How Big Is A Coffee Scoop? (Get The Perfect Amount)

Even if you're not a barista, knowing the right measurement can help you make the best cup of coffee every time.

However, there are many different types of scoops out there. So, how will you know which is the right coffee scoop?

In this article, we will discuss how big a coffee scoop is, why getting the right size matters, and other important information you should know when making the perfect cup of coffee.

1. Typical Sizes Explained

A coffee scoop is a type of measuring scoop or spoon made explicitly for measuring coffee, whether ground or beans.

So, to understand the size of a coffee scoop, we need to first learn about the typical sizes of a measuring spoon.

Measuring spoons come in different sizes, depending on the country.[1

But in the United States, the standard measuring spoons are available in ¼, ½, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.

A US teaspoon is 4.9 ml, while a tablespoon is 14.8 ml, only slightly less than the international standard metric spoon.

Since these spoons are regulated, all brands and manufacturers produce the same sizes.

Coffee scoops are different. There's no regulating body for this type of scoop, and coffee maker manufacturers and other kitchen brands produce different types of them.

So, how many tablespoons do most coffee scoops have? In the US, one coffee scoop is equivalent to two tablespoons of coffee.

This is the National Coffee Association (NCA) suggested standard measurement of coffee grounds in one cup of coffee.[2]

One thing to note: These coffee scoops are also designed to make one customary US cup of coffee, which is 236.59 ml or 8.33 fl. oz.

However, other coffee scoops are designed for other cups, with some even made for a tea cup.

Coffee Scoops ready to espresso machine

2. Size Varies On Your Type Of Brew

Making coffee has become an essential part of almost everyone's morning. That's why many of us strive to make a good cup every time.

We don't want to just fill our cups with tasteless, badly-made coffee.

That's why each of us has our own preferred brewing method. In some cases, coffee scoops are also made for a specific brewing process.

According to the NCA, the best way to measure how much coffee you need is by weight rather than by volume. So, how many ounces is a coffee scoop?

As a general rule of thumb, a typical coffee scoop is about 0.36 ounces, two tablespoons, or 10 grams of ground coffee for a cup of brewed coffee that uses coarse-ground coffee.

Other brewing methods require different types of coffee grounds, which can also affect the size of a coffee scoop.

An espresso machine that requires finely ground beans only needs one tablespoon of coffee for a shot of espresso.

In contrast, a standard percolator and a French press would need 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground coffee for a single cup.

So, be sure to take into account the kind of brewing machine you have in understanding the best coffee scoop for you.

3. Bean Measurement 101

Another factor you should check is the coffee bean's measurement or grind size.

Even though there's no standard size scoop for every grind size, they typically give you an idea of how many scoops of coffee you need.

Finely ground coffee beans are denser and produce stronger coffee, so they're only brewed for a shorter period. You also need fewer of them when you use them to make a cup of coffee.

So, we usually recommend a coffee scoop that's the same size as one regular tablespoon. For other grinds, like medium or coarse, a standard scoop of coffee that can hold two tablespoons is enough.

4. Don’t Forget To Level Off

Leveling your coffee spoon can also help you achieve the right measurement for one cup of coffee.

At the same time, this technique can also help you save more money as it allows you to get the exact amount of ground coffee for every cup.

Remember, the shape of the scoop is the right measurement of ground coffee per cup. If you don’t follow this, you’ll end up wasting some coffee that can potentially ruin the flavor of your cup.

This is because a level coffee scoop is usually exactly two tablespoons. So, whenever you scoop out some coffee, make sure you flatten the top so you get the right amount of coffee you need.

5. No Scoop, No Problem!

The truth is, you don't need a dedicated coffee scoop to know how much coffee you need in your cup.

While there are suggested measurements, it's still personal preference, and what works for you may be too much coffee for others.

This means that you can use any spoons you like and simply eyeball the amount.

Even though there’s a recommended amount, there's no definitive answer on how many scoops or tablespoons of coffee you need for the perfect cup.

It all depends on you and how you like your morning cup.


Why Is Coffee Scoop Size So Important?

The short answer is consistency. If you know how much coffee you need in a cup, you can easily brew the same tasting cup of coffee every time.

It doesn’t even matter how many cups you’re brewing. Just as long as you know the coffee scoop size, you’re good to go.

