Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but everyone knows the best breakfast requires some good coffee. A perfectly brewed cup of joe begins with proper prep, and proper prep includes filtered water that has been warmed to the right temperature, along with a quality coffee bean grinder to effectively prepare the coffee beans for a smooth caffeine kick.
Filtered water will ensure the coffee doesn’t contain any mineral flavors that may come from tap water. And water that is heated too much can scorch the beans, creating a brunt, bitter and sharply acidic flavor. Whether you’re making a full pot of coffee, a few cups in a french press or a single pour-over cup, a few tips, tricks and conversion comparisons will help you make a perfectly balanced coffee every time for every cup.
How to Measure Coffee Beans
The best way to truly measure coffee for the perfect cup is to use a scale. Coffee beans come in countless varieties from origins across the globe. Each variety of coffee bean has its own set of characteristics, including a different density. This means that measuring by volume can be faulty and won't get you the best results. The most accurate measure of coffee is to weigh the beans before they are ground and brewed.
Using a Scale
Coffee cups, as listed on the side of a coffee maker, are designed as 6-ounce cups, which is the amount a teacup would hold. A larger coffee mug holds closer to 9 ounces. For one 6-ounce cup of coffee, 0.38 ounces or 10.6 grams of ground coffee beans should be used. This works out to roughly 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. To accurately measure these weights, use a digital kitchen scale.
Place a small plastic or glass bowl or cup on top of the digital kitchen scale. Press the tare, or zero, button to eliminate the weight of the bowl or cup from the scale's display. Next, slowly pour the coffee beans into the bowl or cup, watching the scale display number. Once you reach the right number of ounces or grams, depending on how your scale is programmed, stop pouring the beans. Toss them in the grinder until they are a medium grind, and then brew them in the coffee maker. Keep in mind that the smaller the size of the coffee grinds, the stronger the coffee.
Measuring Without a Scale
While less accurate, it is possible to measure coffee without a digital kitchen scale. Begin by adding 4 tablespoons of coffee beans to the coffee bean grinder. Once they're ground, measure out 2 even tablespoons for each cup of coffee. Add more beans until you have the right amount, and keep note of how many tablespoons of beans you placed in the grinder. This will allow you to replicate the same amount every morning without the need to remeasure the tablespoons of beans to tablespoons of ground coffee ratio.
Coffee Beans to Group Conversions
Brewing the perfect cup or pot of coffee depends on perspective to a certain degree, though there are a few basic conversions to begin with and to use for adjustments. If you prefer stronger coffee, use slightly more coffee beans and grind them more finely. Hotter water also brings out the acidity and bitter notes in coffee, so set the water temperature from medium to high, assuming your coffee maker has that function.
1 Cup Coffee Beans Equals How Much Ground?
Each cup of water, gauged by the prenumbered cups on the coffee pot, should be about 6 ounces. For every 6 ounces of water, use about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee, which should equal around 0.38 ounces or 10.6 grams of coffee beans. Using these numbers as a baseline, one cup of coffee beans should equal about 3 ounces or 85 grams of coffee beans that you have ground.
Most coffee scoops that come with canisters of coffee or that are sold in stores are supposed to equal 2 tablespoons. Some, however, are less than accurately designed. Until you are sure of exactly how much coffee your scoop holds, use a tablespoon to compare, and measure your coffee by pouring it from the measuring spoon into the coffee scoop.
If you're making coffee based on the number of liters, keep in mind that there are just over 4 cups per liter. This means that 2 liters of coffee is equal to about 10 or 11 cups of coffee, which requires roughly 8 liquid measuring cups of water and 3.75 to 4.15 ounces of ground coffee.
Coffee Beans Per Cup Pour Over
When you make pour-over coffee, you are in total control of the grind and water temperature, giving you the ultimate ability to fine tune your coffee. Remember that coffee should be measured out as 2 tablespoons per cup of coffee, which requires 6 fluid ounces or about 3/4 cup of water. When you make a pour over, it is best to use the coffee cup you plan to drink from to measure out your water. As most larger coffee mugs hold about 9 ounces of water, plan to use about 3 tablespoons of ground coffee, which should equal 0.57 ounces or 15.9 grams.
Coffee Beans Per Cup French Press
To make coffee using a french press, it is important to know how many cups the vessel holds. A 4-cup french press will make about two small cups of coffee. This will require about 1 1/2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of coffee. Grind the coffee beans until the grounds are the size of flakes of salt to ensure the pieces are not so small that they can seep through the strainer.
Wait at least one minute for every cup of coffee the french press makes, so in this case, four minutes, before pressing the plunger down. The longer the coffee brews, the stronger it will be. Remember that it is always possible to use a little more ground coffee to make the brew stronger as well.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.