Coffee to Water Ratio

The proper ratio of coffee to water is two tablespoons per 6 fluid ounces of water, or 2 to 4 ounces of coffee for every ½ gallon of water.

The first step in determining the correct coffee to water ratio is to determine the relationship of coffee to water. To do this, first run a brew cycle of water and measure the quantity of water in the airpot or decanter. With this knowledge you can then determine the proper amount of coffee to use.

Let’s use our café as an example. Since 3 liters (the size of our airpots at our Monroe, WA café) equals approximately 101 ounces, we divide 101 (the size of our airpots) by 6 (the amount of water, in ounces, per two tablespoons of coffee). This gives us approximately 17. We then multiply 17 by two (because it is two tablespoons per 6 ounces, not one). That means that we put 34 tablespoons of coffee into our 3 liter airpots. Of course we don’t scoop a tablespoon 34 times; we convert tablespoons to cups and end up with approximately two cups of coffee per 3 liter airpot.

Now of course this number can be adjusted accordingly. For instance, if we are brewing Sky Valley Mud (French Roast), we do, in fact, use two cups of coffee per 3 liters of water. However, if we are using a medium roast coffee such as Smiling Dog, we can drop the amount of ground coffee used down to, say, one cup. Remember, individual taste preferences play a large factor in this equation, so don’t forget that these are ballpark numbers. Feel free to email us at if you have any questions pertaining to your particular situation.