You’ll know that the perfect coffee to water ratio is essential for a great-tasting morning brew if you make coffee regularly. When the balance is off, your coffee can be too strong, weak, or even undrinkable.
You should use about 160 coffee beans for one cup of coffee and between 50 – 60 beans for a single shot of espresso. The number of coffee beans you need can vary depending on your brewing method, the type of coffee bean, how finely you grind your beans, and how strong you like your coffee.
This article will look at how many coffee beans per cup to use for a cup of coffee and espresso, the factors affecting the number of beans to use, why it’s essential to get the coffee to water ratio right, and a helpful cheat sheet.
Why Should I Measure My Coffee Beans Before Brewing?
You should measure your coffee beans before brewing because it can be a waste to make an entire pot of coffee when you only drink one cup of it. Saving the coffee for later can also result in the beverage tasting too bitter because the coffee’s flavor will be over-extracted.
Therefore, while most people know exactly how much coffee and water to use for an entire pot of coffee, we need to rely on a bit of math to get the brew right if we plan to make a single cup. In addition, you’ll need to know how your choice of brewing will impact the coffee’s strength.
What Is the Average Amount of Coffee Beans Per Cup?
The average amount of coffee beans per cup is approximately 160 coffee beans. Of course, altering the intensity of your coffee will change how many whole coffee beans per cup you use. However, 160 beans should provide enough balance and strength to one cup of coffee.
There isn’t a limit to how many coffee beans for one cup you can use, as it will all depend on your taste and preferences.
Here’s How Many Grams of Coffee Beans Per Cup To Use
The average amount of coffee beans per cup is about 15g or 160 beans. Therefore, one cup of coffee equates to approximately (236.59ml/8 fl. oz) of coffee. Hence, 15g will be enough to brew a robust and full-bodied cup of coffee without it tasting too watery or bitter.
Here’s How Many Ounces of Coffee Beans Per Cup To Use
To brew one cup of coffee, you will use about 0.53oz of coffee beans, or 15g. This measurement is also enough to brew a tasty, 236.59ml (8 fl. oz) cup of coffee.
Of course, this amount can always vary according to your brewing method and other factors, such as the cup size or the kind of beans you use.
Here’s How Many Cups of Coffee in a Pound You’ll Get
There is a little over 450g in one pound of coffee. If you’re using about 15g of coffee per cup, you should be able to get approximately 30 cups of coffee out of a 1-pound bag of coffee. You may have a few grounds leftover, which you can use to make a smaller cup of coffee, so nothing goes to waste.
How Many Espresso Beans Are in a Cup of Coffee?
Espresso is a small but powerful punch of coffee. To understand how powerful that punch is, know that you use the same amount of coffee beans for a double espresso as you would for a single cup of coffee.
There are approximately 50 to 60 espresso beans or 7.5g (0.26oz) in a cup of coffee. For a double shot of espresso, these numbers are simply multiplied by two.
The optimal ratio of coffee to water for espresso is 1:2, so you would use 15g (0.53oz) of water for a single shot and 30g (1.06oz) for a double shot of espresso.
Factors That Affect How Many Coffee Beans for 1 Cup You’ll Need
The three main factors that affect the number of coffee beans per cup you use are:
- How finely you grind your coffee beans
- Your brewing method of choice
- Your desired coffee strength
Finely ground coffee beans allow more surface area to contact water, resulting in more flavor being extracted. You can, therefore, taste more of the sugar, fruit, and floral notes from the bean.
When your beans are coarsely ground, your coffee will have less body and a weaker flavor profile.
Coffee can be brewed in several different ways, and each method requires a different amount of coffee.
The most popular coffee brewing methods are:
Drip Coffee Machine
Most people are very familiar with making coffee with a drip coffee machine. Still, for those who are not, you need to know that drip coffee machines require a coffee filter.
Some drip coffee makers come with in-built filters, while others require you to use a paper filter.
Either way, the filter keeps the grounds from escaping into the coffee pot, which would impact both the flavor and texture of the coffee.
The standard brewing time for a coffee machine is 5 minutes.
When using a coffee machine, the best coffee to water ratio for coffee machines is 1:15.
Medium-fine ground beans work optimally, and you’ll need 24g (0.85oz) of coffee (or 168 to 192 beans) and 360g (12.70oz) of water for 1 cup (236.59ml/8 fl. oz).
A French press is a manual coffee-making method consisting of a thin glass beaker and a plunger.
The coffee grounds are placed in the beaker, followed by hot water, and the plunger (which also has a filter) keeps the coffee grounds out of your cup.
