Just how much ground coffee do I need for x amount of coffee?

a. Whatever seems right to you.
b. It may change slightly from coffee to coffee and according to freshness and varietal.
c. What the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has to say:
A cup is defined as 6 ounces of water before brewing. This will produce 5.33 ounces of brewed coffee. Or 125 ml & 110 ml for Euro style coffee makers
The SCAA defines 10 grams or .36 oz per cup as the proper measure for brewed coffee if using the American standards. If using Euro standards the measure is 7 grams per 125 ml.
To further confuse things I will add a few more measures:
3.75 oz per 1/2 gallon
55 grams per liter
2.25 gallons per 1 lb.
If you want to know more check the SCAA's web page at www.scaa.org.
d. The easy answer for most home coffee brewing is 2 Tbs. per 6 oz of water. A standard coffee measure should be 2 Tbs (1/8 cup) . Be warned some coffee measures deviate from the 2 Tbs. standard. Some are even as small as 1 Tbs.

It needs to be pointed out that some coffee pot manufacturers deviate from the 6 oz per cup standard. You should check the total water capacity of your pot before assuming that the pot will be measured in 6 oz cups.

If you have a pot that is overflowing the basket even after checking the cup size the chances are that you are either grinding too fine and clogging the filter or your coffee pot manufacturer has decided to make their filter basket a little smaller than normal. If the issue is a small basket your best bet it to figure out how much coffee the basket will hold and add water accordingly. For example, if your filter basket only holds 8 scoops (16 tbsp) without overflowing fall back to 48 oz (8 x 6 oz cups) of water.

Ultimately the amount of coffee to use is a personal taste but I highly recommend at least starting with the standard and adjusting from there and don’t forget as you move toward more water and less grounds you will extract more off flavors. Most people that say they don't like strong coffee mean they don’t like bitter coffee and weak coffee actually has more bitter compounds. You can always add hot water to weaken coffee. Weak coffee if just weak coffee and can not be fixed.

In response to a question in the comments below I grabbed a few antique coffee cans in my collection to see what the "historical" recommendation for coffee amount was and the recommendations are far from consistent.

Chase & Sanborn, Del Monte, Yuban, and Butter-Nut have no brewing directions of any kind.
Luzianne (Coffee and Chicory) suggest one heaping teaspoon per cup. The cup size is not defined. See my notes below.
Kaffee Hag Coffee (Decaf) recommends one "well rounded" tablespoon per measuring cup (8 oz) of water.
Maxwell House and Sanka (Decaf) both stipulate 2 level tablespoons per 6 oz of water.

One rounded and two level table spoons are not drastically different. I'd guess one "well rounded" tablespoons is maybe one and a half level tablespoons. The real outlier here is Luzianne at only one heaping tablespoon per cup. Chicory would account for some of that but not the complete difference. I cut maybe 25% when using chicory coffees but not the ~75% this would seems to recommend. My only guess would be that chicory is a historical coffee stretching agent so maybe there is also an element of people becoming accustomed to making weaker coffee to also extend the can of coffee but that is a pure guess on my part.

Comments

How much coffee to use for a 6oz Cup of coffe?

In the original entry of this blog it says: " the SCAA defines 10gram or .36oz  as the proper mearsure for brewed coffee".  Since 1 TBLS = 1 ounce,  that would  meean .36 tablespoon per 6oz cup of coffee.  Which means 2 Tablespoons of coffee would make six 6oz cups of coffee.    So is the coffee manufacturers just trying to fool us into thinking that we really need 2 TBLS to make one 6 oz cup of coffee so they sell more coffee grounds?  or what am I missing here?  I actually use more like two TBLS per 5 cups.

Weight to volume

Actually, 1 oz is TWO tbsp, but only for water and similar liquids. (It doesn't even hold true for alcoholic liquids, much less oils or solids). Coffee is FAR less dense than water, so 1 tbsp is, in fact, 1/4 to 1/2 ounce by weight, depending on the grind (finer grinds pack tighter and will weigh more). For a medium grind, there are about 3 tbsp per ounce.

How much coffee do I need

Just to show everyone that I need a life. I decided to measure the water in the carafe with a liquid measuring pyrex cup.  To my amazement---the carafe is designed for 6 oz cups, not the real measure of 8 oz.  Based on this scientific information, the type and quality of coffee used. I decided to use 2.5-3 tablespoons for each 12 0z or 6 cups of coffee.   Because I'm so brilliant, I try to use the best whole bean coffee, if one is using dark brew one might consider reducing the coffee.  Hum! wonder what brilliant experiment I can perform tomorrow or should I go shopping?
 
 

ounces vs. fluid ounces

You are mixing incompatible units, although I can see why. 
Grams are measures of weight (well, mass), which implies that the SCAA is using ounces in the sense of weight as well.  Tablespoons are measures of volume.  There are two tablespoons in a fluid ounce (again, volume), and one fluid ounce of water weighs one ounce—but dry coffee grounds are much lighter than water, so an ounce of coffee grounds by weight will be more than two tablespoons.  No one is fooling us, you're just trying to make a conversion that can't be made without knowing the density of coffee. 
Also, two tablespoons for five cups is insanely weak coffee. 

ounces vs. fluid ounces

At 5 yrs. of age, I was taught, "A pint (16 oz. of WATER), is a pound (DRY WEIGHT), the world around."
EIGHT (8) tablespoons of MEDIUM grind coffee equivelent to Folger's® 'Black Silk', (1/4 cup), to 53 ounces of water gives me a GOOD, not 'overly-strong' cup of coffee, regardless of the size of my coffee cup!

Eight tablespoons equals 1/2

Eight tablespoons equals 1/2 cup, not 1/4 cup. Not clear if you are using 1/2 or 1/4 cup of grounds with 53 ounces of water. Makes a big difference. 1/4 cup would be 4 tablespoons per approx. 9 6-oz. teacups, which is about 1/4 the amount suggested above (2 T per 6-oz teacup). When using coffee ground at Starbucks at work, we use a little over 1 tablespoon per 6-oz. cup and we like it strong. Two tablespoons per 6-oz. cup seems too strong to me.

Two tablespoons for five cups

Two tablespoons for five cups is not insanely weak if that is what he prefers.

Actually, 1oz. = 2

Actually, 1oz. = 2 Tablespoons. Not 1.

coffees vary in density,

coffees vary in density, partally with grind, so a teaspoon of different coffees can vary. I prefer, 7 Grams per 6 oz cup, when brewing a 6 "cup" pot (42 GM of grind). grind fine for paper filter, a bit coarser for metal. also, the finer the grind, the stronger the coffee, as it will retain the water longer.

volume versus density

You are absolutely correct that the amount of coffee in a given volume of grounds varies with the coarseness or fineness of the grind. However, the amount of coffee in a given mass (or weight) of grounds also varies, not with the grind, but with the moisture content of the coffee. Alas, neither volume nor mass is entirely reliable for accurately measuring most of the ingredients we use in making our foods and beverages.

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