, you know, the imperial. I have no time for that to begin with. But don’t be mixing Imperial a metric that is. No. Stop it. Rant aside, we end up at eight grams per liter. I think it’s a really nice, neat way to work. So if it’s a 60 grams per liter doing the mass with that, it’s very, very easy. It’s very, very usable.
What is the right amount of coffee per litre of water?
And this leads us into the second part of this article. What is the right amount of coffee per litre of water? And this is a really important point that becomes a little bit complicated. There is no correct ratio. There is only preference. The ratio of coffee to water you use is really gonna determine how strong the end cup of coffee is. How strong you like your coffee. It’s up to you. All right. That’s that’s your decision. I shouldn’t get a say. I’ll give a good starting point. Right. I think 60 grams per litre is a pretty good one. Size fits all. Most people are happy with the resulting strength of a good brew. But you can choose fifty five. Fifty seventy five. That’s that’s up to you. But there’s one complicating factor in the world of coffee brewing, and that is extraction.
I give a very quick primer on extraction in ground coffee. About approximately Munish. About a third of it is soluble material. It could be dissolved by water. Two thirds of it pretty much is insoluble. It’s cellulose. It’s kind of wood. You could steep that coffee, brew that coffee forever. You’d still have some grounds left over that you would throw away afterwards. You don’t want everything that is soluble and available in coffee. You want, broadly speaking, for the sake of easy mass in the article to come about 20 percent. So I would prefer a little bit more 22, maybe 23, maybe even more.
But let’s say for the sake of argument, about 20 percent. If you do a good job brewing your coffee, that will have a nice resulting strength. But if you didn’t do a good job, my coffee. That 60 grams liter would produce a week. A couple at sea under extracted it. You ground it to course you brew too quickly. However it happened, you end up with a weak cup. So if you’re trying to change your ratio, if you’re trying to work out your ideal ratio, you only want to change the ratio once you’re really happy with the taste. If you brewed a cup of coffee and you think that was delicious, I just wish it was a fraction stronger.
That’s the time to change your ratio. If you brew a cup of coffee, you think that’s a bit weak? That’s a bit. So it’s not really delicious. Don’t change your ratio. Change your extraction. Grind a little. Find a steeper little longer. Agitate a little bit more. Those things need to be fixed first before you mess with your ratio once you’re happy with taste. Sure. Experiment in my life, I kind of wandered around in terms of what I prefer, in terms of the end strength of my cup of coffee. It’s a personal thing. Whatever you like is OK. There is no one answer to this question
Which is why I might recommend using a different ratio for different brewing methods
This brings us into the third part of this article, which is why I might recommend using a different ratio for different brewing methods. Now you can broadly divide all coffee brewing methods into two camps, percolation and infusion. Now, with percolation, water is passing through a bed of coffee in infusion. All of the water and all of the coffee are hanging out together during the brew time. Pour over is percolation, a French press and Arab press. Those are infusion methods. Now, I would recommend using a little bit more coffee for an infusion method than I would for a pour over for a percolation method. I explain why. Let’s imagine for the sake of argument, we’re going to brew a liter of coffee and we’re going to use 60 grams per liter. That’s a good starting point
And in this theoretical brew, we’re going to extract 20 percent of the coffee, right? So it means that of those 60 grams, about 12 grams were dissolved and brought into the liquid coffee. Now, when you brew a percolation, when you pour a pour over, not all of the water that you pour in ends up in the brew. Typically, about two grams per gram of coffee get absorbed by the ground coffee. That bed still contains a good amount of water. And that water never really got involved in the brewing process. So what you have in the resulting brew is twelve grams of coffee dissolved in round about a hundred and eighty grams of water. If you take a French press and you do the same thing, you brew 60 grams per liter. Those 12 grams of soluble that we’ve extracted, that 20 percent extraction that’s now dissolved into a thousand grams of water or a thousand grams were involved in the brewing process. And those soluble is a distributed amongst the whole thing that makes that brew weaker, even though it’s the same extraction.
That’s why if you want a similar extraction and a similar strength, I would recommend using more coffee in my infusions. Seventy grams, maybe 75 grams per liter of water. If you dive into extraction theory and you start playing the refractor amateur’s, you’ll notice that the software does ask you to specify if it’s an immersion or a percolation because it does affect your extraction calculations. But more than that, it really just affects the strength and the taste. So that’s why with any infusion brew, any brew where all of the grand coffee is in contact with all of the brew water for a period of time, even if in the case of an air press, you’re going to push that liquid through the bed of coffee at the end. It was still an infusion. Any pore over. I would recommend about 60 grams a liter. Any infusion brew? I’d recommend about 75 grams a liter. I think those are both great starting points, but they’re not the answer. Don’t take it as gospel. Find your own way. Find your own preferences.
If they’re too weak, too strong will change them. Being consistent in how you brew and that means weighing the amount of coffee going in and ideally weighing the amount of water to means that you actually understand what’s affecting your morning coffee. You don’t have to make decisions. You don’t have to guesstimate the amount of water you poured in or the amount of coffee you’re brewing, especially, frankly, before you’ve had coffee. So get a set of scales. This is a great starting point. I’d love to hear what you’re brewing at home. I’d love also to hear more about your journey. Has this changed for you over time? Have you gone weak? Have you gone stronger? You kind of bouncing around all over the place? I’d be really interested to hear what you’re doing. As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you have a great day. Leave a comment.