Pour Over Coffee Ratio: How Much Coffee Should You Use?

By now most have us have seen those beautiful hourglass jars that people are using to make coffee. This is a mesmerizing way to create your morning brew and is enjoyed by many who use that coffee break to slow down.

If you’re newly captivated by the pour over method, you must know how much coffee you should use. You want to do it right if you want it to taste as charming as the equipment looks.

The average cup of coffee is typically measured using a ratio of 1:15 – 1:18. Pour over coffee is also known as the “manual drip coffee method” and allows you to have complete control over your coffee. With this method, approximately 1-3 tablespoons of coffee is needed for every cup of water.

I’ve included all the information you’ll need to learn on how to get started using the pour-over method with a starting point of coffee ratio recommendations.

If you’re interested in experimenting with a new coffee creation, keep reading.


What is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour over coffee is a manual brewing method.  Hot water is slowly poured over coffee grounds that have been placed in a filter. As water makes its way through the coffee and filter, it picks up the flavor and aroma of the coffee grinds that leaves you with fresh manually brewed coffee. 

While pour over is a beautifully simple method to brew coffee, things can get a little complicated. You may want to buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself. Pour over equipment can get expensive especially if you’re buying ceramic, bronze, insulated, or hand-crafted selections.

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In the end, the basic concept of needing a coffee maker, paper filter, and your choice of drinking vessel are the must-have requirements. From the bean or pre-ground coffee to the kettle or whether or not you use filtered water will all be learned as you experiment and gain more confidence in mastering this traditional coffee technique.

How Much Coffee to Use for Pour Over Coffee

On average, two tablespoons of coffee grounds are needed for medium strength brews with every 8 oz of water. Consider the size of your pour over carafe and much more may be needed. User preference will also determine if less or more grinds are used.

To make things simple, this chart will help you figure out how much coffee to use for pour over coffee. Simply decide whether you’re measuring in oz or in ml and choose your preferred coffee measurement.

Water (oz)Water (ml)Coffee (oz)Coffee (g)Coffee (tablespoons)
Pour Over Coffee Ratio: Water to Coffee Ratio in oz, ml and tablespoons

How to Measure for Pour Over Coffee

The best way to measure for pour over coffee is with a scale. Not all coffee beans weigh the same and weight can also be affected by how fine or coarse you are grinding your beans. A fine grind weighs more per tablespoon than the same amount of a coarse grind. Measuring grinds can make a difference.

Since proper measuring can improve overall coffee quality, it is worth investing in a digital scale to increase accuracy when creating that perfect pour over cup.

Using a Scale for Pour Over Coffee

In general, finely ground coffee is going to weigh more than a coarser grind. A scale will provide predictable results and improve accuracy when making adjustments as you develop fine-tuning skills to create coffee that meets your preferences.

You can also keep track of successful results when you experiment with different types of coffee in hopes of finding your favorite one. Using a scale can provide consistent results while you can focus on the flavor.

Those who enjoy using a pour over coffee maker, don’t mind the extra time it takes to create that perfect cup. In fact, most find this method of brewing can be quite relaxing. However, if you’re going to take the time using this method, its best to use a scale.

How Many Tablespoons for Pour Over Coffee?

Tablespoon of Coffee

Measuring coffee ratios for pour over coffee can be done with digital scales, coffee scoops, and the familiar tablespoon that can be found in every house. The standard ratio for pour over is 1:15 and 1:17. Put simply, it is the same as two rounded tablespoons for every 6.5 oz.

A regular tablespoon is a perfectly acceptable tool to measure your coffee grounds for pour over coffee. You will soon become accustomed to how you measure it out, and it will be helpful to dedicate a spoon or at least use the same one to achieve consistent results.

How Much Coffee for an 8oz Pour Over?

The average measurement of coffee used in an 8oz pour over is 2-2.5 tablespoons. Pour over coffee makers in this size are a single serving of coffee and many options of brewers in this size are designed to brew right over a mug.

How Much Coffee for a 12oz Pour Over?

Generally, the 12 oz pour over is for making a standard size mug. Approximately 19.5 grams (3 tablespoons) of coffee is needed for the manual drip coffee maker. Many options are available including portable pour over travel mugs. They also take up less space on the counter versus larger versions.

How Much Coffee for a 16oz Pour Over?

The amount of coffee generally used for a 16 oz pour over is 4 Tablespoons, but you can add more or less to suit your preferences. Once the coffee is added to the filter aim at about 4 oz of water per minute to achieve a good brew.               

How Much Coffee for a 32oz Pour Over?

A 32 oz pour over makes enough coffee for four servings. A pour over carafe of this size is a practical option for serving up a friend or two. A good starting point is to use 55g of coffee for a 32oz pour over and then adjust to suit your preferences.

Pour overs of this size may seem large but considering coffee cup sizes are smaller than what we actually consider a cup of coffee to be, it may not go as far as you think in hosting guests.

They come in insulated, double-walled options for on-the-go versions if you prefer to hog it all for yourself – excuse me, if you have a long, double-shift day ahead of you.


Before putting coffee into the filter, rinse it with hot water to preheat the brewer and remove any unwanted papery taste.

How to Make Pour Over Coffee

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Making pour over coffee is a simple process but requires patience to allow optima extraction and steeping to take place. While the equipment is rather easy to gather, allow for approximately 10 minutes to complete the entire process from boiling water and grinding grounds to serving it up.

Pour Over Equipment Needed:

  • Brewing device
  • Filters
  • Scale (or other measuring tools)
  • Kettle
  • Coffee
  1. Using an electric kettle or pot over the stove, bring your water to a boil then transfer to a preheated kettle of your choice. Most people prefer a gooseneck kettle as it gives more control, but you can use a classic kettle if you choose.

Preheating your kettle helps with “heat loss” which is one of the biggest issues when it comes to extraction. Water should be 195°-205°F when pouring over the grounds.

  • Insert filter into the brewer and measure enough coffee for the number of servings desired. If you are grinding at home, you’ll want your grind to be fine and it should resemble sand.
  • “Pre-infusing” begins the extraction process and helps to soften the oils and release gases. To do this, fully saturate the grounds using as little water as possible and let sit for 30 seconds.
  • Continue pouring the water over the grounds slowly. This step should last about 3-4 minutes. Don’t rush! If water passes through the grounds too quickly, you’ll end up with over-extracted coffee.
  • Once you’ve finished pouring, wait until the stream slows to a drip and then remove the filter. Dispose of the grounds and you’re ready to enjoy your freshly brewed coffee!

Pouring Over the Coffee Ratio

Coffee ratio recommendations are just that – recommendations. Since you are the one drinking the coffee, you are where the buck stops when it comes to how it’s made and how much coffee is used.

However, recommendations are a valuable tool in discovering what you like and may not like. Don’t be afraid to adjust things as necessary.

Pour over coffee isn’t meant to so complicated that you don’t enjoy the experience or the taste. Pour over the coffee ratio guidelines and then pour your brew. You mind find that your taste buds agree.

Now that you know how to make coffee using the pour over method with a tried-and-tested coffee ratio, you can use it to slow down for a few minutes or impress some friends. There are endless ways to enjoy this style of brewing and now you’re prepared to test and pour away!