The Golden Coffee Brew Ratio: Everything You Need To Know

There are many factors that can influence how well your coffee turns out, and the brew ratio is one you can never neglect!

You know what they say: “perfect coffee starts with a perfect cup.”

You may think that a few ground beans and some water is all you need for your coffee cup, but are things really this simple? Well, if you want to rock your brew – not really. What determines how good your coffee taste depends on the balance between coffee and water for brewing that perfect cup – the Golden Ratio.

So, let’s break down everything you need to know about the secrets for an ideal perfect coffee-to-water brew ratio.

Why does brew ratio matter when brewing coffee?

“Because imbalanced coffee tastes like misery.”

Brewing coffee is almost similar to baking a cake – the amount of each ingredient you use matters, and your coffee brew ratio is the base of your recipe.

A brew ratio is simply a guide to help you figure out how much water and coffee you should use for brewing. You can alter the coffee’s flavour, viscosity, texture, and more just by increasing or decreasing the amount of water or coffee.

You may hear some experts talk about ratios in such a way: “1:15 – 15 ml of water for every gram of coffee” while some use recipes such as “50 grams of coffee per litre of water for x number of cups.”

But no matter how they talk about the brew ratio, we want to keep it as consistent as possible. This means you should find the measure you like and stick to it until you become more skilful in experimenting.

Different brew methods, different ratios.

You have a high-quality, specialty-grade coffee that has been grounded and roasted ready in front of you, and all that’s left is the brewing method. Now that brewing the perfect cup of coffee lies at your fingertips – how would you brew it and how would you set your ratio?

For espresso, since you’ll be using an extremely fine grind and short brew time (often around 25–30 seconds) with very little water – usually a ratio between 1:1 and 1:3 is fine. 

Learn more about coffee grind size here.

Testing the golden ratio

When it comes to coffee, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Your “Golden Ratio” can and should be fluid and ever-changing as your preferences, taste buds, and brewing methods evolve.

You have a few options such as espresso, drip bag, French press, etc.

There’s usually a set of preferred ratios for different brewing methods. For example, Millilitre’s personal favourite espresso ratio is 1:1.5, while for drip bags we like to have it at 1:15. As for French press drinks, we might go down to 1:10 or 1:18, depending on the selection of beans and tasting profile preference. 

Knowing that 1:15 is our standard ratio for drip bags each time we drink, as we set it up to 1:18, a more detailed character or fruity tasting profile can be developed. But in some cases, when you alter the ratio further, it could also become worse. This is why knowing your brew ratio is important as it helps you to understand which ratios work best with your taste buds and helps to develop more joy in the process of getting your caffeine fix.

For your easy understanding and have better comparison between different brew methods and ratio, we’ve prepared this reference chart for you to explore the brew ratio that you’d like best:

Brew MethodsBrew Ratio
Espresso1:1 – 1:3
Drip Coffee (V60 / Drip Bag / Clever Dripper)1:15 – 1:18
French Press1:10 – 1:16
Cold Brew (Concentrate)1:5
Moka Pot1:7

If you’re a coffee drinker who would go above and beyond to just achieve that exact flavour you seek for, this article here will show you an easy and quick way on how to get a harmonious structure of flavour, tactile, or body of coffee.