A huge part of making great coffee is knowing how much coffee per cup of water that you need to add.
Measuring the right amount of coffee can make or break a cup of coffee.
So first, we’ve got a quick cheat sheet for you for how much coffee you need per cup. You can use these ratios for how much ground coffee you need and how much coffee beans you need.
Though we really, really recommend using beans instead of grounds.
These measurements will work great for most brewing methods: drip coffee makers, french press, pour over, and even moka pots and espresso.
How much coffee per cup of water?
How much coffee for 1 cup?
For one cup, use 15 grams or 2 tablespoons of coffee. For a milder cup, use 12 grams or roughly 1.5 tablespoons of coffee.
How much coffee for 4 cups?
For 4 cups, use 60 grams or 8 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 48 grams or 6.5 tablespoons.
How much coffee for 6 cups?
For 6 cups, use 90 grams or 12 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 72 grams or 9.5 tablespoons.
How much coffee for 8 cups?
For 8 cups, use 120 grams or 16 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 96 grams or 12.8 tablespoons.
How much coffee for 10 cups?
For 10 cups, use 150 grams or 20 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 120 grams or 16 tablespoons.
How much coffee for 12 cups?
For 4 cups, use 180 grams or 24 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 144 grams or 19 tablespoons.
For even larger coffee brews, you may want to pick up a coffee urn.
Here’s the video version of this blog post:
Should you measure with tablespoons or grams?
When brewing coffee, using a scale is extremely important. You just can’t get the same level of accuracy with a tablespoon as you can with grams.
You can try doing this yourself. Grab a scale, and measure out what you think is 1 tablespoon of grounds three separate times.
Chances are you’ll get a slightly different weight measurement every time.
Tablespoons of coffee grounds vs tablespoons of coffee beans
Two tablespoons of coffee grounds will not have the same mass as two tablespoons of beans.
Because the beans are larger and irregularly shaped, there’s a lot more air in the tablespoon of beans vs the tablespoon of grounds.
As a result, you’ll probably find that one tablespoon of coffee grounds will weigh more than one tablespoon of coffee beans.
The lesson? Use a scale for the best, most consistent coffee. And use beans instead of grounds.
For best results, you want to use freshly roasted beans anyway, so why spoil your pick-me-up with pre-ground coffee?
How many grams of coffee in a tablespoon?
One tablespoon of coffee grounds is between 5 to 7 grams. There’s no exact measurement because you may be measuring out fine or coarse grounds.
If you measure out coffee beans, there will be a slight difference between light and dark roasts, as dark roast beans are smaller in volume, so you’ll get more grams of beans per tablespoon.
There are grams to tablespoons conversion charts available online(such as this one) but they are not too accurate because they don’t take density into account. One tablespoon of mercury will weigh a lot more than one tablespoon of water!
If you don’t have a scale on hand, you can use 2 tablespoons for every cup you wish to brew, as noted above.
How many tablespoons in a coffee scoop?
Here’s where things get interesting. Coffee scoops are not standardized as far as I know, so using “scoops” as a measurement is not very accurate.
Many coffee makers come with scoops that are equal to one tablespoon, but the Aeropress, for example, comes with a scoop that is about 2 tablespoons.
So even if your coffee maker shipped with a scoop, it’s better to use a known tablespoon measure rather than any old scoop.
How to brew great coffee every time
Coffee is such a universal and versatile drink that there are really plenty of ways to brew coffee, but a few elements will always remain the same.
Aside from using the correct amount of coffee, you can consider these the laws of coffee brewing:
- Use freshly roasted beans. I can’t repeat this enough times. Once you’ve tasted coffee made from freshly roasted beans, you’ll never be able to drink pre-packaged supermarket coffee again.
- Grind freshly roasted beans just before brewing. Grinding just before brewing ensures that most of the flavors remain trapped in the coffee bean, only exposing them just before you brew. Once you grind coffee beans, they lose most of their flavor in a very short time. Use an automatic or manual burr grinder to get your ground coffee.
- Use the correct water temperature. If your water is too hot, you risk burning your coffee. If it’s too cold, you won’t get enough flavor extraction. You need to brew at the perfect temperature – which is around 90 to 95 degrees C.
These are baseline numbers that you can use for nearly all types of coffees. The key to dialing in your coffee is to use whatever works best for you, so feel free to experiment and add a few grams more or less to see what suits your palate the best.