The brew ratio is the ratio between the ground coffee and water that you let run through the coffee. We use the brew ratio when making our espressos, but also when making filter coffee. A brew ratio is often quoted as, for example, 1:16. These numbers indicate how many grams of coffee (1) per amount of water (16) you should use. This way you can calculate how much water you need to use for each amount of coffee.
The brew ratio of an espresso varies between 1:2 to 1:3, while filter coffee often uses a brew ratio of 1:16. The lower the brew ratio, the more intense your cup of coffee will taste. After all, you use less water on the amount of coffee. Just a comparison: if you use 10 grams of coffee and let 20 grams of water run through it (brew ratio 1:2) or you use the same 10 grams of coffee but let 100 grams of water run through it (brew ratio 1:10) then the coffee with a brew ratio of 1:10 tastes less intense. You can play with the brew ratio to find the right intensity of the coffee. View our brew guide to see how we brew our coffee.
To follow the brew ratio as accurately as possible, the use of a scale is essential. You weigh how many grams of ground coffee you use and then you move your filter method on the scale so that you can weigh how much water you add to your ground coffee. When making espresso, you also weigh how many grams of ground coffee you use and then move your scale to your espresso machine and put a cup on it. You weigh every drop of espresso that falls into your cup and always brew the same amount.
Did you know that with filter coffee the brew ratio really uses the ratio between coffee and water, while with espresso you use the ratio between coffee and espresso. This is because with espresso you cannot weigh how much water is used.