All You Need to Know about Coffee Ratios: How Many Scoops of Coffee Should You Use per Cup?

11 min read SEP 26, 2022

Are you a coffee lover wondering how many scoops of coffee per cup you should use to make that cup of perfection? Or, are you a new coffee drinker who isn't quite sure what to do with that fancy new coffee machine you just bought?

Making a cup of coffee is fairly simple once you have your own routine down, but it can become challenging when you are forced to measure coffee for a bigger pot, a partner, or when serving guests. Situations like this make us each pause and think - just how much coffee actually goes into the coffee pot to make it as perfect as it should be?

Don’t worry, we, here at Lifeboost, have you covered.

The key is as simple as understanding the water-to-coffee ratio.

Most scoops of coffee, especially instant coffee, convert to two tablespoons. So, one scoop will make an equivalent to two spoonfuls of coffee. This changes, however, depending on how strong or weak you want your cup of coffee.

What is this magic "water-to-coffee ratio" we speak of?

As you might suspect, strong coffee is going to require more coffee, while weaker coffee requires a little less. Strong coffee has one coffee scoop per cup, while a weak coffee drink has one scoop per two cups. Ready-to-drink, brewed coffee you find at your favorite cafe should have the perfect water-to-coffee ratio as described above. This ratio guarantees the sweet aroma and taste you crave once the coffee hits your lips.

If you need, or simply want, to understand the art of coffee making, keep reading so you can ensure your home brew hits the spot every time. We want to make sure you get all of the essential tips you need for the best coffee brewing methods out there. 

Below, we are going to look at the different types of coffee you might want to make and how much coffee you should use with each of these brewing methods. By the end, you are going to be an expert in the coffee-making business!

How Much Coffee Should Go in Different Types of Coffee?

Let’s start with what you are using to make your coffee…or the age-old debate of beans or pre-ground coffee.

Whole Beans vs. Pre-ground Coffee

Some people prefer using beans to make their coffee, rather than the coffee which comes already ground in the bag. The advantage of using whole coffee beans and grinding them yourself is you will get a fresher cup of coffee. Not to mention, you get to decide what sort of coarseness (fine, medium, or coarse) to use for the ideal cup of coffee.

The con is, it is an extra step and pre-ground coffee is much more convenient to get your brew going as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning.

As we have discussed, pre-ground coffee is one scoop per one cup. But what about those beans?

If you decide to use coffee beans and grind them yourself, it is the same! One cup of coffee requires one scoop of whole beans. Simple, right?

How Many Scoops of Coffee is Required for Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee is continuing to grow in popularity; whether it is in your hotel room for that quick cup, or in coffee shops or coffee companies, like at Lifeboost Coffee. Sometimes we need that quick go-to when we are on the move.

Not sure the difference between "instant" coffee and that brew that comes out of your coffee machine like clockwork (if you have an auto-brew)?

Instant coffee generally refers to a coffee beverage you derive from mixing hot water and brewed coffee beans. The coffee brew may be powder or crystals that transform into perfect coffee when you add water.

(If you want to know more about the pros and cons of instant coffee, as well as how to find better quality instant brews, we do a full breakdown in this article.)

For instant coffee powder, you will want finely ground coffee to achieve what many call a “golden ratio.” Or, the ideal water-to-coffee mix. For this perfect ratio, one cup of water requires two tablespoons, or one coffee scoop, of instant powder.

Gravity will naturally move the coffee grounds to the bottom, making coffee within seconds. Instant coffee works great for various coffee brewing methods, including the standard drip coffee maker. If you wish to make flavored coffee, instant coffee will make adding flavors and additives like vanilla easier and a lot faster in many cases.

Brewed Coffee

To make a classic, brewed coffee, you just need ground coffee beans and hot water. You then leave the drink to brew to your preferred flavor. There are several coffee brewing methods to keep your morning routine as simple as possible. Which one is your go-to? We have a few we recommend…

If you aren’t familiar with these different types of brewed coffee, most are named by the techniques used to prepare the coffee. Some of the most popular types are:

Filtered Coffee

Filtered coffee can in some cases also refer to as drip coffee, which we will cover in more detail below. For filtered coffee, you use a filter to put your ground coffee beans. You then pour hot water over the filter and grounds, which will then filter through the coffee to give you the perfect coffee drink.  

Pour-over Coffee

Pour-over coffee is similar to the filtering process above; however, this is used to make smaller batches of coffee. To make this, you will need a coffee cup and fresh grounds. Then it is easy - just pour hot water over the filter, as the name suggests. 

Drip-brewed Coffee

To make drip coffee, let hot water pass through finely ground coffee. You may use a packed packet or the sophisticated, electric drip coffee maker. Drip coffee makers allow hot water to pass over the coffee chamber to give you your coffee within just a few seconds. 

Immersion-brewed Coffee

Immersion Brewed coffee just means immersing your coffee grounds in water. You leave your grounds there until the flavor is ready. Then you extract the grounds. This technique focuses more on time than controlling the pour.

So, how Much Coffee do You Need for Different Brewing Methods?

Using a Filter Basket

This method gets used most often when making smaller servings of coffee––just a cup or two of the beverage. To make a single cup, you will use one tablespoon of coffee grinds in the filter basket.

Using a Percolator

Similar to using a filter basket, you want to use one scoop of coffee per cup when brewing your coffee with a percolator.

French Press

One of the most popular and easiest brewing methods, the French Press requires using one scoop or two of coarsely, ground coffee beans to make one or two cups of coffee. For one cup of coffee with a French Press, we recommend using a single scoop of ground coffee which you have leveled out using your finger. 

