How Much Coffee Per Cup? (BaristaHQ Detailed Guide)

Brewed coffee is an art and a science, and you need to measure coffee correctly to get a consistent and delicious brew. 

If you aren't measuring coffee correctly then your coffee will taste different every time, and it can be weak or bitter. 

All brew types and coffee recipes use different amounts of freshly ground coffee beans and every coffee maker is slightly different. But don't worry, because we know coffee and in this guide we'll explain exactly how much coffee per cup you need. 

How Many Grams Of Coffee Per Cup? 

To achieve a great-tasting cup of perfect coffee, you need to follow a proper ratio of coffee to water. If you put too much water, you’ll lose all the flavors of the coffee. Using too much coffee will make the cup too intense and powerful.

So, one way to achieve the right balance when brewing coffee is by measuring the coffee weight you use per cup.  An excellent way to do this is to use a kitchen scale for measuring out your ground coffee beans since it can give you precise measurements. This lets you see exactly how many grams you're using so you can create a consistent coffee ratio and brew a perfect cup every day. 

At the same time, you need to understand that different brewing techniques require different coffee bean grind sizes, depending on how long the coffee and water will be in contact.  

For example, brewing espresso is a quick process and has short water to coffee contact, so it needs a finer coffee grinds to make the strong coffee. Slower brew methods like the French Press will need a coarser grind. 

So, apart from the measurements of your coffee, you need to take into consideration the grind size to ensure your perfect flavored coffee.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), you’ll need 55 grams of coffee per liter of water to achieve the  SCAA Golden cup standard. That’s 14 grams of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water.

However, do note that this is the standard measurement from the Speciality Coffee Association, and your brewing method may also affect the amount of ground coffee you need to add.  

How Many Oz’s Of Coffee Per Cup 

If you prefer using the imperial system instead of the metric system, you might be wondering how many ounces of coffee should there be in a cup. However, the word "cup" is still a vague description, and each country has a different measurement of a cup. This can be quite a battle to figure out, especially since many coffee makers usually just indicate “cup” instead of the actual measurement.  

In addition, the cup that each manufacturer refers to depends on which country they come from. So, if you’re also confused with how much a “cup” measures, you’re not alone. One way to determine the correct measurement is to check where the device was manufactured and the standard of measurement used.  

However, this can be a complicated process, so we’re here to help you out. A standard cup of coffee is around 6 ounces of water. This can sound a bit complicated for Americans since the imperial cup is equal to 8 fluid ounces. However, the standard serving size in the US is 6 fluid ounces per coffee cup.  

But wait, it gets more complicated. Other countries' metric cups equals 8.45 fluid ounces. In Canada, a cup is 7.6 ounces, and in Japan, it is equal to 6.7 ounces. And we are just talking about how many ounces a cup is. With this in mind, how many ounces you should you use per cup of coffee brewed?  

SCAA says that a 6 fluid ounce cup should have 0.36 oz of coffee. If you do the math, that's .06 oz per fluid ounce. With this, it's now easier to calculate how many ounces of coffee you need to add to a cup.  

How Many Tablespoons Of Coffee Per Cup? 

If the kitchen scale isn’t accessible to you, don’t worry. You can still make the perfect cup of coffee using a tablespoon. This is probably one of the most used measuring devices since most people have a tablespoon available at home.  

When making a cup of coffee using a tablespoon, you should follow the general guideline called the Golden ratio: two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. These coffee ratios works well for many brewing devices, and you can adjust it depending on how strong you want the coffee to be or how many cups of coffee you're making.

How Many Scoops Of Coffee Per Cup? 

If your coffee grounds come with a coffee scoop (or measuring cup), you might be wondering how many scoops you should use per cup when you brew coffee. 

Unfortunately, not all scoops are created equal. So depending on the scoop you’re using, its measurement also varies. To know how much coffee your scoop can handle, try to transfer it to a tablespoon and see how many tablespoons it can make.  

Generally, a level coffee scoop can hold around 2 tablespoons of coffee, the standard measurement used in the Golden ratio. If you want to have the usual strong cup of coffee, one scoop is enough. But if you like a weaker coffee taste, go with 1 scoop for 2 cups of coffee or 1.5 scoops for 2 cups.   

coffee How Much Coffee Per Cup

Coffee To Water Ratio Explained 

Water (Oz) 

Coffee (grams) 

No. of Serving 

6 Oz. 


1 cup (US cup) 

8 Oz. 


1 cup 

16 Oz. 


2 cups 

24 Oz. 


3 cups 

32 Oz. 


4 cups 

**This measurement is based on the SCAA Golden cup of standard. If you are using a tablespoon as a measurement, 15 grams equals two tablespoons of coffee.  

