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How to Measure Coffee (with a scale, whole bean or ground)

You’ve accomplished it. You’ve lastly determined to take coffee brewing significantly and begin measuring your grounds. However how much exactly do you measure your coffee? Do you have to use a tablespoon, scoop or espresso scale?

Let’s get some clarity on the talent of measuring coffee.

Totally different Roast = Totally different Mass

In the specialty espresso world, evenness and precision rule all. We have now the instruments to measure the whole lot; from the full quantity of dissolved solids in a cup of coffee, all the best way down to coffee grinds particle distribution. Yet with all these excessive tech measuring and analytics tools, our most essential and valued is a easy digital scale.

When brewing coffee, we measure our elements in grams. This is more reliable and exact than utilizing quantity based mostly measurements like cups or tablespoons.

Right here’s why: All coffees have a totally different mass.

When coffee is roasted, it undergoes a number of modifications. One of the many modifications, is to the moisture content material of the bean. A inexperienced coffee– that is a espresso earlier than it has been roasted, may have a moisture content of someplace around 11% (1).

This discount in moisture content material leaves the beans weighing around 15-20% less than they did once they have been green.

Throughout roasting, this moisture content drops to somewhere in the Three-5% region (2). It’s because the water inside the beans structure turns to steam and is launched. This reduction in moisture content material leaves the beans weighing around 15-20% less than they did before they have been roasted.

Usually, the darker the espresso is roasted, the decrease the moisture content material will probably be. Subsequently, a darker coffee will weigh less than a lighter roasted espresso.

Why the Quantity of Coffee Matters

An enormous part of making nice coffee is understanding how much of the great things to use. If too much coffee is used, the brew may be under-extracted. This coffee will style bitter, gained’t have much sweetness, might taste a little salty and will lack any real depth. On the flip aspect, if we don’t add enough espresso, the resulting brew will taste weak and skinny, flat and watery.

“Over extracted coffee is dry and bitter and under extracted coffee is sour and empty (amongst other tastes)” – Matt Perger, Barista Hustle

There are numerous faculties of thought as to exactly how a lot is the ‘correct’ amount, and there is no proper and flawed reply, simply choice (some will swear otherwise). Whereas it’s largely a matter of choice, most coffee professionals, including the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Affiliation of America) have agreed at a start line of around 60 grams of coffee per 1L of water (60g/L).

We will implement this using brew ratios.

How To Use Brew Ratios

A brew ratio is a simple information as to how much coffee and water to use. It provides us a simple recipe to comply with and serves as a good start line for numerous brews.

A brew ratio appears like this: 1:15, 1:16, 1:17, and so forth.

A brew ratio of 1:15 means; 1 half coffee to 15 elements water. A 1:15 ratio may be 20g of floor espresso, brewed using 300g of water. This can produce an approximately 300ml cup of coffee.

To make use of brew ratios, you possibly can go certainly one of two ways:

  • Begin with the amount of coffee you need to use, or;
  • Determine how a lot coffee you want to make (…and then work out your brew ratio based mostly on that).

Let’s do an instance for each choice, utilizing a French Press brew.

Beginning with the quantity of coffee you need to use

Let’s say we would like to use 20g of coffee. Multiply that by our brew ratio, which in this case is 15:

20g x 15 = 300 (grams of brewed espresso)

On this case, we’ll be using our scales to measure out 20g of espresso to brew with a French Press. We’ll arrange our press on the scales, add the ground coffee, press tare on the size, then pour water into the press till the final weight is 300g.

Determine how much espresso you want to make

I want to do it this manner: determine how a lot espresso you want to make, then work out your brew ratio based mostly on that. The primary problem is deciding on how much coffee you need to make. The usual measurement of a cup of espresso is filled with differing opinions (Three), so for simplicity’s sake we are going to say 10 ounces (300ml).

So we would like to make a 300g cup of coffee, which will probably be approximately 300ml within the cup. To work out the brew ratio and the amount of coffee to use for 300g of water, we’ll go:

300 (grams or milliliters of water) ÷ 15 (our chosen brew ratio) = 20.

20 grams of coffee is how much we’ll add to make our 300ml cup of espresso.

Brew ratios to use for every brew technique

As a start line:

  • 1:15 brew ratio is sweet for many immersion brew methods
  • 1:17 brew ratio is sweet for many pour over methods

Once more, these ratios are a start line. For those who like your coffee a little stronger in flavour, add an extra gram of coffee or three. For those who want your coffee lighter, use a couple of grams much less.

How much coffee for 6 cups?

This is among the commonest questions around this matter, and for those who’ve learn this far, you must easily give you the option to work this out utilizing brew ratios.

