Figuring out how much coffee you need for a perfect cup is hard. When you start multiplying it by more and more cups it becomes even harder. Let’s go over the basics on how to make a flawless cup of coffee, and how we can scale the process up to twelve cups.
The Golden Ratio
To make the perfect cup of coffee that isn't too strong or too weak, most coffee lovers follow a “golden ratio” of sorts. The golden ratio is simply the proportion of coffee and water needed to brew a balanced cup of coffee. A cup of coffee is accepted to be 6 fluid ounces. There is some confusion on this subject with various publications claiming 8 fluid ounces as the standard cup of coffee. But for clarity's sake, we’ll consider 6 fluid ounces as the standard.
The golden ratio is widely considered to be 16:1,Water:coffee. That means that for every 16 parts of water, you want 1 part of coffee. 1 fluid ounce of water equals 29.6 ml of water which is 29.6 grams, as the density of water is 1 gram/ml. Since a cup of coffee has 6 fluid ounces, you’d need 177 ml of water. When you apply the golden ratio just divide the weight of water by 16 and you get the amount of coffee needed, which comes out to be 11 grams. (sounds pretty complicated, right? But don’t worry, it’s about to get a whole lot simpler!)
There are many different techniques for measuring the amount of coffee needed. The most precise method is weighing your coffee (11 grams per cup of water). As long as you’re not using an extremely coarse grind then the scoop method works just fine for the average coffee drinker.
A typical scoop of coffee is about 10 grams of coffee or about two tablespoons, so a little more than a full scoop per cup of water would work fine for a well balanced cup.
Scaling it Up to 12 Cups
For a standard 12-cup coffeemaker, you’ll need about 12-13 scoops of ground coffee or about 24-26 tablespoons. This will yield twelve 6 fluid ounce cups of coffee.
Other Factors to Think About When Brewing a Pot of Coffee
The quality of water is one thing many people underestimate when trying to make a good cup of coffee. Pure water produces the best results, as any minerals added in the water may affect its taste. The quality of tap water is different in different regions, so if you’re unsure about your tap water, or you find it too hard for your liking, you may want to filter it first.
Your coffee brewing method is another factor that may affect the taste. Since taste is extremely subjective, your quantity may vary for different brewing methods. Automatic coffee makers are the most convenient way to get a cup of coffee at home. But if you’re constantly on the move and like your coffee a certain way, you may want to give the aeropress a shot.