How Much Coffee Per Machine? 


This is the most simple brewing method available and it's often the free coffee you get in offices. All you need to do is pour your grounds on a paper filter, and the water will drip through the cup, carafe, or coffee pot underneath. 

However, it doesn’t use the Golden cup standard measurement because of the filter over the coffee pot. Unlike other brewing methods, the filter retains water in the coffee pot, so some of the grams you add won’t brew as you expected.  

So, if you’re using a pour-over or drip coffee maker, the recommended amount of coffee per cup is around 17-20 grams per 8 ounces of water 

French Press 

When you use this brewing device, you fill the coffee carafe with boiling water, allowing the coffee to be in contact with water for around 4 to 5 minutes. Once the extraction is done, you need to push the metal filtered plunger to bring all the ground to the bottom.

This makes a French Press entirely different from a pour-over method since the extraction happens in the water itself. This means that no water is lost during the process.  

The Specialty Coffee Association recommends 36 grams for a 22 ounce of water for the best coffee. This may be less than the recommended Golden cup of the standard since the water to coffee contact is longer.  

coffee in ceramic mug

How Much Coffee Do You Use For One Shot Of Espresso? 

When making coffee using other coffee pots or coffee equipment, the measurement depends on the water used to perform the extraction. For instance, using a French Press requires you to put the amount of coffee grounds relative to the water you will use in the vessel. 

However, espresso brewing doesn’t give you control over the amount of water you’ll use. Basically, it’s all about how much you’ll make.  

Once you've taken the whole bean coffee and used a burr or mill grinder to break it into grinds, you'll force pressurized water through it. This is what gives you a strong tasting coffee that true coffee lovers enjoy. 

If you use the standard measurement of 14 grams, you’ll yield about 2 cups of espresso shots, so it's about 7 grams for one cup of espresso. 

A professional can play around with this coffee making measurement and produce a different intensity of espresso shots. In short, it all depends on how strong you want your coffee or how good you're at using this brewing method.  

How Many Ounces Of Coffee Do I Need For Cold Brew? 

If you don’t know what a cold brew is, it’s an extraction method that uses room temperature instead of hot water. In some cases, they do it inside the fridge. This type of method impacts the amount of coffee you use per cup since it requires you to extract the oils from the grounds for approximately 22 to 24 hours.  

The long exposure of coffee grounds to the low water temperature results in a concentrated liquid. When you serve cold brew, you dilute it with water or add melting ice to balance the intense flavors.

Cold brew is the perfect coffee for those who love a very strong brew. You don't need any special coffee makers and even though the coffee to water ratio is different, it's easy to make.

Since it requires more prolonged extraction, you need more coffee grounds and a different coffee ratio. This means you need 12 ounces of ground coffee per 64 ounces of water. This will create enough coffee for 8 cups of cold brew concentrate and yield 16 cups of coffee.  

Frequently Asked Coffee Per Cup Questions 

What is the size of a standard cup? 

The cup size depends on which country you are from, but a standard cup of coffee ranges from 6 to 8 fluid ounces.  

How many tablespoons are in a cup of drip coffee? 

You can use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of drip coffee. You can also adjust this depending on your preference.  

Is a cup of coffee the same as a cup of water? 

No, it’s not the same. A cup of coffee would count as half a cup of water.  

What is the ‘golden ratio’ in coffee drinks? 

The SCAA Golden ratio is 55 grams of coffee per liter of water. This means you need 14 grams of coffee or 2 tablespoons per cup.  


Whether you're using instant coffee crystals or a scoop of coffee beans, it's important you get the right coffee to water ratio. This will help you make a strong cup of coffee that's not overly bitter. 

Hopefully this guide has shown you how to go about measuring coffee at home, and how many scoops you need for the perfect brew. Remember, there's no hard rules about how much coffee you use and it all comes down to personal taste. 

So, experiment with different amounts and keep going until you get one cup of coffee that's perfect for you. 

Kim Fernandez

Kim Fernandez

Kim Fernandez is a freelance writer whose love for coffee goes beyond just drinking it--she enjoys writing about it too. When she's not writing, you'll find her sitting in a cafe, reading a book while drinking a freshly brewed cup of joe.

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