If we use 10oz or 300ml as our normal cup of coffee from the above example, we’ll want 1800ml (or grams, similar factor) of espresso. Utilizing a brew ratio of 15, that is how it will look on paper:

1800ml ÷ 15 = 120. Subsequently, we’d like 120 grams of coffee to make 6 cups of espresso (at 10ouncesper cup). Straightforward.

Right here’s at desk for those lazy skim readers among us. For a 10ouncescup of espresso utilizing a normal 1:15 brew ratio:

How to measure coffee using scales

The one correct means to measure the quantity of espresso we’re using, is to weigh it. Whereas there are different methods to get an approximate quantity of espresso; we’ve discovered these are flawed due to coffees’ various mass.

“A scoop of coffee can vary in density depending on many factors, including the variety, size, and roast of your beans.” – Kelly Sanchez, Blue Bottle Coffee

Comply with these steps to measure espresso with scales:

  1. Place the size on a flat even surface and switch it on.
  2. Place the container you want to put your beans into on the size.
  3. Press ‘tare’ (it will set the size again to zero).
  4. Add your required quantity of coffee to the container (refer to brew ratios above with regard to how a lot espresso it is best to add).
  5. Ensure you are as precise as attainable

All the time measure your coffee before grinding, not after. In the event you measure your espresso before grinding, you’ll have the precise quantity ready to be ground. In the event you grind then measure, you’ll both have an excessive amount of and could have some espresso left over (which can be wasted) or you gained’t have enough and will want to grind more!

Consistency = nice espresso. Use a scale

Remaining Thoughts

While there are different strategies of measuring espresso, (cups, coffee scoops and tablespoons) these are all volume based mostly measurements. This makes them ineffective. All of them lack accuracy.

As we’ve discovered in the part above, a coffee’s origin, varietal, course of and roast diploma can have an effect on its weight significantly.

If we’re utilizing a coffee scoop, we might imagine we’re getting the same amount of coffee; (1 scoop) but in reality, from one espresso to the subsequent, we could also be growing or reducing the quantity we’re utilizing by 25%. This could make a large difference and may lead to beneath or over extraction. Not to mention the fact that with out scales, we’ll haven’t any potential to repeat a nice cup.

In abstract – for those who’re critical about espresso, use a coffee scale. Completely satisfied brewing!


How many grams of coffee in a tablespoon?

There’s roughly 5 grams of floor espresso per tablespoon. As mentioned earlier, nevertheless, you should not depend on tablespoons as an accurate method to measure coffee, however it should get by.

How many tablespoons in a espresso scoop?

An ordinary coffee scoop holds 2 tablespoons of degree ground coffee.

What ought to I look for in a scale?

In a scale, it is best to search for a quick reaction time and accuracy to 0.1g. Whereas these are the 2 most essential things you must search for in a scale, having one which is waterproof, has an inbuilt timer and is USB rechargable are also particular pluses.

What’s one of the best scale for measuring espresso?

One of the best espresso scales, or no less than the scales chosen by most specialty cafe’s and roasters, are made by Acaia. Acaia utilise some very nice know-how concerned in their scales. This tech consists of bluetooth connectivity, a circulate fee meter and brew guides. Brewista, AWS, Jennings and Hario additionally do respectable scales, that are absolutely value testing right here. We reviewed one of the best espresso scales for house baristas on this information – test it out should you need one.

Do I want a coffee scale?

Yes, you do want a espresso scale if you’d like to make great espresso every time your brew. When you can definitely get a respectable end result in the cup utilizing other measuring instruments, what you gained’t get is repeatability. In the event you make a bangin’ cup at some point, you gained’t know precisely how a lot coffee or water you’ve used, which suggests you in all probability gained’t give you the option to recreate that cup the following day.

Can I measure coffee without using scales?

Yes you’ll be able to measure espresso without scales, but you can’t precisely measure coffee without utilizing scales. Should you do end up needing to make coffee, and worst case state of affairs – you’re with out scales, listed here are a few recommendations on how to do it in probably the most correct approach attainable.

  • Determine if the espresso is mild (mild brown), medium (darker brown but not oily) or darkish (very dark and oily) roast.
  • A regular tablespoon of sunshine roasted espresso ought to weigh round 7 grams.
  • A normal tablespoon of a darkish roasted coffee should weigh round 5 grams.
  • A regular tablespoon of medium roasted espresso shall be someplace in the center.


  1. Pashley, T. (2018, Might 10). Roaster Information: Why Is Inexperienced Bean Moisture Content material Essential? Retrieved from
  2. Chemical Modifications During Roasting. (2015, April 27). Retrieved from
  3. Rodriguez, A. (2018, October 05). The Drawback With Coffee Cup Sizes: 7 Miles. Retrieved from