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What Is the Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio?

pour over coffee

What is the golden ratio for pour-over coffee? This is a common question for those starting to expand their coffee brewing techniques because if you get the wrong ratio, your coffee could be ruined. You could end up with a weak and watery brew or a bitter and unenjoyable cup of joe. The worst part is, you wouldn’t actually know until you finished brewing which would be a huge waste of time.

Pour-over coffee is a coffee brewing method where hot water is poured over coffee grounds. Generally, grounds will sit on top of a filter and there will be a chamber to collect the coffee underneath. As the water is poured onto the grounds, it extracts the essential oils and that’s how you get your coffee. 

Everything matters when it comes to making a pour-over coffee; the grind size, the water temperature, the pouring control, and more importantly getting the best pour-over coffee ratio.

Thankfully, we have a guide for you, so you don’t have to waste your time, and get the perfect tasting coffee. Please note, some people enjoy their coffee weaker/stronger, so you may have to adjust the ratio depending on your preferences.

Check out our new coffee to water ratio calculator!

The Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio

For the best cup of coffee, you need to know the ratio of ground coffee to water. This is usually about 17.5 grams of ground coffee for every 350 milliliters of water. One tablespoon is equal to 3 grams, so that means about 5 tablespoons (or 50 grams) for every 350 milliliters of water.

The Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio for us is around 1:17.

The ideal ratio for a pour-over is 1:17, meaning that you have one gram of coffee per 17 grams of water. This ratio will give you a balanced and flavorful cup with a higher concentration than a drip brew or an espresso shot.

However, it’s not just down to our opinion. There are actually coffee standards that can definite the golden ratio for pour-over coffee. 

The SCA is the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and they have a Golden Cup Standard which identifies the perfect brew. 

The Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio for the SCAA is 55 g/L ± 10%.

Following these 2 ratios, you will find different recommendations from coffee pros and companies all over the world. You should start with a basic ratio and adjust levels slightly to see what works for you.

A great cup of coffee does not stop with the perfect coffee ratio,  you also need to consider a number of other factors, an important one is grind size. Medium-coarse grind size is optimal for making pour-over coffee. 

If you’re not sure what a medium-coarse grind size looks like, all you need to remember is the size of table salt. This will allow the water to pass through the coffee grounds easily. 

Related: French press ratio.

Why Does Pour-Over Coffee Require a Specific Ratio?

The pour-over method is a popular way of brewing coffee. It relies on the ratio of water to ground coffee. The ratio is usually 1:16 or 1:17, which means that for every gram of coffee, you add 16-17 grams of water. 

If this ratio is wildly incorrect, you will get inconsistent brews and coffee that just doesn’t taste good. After spending 10 mins prepping and pouring neatly, you don’t want to find out you ruined the coffee after. 

There are of course correct ratio standards to follow for all coffee brewing methods, but it is more important for pour-over coffee. The French Press can allow some variances in coffee ratio. 

While the pour-over method is less popular than other coffee-brewing methods, it does have its advantages. The ratio of water to ground coffee beans, for example, is a major factor in determining the quality of the final product.

When it comes to the perfect coffee to water ratio, keep in mind that the ratio is there as a gauge you use as standard. You can adjust the ratio according to your coffee potency preference. 

Related: What is a Chemex

The Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio for Different Types of Roasts and Beans

The best pour-over coffee ratio for different types of beans and roasts is all dependent on the type of beans and roast. Dark roasts need a higher ratio of water to coffee grounds than light or medium roasts because they have lower caffeine content. The same holds for beans with a higher caffeine content, like espresso.



Other Pour-Over Factors to Consider

As mentioned previously, getting the best pour-over coffee ratio is probably one of the most important factors when brewing. However, there are a number of other things that must be in line to get the perfect brew.

  • Water Temp
  • Grind Size
  • Water Quality
  • Type of Coffee
  • Pouring method
  • Time of pouring

Professionals, experts, and amateur coffee brewers will tell you different methods of making pour-over coffee, you should test different methods until you find the best standard to follow. 

The Final Sip

Ultimately, our best pour-over coffee ratio is 1:17. This means that for every 1 gram of coffee you add 17 grams of water. This can be adjusted as necessary. If you have the perfect golden ratio, then please share it with us below.


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