Guide to Coffee-To-Water Ratio 

The coffee-to-water ratio is one of the key elements that determines a pour over’s strength and flavor, so experiment with various ratios until you find what best meets your needs.

Start off slowly by mixing 1 gram of coffee for every 16 grams of water; however, this recommendation should only serve as an approximate starting point; personal preferences will likely differ accordingly.

Extraction and Flavor

Pour over coffee is an intricate dance of water and coffee grounds to produce an excellent cup. As more water is added, more coffee grounds will be extracted and dissolving; increasing strength while at the same time risking bitter or weak tasting brew.

Use of a scale to measure coffee and water can ensure accurate proportions for every step in the brewing process. A common recommendation is 1:16, or approximately two rounded tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6.5 ounces of water used for brewing.

Once your filter is in place, begin by slowly pouring water from your kettle over your coffee grounds for 30 seconds, known as pre-wetting. This first stage ensures an even and flavorful brew experience throughout.

Carefully pour the grounds with water in a circular motion until all parts of the beans have been thoroughly saturated – this step is known as the extraction phase and should take three or four minutes.

Water Temperature

Temperature of water used when making pour over coffee is absolutely critical to its success. It has an impactful influence on extraction, flavor and aroma.

An optimal water temperature range lies between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (just under boiling), to ensure all soluble compounds in coffee are extracted without over-extraction and bitterness.

Filtered or spring water should always be used instead of tap water when pouring over coffee, due to its higher mineral content that could negatively alter its flavor.

Use of a gooseneck kettle equipped with temperature controls can assist in providing more consistent water temperatures, since heat will be released more slowly to your pot and won’t evaporate as rapidly, as well as helping prevent scale build-up in your kettle.

As always, using a digital scale to measure ingredients will ensure consistent results. Scooping or eyeballing measurements may produce inaccurate measurements; using an accurate scale allows for the exploration of different ratios until you find your perfect pour over coffee water ratio.

Your ideal ratio of coffee to water will depend on both personal taste preferences and brewing method; it is generally best to start out at 1:15, where 1 gram of coffee equals 6 ounces of water, then adjust accordingly.

Grind Size

Pour over coffee is unique in that it enables brewers to control variables like coffee-to-water ratio, water temperature, and grind size – factors which have an immense influence on its final flavor and may help bring out subtle notes that would otherwise go unseen by traditional methods of brewing.

Grind size is key when it comes to using the pour over method as it determines how quickly or slowly water flows through coffee grounds.

A coarse grind may allow too much water to pass quickly through, leading to underextraction or weak tasting brew. On the other hand, too fine of a grind could allow too little flow, leading to overextraction or bitter aftertastes in your cup of joe.

Pour over coffee is best enjoyed when prepared using a medium-fine grind size; this combination is slightly coarser than its drip coffee equivalent but more fine than espresso and produces an effect reminiscent of granulated sugar.

Pour over enthusiasts should invest in a high-quality burr grinder to ensure consistent and accurate measurements, for optimal extraction and flavor extraction.

A digital scale can also help ensure accurate ratios are met – generally starting out with 1:16 coffee-to-water ratio will do it. This equates to roughly two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6.5 ounces of water used.


Hot water combined with coffee grounds will cause certain soluble compounds to dissolve, with the goal being to extract just enough of these solubles for an appealing cup.

Overextraction could result in bitterness or lack of flavor; under-extraction should produce just the opposite effects.

Experimenting with different combinations of water-to-coffee can help you find your optimal ratios. As a general guideline, 16:1 may work best; however, depending on your taste preferences you may require higher or lower ratios instead.

Grind size also plays an integral part in coffee extraction. A too coarse or too fine grind may lead to under-extraction, while too fine of a grind could cause over-extraction.

An ideal pour over brewing method would utilize medium or fine grind sizes that resembles granulated sugar as the starting point.

Filtered water will help your coffee taste its best. Unfiltered water may contain minerals and impurities which could interfere with the extraction process and impart unwanted flavors into your brew.

The bloom stage is an integral component of pour over brewing. It occurs when hot water first wets the coffee grounds, releasing carbon dioxide that ensures even extraction and smooth flavor extraction.

At this stage, don’t pour water too aggressively as this could disrupt bloom and lead to uneven extraction results.


In conclusion, the coffee-to-water ratio serves as the compass for navigating the vast landscape of coffee brewing, transforming a simple ritual into an artful science.

This guide has explored the delicate balance between coffee grounds and water, shedding light on the diverse nuances it brings to your cup.

Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur seeking the perfect boldness or a casual enthusiast aiming for a milder taste, mastering the art of ratios empowers you to customize your coffee experience.

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