This method allows you to choose your own brewing time, but most people find that 4 minutes works best.
This method’s optimal coffee to water ratio is 1:12, equating to 18g (0.63oz) of ground coffee (or 125 to 145 coffee beans) and 216g (7.62oz) of water for 1 cup (236.59ml/8 fl. oz).
Coarsely-ground beans work best for French presses.
An AeroPress works similarly to a syringe: when the plunger component is used, it forces the coffee grounds through the filter in an airtight cylinder.
The coffee is then brewed inside the chamber, and the longer it’s left in the cylinder, the stronger the coffee.
Finely-ground beans work well with an AeroPress, and you’ll use a 1:7 coffee to water ratio. So for 1 cup (236.59ml/8 fl. oz), use 21g (0.74oz) of coffee grounds or 147 to 168 beans and 150g (5.29oz) of water.
As the name suggests, cold brew coffee is made with cooler water (generally at room temperature).
The coffee grounds are steeped in the water for 12 to 24 hours, after which the grounds are filtered through paper.
The optimal coffee to water ratio for cold brew is 1:8, meaning 40g (1.41oz) of grounds, 280 to 320 beans, and 320g (11.29oz) of water.
It’s recommended to use coarsely ground beans for cold brew.
The Chemex method uses an hourglass-shaped glass flask and thick filter paper so that even the oils and bitter overtones in the grounds are removed, resulting in fresh and clean-tasting coffee.
Coffee to water ratio of 1:16 for the Chemex method is advisable. You’d therefore use 24g (0.85oz) of grounds (or 168 to 192 beans) and 385g (13.58oz) of water.
Medium to coarse grounds makes the best coffee for this method.
Flash brewing coffee originated from Japan and is an excellent way of making iced coffee in a Chemex flask.
Your coffee is brewed and then chilled as soon as possible to retain all the sweet and fruity flavors.
For tasty flash brew coffee, use a 1:8 coffee to water ratio, i.e., 20g (0.71oz) of grounds, 140 to 160 beans, 160g (5.64oz) of water, and 160g (5.64oz) of ice.
A medium to fine ground works wonderfully with the flash brew method.
Espressos can be complex to make at home. Hence, most people only drink this popular beverage at a coffee shop or restaurant.
It uses finely-ground coffee beans, after which hot water is quickly forced through under high pressure, resulting in a small amount of strong, robust, and syrupy coffee.
Preferred Coffee Strength
Regardless of the bean type or roast you prefer, you might enjoy your coffee strong, mild, or something in between.
If your coffee tastes too strong, you might be tempted to use fewer grounds (and vice versa). But, unfortunately, this is the wrong way to do it.
More Is Not Necessarily Better
When you add more coffee grounds, your coffee will be more robust, but it’ll be more acidic. This is because the coffee grounds haven’t had enough water during the brewing process, resulting in more potent acids in the coffee.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but using fewer coffee grounds can help your coffee develop a more robust flavor. This is because the grounds will have had more water exposure, thereby allowing the flavor to seep through.
In the same vein, if you want your coffee to be weaker, try using more grounds. This doesn’t extract the flavor as much as each ground will have less water exposure, resulting in milder-tasting coffee.
Why It’s Important To Use the Right Ratio of Coffee and Water
For the best tasting cup of coffee, you need to use just the right amount of water and coffee.
Breaking the coffee process down, it’s essentially just water and ground beans. However, the difference between a well-balanced, flavorful, and aromatic cup of coffee, and one that tastes sour, bitter, and too strong or weak, is the ratio of coffee and water.
Each brewing method requires a different ratio of coffee grounds and water.
Drip coffee machines, for instance, are great for producing coffee that has clean, full-bodied, and fresh flavors. In contrast, espresso machines create more robust flavors with only one of two flavor notes.
Espressos require less water, finely-ground beans, and a shorter brewing time. At the same time, immersion methods (e.g., Aeropress) call for coarser grounds, more water, and a lengthier brewing time.
The Correct Coffee to Water Ratio Is Subjective
If you’ve just started brewing coffee yourself, it’s a good idea to use the coffee to water ratio guidelines, as set out for each brewing method.
You’ll probably soon find that these ratios are simply suggestions, and finding the perfect ratio of coffee to water will depend on your coffee taste preference.
For example, when making filter coffee, you might start by using the 1:15 ratio, which is the middle ground.
If you find the coffee too weak, you might consider increasing the ratio to 1:18, and if you want to make the coffee stronger, you’ll use less coffee.
