Is your coffee too weak or does it taste too bitter? There are many reasons why your coffee tastes bad. Maybe tweaking the amount of coffee will work. Well, that’s not exactly how coffee brewing works. You’re probably missing out on the most important element - the coffee to water ratio.
What exactly is the coffee to water ratio? How does it affect your coffee? You probably have more questions. Let us answer some of them for you.
Why Does it Matter?
Sour-tasting coffee isn’t pleasant. Neither is coffee that tastes overly bitter. The correct coffee to water ratio will give you much better-tasting coffee. To get a better picture, you’ll need to first understand what happens when you add water to your grounds.
Acids are the first things that are extracted from your coffee grounds. They are highly concentrated and tangy. You don’t want to stop brewing at this stage or you’ll be under-extracting. As you continue to brew, the organic compounds start to dissolve. They balance out the acids and produce a rich flavor. Next, the natural sugars begin to dissolve and add sweetness to your coffee. This is when you want to stop. Beyond that, you’ll reach the stage of over-extraction and your coffee will taste bland and bitter.
What’s The Best Coffee to Water Ratio?
Imagine brewing a cup of coffee with a full glass of water and just a couple of coffee beans. There’s too much water and your coffee will taste bitter. If you use lots of coffee beans but only add a tiny cup of water, you’ll get sour-tasting coffee. You want to get those ratios right. Here’s what you should aim for - 1 gram of coffee to every 17 grams of water or 1 tablespoon of coffee to 3 ounces of water. This is the ideal ratio that makes sure you have enough water for your grounds.
Here’s a tip, it’s better to go by weight because all coffee beans weigh differently. You’ll get a more accurate measurement.
Do More Grounds Give You Stronger Coffee?
Your coffee isn’t very strong. That can be fixed by adding more coffee, right? When you do that without making changes to the amount of water, you’re actually increasing the acidity of your coffee. To get a stronger coffee with the same amount of water, you could try using lesser grounds instead. Each ground now has access to more water and is likely to produce a stronger flavor.
Does Less Grounds Give You Weaker Coffee?
You’ve made a cup of coffee that’s too strong. Maybe you should just reduce the amount of coffee grounds? Unfortunately, that’s wrong. If you want to reduce the strength of your coffee, you should use slightly more grounds instead. Each ground is less extracted so the flavor isn’t that strong.
If you’ve mastered the coffee to water ratio, that’s just the first step to making great coffee. Because many factors work together to determine the taste of your coffee - water temperature, the types of coffee beans, the roast type, and much more!