How Much Ground Coffee Per Cup Should You Be Using?

by Anne Franklin 5 min read

How Much Ground Coffee Per Cup Should You Be Using

In general, the process of making coffee is pretty straightforward. You boil water, add coffee grounds to your cup, pour water, let the grounds release the flavor, and personalize it to make it exactly how you like it with sweeteners, syrups, and more. However, did you know that there’s actually a “golden ratio,” telling you how much coffee grounds should be used per cup of coffee to achieve the best results every time? 

With this ratio, the coffee can really flourish, allowing you to taste all of the different tones its flavor is made out of, whether they’re more caramel, floral, nutty, or other. Also, something that can be helpful for those who like to drink their coffee with milk and milk alternatives is that you can get a beverage that is strong enough for the flavor not to get lost in the milk while also not being too overpowering. 

All in all, understanding the “golden ratio” of how much coffee grounds per cup should be used can help you get the most out of your coffee. So, how much is the right amount? Let’s find out. 

A Cup of Coffee - How Much Is It? 

The thing about “a cup of coffee” is that there’s no universally accepted measurement that would tell you just how much one cup of coffee is. For example, in the United States, when you say “a cup,” you refer to 8 ounces. However, in many other places, as well as in most coffee makers, “a cup” is actually 5 ounces, which is what we will be using to make the calculations easier. 

The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio is the perfect balance between coffee and water, which was developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), is the perfect balance between coffee and water. According to them, the ideal ratio is 1 gram of coffee for every 15-18 grams of water. 

The ratio you choose will affect how your coffee tastes. For instance, at 1:15, the coffee will be more concentrated and bright, with a more pronounced acidity, while at 1:18, it will be lighter and rounded, with a more gentle acidity. For those in between, at 1:16, the beverage will be smooth and bright, and at 1:17, it should taste smooth and rounded. 

Golden Ratio in Practice 

But how do those rations work in practice, considering the 5 oz cup we mentioned earlier? We’re going to need some math for that. 

A 5 oz cup of coffee is about 150 milliliters of liquid. Let’s calculate the ideal amount for both the lowest and highest golden ratio: 

  • Lowest - 1:15 

150 / 15 = 10 - we’ll need 10 g of coffee grounds for every 150 ml of water we’ll be using 

  • Highest- 1:18

150 ml / 18 = around 8.33 - we’ll need about 8.3 g of coffee grounds for every 150 ml of water we’ll be using 

Now, how does it look for an 8 oz cup? Let’s calculate both golden ratios for it as well, knowing that a standard 8 oz cup is about 225 milliliters of liquid. 

  • Lowest- 1:15 

225 / 15 = 15 - we’ll need about 15 g of coffee grounds for every 225 ml of water we’ll be using 

  • Highest - 1:18

225 / 18 = 12.5 - we’ll need about 12.5 g of coffee grounds for every 225 ml of water we’ll be using

Here’s a table of how much coffee grounds you would need to prepare up to 12 cups of coffee according to the golden ratio, using both cup measurements. 

5 Oz Cup 


5 oz cup

Cups

1:15 ratio

1:16 ratio

1:17 ratio

1:18 ratio

1

10 g

9.4 g

8.8 g

8.3 g

2

20 g

18.8 g

17.6 g

16.6 g

4

40 g

37.5 g

35.3 g

33.3 g

8

80 g 

75 g

70.6 g

66.6 g

10

100 g 

93.8 g

88.2 g

83.3 g

12

120 g

112.5 g

105.9 g

100 g



8 Oz Cup


8 oz cup

Cups

1:15 ratio

1:16 ratio

1:17 ratio

1:18 ratio

1

15 g

14.1 g

13.2 g

12.5 g

2

30 g

28.1 g

26.5 g

25 g

4

60 g

56.3 g

52.9 g

50 g

8

120 g

112.5 g

105.9 g

100 g

10

150 g

140.6 g

132.4 g

125 g

12

180 g

168.8 g

158.8 g

150 g


Golden Ratio - How Many Spoons of Coffee Per Cup? 

Of course, the easiest way to always measure the correct amount would be by using a kitchen scale. However, what if you don’t have one, or you simply want to know how many tablespoons you should be using instead of grams? Here are another two tables for you - they’re the same as the previous ones, but they show you how many tablespoons of coffee per cup you should be adding instead of how many grams of coffee per cup. 

An average tablespoon of ground coffee is about 5 grams, which is what we’re going to use to determine how many of them you will need. Keep in mind that those are rounded measurements. 

5 Oz Cup


5 oz cup

Cups

1:15 ratio

1:16 ratio

1:17 ratio

1:18 ratio

1

2 tablespoons

1.9 tablespoons

1.8 tablespoons

1.5 tablespoons

2

4 tablespoons

3.8 tablespoons

3.5 tablespoons

3.3 tablespoons

4

8 tablespoons

7.5 tablespoons

7.1 tablespoons

6.7 tablespoons

8

16 tablespoons

15 tablespoons

14.1 tablespoons

13.3 tablespoons

10

20 tablespoons

18.8 tablespoons

17.6 tablespoons

16.7 tablespoons

12

24 tablespoons

22.5 tablespoons

21.2 tablespoons

20 tablespoons


8 Oz Cup


8 oz cup

Cups

1:15 ratio

1:16 ratio

1:17 ratio

1:18 ratio

1

3 tablespoons

2.8 tablespoons

2.6 tablespoons

2.5 tablespoons

2

6 tablespoons

5.6 tablespoons

5.3 tablespoons

5 tablespoons

4

12 tablespoons

11.3 tablespoons

10.6 tablespoons

10 tablespoons

8

24 tablespoons

22.5 tablespoons

21.2 tablespoons

20 tablespoons

10

30 tablespoons

28.1 tablespoons

26.5 tablespoons

25 tablespoons

12

36 tablespoons

33.8 tablespoons

31.8 tablespoons

30 tablespoons


What Affects the Taste of Coffee? 

While how much coffee per cup you use does have a significant impact on how your coffee tastes, it’s not the only thing - so, now that we know more about the coffee-to-water ratio, let’s take a moment to talk about other things you should consider for your cup of joe to taste even better. 

First of all, the coffee variety. We probably don’t have to tell you that there are plenty of different coffees available that differ from each other by place of origin, roast, or taste notes. Not all of them will be right up your alley, and that’s okay. 

Secondly, you also need to consider the water. Ideally, you should filter your water to improve its taste and prevent mineral buildup in your coffee maker. 

Finally, the method of brewing is also crucial - some of them result in a stronger taste than others, so if you’re not a fan of that, you might have to shorten the brewing time to achieve satisfactory results. 

The Bottom Line 

How Much Ground Coffee Per Cup Should You Be Using

Making the perfect cup of coffee comes easy when you know the ratio you should be using - and hopefully, thanks to this article and the tables we provided, that will come easy to you. 

While the golden ratio is considered to be the “perfect” balance between water and coffee grounds, whether it’ll be the right one for you mostly depends on your preferences. Still, you never know until you taste it, so why don’t you try following the golden ratio next time you’re making coffee? You might end up pleasantly surprised. 


Resources

  1. https://www.lifesavvy.com/121342/how-much-is-one-scoop-of-coffee/ 
  2. https://www.wellandgood.com/coffee-to-water-ratio/ 
  3. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/how-to-make-perfect-coffee/278944/


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