If you love great coffee, you likely use freshly ground coffee. But for that perfect taste, you need to know the right amount of ground coffee to use for a certain amount of water. Part of figuring out that equation is finding out how much ground coffee you can get from a cup of coffee beans.
One cup of coffee beans equals about one cup of ground coffee. Ideally, the volume should always be the same. However, some ground coffee may remain in the grinder, causing a slight variation. When weight is used instead of volume, 1 cup of coffee beans weighs almost the same amount of ground coffee.
I'll tell you more about measuring and grinding coffee beans in the rest of this post. I'll also cover why you should measure coffee beans, when to grind them, which coffee bean grinders to use, the type of water to use, and more. Here we go.
Methods of Measuring Coffee Beans and Ground Coffee
You can measure coffee beans and ground coffee using the volume method and the weighing scale method.
Let’s review each.
The Volume Method
Many people use volume to measure coffee beans and ground coffee when brewing coffee. With the volume method, you measure the coffee beans and ground coffee using cups, tablespoons, scoops of coffee, etc.
Just remember when looking at volume of coffee, two tablespoons, two scoops, or 1 cup of coffee beans equals about the same amount of ground coffee.
The Weighing Scale Method
Using volume to measure coffee beans and ground coffee is not accurate. The best method and most precise measurement is using a weighing scale.
The weighing method is more accurate because it brings you closer to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Golden Ratio of brewing a perfect cup of coffee.
Why You Should Measure Coffee Beans Before Brewing
Whether you use volume or weighing scales, it’s essential to measure coffee beans before brewing for the following reasons:
Measuring Coffee Beans Shows You How Much Ground Coffee You Will Get
The ratio of the coffee beans and ground coffee is about 1:1. This ratio remains the same regardless of whether you measure using volume or kitchen scales.
So, if you grind one cup of coffee beans to brew several cups of coffee, you'll get roughly one cup of ground coffee.
This information comes in handy when you need to brew an exact amount of coffee without wastage or underestimating how much you need.
The average size of a coffee cup is about 6 fluid ounces of water (177 milliliters) or a 6-ounce cup. For best results, you’d need to grind two tablespoons of coffee beans to brew enough to fill a 6-ounce coffee cup. Two tablespoons of coffee beans give you about 10.6 grams of ground coffee (0.37 ounces).
Standard coffee measure is 2 tablespoons.
Measuring Coffee Beans Allows To Determine How Much Water You Need
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), The Golden Ratio for brewing coffee is 1:15-18 (i.e., 1 gram of coffee to 15-18 grams of water).
This coffee to water ratio translates to about 0.035 ounces of coffee to 0.51 - 0.61 fluid ounces of water.
With this ratio in mind, you can measure your coffee beans and use that figure to calculate how much water you’ll need for more perfect coffee.
The best way to measure the water is using liquid measuring cups (oz cups), so be sure to use the ratio in the form of ounces when calculating.
When To Grind Coffee Beans
The best time to grind your coffee beans is when you're ready to begin the brewing process. The coffee beans' aroma, acids, and oils are released as you grind the beans.
So if you grind whole coffee beans way in advance, the ground coffee may lose its goodness.
Coffee Bean Grinders
Some use a pestle and mortar to grind coffee beans. However, that’s not necessarily the best way to go about it because it can be tiresome and time-consuming.
The best way of enjoying great, freshly brewed coffee at home is to invest in a good coffee grinder.
There are two kinds of coffee grinding machines that you could buy:
- A blade grinder: A blade grinder has blades resembling a blender's. It blends the coffee beans to a fine texture. The fineness can make a big difference to the quality of your coffee, as it can make the ground coffee clump together.
- A burr grinder: This grinder has two burrs/stones that grind the beans to your preferred size, plus a coffee scale. Whatever size you choose, the ground coffee comes out uniform, so you can enjoy your brew just how you like it.
Ground Coffee Sizes
You can grind the coffee beans to your preferred size with a good coffee grinder. The size of your ground coffee depends on the brew method you will use.
Below are the various ground coffee sizes and their ideal brewing methods:
- Fine grind: This coffee has a smooth texture similar to table salt. The ideal brewing method for fine ground coffee is using an espresso machine or drip coffee makers with cone-shaped filters.
- Medium ground coffee: This coffee has visible flakes and a gritty texture like coarse sand and is excellent for pour-over coffee. The ideal brewing method for medium ground coffee is a drip coffee maker with a coffee filter at the bottom.
- Coarse grounds: The ground beans look like heavy kosher salt. The best brewing method for coarse ground coffee is using a vacuum coffee pot, percolator, French Press, or Plunger Pot.
The Best Water for Brewing Coffee
One of the common questions among coffee lovers is whether water can affect your coffee. The simple answer is that if water is not of good quality, your cup of coffee won't be perfect.
The best water is filtered water because it has natural minerals, which means a fuller flavor. You can filter tap water to brew coffee.
The Ideal Water Temperature for Brewing Coffee
The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 91°C and 96°C (195°F and 205°F), slightly below the boiling point.
The water temperature affects how flavors, caffeine, oils, etc., are extracted from the ground coffee beans.
Extremely hot water can lead to over-extraction, making the coffee bitter. On the other hand, under-extraction may occur if the water temperature is too low, leading to a sour and milder taste.
That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t use cold water to make a cold brew.
A cold brew tastes good, provided you steep the ground coffee for about 24 hours. This time is enough to extract all the flavors of the coffee, so you won’t experience a mild or sour taste.
The bottom line is that when measuring coffee beans for grinding, the ratio of coffee beans to ground coffee is about one to one.
For instance, 1 cup of coffee beans equals 1 cup of ground coffee. If you make precise measurements of coffee beans, ground coffee, and water, you'll brew a delicious cup of coffee.
If you are a dedicated coffee drinker, it's best to teach yourself the Golden Cup Standard that the SCAA recommends. This standard helps you balance water temperature, brewing time, grind size, and brew ratio.
With enough practice, you’ll eventually reach specialty coffee world standards.
More Coffee Facts