How To Measure Coffee With A Scale to Make The Perfect Cup

How To Measure Coffee

Many coffee drinkers seem to have challenges when it comes to measuring coffee for that perfect coffee to water ratio, and some just overlook it and instead make a rough estimate with their eyes. But, getting coffee measurements wrong almost always ruins your coffee.

However, as you try to learn how to measure coffee, you need to first understand several factors to influence coffee measurements such as the coffee bean or grind size. For example, finely ground coffee delivers a much stronger coffee than a similar quantity of coarsely ground one, and so you cannot use the same amounts.

But, measuring coffee should also not be overly complicated as you only need to understand a few things and in this piece, we highlight the key things you need to know about coffee measurements to help ensure you always get that coffee to water ratio right.

Table of Contents

Why Does the Amount of Coffee Matter?

There is more to making coffee than just mixing coffee grounds with water because you need to know precisely how much of each you should use for the perfect brew.

Using too much coffee grounds often results in over-extraction which leaves you with an overly bitter brew that is hard to take down your throat without adding excessive amounts of lighteners and sweeteners. The over-extracted coffee will be characterized by a sour taste with no real depth and can even be a little salty.

On the flip side, using too little coffee to make your brew comes with adverse effects as it means you will end up with coffee that is a little too weak and this is due to under-extraction. Also, this under-extracted coffee is often flat and too watery.

While there are many schools of thoughts on the right amount of coffee to use to avoid the above issues, there are no right or wrong measurements as it is all up to your preferences.

Understanding the Measurements

Understanding the Measurements


When looking at different coffee recipes, you will always come across things like 1 tablespoon of ground coffee or 1 cup of coffee beans. While for many people these terms might sound straightforward, a huge chunk of coffee lovers still do not understand them.

To make sure you do not mess up your coffee measurements, you should always start by understanding these different measurements and how much coffee they represent in volume or weight.

Here are some measurements that you will need to understand making it easy for you to measure your coffee precisely.

  • Coffee Mug: While you are unlikely to use a coffee mug to measure your coffee, it is still worth knowing how much it can hold. A typical coffee mug will usually accommodate around 9 ounces of brewed coffee.
  • Coffee Cup: Although there are different types of cups used to serve coffee, a typical coffee cup will be about 6 fluid ounces which are also about 3/4 of a regular cup and about 177 ml.
  • Coffee Scoop: Coffee scoops will be typically made to hold about 0.36 ounces of coffee which are equal to two tablespoons or about 10 grams of coffee. But, some can still hold more or less than this depending on their size.
  • Tablespoon: A tablespoon of whole coffee beans will be between 4 and 7 grams depending on the size and type of coffee beans but to make things simple, it is right to always assume it is 5 grams when measuring your coffee.
  • Liquid Measuring Cup: Liquid measuring cups are often calibrated in milliliters, but you can also use them to measure in grams because 1 gram is equal to 1 ml.

The Ideal Coffee Ratios

Given the different preferences among coffee drinkers, there is no such thing as the perfect ratio for brewing coffee. Hence it will be up to you to experiment with different ratios until you get that golden ratio for you.

But with all said, as a beginner you should always start with the recommended 1:15-18 ratio which simple means using 1 gram of coffee for every 15 to 18 grams of water and then adjust from there.

Also, it is worth noting that the ideal coffee to water ratios for you will greatly depend on the particular coffee making method you are using.

For example, if you are making pour-over coffee, you will need 17 grams of water for every 1 gram of coffee and with cold brew a 1:8 ratio is a good starting point while 1:10 ratio is perfect for French press if you are looking for stronger and bolder coffee.

How to Measure Coffee Accurately

How to Measure Coffee Accurately

While you can use all the above items to measure your coffee, the most accurate way to measure coffee is by using a digital kitchen scale. The good news is that you can easily get one as besides being widely available they are super cheap.

Digital scales measure the weight and hence help you overcome the flaws that come with other measuring options like scoops and tablespoons.

What You Will Need

  • A digital kitchen scale
  • Coffee beans
  • Water

Step-by-Step Directions

Step 1: Start by placing your scale on a perfectly flat surface such as the countertop in your kitchen.

Step 2: Place an empty container, mug or cup on the scale and reset the scale back to zero.

Step 3: Add the desired coffee beans to the mug or container by referring to your brew ratio to determine how much you will need.

Step 4: Once you are satisfied with the coffee beans quantity, you should then repeat the steps 2 and 3 above to measure the water.

Step 5: Brew coffee and enjoy.


Many coffee drinkers spend a lot of time and resources shopping for the best coffee beans and coffee makers. But, all this effort can still be in vain if you do not know how to make your coffee properly.

One of the key components that you should never overlook when trying to make the perfect brew is the quantity of ingredients that you use. If you do not measure your coffee precisely, you can easily ruin the brew.

But, measuring coffee is not rocket science as you will only need to understand the different measurements used, have the right measuring equipment and follow a few simple steps and you will have the precise amount of ingredients needed for a tasty cup of Java.


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