When you are looking to make that perfect cup of coffee, you know that you need to use the right coffee to water ratio. After all, it is the balance between the water that you use and the coffee that make perfection.
The truth is that in order to discover coffee to water ratio, you will notice that this will come by experience as well as it will depend on your personal taste at the same time.
One of the things that we need to say is that determining or knowing how to determine the best coffee to water ratio is something that home brewing beginners should look into. No matter if you are trying to save money and not driving to the nearest Starbucks every day or if you are really a coffee fan and are trying to come up with a good cup of coffee, the coffee to water ratio is crucial.
Before we even get to the coffee to water ratio, the coffee that you buy should be your number one priority. After all, when you use poor quality coffee, you aren’t going to be able to get that perfect cup of coffee that you are looking for. However, and even though choosing the best coffee beans can be hard at first, then comes the really difficult part – the coffee to water ratio and the entire brewing process.
In case you don’t know, it is the brewing process that allows you to get the best flavor out of your coffee beans. And this is why it is so important not only to know the best coffee to water ratio but to know the brewing time as well.
Making a good cup of coffee isn’t hard. But it demands patience. It demands experience and practice. Nevertheless, as soon as you are able to get all the pieces of the puzzle and place them where they belong, you can be sure that you won’t have any problems replicating your success one time after the other.
So, What Is The Best Coffee To Water Ratio?
When you are looking to do things that right way, you should definitely consider buying a good scale for your kitchen that allows you to weight small amounts of coffee. The truth is that when you are making a good cup of coffee, you want it to be fresh. So, you won’t make a dozen cups when you just need one. Besides, it is easy for the flavor of the coffee to be altered or to simply cool. And you want to make sure that this won’t happen.
In order to get the best coffee to water ratio, you need to be able to weight the coffee. Even though some people prefer to measure the coffee by volume, the truth is that we really don’t think this is a good idea. After all, the density of the coffee beans tends to vary a lot making this a non-reliable way to measure the coffee.
One aspect that we believe is also important is the fact that it is always a good idea to brew your coffee stronger than you really like. The truth is that making it less stronger is easier since you will only need to add some water. However, when you make a weak coffee, you won’t be able to make it stronger.
In the image below, you can see some of the best coffee to water ratios that most coffee lovers use.
Nevertheless, make sure that you don’t forget that your taste and personal preferences are most important than any measure. This means that even if you don’t find these coffee to water ratios good for you, at least you have a start point. In addition, you should also know that you may need to use one specific coffee to water ratio for a coffee brand and a different coffee to water ratio for another coffee brand.
And What About The Water?
Just like you need to make a wise choice when you are buying your coffee beans, you shouldn’t even consider using tap water. The truth is that even though you can drink tap water without any concerns, the reality is that when you are using water to brew your coffee beans, you will be able to notice some strange flavors than you wouldn’t otherwise.
While you can use any water that you want (as long as it has no discernible taste), the best water to use in your coffee is bottled spring water.
Besides tap water and bottled spring water, there are also some alternatives. Even though we don’t really recommend them, these include softened water that isn’t usually as good as non-softened water extracting the flavor of the coffee beans, and distilled water. In this last case, we don’t advise you to use it because this water doesn’t contain any minerals which are crucial for a good extraction process.
In case you usually store water, it is important that you maintain the container clean since it is fairly easy for bacteria to build up in this environment.
Up until now, we already took a look at the coffee beans quality, how you should weight the coffee, the best coffee to water ratios, and the water that you should use to make a good cup of coffee every single time. While it may seem that we already covered all the aspects, we haven’t still told you about the water temperature.
Using The Right Water Temperature
As you probably already know, the water temperature has a huge influence on the flavor and taste of your coffee. As a rule of thumb, the water temperature should be between 195ºF and 205ºF (91ºC and 96ºC). While the closer to the highest temperature the better, you also need to make sure that the boiling water is never used. And this occurs when the water reaches a temperature of 212ºF or 100ºC. Why? Simply because it will burn your coffee. On the other hand, using water that is below 195ºF (or 91ºC) is not advisable as well. In this case, the water isn’t able to extract any flavor out of the coffee beans.
So, now that you already know the best coffee to water ratio and that you need to be picky with the coffee beans as well as with the water that you use to make a perfect cup of coffee, it is time to check the brewing process itself.
The Brewing Process
In what concerns the brewing process itself, you need to know that there are two different methods that you can use.
The first one is percolation and this process involves allowing the water to flow through and around the ground coffee. The second one is maceration and it is when you soak and steep the ground coffee in the water.
One of the key points that allow you to have a great cup of coffee every single time is the coffee grind. As a rule of thumb, the finer the grind that you use the more the coffee will be exposed to the water and the more flavor will be withdrawn (as well as faster). When you are using un-ground coffee beans, you won’t get that flavor that you love since there isn’t a lot of surface in contact with water that allows the extraction of the flavor.
Nevertheless, don’t think for a second that you should simply choose the finer grind all the time and get a good cup of coffee all the time. The truth is that while you can use the finest grind that you can find, you need to pay attention to the time that you expose it to the water. Since the water will easily extract the flavor (as well as quickly), you may end up with a bitter coffee.
This is why it is so important to have the brewing time always controlled. After all, this is the number one reason why most people aren’t able to get a similar cup of coffee every single time they prepare one.
One of the best suggestions that we can give you is to control your grind and the time of brewing. In what concerns the grind, the closer to the fine the better. And then, you need to reduce the extraction period since it will happen a lot faster.
Even though you can see a lot of tips in this article, we have to say that you will learn as you experiment. Try to be methodic and annotate everything that you do. From the coffee beans that you buy to their weight, the amount of water that you add, the water brand that you use as well as the temperature, and finally, the time for the brewing.
In the end, in case you don’t like the cup of coffee that you made, try to add a bit more coffee (if it was too weak for you) or less, if it was too strong. In case it was a bit bitter, don’t let it brew for so long. Make sure that you also try out different water brands as well as different temperatures within the range that we showed you above.