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How Much Coffee Per Cup? You can Use the Golden Ratio Rule

Throughout the years, coffee has been demonstrated to have several health benefits in a person’s life. It’s rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which assist the body against the harmful effects of bacteria and viruses.

Although the beverage is considered by many to be a healthy drink, coffee is a personal beverage. Therefore, how much coffee per cup depends on how you like it best.

How Much Coffee to Use Per Cup?

What appears to be common knowledge can actually call for many different answers. However, once you grasp the theory behind it, the ideal coffee is just a few minutes away.  

In our day-to-day life, we sometimes ponder whether we add the right amount of coffee beans into our preferred beverage – how many coffee beans should I use per serving?

Well, we will look at some of the mathematics, advice, and theories behind the perfect cup of coffee. However, it is worth noting that the real pleasure of any pastime such as coffee brewing is discovering for yourself what works for you.

How Much Coffee Grounds Should You Use?

So, the big question remains, how much coffee grounds should you use per serving? Well, it depends on a few factors which also include the size of your cup.

two cups of coffee with coffee beans spread across on the white wooden table, how much coffee per cup

Predominantly, most coffee machine makers use the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) definition that defines a cup of coffee as 5oz of liquid or 150ml of coffee.  

Most of these machines come with a pre-measured spatula to measure scoops of coffee when loading your coffee machine.  

Generally, a scoop of coffee refers to 1 tablespoon, which translates to about 5 grams of refined coffee.

Using the Golden Ratio Rule to Prepare Coffee

Next, we get a bit mathematical when applying the Golden Ratio Rule when preparing our cup of coffee.

Developed by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the Golden Ratio Rule helps people understand the best ratio of coffee to water.

The Golden Ratio Rule generally gives a brew ratio of 1:18 (coffee: water) that translates to 150ml cup being divided by 18 to give you 8.3 grams of coffee per cup.

This is the amount of coffee that is universally recognized as ideal for each serving. To ensure you do not make unnecessary errors when converting your units, it is advisable to work with grams for everything, including water. 

How Many Coffee Beans Does This Translate to?

In regards to the Golden Ratio Rule, if you are wondering how many coffee beans you need to make a perfect cup of coffee – the answer is approximately 70.

It is believed that music maestro Ludwig van Beethoven used to tally about 65 coffee beans per cup for his morning coffee.

Since most of us do not have the patience or the attention to detail of a genius, it is advisable to use approximately one and a half tablespoons of coffee grounds per serving.

Measuring Coffee Per Cup with Tablespoons

For easy reference, we have compiled a handy table with tablespoons and grams to assist you with the amount of coffee ground needed to brew up to 20 cups of coffee at a time.

Brews 150 ml cups of coffeeGrams of coffee groundsTablespoons

So, if you want to prepare enough coffee for you and your friends, just refer to the coffee ratio calculations we did above. For instance:

  • How much ground coffee do you need for 4 cups of coffee? According to the Golden Ratio Rule, 1 cup consumes 8.3 grams of ground coffee; therefore, 4 cups will require 33.2 grams.
  • What about 8 cups of coffee? The full calculation is that 150 ml multiplied by 8 cups = 1200 ml. And using the Golden Ratio Rule (1:18), 1200 is divided by 18 to give 67 grams. This is about 12 to 13 tablespoons.

Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Quality Standards

According to SCA, 1 cup of coffee is equal to 180 ml or 6 ounces of water before brewing. After brewing, this cup should produce about 125 ml or 5.3 ounces of brewed coffee.

The SCA defines 180 ml or 10 grams as the standard measure for brewing if using the American standard. However, if you are using the European standard, the measure is 7 grams per 4.2 oz or 125 ml.  We will incorporate a few more measures that involve coffee weight to water volume (oz in a cup):

  • 106 grams (3.75 grams) per ½ gallon = 10.6 cups of coffee or 64 oz
  • 55 grams per litre = 5.5 cups of coffee or 33 oz
  • 454 grams (16 oz, 1lb) per 2.25 gallons = 48 cups of coffee or 288 oz
  • Percolator: 454 grams (16 oz, 1lb) per 100 cups of coffee = 600 oz

We need to point out that some coffee pot manufacturers do not follow the 6 oz per cup standard as per the requirements. So it is essential to confirm the total water capacity of your pot before buying.

How to Serve the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Regardless of location, anyone can prepare a cup of coffee. However, how good the cup turns out depends on more than the coffee brand or the coffee ground taste.

