The perfect cup of coffee can make or break your day, whether it’s your first sip in the morning on the way to work, your pick-me-up at 2 p.m., or the cup you linger over on Sunday morning.

If you don’t measure coffee beans consistently, your brew could come out differently every time. Here’s how to make sure you always get it right: Measure your beans by weight.

A good ratio is 21 grams of beans for each 8-ounce cup of coffee. Placing the beans on a scale might seem like more trouble than measuring by the cup or tablespoon, but the former gives you more consistent brewing results. In one experiment, Stumptown Coffee testers measured 3 tablespoons of coffee beans, and each was a different weight, ranging from 16.9 to 25.8 ounces. Meister, a writer at Counter Culture Coffee and columnist for Serious Eats, got similar variations—4 tablespoons of beans yielded 39.3 grams of finely ground coffee and 38.5 grams of coarsely ground coffee.


  • The National Coffee Association USA recommends brewing with 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water in a drip coffee maker. Use a bit more coffee for a stronger brew.
  • French press coffee pots generally require 2 tablespoons of grounds for a 9-ounce cup of coffee, because they call for a coarser grind than drip coffee makers.
  • James Hayes-Bohanan, barista and affiliated scholar at the Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies, claims that when measuring coffee, “too much is better than too little.” You can always add extra hot water if your cup comes out too strong.