Magic Ratio

I am on the road this week, writing to you from beautiful Saskatchewan! I was just going to hang a gone fishin’ sign here but I received a great question with a relatively short answer (I know right, brevity in ask lee 🤣).

The question pertains to last week’s discussion on how to avoid those universal notes fostered by poor extraction or incorrect dosage – falling into our larger conversation about how create the largest ‘window’ into the unique qualities of origin. They asked, “what is the easiest way to do the math on the coffee to water ratio from the email?”

The golden ratio for brewing *well developed* coffee in a pour-over or drip machine is:

For the following, you will need a kitchen scale. They are relatively cheap but if you want to get fancy, I recommend getting the “Brewista Smart Scale II” (available: here) for the various modes and built-in timer.

1) Pour-over: if you are going to make one or two cups, the best method is to simply weigh out your coffee dose and then multiple it by 16.6 to get the total water weight. For example, measure out 30 grams of coffee and grind it. Put your V60 on the scale and tare it to 0. Add your grounds, which might be 29.5 ish now. Tare the scale once again and add water (with blooms, staggered pours, etc) until you hit 490g.

2) Brewer: if you have a filter or drip machine at home, work in reverse. Grab your scale, tare it to zero, add your carafe and note the weight. Add water (to the max, usually 8 or 12 cups) and let it brew (without coffee grinds). Now measure again and minus the weight of the carafe; you will have your machine’s total water volume. Divide it by 16.6 for the full pot dose. For example, at home a full pot is 1130g of water, so I use 68 g of coffee (or 34g for a half pot, 17g for a quarter pot, etc).

Easy right! With this, you can check-off dose from the variables and then use my parameters sheet to figure out if you are over under/over/spot-on extraction wise!