Understanding Brew Ratios

Understanding Coffee Brew Ratios

When brewing coffee, the ratio of coffee to water you use will drastically affect the flavour of your coffee. To understand this better, think of it like making cordial. Too much cordial to water will taste sickly sweet, yet too little cordial to water, will taste watered down and lacking in flavour. Although coffee and cordial aren’t exactly the same, the importance of ratio still holds.

We often get asked questions like “how much coffee should I put in my plunger?”, but answering these questions isn’t as straight forward as it seems. This is because depending on the size of your individual brew device, the amount will always change.

For instance, if you have a large plunger you will need X grams of coffee and if you have a small plunger you will need Y grams of coffee. We cannot give the exact grams without knowing the exact size of your individual brew device and how much water you intend to pour into it. This is why, on the back of each of our coffee packs, we provide brew ratios instead of fixed gram amounts.

The brew ratios on the back of our coffee packs will read like this:
Espresso – 1:2 in 28 seconds
Filter – 1:17

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a maths genius to figure out brew ratios. When expressed as numbers, you’ll typically see something like 1:12 or 1:17. In words, that’s “1 gram of coffee per 12 grams of water” and “1 gram of coffee per 17 grams of water.”

How to interpret the Filter ratio:

If you want to brew 1 litre of coffee at a 1:17 ratio, you would divide 1000 (that’s how many grams of water you want) by 17. That would give you 58.8 grams of coffee for 1000 grams of water, at a 1:17 ratio.

It’s important to note here, that when we say “filter” we actually mean any alternative brew device (this is basically everything other than espresso). For instance, plunger, batch brew, pour over, aeropress etc.

How to interpret the Espresso ratio:

If the brew ratio reads 1:2 in 28 seconds, you would first figure out how many grams of coffee you plan to dose with and work it out from there. The “1” represents the dose, 23 grams of coffee, and the “2” represents the yield. To figure out the yield, you multiply the dose, 23 grams by “2”. This would give you 46 grams (yield). The “in 28 seconds” part represents the time of your extraction.

Espresso – 1:2 in 28 seconds
1. 23 grams in (dose)
2. 46 grams out (yield)
3. In 28 seconds (extraction time)

Following brew ratios, ensures your coffee will taste how it is intended to and is consistent every time!

To learn more on how to perfect your brew, head to our freely available Brew Guides.