At the same time, understanding the right measurement helps you, as a coffee drinker, understand what a perfect cup of coffee means.

You can use this coffee scoop size as a baseline to identify whether you want a stronger or weaker cup.

Normally, two tablespoons of ground coffee or one scoop are around 10 grams, which is recommended for 6 fluid ounces of water.

Again you don't need a dedicated coffee scoop. The only difference between a coffee spoon vs tablespoon is their measurement.

So, if you have a tablespoon available, you can use that instead. Start with two tablespoons. If it's too weak, add more coffee.

But if you're conscious about the caffeine content and don't like strong coffee, try lessening it.

Scoop of Coffee Powder

How Much Coffee Is Needed For Multiple Cups?

One thing to note: cup sizes come in various types. There is the US customary, Legal cup, Metric cup, and so on.

But the measurement that most brewing devices follow is the coffee cup, which is 5 to 6 fluid ounces in the US. If you’re following a different size, you’ll need to have a measuring cup ready.

For this, we need to do the math. Since the general rule is one standard coffee scoop or two tablespoons of coffee per cup, here‘s how much multiples cups should have:

  • 2 cups (5-6 fluid ounces depending on the manufacturer): 2 scoops or 4 tablespoons
  • 4 cups (5-6 fluid ounces depending on the manufacturer): 4 scoops or 8 tablespoons
  • 6 cups (5-6 fluid ounces depending on the manufacturer): 6 scoops or 12 tablespoons
  • 12 cups (5-6 fluid ounces depending on the manufacturer): 8 scoops or 16 tablespoons

Getting The Water Ratio Right When Brewing

Many coffee beans come with a scoop in the bag. However, there’s no way of telling if every brand has the same size scoop.

So, it’s best to also know the coffee-to-water ratio to make a consistent cup.

However, one problem most coffee drinkers face: they're still unaware of the difference between a coffee cup and a coffee mug. Most people assume they're the same, but they are not.

A standard coffee cup is 6 fluid ounces, which is also used to serve tea. On the other hand, a coffee mug is bigger and can hold 8 fluid ounces.

Many Americans go beyond that with 16oz mugs or more.

This means that a standard coffee scoop is made for a standard coffee cup, which is 10 grams, two tablespoons, or 0.36 ounces of ground coffee for a 6 fluid ounces cup.

Brewing Coffee In Nespresso Machine

Plastic Vs Ceramic Vs Stainless Steel Coffee Scoops

Your coffee scoop can also contribute to your cup of joe, it may not be significant, but it still can.

We discuss below the differences between these coffee scoops and which material is best to measure coffee:

Plastic Coffee Scoop

  • This type of scoop can develop scratches over time, and scratch surfaces can tend to trap all sorts of bacteria easier.
  • As it develops more scratches, more bacteria get trapped, making it difficult to fully clean.
  • Some plastic scoops can contain BPA (Bisphenol A), which can leak into your food or drink and can harm your health.[3]

Ceramic Coffee Scoop

  • Like plastic ones, ceramic scoops can also crack and develop tiny chips that can attract and trap bacteria.
  • Ceramic also breaks easily, so if you accidentally drop your scoop, it's most likely to break.
  • Some ceramic scoops are glazed to have a smooth and shiny appearance. This glaze may contain chemicals that are not food safe.

Stainless Steel Coffee Scoop

  • This is the most sanitary of all scoops. Since it's a non-porous surface, a stainless steel scoop is germ-resistant.
  • It is also almost unbreakable. Even if you drop it from any height, it will survive the fall, often without a scratch.
  • Unlike plastic scoops, it won’t scratch or stain. That’s why it’s durable and long-lasting.
  • Since it’s made with stainless steel, it won’t rust or change colors.
  • It is very easy to clean.

Common Coffee Scoop Questions

Where can I find a quality coffee scoop?

Many coffee makers come with a quality coffee scoop. For example, Cuisinart has a Cuisinart coffee scoop that you can purchase separately.


Conclusion

Now that you know how big a coffee scoop is, you can easily recreate the drinks from your favorite coffee shop.

You can also make a consistent cup of joe every time. Just remember, every brand has a different coffee scoop measurement.

So, always check how much your scoop can hold before using the recommended scoop size.

References:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measuring_spoon
2. https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Brew-Coffee
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25813067/ 

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