Drip Coffee Ratio - Brew the Perfect Cup Every Time!

Drip Coffee Ratio – Brew the Perfect Cup Every Time!

Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 20:42

The drip coffee ratio is important for getting that perfect cup of coffee every time you brew it.

Rather than drag out the answer, the quick answer, if you are in a rush, is 1:18. I’ll detail how that number was arrived at, what it means and how to use it.

Keep reading for the details!

Drip Coffee Ratio

The ideal, or better put, the perfect drip coffee ratio is what coffee lovers know as the golden ratio, which is set by the Speciality Coffee Association Of America (SCAA) as 55 grams of ground coffee per 1 liter of water.

To calculate this as a ratio we have to divide the amount of water used which is 1000 ml by the weight of coffee which is 55 grams.

The figure is 18.181818, rounding to the nearest figure, this is 18 thus the golden ratio of drip coffee is 1:18.

This ratio simply means that for every gram of coffee use you must use 18 grams (18 ml) of fresh water.

A few other terms are used to describe the coffee to water ratio, the most popular ones being the coffee ratio and the brew ratio. It’s also common to see the brew method + ratio used for example cold brew coffee ratio, French press coffee ratio, drip coffee ratio and so on.

Drip Coffee Ratio
Use The perfect Drip Coffee Ratio

Read: How to clean a drip coffee maker

Coffee To Water Ratio

The coffee to water ratio is very easy to understand, use and calculate.

In the simplest of terms, the coffee to water ratio is the amount of coffee that you need to use in relation to the amount of water expressed as a ratio.

You’ll see it expressed as 1:X or 1 to X where X = the amount of water.

For example, the drip coffee ratio of 1:18.

The number 1 represents ground coffee while 18 is the amount of water.

Interpreting this directly, for 1 gram of ground coffee you must use 18 grams of water.

What this means is that for each gram of coffee used you must use 18 times as much ground coffee to comply with the brew ratio for this particular coffee brewing method.

You can also use the coffee brewing ratio for the particular brewing method to calculate how much coffee grounds to use as determined by how much coffee you want to brew.

Let’s say you want to brew 12 Oz (360 ml) of drip coffee. Simply divide the quantity of coffee that you want to brew to get the amount of ground coffee that you need to use.

In this case it is 12 Oz (360 ml) / 18 = 0.66 Oz (20 grams) of coffee to use.

What Is The Golden Ratio For Drip Coffee?

The term golden ratio is one that you will see in coffee brewing circles frequently. The term implies that the given ratio is the perfect one to use for specific brewing methods.

The golden ratio for drip coffee is 1:18, or if you want to be more precise, it’s 1:18.18.

It’s defined as 55 grams per liter of drip coffee brewed, which means if you are brewing half a liter, use 27.5 grams of coffee and 13.75 grams for 250 ml of coffee.

The golden ratio changes for various brewing methods here are some ratios for popular coffee beverages.

Coffee Beverage Golden Ratio
Ristretto 1:1
Espresso 1:2
Lungo 1:3
Cold Brew 1:8
Turkish Coffee 1:9
Moka Pot 1:10
Vietnamese Ca Phe Phin 1:10
French Press 1:12
Chemex Coffee 1:15
Siphon Coffee 1:16
AeroPess 1:16
Pour Over Coffee 1:17
Percolator Coffee 1:18
Drip Coffee 1:18

You can take a screenshot of this table and use the golden ratios to make the perfect tasting coffee for the beverages and brewing methods mentioned.


the golden ratio is not a “must use” ratio; you can alter it to make your coffee stronger or weaker and get it perfect for your personal gusto.

What Is The Golden Ratio For Drip Coffee
Use The Golden Ratio For All Coffee That You Brew

Read: Drip coffee vs pour over

Why Is The Coffee To Water Ratio Important?

The ratio is important as it is the base, the backbone of the coffee beverage that you want to make.

Imagine, for example, you want to make a cold brew coffee and instead of 1:8 ratio you used 1:16 you would be very disappointed in the weaker and watery coffee produced.

The same can be said if you were to brew a drip coffee using a 1:8 ratio instead of 1:18. It would be far too strong and not at all the coffee that you were expecting.

While the brew ratios are not set in stone and can be adjusted. To make your coffee stronger or weaker as you desire, these are guides that will help you to make the coffee that you want to make.

Drip Coffee Ratio Grams And Ounces

Here is a table for you to follow to use the correct amount of coffee for various sizes of coffee drink that you may wish to brew.

