Trying to find the perfect water/coffee ratio

Ms. Emma Jane

New member
Dec 23, 2007
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When I make coffee, it is often hit or miss when it comes to strength. I''d like to know how to decide the best ratio of water to coffee. Any suggestions?
 

JavaNights

New member
Sep 29, 2005
36
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Dallas,Texas
Here is a text book answer. For a standard automatic drip machine use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

French Press, 10 tbsp per 1 liter 33/fl oz/ 4 cups of water.
 

konafarmer

New member
Dec 27, 2007
6
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Hawaii
The text book answer is a great way to start. Make just enough for a cup and start there, then adjust the strength to your individual taste. The coffee origin does make a difference so you may need to experiment each time you try a new coffee. For example, for the typical coffee drinker, I would recommend using less Kona coffee for their brew because it tends to have a stronger, bolder taste. Hope this helps.
 

nazpastor

New member
Sep 21, 2007
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Keep in mind a finer grind brews stronger than a coarser grind when experimenting. Use filtered or bottled water if possible as the water impurities cause different tastes to become more prominent in different coffees.
 

Drakyn

New member
Jan 20, 2008
4
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This also always had me confused and I wonder if anyone could take this any further. Here''s the deal:

Nearly all coffee products say 1 - 2 Tablespoons for every 6 or 8 oz. of water. Okay. I use your standard drip coffee maker. So, if I want a full pot of coffee, 12 cups usually, then I need to throw 12 - 24 tablespoons of coffee grounds into the filter/basket? This just seems a little too much to me. Or am I wrong? I grind my coffee very fine in order to squeeze out all the flavor of the bean and I like the strong taste. But, it would seem that if I used this much on a full pot, then it would almost be undrinkable.

I have found that around 1/2 to 3/4 of of cup of fine grounds will make a nice strong pot of coffee. Why don''t the numbers add up?
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
Drakyn said:
This also always had me confused and I wonder if anyone could take this any further. Here''s the deal:

Nearly all coffee products say 1 - 2 Tablespoons for every 6 or 8 oz. of water. Okay. I use your standard drip coffee maker. So, if I want a full pot of coffee, 12 cups usually, then I need to throw 12 - 24 tablespoons of coffee grounds into the filter/basket? This just seems a little too much to me. Or am I wrong? I grind my coffee very fine in order to squeeze out all the flavor of the bean and I like the strong taste. But, it would seem that if I used this much on a full pot, then it would almost be undrinkable.

I have found that around 1/2 to 3/4 of of cup of fine grounds will make a nice strong pot of coffee. Why don''t the numbers add up?
12 cups at 6 to 8 ounce = 72 to 84 ounce of liquid. Is the volume correct? You should measure how much water is 12 cups for your machine. You should then weight your coffee. A rough translation of John P's metric measurement means use 2 ounces (1/8 of a pound, I would use a little less, but that is my preference) of coffee for 32 ounces (2 pints) of water. Once you know the correct dosage you can then translate that to table spoon or cup.
 

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
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gotta stick in my 2 cents. 1-2 T of coffee per cup (6-8 oz) is not too strong at all. the thing is, for it to taste good, the coffee has to be good. freshly roasted and ground right before you use it. If I'm at a friend or relatives and they are using grocery store coffee and I make it like I'm used to making it, the bad flavor is evident at that strength. good coffee made strong, is not bitter, has no bad tastes.
 

jlyon10

Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
436
0
Clemmons, NC
strong coffee

Amen to that Lizzy. I still can't believe how good fresh roasted coffee tastes. I don't think I could drink store brand any more.
 

Drakyn

New member
Jan 20, 2008
4
0
Thanks for the replies. I am in the process of ordering my own bean roaster and a new grinder. So, until then I cannot say that I know the difference in taste. But, I do know that it will be different and cannot wait until I can roast my own beans and enjoy coffee like it is meant to be enjoyed. I will have to experiment once I get the equipment. It just seemed that with store bought beans that the amounts were excessive.
 

CafeBlue

New member
Dec 8, 2006
121
0
Toronto
Drakyn said:
This also always had me confused ... I use your standard drip coffee maker. So, if I want a full pot of coffee, 12 cups usually, then I need to throw 12 - 24 tablespoons of coffee grounds into the filter/basket? This just seems a little too much to me. Or am I wrong? I grind my coffee very fine in order to squeeze out all the flavor of the bean and I like the strong taste. But, it would seem that if I used this much on a full pot, then it would almost be undrinkable.... Why don''t the numbers add up?

2 level tablespoons per cup is the "standard" and it does work.

Some folks adjust to "taste preference" - usually it is more coffee for northern Europeans / less coffee for folks drinking low grade commercial coffee. Many of the coffee drinkers using less than 2 tablespoons per cup are brewing cheap, stale coffee that is high in 'robusta coffea' content. Perhaps it tastes too murky to tolerate at full strength?!?

Your "standard drip coffee maker" is not a standard, and not likely 12 cups. Most of the residential type brewers are in the range of 34 to 46 fluid ounces capacity. 10 to 15 tablespoons of coffee should work, but may not. Many residential brewers use filter baskets that are designed too small for proper brewing. If your brewer can not hold enough coffee (or if the complete brew cycle takes too long), brew a partial batch. A friend had a Melitta brewer that only made a decent cup if we brewed a half pot of coffee, otherwise the slow brew cycle made the coffee bitter and over-extracted. The entire brewing cycle (to avoid over-extraction) should be between 3 and 6 minutes from start to finish.

Similarly do not grind the coffee fine for drip brewing. Ignore what cheapskate economizers like Madame Melitta profess. Too fine a grind promotes over-extraction. Regular drip grind is just right for all brewers using a paper filter - cone, basket, 4 cup, home brewer, half gallon, 1.5 gallon, 3 gallon hotel brewer.

Grind it too fine and the brew over-extracts. Not ALL of the coffee should end up in your cup. Only the first 15-20% of the coffee is soluble flavor - the rest should be left behind in the spent grounds (it makes good compost). Rather than trying to "squeeze out all the flavor", use the proper 2 tablespoon dose and brew it properly for strong and flavorful coffee that you can savor.
 

lca473

New member
Feb 18, 2008
3
0
Ms. Emma Jane said:
When I make coffee, it is often hit or miss when it comes to strength. I''d like to know how to decide the best ratio of water to coffee. Any suggestions?

Here is a chart that tells you exactly how much coffee to use:
http://www.blackbearcoffee.com/Brewing Ratio Charts.htm

Keep in mind though that a chart can never be exactly right, the freshness of the coffee as well as the type of bean will make a difference in the outcome of the cup.
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
It's like beer, sometimes I like the dark heavy flavor of a Guinness, sometimes I like a Newcastle Brown Ale, but a light ale provides for a better compliment to dinner.

First thing in the morning, I need a stronger tasting coffee. So, I either increase my usual coffee to water ratio, or use a darker roasted coffee.

Like CafeBlue said about adjusting to "taste preference", you'll have to discover for yourself what works for you.

Who needs guidelines? Just use your brain, that's what it's there for.

You may as well ask how much cream or sugar should you put in your coffee.
Everyone's answer would be different.
 
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