The perfect cup of coffee can mean a great start to your day. Knowing how much coffee grounds to add to your coffee pot depends on how many fluid ounces you have in your pot.
How many ounces are in a 12 cup coffee pot? A traditional 12 cup coffee pot holds 60 fluid ounces. This is equal to approximately 5 ounces per cup. For the perfect cup of coffee, you will use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of coffee.
Things start to get somewhat complicated because pots that display cups of coffee on the carafe are not measured in the traditional 8-ounce measurement, which can be confusing.
How Much Coffee is in a 12 Cup Coffee Maker
Believe it or not, this is a tricky question in the United States.
For example, a 12 cup coffee pot for a drip coffee maker does not hold 96 fluid ounces (i.e., 12x8 = 96), but instead will hold 60 ounces (12x5 = 60). You will also find some discrepancy on how many ounces are in a cup of coffee. The majority of coffee pots measure a cup as 5 ounces, while coffee scoops are made for 6 ounces.
So, in short, a 12 cup coffee pot will hold 60 ounces of coffee.
How Many Tablespoons of Coffee Per Cup
So what's a person to do when trying to determine how many tablespoons of ground coffee to use?
Generally speaking, for the golden ratio, it is recommended to use one traditional coffee scoop (which is roughly equal to 10 grams of coffee or 2 tablespoons) per 6 ounces of coffee.
You will find it's necessary to have a general guideline when calculating water ratio to coffee grinds. If you are a coffee lover that adores a strong coffee, the amount of coffee is going to be greater and the opposite is true (less coffee will be needed) if you prefer coffee that isn't quite as strong.
A good cup of coffee is quite personal. It's important to do some experimenting to see what works best for you. A good starting point is 1 tablespoon of ground coffee for each 6 oz cup, working your way to a full / level coffee scoop which is ~2 tablespoons which is considered average strength.
What Size Are Mugs
It's also key to keep in mind the size of the coffee mugs you will be using. Most coffee mugs you can purchase are between 8-12 ounce cups. But, in recent years, large mugs (12-20+ ounces) are becoming increasingly more popular for American standards. A morning cup of coffee can mean very different things.
Once again, recall a standard coffee cup size based on most coffee carafes is 5-6 fl oz.
To give you an idea of discrepancy of different sizes with mug / cups, below you'll see various coffee mugs. I filled each mug, using a liquid measuring cup, to show you how fluid ounces of water each cup holds. Use this as a general guide when determining your coffee cup serving.
Going from left to right:
- 6 ounces
- 9 ounces
- 12 ounces
- 15 ounces
- 15 ounces
Standard 12-ounce mugs of coffee is actually considered 2 cups of coffee! The cup measurements can deceive you into drinking more coffee than you might otherwise.
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Coffee to Water Ratio
How much water you use in your home coffee makers may vary each day based on how many individuals will be drinking or how much time you will have to drink from the pot. In many homes, a full pot of coffee from a standard 12-cup coffeemaker is not needed every day.
In some instances, a smaller pot is used. The most important factor is getting a great cup of coffee!
Keep in mind, a standard coffee scoop (10 grams of ground coffee) is recommended for a 6-ounce measurement. A coffee scoop is equal to two level tablespoons. If you do not prefer stronger coffee, opt for 1 tablespoon of coffee.
I personally find that one tablespoon is enough coffee per 6 oz water.
For a Standard Cup of Coffee
Below are some guidelines on how much ground coffee you will need based on the number of cups.
- 12-cup capacity coffee maker / Amount of water = 60 ounces / use 10-20 tablespoons of coffee
- 10-cup pot / Amount of water = 50 ounces / use 8-16 tablespoons of coffee
- 8-cup pot / Amount of water = 40 ounces / use 7-14 tablespoons of coffee
- 6-cup pot / Amount of water = 30 ounces / use 5-10 tablespoons of coffee
- 4-cup pot / Amount of water = 20 ounces / use 3.5 - 7 tablespoons of coffee
Hopefully that is helpful in determining the right ratio of water to the amount of ground coffee for the automatic drip coffeemakers you prefer.
For Best Results
To recap the initial question 'How many ounces are in a coffee pot?' There are 60 fluid ounces in a 12 cup coffee pot.
Home brewers will vary on the type of coffee used, whether or not to use a coffee grinder for coffee beans vs ground coffee, to use a large cup vs smaller cups, etc.
The full answer continues to be complicated. The best thing home brewers can do to ensure a perfect cup is to just experiment.
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