How much coffee powder does the perfect cup of filter coffee need? An orientation.

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 5 min

How much coffee powder you need for a delicious cup of filter coffee is actually a very personal matter. Especially with brewing methods with so many different variables, such as filter coffee, it is difficult to formulate solid rules of thumb. The best way to find out how much coffee powder your perfect filter coffee needs is to try it out a lot. In order not to leave you and your filter coffee to your own devices here, I would like to give you a few tips on how to get a little closer to the perfect water-coffee ratio.

How much coffee powder does your filter coffee need? The do's.

How much coffee powder your filter coffee needs so that you really like it varies from person to person. However, I would like to give you a few guidelines here.

The industry standard is around 20% actual extraction, of the possible 33.3% you could get out of your ground coffee. The remaining 2⁄3 of the coffee powder is not soluble. For example, if you use 16g of ground coffee, you would extract about 3.2g of it in one brew. This counts as the desired amount that should end up in your cup. However, this does not mean that this amount is the only right one or that it only tastes particularly good to you. What we can only record, many people like it that way.

It is best to start with a tried-and-tested ratio of water and coffee and then work your way towards the right amount of coffee powder. This way you can quickly find out how much coffee powder you need so that your filter coffee tastes really good.

How much coffee powder does your filter coffee need? The don'ts.

How much coffee powder you use is an important factor in the end result of your filter coffee. However, there are also things that the amount of your ground coffee cannot regulate.

To prevent under- or over-extraction, you cannot simply change the amount of ground coffee. Under- or over-extraction is often caused by a different problem than the ratio of water and coffee.

If your grind is too fine or too coarse, or your brewing technique isn't right, the amount of ground coffee won't straighten anything either. How much coffee powder and water you use should only be based on how strong or how mild you want your filter coffee to be in the end.

How much ground coffee does your brewing method really need?

Of course, how much coffee powder you should use also depends on the brewing method you choose. If you filter with a V60, for example, you can use the so-called bypass method to compensate for the liquid "absorbed" by the coffee powder. Depending on the type of filter, you "lose" an average of 2 g of water per 1 g of ground coffee.

With the full immersion method, on the other hand, you actually use the entire volume of water to brew the coffee. Therefore (surprisingly) immersion brewing methods result in smoother coffee. Here you can reach for a little more coffee powder with peace of mind. But of course there are exceptions here too.

The water-coffee ratio and the bypass method

The use of so-called bypass water is an exciting story, especially for brewing filter coffee. To be honest, the method is rarely found in a barista's day-to-day business. Nevertheless, the bypass method has many advantages.

Using bypass water allows you to initially brew a strong filter coffee with little brewing water and then dilute it.

There are many practical reasons for doing this, for example if you are preparing an Aero Press for two or if you want a "clearer" brewing result.

However, adding additional water to a finished brew infusion is always a little tricky. You should always be careful here not to water down your coffee excessively. However, you should never add more than 25% of the total amount of your coffee as a bypass, because too much bypass water can lead to a watery and thin texture and thus negatively affect the mouthfeel.

A somewhat geeky idea to try could also be influencing your brewing result with so-called bypass mineral solutions. With this you can fundamentally improve the taste profile of your filter coffee and change the taste significantly. While this has little to do with the traditional bypass, it is a technique that many modern baristas are experimenting with. The combination of a very neutral water profile with specific mineral solutions lets you manipulate the taste of your filter coffee even after the brewing process!

Conclusion: How much coffee powder does the perfect cup of filter coffee need?

So we can say that the optimal amount of coffee powder for the perfect filter coffee depends heavily on personal preferences and brewing methods . There are no fixed rules, but rather orientation values. The choice of brewing method also influences the amount required, with the bypass method offering exciting opportunities to customize your coffee individually for you. Ultimately, the ideal ratio of coffee powder to water is a journey of discovery that leads you through experimentation and trial and error to your perfect cup of filter coffee!

Isn't that enough geeky knowledge and practical tips for hand-brewing coffee for you? If you want to find out more, the SUEDHANG brew guide is now available for you as a paperback. BREW is an introduction to making coffee by hand, written by me, Mikolaj Pociecha. Together with Martin and Robin from SUEDHANG and 60beans we have published a brew guide that wants to bring you closer to the wonderful world of filter coffee. Here's a comprehensive guide and our combined knowledge of hand brewing coffee.

Have fun brewing, trying out and reading!

FAQ coffee powder

How do I determine the right amount of coffee powder for my filter coffee?

The ideal amount of ground coffee for filter coffee is a personal matter. There are no hard and fast rules as there are many variables involved. Experimentation is key to finding the perfect amount.

Are there reference values ​​for the amount of coffee powder in filter coffee?

Yes, the industry standard is around 20% of the extractable amount of the ground coffee. This corresponds to about 3.2 g of coffee powder for 16 g. However, this is individual - many like this amount of coffee powder.

Does the degree of grinding and the infusion technique affect the required amount of coffee powder?

Yes, the degree of grinding and the infusion technique play an essential role. Above all, under- or over-extraction can also result here.

What role does the brewing method play in the amount of coffee powder?

The brewing method affects the amount of ground coffee needed. With the full immersion method, more coffee powder is often a bit milder than with pour-over methods. There is also the so-called bypass method, which allows the taste to be adjusted after brewing.

What is the bypass method?

With the bypass method you can compensate for "lost" water. However, the amount of bypass water should be limited because too much bypass water can lead to watery coffee. There are also ways to influence the flavor profile with bypass mineral solutions.

Where can I find more knowledge and information about hand brewing coffee?

For comprehensive information and practical tips, you can find the SUEDHANG "brew guide" online. This guide provides an introduction to making coffee by hand and will help you develop your skills.