How Much Coffee Do I Use for 8 Cups of Water?

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QUESTION: How much coffee do I use for 8 cups of water? I don’t want watery coffee, but I don’t want to waste it either or make it gross. – Sharla F. 

ANSWER: To make eight cups of coffee, we recommend using 14 to 18 tablespoons of ground coffee, using six ounces of water per cup. If you have a kitchen scale and like to use exact measurements when making your coffee, use 72 grams of ground coffee and 40 ounces of water to make an eight cup carafe of joe. 

If you prefer your coffee on the strong side, use 17 to 18 tablespoons of ground coffee. If you prefer your coffee a little weaker, start with 14 tablespoons, and add a little bit more each time until you find the perfect ratio. According to the National Coffee Association, the perfect ratio of coffee to water is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. One to one and a half tablespoons per cup will make a weak to moderate strength cup of coffee, while one and a half to two tablespoons per cup will make a moderate to strong cup of coffee. 

Roasty Coffee has a calculator that suggests using 48 ounces of water and 16 tablespoons of coffee to make eight cups. They also give out the ground coffee measurements in teaspoons (48), cups (1), and grams (85.1). 16 tablespoons for every six ounces of water is what is known as the Golden ratio, the recommended coffee to water ratio of the National Coffee Association. 

The Golden ratio is not scripture, however, but merely a suggestion of how you should measure out your coffee grounds and water when making coffee. Tastes can vary wildly from one coffee drinker to another when it comes to the perfect recipe for coffee extraction, so don’t worry if your measurements don’t exactly align with the recommended ratio. There is no wrong way to make coffee. As long as you enjoy the final product, you did it right. With this in mind, use the measurement recommendations as a guide and experiment with different ratios until you find out what you like the best. 

Keep in mind, your ratio of ground coffee to water can have some unexpected results when switching between different roasts. For example, when using a medium roast ground coffee, you may like to use two teaspoons for a strong, rich flavor and aroma. However, when you switch over to a French roast, or a darker roast, you may find that two tablespoons makes your coffee a bit too strong for your palate, calling for one and a half tablespoons of ground coffee per cup instead of two. It can come down to a science, and you may find that you have to adjust the amount of ground coffee you use a small amount with each new roast that you try. 

There are some brewing methods that call for different ratios as well, such as cold brew, pour over, and French press. Cold brew coffee is brewed as a coffee concentrate, so it is made extra strong during the extraction process, and later diluted with water prior to serving. Cold brew is made using a 1:8 to 1:5 ratio of coffee to water, and later diluted to around a 1:2 ratio as you drink it using water or ice. Pour over coffee is another brewing method that calls for slightly different ratios than regular coffee brewing, calling for a 1:17 ratio, while French presses call for anywhere between 1:16 to 1:10 ratios for extra strong coffee. 

If you are looking for a specific suggestion for how many tablespoons you should use for eight cups of coffee, start right in the middle of our suggested amounts. We suggest 14 to 18 tablespoons for every six ounces of water. So, start with 16 tablespoons. If it’s a bit too strong for your taste, try 14 or 15 tablespoons instead. If it’s a bit too weak for you, try adding a tablespoon or two until you find the strength you like the best. 

Learn More About Measuring Coffee

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