Drink Size Ounces 1:18 Ratio Grams 1:18 Ratio Ounces 1:15 ratio Grams 1:15 Ratio
4 Oz (120 ml) 0.22 Oz 6.66 g 0.26 Oz 8 g
6 Oz (180 ml) 0.33 Oz 10 g 0.4 Oz 12 g
8 Oz (240 ml) 0.44 Oz 13.33 g 0.53 Oz 16 g
10 Oz (300 ml) 0.55 Oz 16.66 g 0.66 Oz 20 g
12 Oz (360 ml) 0.66 Oz 20 g 0.8 Oz 24 g
14 Oz (420 ml) 0.77 Oz 23.33 g 0.93 Oz 28 g
16 Oz (480 ml) 0.88 Oz 26.66 g 1.06 Oz 32 g
20 Oz (600 ml) 1.11 Oz 33.33 g 1.33 Oz 40 g

In this table I included the golden ratio and a stronger 1:15 ratio for a stronger tasting cup of coffee should you wish to make a stronger cup of drip coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drip Coffee Ratio

What Is The Best Ratio For Drip Coffee?

The best drip coffee ratio is of course the golden ratio as set by the SCA, the Specialty Coffee Association, which is 1:17 for drip coffee brewing.

That’s 17 parts water for one part coffee.

However, if you enjoy a strong coffee, a ratio of 1:15 is good, which is what I used.

How Much Coffee Do I Need For 1 Cup Of Drip Coffee?

The two most common ratios used for drip coffee brewing are 1:15 and 1:17.

The three most common cup sizes are 8Oz (240 ml), 12 Oz (360 ml) and 16 Oz (480 ml).

The table below indicates how much coffee to use in both ounces and grams.

Cup Size 1:15 Ratio 1:17 Ratio
8 Oz (240 ml) 0.53 Oz (16 grams) 0.47 Oz (14 grams)
12 Oz (360 ml) 0.8 Oz (24 grams) 0.7 Oz (21 grams)
16 Oz (480 ml) 1.06 Oz (32 grams) 0.94 Oz (28 grams).

How Many ml Of Water For Drip Coffee?

How much ml of water to use for drip coffee depends on how much coffee grounds you have put in your coffee maker.

Weigh your coffee and multiply your weight by 15 for a ratio of 1:15 or multiply by 17 for a ratio of 1:17.

Alternatively, calculate how much water you are going to use and divide by 15 or 17 depending on the ratio that you want to use.

Read: Drip coffee

How Do You Calculate Coffee Ratio?

The coffee ratio varies for each brewing method and the type of coffee that you want to make.

For example:

  • Ristretto: 1:1 Ratio.
  • Espresso: 1:1.5 or 1:2.
  • Cold Brew Coffee: 1:8.
  • Moka Pot: 1:10.
  • French Press: 1:15.
  • Drip Coffee: 1:15 to 1:17.

It’s a matter of knowing the ratio for the brewing method that you are using and using the amount of water that you want to use to and dividing by the ratio.

For example, you want to brew a drip coffee using a coffee to water ratio of 1:15, and you want to make a 16 Oz (480 ml cup of coffee) the amount of coffee to use is:

16 Oz / 15 = 1.06 oz Of coffee to use.

In ml, it is:

480 ml / 15 = 32 grams of coffee to use.

Your starting point is knowing how much coffee you want to make, the brewing method and the brew ratio for that brewing method.

Why Wait 2 Hours Before Drinking Coffee?

When you wake up your body releases cortisol, which causes a clash with the caffeine content of your coffee. If you wait at least 2 hours after waking up to have your coffee, you will get a greater effect from the caffeine.

My own tip is to make a glass of coconut water or coconut milk as your morning drink to replace fluids and electrolytes after spending an entire night without consuming liquids, then enjoy a coconut coffee.

Why Not Drink Coffee After 3pm?

The reason for avoiding coffee after 3pm or 4pm is due to how long caffeine stays in your system.

It stays in your body for 6 hours and thus calculating your bedtime minus 6 hours to ensure that it has left your body.

Automatic Drip Coffee Ratio

The best automatic drip coffee ratio is 1:17 as suggested by the Specialty Coffee Association. If you enjoy a stronger brew, use 1:15.

How Much Coffee Do You Add To An Automatic Drip Coffee Maker To Make 10 Cups Of Coffee

The standard cup size of many manufacturers of automatic drip coffee makers is 4 Oz, which means you want to make 40 Oz (1.2 Liters) of coffee.

Using a coffee to water ratio of 1:15, you will need to use 2.66 Oz (80 grams).

Final Thoughts – Drip Coffee Ratio

The drip coffee ratio that I have mentioned extensively in this article, 1:18, is the golden ratio for brewing the perfect tasting cup of drip-brewed coffee.

Did you use this drip ratio or did you use a stronger ratio?

Join our cool coffee community and join in the conversations or start a new one. Tell us about the fantastic new beans you are trying out, a particular brewing method that you love or simply share anything about or related to coffee.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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