To enjoy the maximum flavor of coffee, the ratio of coffee to water used is extremely important. There are some other factors that affect coffee flavor as well, such as the fineness of the coffee grounds and how long the hot water soaks in the grounds during the brewing process.
Today, we will focus on the most important factor, the water/coffee ratio. The remaining two factors will be left for a separate blog post.
Will The Real Cup Please Stand Up?
In a quest for scientific truth one will be disappointed. Unfortunately, there are differing opinions about how much fluid is actually in a cup. Most traditional counter-top drip machines define a cup as 5-6 oz., which is pretty small. If you poured that amount into most coffee mugs, it would look a little more than half full. Depending on if you’re the optimistic or pessimistic type, that may or may not be acceptable to you, but for most coffee drinkers, it simply isn’t enough. For real-life purposes, a cup of coffee is much closer to the 9-10 oz. range, which is enough to fill most mugs to the top, while leaving room for cream and sugar, if that is your thing.
The Scoop on Scoops
In professional coffee tasting, which is known as “cupping”, professional taste testers will use two tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 oz. cup. They are maximizing flavor so that they can taste each subtlety of the brew. From personal experience, this ratio makes a very strong cup of coffee, but it leaves you a little disappointed that there isn’t a bit more to enjoy, and at times, it feels wasteful. I recommend using two tablespoons per every 8-10 oz., max. This will help you enjoy a satisfying cup of coffee in terms of size and will still maximize flavor. If you add more water than 10 oz. or use less than two tablespoons, I have found that the coffee will taste very watery.
One Tongue to Rule Them All
Ratios are definitely something to play around with, because at the end of the day, it is about how it tastes to you. Just as one can err by making watery coffee, you can also use too much coffee, which will ruin your experience as well. Take some time to experiment with your ratios until you find your ideal cup. If serving for others, put in a little extra because it’s better to overdo it then have your friends feel like it is underdone. As a coffee lover, there is nothing worse than letting down your fellow coffee lovers with a watered-down brew.