Coffee Experiment: Testing Water to Coffee Ratios – 20:1 vs. 15:1

Coffee Experiment: Coffee to Water Ratios

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Measuring out your coffee and water can be a real pain in the ass.

Still, it’s a critical component to making your coffee taste great, which is why I’m surprised more people don’t take the time to measure these things.

Grind your coffee. Pour some water in the reservoir (if there isn’t already water in it). Flip the brew switch and/or press start.

Sound familiar?

Well, you might as well start playing darts with your eyes closed, because this is essentially how you are treating your coffee if you’re not measuring your coffee-to-water ratios.

Enough of my lecture, what are we doing here?

Today I wanted to put the SCAA’s “Golden Ratio” to the test.

I kind of blew it though, as the ratio they recommend is 55 grams of coffee for every liter of water. This translates into roughly 18 grams of water to 1 gram of coffee.

I have no idea why they use such a large volume of coffee and water to define the Golden Ratio, but it is what it is I suppose.

Anyways, I decided to do a test between two ratios that hover around the Golden Ratio. So I tested 15:1 vs. 20:1.

Round 1 Results

If you watched the video you will see that I liked the 20:1 the best.

But you know what…as I had more and more, I ended up liking the 15:1 cup best. The sourness turned into just straight up citrusy goodness, while the paper filter taste remained at large with the 20:1 cup.

I think I may have been influenced by a bias, which is why I plan to repeat this in multiple rounds and get back to you later in this post.

Coffee Tools Used in this Experiment



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  • I have been making pour over coffee for a while and recently got a scale, turns out I was close to a 20:1 ratio, I think its enjoyable even when it gets cold, now I am curious to make a 15:1 and taste side by side.

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