Are You Breaking the ‘Golden Rule’ of Brewing Coffee?

When you buy a bag of chocolate chips, do you always follow the cookie recipe on the back? We think we know the answer. (You like extra chocolate chunks and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.)

So please tell us: Why would you brew your coffee according to the recipe on the back of the coffee bean bag? Because the roasting company knows exactly how its beans should be prepared? Try again.

When we recently chatted with Selina Viguera, barista and café leader at Blue Bottle Coffee in Los Angeles, she revealed that there’s a widely accepted “golden ratio” of coffee grounds to water for brewing coffee: 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces (¾ cup) of water, no matter what kind of beans you’re using.

Use too much coffee and your joe will taste too strong; use too little and it’ll turn out weak. The stakes are high, people. 

If you don’t feel like hauling out the measuring spoons every morning (your trusty coffee scoop is just easier), no sweat. We recommend dumping a couple tablespoons into the scoop once, eyeballing where the coffee hits and drawing a line with permanent marker. You’ve got this.

7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making When Brewing Coffee, According to a Barista