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.


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.

How much ground coffee per "cup"

OK, given a cup of coffee is 6oz, and you get about 5oz plus/minus after brewing, and recognizing that coffee making is a personalized art (you learn to make what you like with the grinding and brewing equipment you own), but what about the factor introduced by the fineness or coarseness of the grind.?
Should you add more coffee per cup when using coarser grinds (because you get less coffee per measure) or is that all part of the art? I know I can increase the amount of coffee in a 2 TBSP measure by 20% if I tap the newly ground jar of coffee on the counter. The grounds settle a lot, depending on how finely they are ground.
Further, I pack the coffee in the filter cone gently but firmly to increase the dwell time of the brewing. Pack or pack not?
And finally, is there a rule of thumb for grinding various coffees or is that, too, part of the art?

Starbucks instructions on package

I went looking on the internet for information about ounces, cups, tablespoons, etc., and sort of found it, but I'm still confused (and annoyed), I guess because I haven't been in school for a long time and am now rusty when it comes to simple math calculations.
Basically I'm annoyed that the back of the Starbucks package says "2 tablespoons per 6 ounces." #1, why wouldn't it say "1 tablespoon per 3 ounces"? And even better, why not "1 tablespoon per ___ cups," since my coffeemachine, Mr. Coffee, is labeled to measure in cups?
Why can't we as a society/planet get this straightened out? It's really annoying. Year 2011, people. We don't have to be sentimental about old measuring systems. We should get it organized so we don't even have to mentally make such comparisons between different types of measurements.


A kitchen measuring cup is 8 fluid ounces, but a "standard teacup" (think of the tea set your grandmother or great-grandmother kept for special occasions) is only 6 oz. Your coffeemaker is not marked in kitchen cups, but in teacups. If they, in fact, wrote "2 tbsp per cup," people would get quite weak coffee, because they actually need 2 2/3 tbsp for 8 oz of water.


its just that 6 ounces is usually considered 1 cup.  Some people consider 1 cup to equal 8 ounces.  This makes it more accurate, your ratios are in ounces not undetermined cups.

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