How to Brew a Great Cup of Coffee and the Golden Ratio

How much ground Coffee should I use for a pot? This, or a variation, is the single most common question we get from our customers and friends.

The answer can be a long and downright scientific one and we’ll get to that below. But will it be right for you? Perphaps not! The reality is that we all prefer our Coffee a little different. Bright and mellow, dark, rich and concentrated – we encourage you to experiment and try different things.

Making Coffee can be a ritual. It can be part of a routine that can provide tremendous satisfaction and joy. Have fun with it!

Now on to the more technical stuff.

How your Coffee tastes depends on many things, including the roast, the roasting method, the type of beans, the origin of the beans, the method by which the beans were processed and so on. 

Once you have a bag of our roasted Coffee beans there several ways in which you can control the resulting Coffee:

1) Consider the size of the grind. Your Coffee will taste better if you grind your beans just before you use them. I used a relatively cheap burr grinder for years and it served me well. It had a simple mechanism for adjusting grind size – again, it was simple but it did the job and could grind enough beans for my morning pot in about 20 seconds. We will be dedicating a separate article to grind size but consider this – a finer grind creates more surface area for the water to touch the actual Coffee and provides a greater barrier to the water passing though it. The result of a finer grind is a stronger, more extracted Coffee, which is something you may or may not want. Play with the size of your grind. 

2) Your method of brewing will also have a big impact. A drip brewer will produce a different tasting cup of Coffee than a French Press. Grind size will again come into play here and you have to consider this based on your choice of brewing method. You may have to try a couple of different methods to see what you like. A French Press, for example, will add a heavier body to your cup. 

3) The Water you use does make a difference. If you use tap water (and especially if you water is hard) try filtered water or bottled water (the big reusable water bottles please!). It will change your world! Water temperature is another factor to consider – it should be 93.0°C for optimum extraction – don’t get too crazy with it. Just know that it’s not always best to use boiling water. 

4) The ratio of ground Coffee to Water – The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) states that the ideal ratio (the Golden Ratio) for brewing Coffee is 55 grams of ground Coffee per 1 Liter of Water. Adjust to your taste but ideally stay within +/- 10 grams of this.

We could get more indepth about  all of this but hey, have fun with it. Coffee is personal! Reach out to us if you have any questions of want to discuss. We love talking Coffee!



Image By David Dewitt –