French press is one of the best ways to brew your coffee––trust us! Don’t worry about the ground coffee beans; as long as they were coarsely ground, the coffee beans in the French press process will remain at your pot’s bottom the entire time you sip. The way the French Press is designed, keeps the coffee in contact with the water and maintains the coffee flavor we all crave for longer.

Want to know more on how to do this process at home?

Step-by-Step Procedure on how to Make French Press Coffee at Home

French Press Coffee is easy to make at home and is one of the cheapest coffee brewing methods to do on your own. The French Press design was accidentally developed by a Frenchman who forgot to put the coffee in boiling water. We’ve all been there…

He then proceeded to add the coffee directly to the boiling water, because why not? 

As the water boiled, the coffee grounds rose to the top. The Frenchman used a stick and metal screen to keep the coffee flavor in the water while pressing the coffee grounds down. The resulting beverage was the best coffee drink he had ever tasted. The French people later carried on this tradition, and the French Press continues to borrow a lot from this ancient innovation.

What you need:

How to make French Press Coffee at Home:

  • Use the coffee grinder on the coarse setting to grind the coffee beans into your needed ground coffee amount. You will need to grind the coffee beans to the coffee-to-water ratio we have been discussing. For a reminder: One cup of water needs two tablespoons of coffee ground beans. So, two coffee scoops for a golden ratio.

  • Boil water with the French press machine to let it warm up for preparing your drink. Pre-heating the device helps maintain a uniform brewing temperature.

  • Discard the heated water from the French press.

  • Add the coffee grounds into the French press.

  • Let your desired amount of water boil separately and cool for one minute.

  • Add the desired water to the coffee grounds and stir using a stirrer or long spoon. The coffee forms a top layer, and stirring it breaks the coating and allows for making strong coffee.

  • Set your timer and let the drink sit for four minutes. Once your timer goes off, push the press plunger to the bottom and serve it immediately. French press coffee proves more flavorful served when it is fresh. 

What if you Want Iced Coffee?

Cold brew

The idea of having a cold coffee drink, especially in summer, might be irresistible. Ever wonder how to make a cold brew coffee? First thing you will want to know is cold brew coffee is made from coarsely ground coffee beans. Grab your bag of coffee beans and get brewing!

Here's the step-by-step procedure to make a golden ratio version of cold brew at home:

  1. Ground the required coffee beans coarsely.

  2. Combine the grounds of coffee with water in the proper water-to-coffee ratio

  3. Let it sit and steep overnight, preferably in the fridge or for 12 hours.

  4. The steeped mixture gives you the perfect cold brew coffee at home.

You may add some milk, enjoy your brewed coffee cup style, and stop wondering how coffee shops do it. Or, you can do like we do and grab a box of cold brew where people (like our Lifeboost Coffee team) have done these steps for you…

What are the Benefits of Drinking the Right Amount of Brewed Coffee?

Not only is knowing the proper amount of coffee to use when mixing up your favorite brew essential in getting the most out of your cup of coffee, but the question of how many cups of coffee you can drink in a day is important as well. 

As we’ve been discussing, for most types of coffee, when measuring out your coffee grounds in your cup, you should have at least one scoop’s worth. With this in mind, up to four cups per day is still considered healthy. This amount translates to 0.4 grams of coffee per day.

While four cups of coffee a day might seem like a lot to some of you, or not enough to others, keeping in mind some of the benefits coffee can bring to our overall health makes each of those cups of our most adored beverage all the more perfect.

Some of the benefits of drinking the right amount of coffee include:

  • Coffee makes people live longer. Studies show coffee helps prevent some of the leading causes of death, specifically for women. These diseases include Diabetes, kidney diseases, and Coronary Heart Disease.

  • Coffee helps our bodies process sugars better. When the body processes sugar better, you can lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes––which affects most adults worldwide.

  • Coffee can help prevent Parkinson's disease. Caffeine in coffee helps prevent this debilitating disease and helps those living with it gain some control over their mobility stability.

  • Coffee boosts our DNA. Dark roast coffee strengthens the DNA strands. Although the breakages may occur naturally, they contribute to cancer if not repaired. Coffee helps keep these strands strong hence preventing breakage.

  • Decaf coffee and regular coffee help protect the liver cells. The coffee helps keep the liver enzymes at an optimum healthy range.

How much Coffee per Cup is too much Coffee?

Although coffee comes with immense benefits, consuming more than the expected coffee ratio per day may lead to some severe health conditions. Some of those health conditions include the following.

  • Increased heart and metabolic rate
  • Hypertension
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

Frequently Asked Questions.

How many cups of coffee require 4 scoops in brewing coffee?

When brewing coffee, you need four cups with four scoops of coffee. If you have a coffee scale, measure 36 grams and 20 ounces to get enough coffee for four cups.

How much coffee do I use for eight cups?

Each cup requires one scoop of coffee, which translates to two tablespoons of coffee. Coffee ratios differ depending on how strong or weak you need your coffee. Strong coffee needs coffee ratios of about 14 tablespoons for eight cups. This measurement translates to 7 coffee scoops.

How many coffee scoops do I need for ten cups?

Ten cups require up to five coffee scoops when making coffee. You should consider coffee grinders and scales when making many cups.

Final Thoughts

If you are like me and want that strong, perfect cup of brew in the morning you only need one scoop per cup.

However, if you want a weaker cup of coffee, just dilute it a bit and do one scoop for every two cups.

Our top tip: In addition to measuring coffee, getting the best coffee brewing equipment can make a difference in getting the most out of your coffee scoops as well!

Most importantly, enjoy your perfectly made coffee!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Grata Medium Roast.

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