How the coffee smells and looks play an equally important role as it tastes if you are looking to make a stunning impression. Here are a few of the basic things you should consider before brewing your coffee:

  1. Ensure the utensils are clean: Avoid using soap to wash your coffee utensils. Instead, soak the removable parts in baking soda separately and give them a thorough scrub while underwater. As for the inside part of the coffee maker, you can clean it by brewing white vinegar. You can use warm water to rinse the vinegar sediments.
  2. Use clean water: More than 95 percent of what we call coffee is water. Therefore, it does not make any sense to seek and buy the best beans, only to use unpurified water over them. Filtered water has a way of affecting the flavor of your coffee.
  3. Prepare the coffee beans: Ground coffee tends to go rancid quickly; therefore, you need to make sure that you prepare the right amount of beans you wish to use. Also, ensure you get the right grind that works well with your coffee maker.
  4. Measure the grounds: According to the SCA, the standard measurement for a coffee cup is 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and 6 oz of purified water. However, you will find some coffee enthusiasts quoting 3 regular tablespoons for 12 oz.
  5. Keep things fresh: To get the best flavor, you need to either remove your coffee from the pot after it boils and gulp your cup down if you are using auto-drip coffee makers. You can also warm a thermos by running hot water through it and place your coffee in it. The coffee will remain fresh and warm and will not lose its taste.

A lot of people don’t realize what a big difference freshly-ground beans make, but if you’re drinking that cup of joe for the flavor, you want to keep things fresh. 

The fact is that while the affordability of a bean bag might not be favorable to many, coffee is one of the most inexpensive luxuries in life.

For just a few cents, you can get a great cup of coffee that will get you going throughout your morning, so you might as well settle for the best quality coffee bean in the market.

Although it might look expensive at first, it will cost less than visiting the local coffee shop every day.

Today, freshness is the number one quality being sought after in a cup of coffee. This means coffee beans that were grounded just before brewing and roasted within 1 week.

Your coffee brewing equipment also plays a vital role in your success in making a good cup of coffee.

Usually, an efficient grip coffee pot will brew coffee at about 180 degrees under 6 minutes. As a nutritious beverage, coffee is an extract of the ground bean that requires heating at the right temperature to extract the essential ingredients known as coffee — failure to heat the beans at the right temperature results in bitter coffee due to acidity pileup.

Common Coffee Recipes Worth Trying

Here are a few recipes you can try making at the comfort of your home.

  • Frappuccino Copycat: Prepare 1 cup of dark coffee by mixing 4 tablespoons of coffee grounds with 8 oz of water. While in this preparation process, mix 2 cups of cold milk with 2 cups of vanilla ice cream. Once you have done this, add 1 teaspoon of cocoa to give your beverage a mocha distinction. Go ahead and add your brewed coffee and mix again to give your drink a smooth and creamy look before serving. You can invest in a decent blender to ensure your drink comes out smoothly.
  • Affogato or Coffee Ice Cream Cooler: Prepare 2 cups of strong coffee by mixing a cup of purified water with 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. While the coffee is boiling, mix 1 cup of cold milk with a few French vanilla syrup drops in a separate container. Once the brewed coffee is made, mix the coffee with the French vanilla syrup and top it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can go ahead if you like and garnish the beverage with shaved dark chocolate.
  • Chocolate Orange: Prepare any dark roast coffee separately. While the coffee is preparing, juice half an orange in a large bowl and add 2 square semi-sweet chocolate. Mix them and add the dark roasted coffee by pouring it over the orange mixture. You can go ahead and stir well to melt the chocolate. If you desire to have a cold drink, you can add some ice cubes.

Does the Type of Coffee Machine Matter?

The type of coffee machine you choose to work with is completely up to you. If you are a home-user, an automatic coffeemaker is the simplest and most ideal to use.

All you need to do is add water to the pot, place a coffee filter, ground coffee, and you are good to go. Although the market is full of other coffee makers that are more complicated or sophisticated, they just need some time to get the hang of them.

You can follow these simple instructions to make the ideal cup with a pour-over or a French press.

If you are interested in brewing your favorite coffee brand in a Keurig, it is advisable to invest in a refillable pod to reduce waste and select your own blend.

Final Notes

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran coffee brewer, it is prudent for you to observe and maintain these coffee brewing habits for an optimal coffee experience:

  • Always preheat your coffee utensils. When your thermos or mug is warm, your coffee will stay warm for a longer duration. Pour hot water into your mug or thermos to heat it while you prepare your coffee.
  • Prepare just enough for 1 drinking session. Avoid preheating, as this results in the coffee tasting bitter and burnt. If it is cold, pour it and prepare a fresh one.
  • Old, stale coffee grounds, and oils can damage your coffee machine and affect your next brew to taste bad and sour. Try as much as possible to wash your coffee utensils with hot water, vinegar, baking soda, or a specialized cleaner.

As long as you keep these tips in mind, you should have a delicious cup of joe in the making!

Here’s a video to explain on coffee brewing ratios that might intrigue you.