How Much Coffee to Use Per Cup for a Perfectly Brewed Cup of Joe

It's hard to feel ready for the day without a cup of joe to wake you up and provide energy for what the day has in store. However, an overly-strong cup of coffee can do more harm than good, causing jitters and anxiety, while a weak cup of coffee doesn't have enough caffeine to banish the sleepiness that accompanies many of us first thing in the morning. To avoid both of these scenarios, how much coffee per cup makes for the perfect cup of joe?

How Much Coffee Do I Use Per Cup?

Although it's tempting to just put an arbitrary amount of grounds into your coffee machine or pour-over, the best coffee experience comes from measuring out your grounds to ensure that your coffee is the right level of strength. This also makes for more consistency, allowing you to have equally strong coffee every morning rather than a slightly different amount every day.

Measuring spoons with ground coffee and coffe beans.
Getty Images/SensorSpot

For good coffee preparation, it's essential to use the right ratio of coffee to water, which is 1 gram of coffee for 18 millimeters of water. To do this, you can use a kitchen scale, a tablespoon, or a measuring cup to figure out how much ground coffee you have. The first thing to consider is how big a cup of coffee is. The most typical size is 5 fluid ounces, but your coffee cup might be larger or smaller than that.

Using a scale is the most precise way to measure coffee grounds, and it's best to measure your coffee beans before grinding and brewing coffee for the ultimate accuracy. If you have a scale for measuring your coffee, measure out 10 grams for a 6-ounce cup. A 6-ounce cup is about the size of a teacup, so your mug will likely be closer to 9 ounces, and will need more like 15 grams if you're filling it up with coffee.

If you don't have a scale, not to worry, you can just use a teaspoon or tablespoon measure instead. Although each tablespoon of coffee is variable in strength, this method is okay if you don't need your coffee strength to be an exact measure. One tablespoon of coffee equals about 5.3 grams.

Hot Coffee from a French Press
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Since your mug of coffee will likely be somewhere between 6 and 10 ounces, you should use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee. Using this guideline, you can do the math for multiple cups of coffee as well. For instance, if you'd like two 8-ounce cups, use 4 tablespoons of ground coffee. If you like your coffee on the strong side, use slightly more grounds than 2 tablespoons for each mug. Alternatively, if you prefer coffee on the weaker side or are trying to cut back on caffeine, try using just one tablespoon.

It's important to note that this ratio is for making a standard cup brewed with hot water in a coffee machine or pour-over drip coffee, but the amount of coffee will vary for different brewing methods used for each type of coffee like espresso, French press, and cold brew.

Now that you know the golden ratio for perfect coffee, enjoy your consistently-measured and deliciously flavored coffee every morning!

READ MORE: What Is a Coffee Filter + What to Use As a Substitute for Your Cup of Joe

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