How Much Coffee Do You Really Need?

The frequently posed inquiry on brewing the ideal coffee cup depends on a variety of conditions, making it nearly impossible to provide a definitive answer. These conditions include, among others, the size of the cup, personal taste inclinations, and the type of coffee machine being used.

When it comes to deciding how much coffee you need to fill your coffee machine, there is some guidance behind it but ultimately it will come down to trial and error and will depend on how strong you prefer your coffee to be. 

Whether you are making two cups, or enough coffee to serve a dinner party, knowing just how many scoops of ground coffee will result in the perfect tasting cup is a question that every coffee lover will have asked themselves.

One of the things this depends on is how big are your coffee cups? If you are using espresso cups, the amount required will be different from if you are using full-size coffee mugs, for example. Most coffee makers are designed to deliver around 5 ounces of coffee per cup. 

It might well be that your machine comes with a scoop to help you fill it and you need to check the size. Some are one tablespoon, but others can be two tablespoons, so the number of scoops you need will depend on the size of your scoop too. 

There is a theory of coffee making known as the golden ratio, which says that the ratio of coffee to water, for the perfect cup, should be around 1:18, so you need to divide the amount of water you have, by 18, to get the amount of coffee you need. So, a 150 ml cup would need 8.3g of ground coffee. 

That’s the mathematical part to it and you can use this to measure and work out how much coffee you need, or you can do it based on your own personal taste. If you want stronger coffee, add more.

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If you use fresh coffee beans you might want to work out how many beans you need to grind to make yourself the perfect cup each time. Using the golden ratio, you need to end up with around one and a half tablespoons per average cup – which equates to around 70 ground coffee beans. 

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If you want to work out how much coffee you need to make more than one cup, then you can just use the golden ratio to calculate it. So, if one cup needs 8.3g of coffee, four cups would need 33g of coffee. 

What Other Ways Can I Use to Measure Coffee?

When you are planning out how much coffee you need, you don’t want to end up wasting it and any opportunity to save money must be good, so look at your process when grinding your beans, to make sure there is no waste. 

Firstly, only grind the beans you need to use, so they stay fresh, and you don’t end up having to throw away any ground-up beans that you didn’t use. Grinding the right size for your machine is also important. 

Make sure you push down your coffee grounds in the machine so that you get the most out of them and always use the right beans and the right ground for your machine. An espresso machine needs much finer grounds than a drip coffee maker, for example.

Most coffee makers will come with a guide for how much coffee to use when making different size pots of coffee so make sure you always read the instructions and guides that come with your coffee machine when you buy it. 

Also read: A Guide to the Best Keurig Coffee Makers in 2021

Ultimately, how you make your coffee and how much you decide to use for each cup is a matter of personal taste so it’s up to you how many scoops or spoons you use. It will depend on what type of coffee you are making and how strong you want it to taste. 

A lot of coffee making is down to trial and error and you will soon learn how many scoops make the best tasting coffee in your own machine at home. 

It’s worth remembering that different coffee roasts and different coffee types come in a variety of strengths and flavors as well, so for some coffee types, you might need less coffee and still end up with a strong-tasting cup.

If you have the right amount of beans, the right type of grind for your machine and you let the coffee brew for the required time after it has been made, you will be guaranteed an amazing cup of coffee every time. 

There are mathematical formulas you can use, and if you want to calculate every cup of coffee using the golden ratio, weighing out your coffee, and measuring out the exact amount of water, then it’s your choice. 

But with so many variables, from different cup sizes, different coffee strengths, and different preferences among coffee drinkers, that elusive perfect cup of coffee will vary from person to person in a variety of ways. 

For some, the perfect cup will be milky and weak, for others, only black pure coffee counts with the strongest flavor possible. So, how much coffee to use, will depend on the taste of the person you are making the drink for. 

But an average approach of using one to one and a half tablespoons of ground coffee per small cup you want to make seems to be the most sensible approach and then you can always adjust up or down as you experiment with the level of strength and flavor your machine achieves from this.

As long as you don’t end up with coffee that’s undrinkable through being too strong, or coffee-flavored water that’s far too weak, then you can’t go too far wrong following this basic guide and adjusting it to your own specific tastes and preferences. 

When it comes to how much coffee to use, there is no magic formula.

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