Photo: Natanja Grün (Unsplash
A great cup of coffee is one of the simple pleasures in life. But as common as coffee is, it’s surprisingly hard to find (or make) truly good coffee. Sure, some of that comes down to the beans, but more than that, the ratio of coffee to water is key to making a great cup of joe. In other words, even if you’re using the most expensive artisan roasted beans, if your ratio is off, the whole thing could taste gross.
Screenshot: The Black Bear Micro Roastery
Decide how many cups of coffee you need to make, see how much coffee you need to use (ounces, grams, teaspoons, tablespoons or cups) and add the corresponding amount of water. Most people will use teaspoons or tablespoons to measure the coffee, so those are written in whole numbers, while ounces and grams fall in fractions. If you’re that serious about your coffee, get a weighing scale and use the connoisseur’s chart.
If you’re unsure, your best bet is to err on the side of making stronger coffee. You can always cut it down with water if you want to make it weaker, but it’s harder to go the other way. (Though not impossible: one quick (but probably not best-tasting) way is to add a scoop of instant coffee to your weak brewed coffee.) And remember: like most things, how you like your coffee to taste can be pretty personal, so don’t be afraid to play around the with the ratios if something odens’t taste right.
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Of course, the coffee-to-water ratio is just one part of making great coffee. You can learn the fine art in more detail with our complete guide to brewing the perfect cup.
This story was originally published on 10/13/14 and was updated on 6/14/19 to provide more thorough and current information.