Other Ways to Make Coffee Taste Better
Once you’ve nailed the best water to coffee ratio for your taste, there are some other things you can do to enhance the flavor of your coffee:
Switch to a Different Grind Size
The finer your beans are ground, the more chance the water has of extracting their complete flavor profile, resulting in fuller-bodied and sweeter coffee.
Grounds that are too coarse may produce sour, salty, and weak-tasting coffee.
Conversely, you might want to reduce the bitterness of your coffee by grinding the beans less so that the bitter notes have less of a chance of entering the water.
Use Filtered Water
If you live in an area where there’s very hard water, this can affect the taste of your coffee. The same goes for places where tap water can leave a strange after-taste.
In these cases, using filtered water to make your coffee can make a huge difference.
Be sure not to use distilled water for coffee making as it has little or no mineral content, resulting in over-extracted and bitter coffee.
Change the Brewing Time
Tweaking the brewing time changes the extraction rate of the coffee flavors.
When coffee is over-extracted (or brewed for too long), it can taste too bitter and powerful. However, under-extraction occurs when it’s not brewed long enough, and you might only taste a few of the flavor notes.
Whole Coffee Beans to Ground Conversion
Coffee grounds and coffee beans weigh the same, whether you weigh them before or after grinding. So, it makes no difference when you weigh them as the amount stays the same.
1 Cup Coffee Beans Equals How Much Ground Coffee?
1 cup of coffee beans equals the same amount of ground coffee. This is because you’re only changing the coffee’s form, not its state (i.e., it’s not converted to or from a liquid, solid, or gas).
However, it’s important to note that some residual coffee grounds can remain stuck in your coffee grinder, thereby reducing the weight by a negligible amount.
How Will I Know How Many Coffee Beans To Grind?
You may think that a coffee bean is much more concentrated than the same volume of coffee grounds. But, as mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily the case.
You can use the same amount of coffee beans as grounds. The ratio is one to one for ground coffee and beans, so grind the same amount of beans for every gram of coffee grounds required.
How Many Coffee Beans Do I Need To Grind Per Cup?
If you plan on filling a standard cup with coffee, you’ll need to grind approximately 160 coffee beans per cup. This will provide you an ideal amount of coffee that’s smoothly brewed and balanced with flavor.
If you plan on making a large batch of coffee to fill more than one cup, you can multiply that same amount per cup to receive equally tasty results.
Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Converting Coffee Beans and Grounds
Whether you want to brew a cup of coffee using the flash brew, French press, AeroPress, cold brew, Chemex, or coffee machine method, you’ll use a different amount of coffee and water.
Below is your ultimate cheat sheet for creating a delicious cup of coffee:
|BREWING METHOD||COFFEE TO WATER RATIO||GRIND TYPE||BREWING TIME (MINUTES)||AMOUNT OF COFFEE GROUNDS NEEDED FOR 1 CUP (236.59ml/8 fl. oz)||NUMBER OF COFFEE BEANS FOR 1 CUP (236.59ml/8 fl. oz)||AMOUNT OF WATER FOR 1 CUP (236.59ml/8 fl. oz)|
|French Press||1:12||Coarse||4||18g (.63oz)||125 – 145||216g (7.62 fl. oz)|
|AeroPress||1:7||Fine||2||21g (.74oz)||147 – 168||150g (5.3 fl. oz)|
|Cold Brew||1:8||Coarse||12 to 24 hours||40g (1.4oz)||280 – 320||320g (11.3 fl. oz)|
|Chemex||1:16||Medium-Coarse||30||24g (.85oz)||168 – 192||385g ( 13.9 fl. oz)|
|Drip coffee Machine||1:15||Medium-Fine||4||24g (.85oz)||168 – 192||360g (12.7 fl. oz)|
|Flash Brew||1:8||Medium-Fine||45||20g (.71oz)||140 – 160||160g (and 160g ice) (5.64 fl. oz)|
|Single Espresso||1:2||Medium||2||7.5g (.3oz)||50 – 60||15g (.53 fl. oz)|
|Double Espresso||1:2||Medium||2||15g (.53oz)||100 – 120||30g (1.1fl. oz)|
How many coffee beans you use for 1 cup (236.59ml/8 fl. oz) of coffee largely depends on the brewing method. Still, the average amount is about 160 beans.
Using the coffee-to-water ratio guidelines for each method will yield great-tasting coffee. Still, you may need to tweak this according to individual taste.
Once you get the balance right, you can enjoy a cup of coffee without having to waste ingredients!