How Much Coffee Per Cup? Making the Perfect Brew

For an 8-oz cup of brewed coffee, you need around 1½ to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee—however, this can vary depending on the brewing method you're using.

May 31, 2024
Coffee grounds in a spoon with coffee beans underneath it.

You don’t need to go to a coffee shop for a great cup of coffee — you can make your own at home. One of the most important things you need to learn when brewing excellent coffee at home is how much coffee you need per cup. 

You need 1½ to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for an 8 oz cup of brewed coffee

When you get this ratio right, you’ll be able to make the perfect cup of coffee every single time. The above numbers work for regular brewed coffee, but what about other types of coffee? What about espresso, cold brew, or French press? Different brewing methods require different amounts of coffee per cup.

In this post, we’ll discover how much coffee you need per cup when making different kinds of coffee.

Comparing Coffee-Water Ratios

We calculated the following numbers according to an average of the golden ratio — this is how much coffee you need compared to water to make the perfect cup. You can adjust the ratio to make your coffee lighter or stronger, just how you like it.

Brewing Method

Amount of Coffee


Amount of Coffee (Heaped Tablespoons)




Vietnamese Phin Coffee




Espresso (Single Shot)








Cold Brew




French Press




Drip Coffee








Moka Pot




Different Ways of Measuring Coffee

Coffee beans and coffee grounds are prepared to be weighed.

After you've worked out how much coffee per cup, it's time to measure it. There are several different methods to help you achieve the golden ratio, which we'll cover below. But first, you need to remember two things:

  • You always measure ground coffee — not beans
  • The size of your cup influences how much coffee and water you need


The simplest way to measure coffee is with a tablespoon. A heaped tablespoon refers to a tablespoon that holds as much ground coffee as you can fit on it. One heaped tablespoon is the equivalent of around 0.35 oz

The biggest downside to measuring your coffee with a tablespoon is that your measurements won’t be accurate or consistent. The amount of coffee on the spoon will also be affected by the grind.


Many people measure their coffee using a scoop provided with their coffee maker. Most scoops, when filled to the level, hold 2 tablespoons, or about 0.4 oz of ground coffee. This does vary, so it’s a good idea to measure how much your scoop holds at least once.

Measuring using a scoop has the same downsides as measuring with a tablespoon. Your measurements will rarely be uniform, and the amount of coffee will change according to the grind. 


The most reliable way to measure your coffee is by using a weighing scale. You can accurately follow the golden ratio and create the perfect brew by weighing your ground coffee and water.

The biggest drawback with using a scale to measure how much coffee per cup is the extra work. Not everyone wants the chore of pulling their weighing scale out and measuring first thing in the morning! 

Personal Taste

When finding how much coffee you need per cup, it’s important to remember that the golden ratio is just a guide. Your personal taste plays a huge role, and it's the thing you should focus on. Experimenting with different ratios is the best way to find the perfect balance. 

If you want a stronger coffee, add more ground coffee, use less water, or opt for a strong coffee like our HaNoi Coffee. If you’d rather have a more balanced taste, use less ground coffee, add more water, or choose a medium roast coffee like our DaNang Coffee

How Big is a Cup of Coffee?

To calculate how much coffee per cup, we first need to define what a cup is. However, there’s no standard coffee cup size. For example, a Vietnamese coffee is much smaller than a cup of drip coffee. 

How big a cup of coffee is depends on the type of coffee and your personal preferences. An espresso is usually around 1 oz in volume, but pour-over coffee comes in pretty much any size you’d like. 

To keep things simple, we’ve used the average fluid ounce sizes of common coffee drinks in the table below. 

It’s worth noting that when making coffee, water gets absorbed by the coffee grounds and (in some instances) the filter. So pouring 8 oz of water into your coffee maker won’t give you an 8 oz cup of coffee.

Related: 105 Coffee Facts: History, Health, & Trivia

FAQs: Coffee Amounts

A cup of coffee under is being weighed on a weighing scale while a teaspoon of coffee ground is being added to it.

Have more questions about how much coffee you need per cup? Here are the answers to the most common questions on the subject. 

1. How much coffee do I use per cup?

You use 1½ to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for an 8 oz cup of brewed coffee. Use 1 ½ tablespoons for a lighter coffee and 2 tablespoons for a stronger coffee. For different types of coffee, take a look at our chart above.

2. Is 2 tablespoons of coffee too much?

If you like your coffee strong, 2 tablespoons isn’t too much coffee. Using 2 tablespoons will give you a strong cup of coffee and 1 ½ tablespoons will make a more balanced brew.

Do consider the type of coffee you’re using as well. A couple of tablespoons of Vietnamese robusta will be stronger than the same amount of arabica. Robusta coffee beans carry a higher caffeine content than arabica. If you want a perfect blend of robusta, arabica, and peaberry, you can try our SaiGon OG.

Related: Robusta vs. Arabica Coffee: Main Differences Explained

3. How much ground coffee for 12 cups?

You need 12–24 tablespoons or 4.5–9 oz of ground coffee for a 12-cup coffee maker. 12 tablespoons will get you a lighter coffee, 18 tablespoons will make a balanced brew, and 24 tablespoons will create a strong coffee.

4. What is the best ratio of coffee to water?

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) recommends a 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio for most brewing methods. This includes French press, pour-over coffee, and drip coffee.

5. How many grams of coffee powder per cup?

You need 15–20 grams of coffee powder for an 8 oz cup of brewed coffee. Use 15 grams for a lighter coffee and 20 grams for a stronger coffee. For different types of coffee, take a look at our chart above.