Measuring Coffee - The Right Way

We have turned it into a science. Simply making coffee is a thing of the past. These days it’s about BREWING.

That word alone tends to tickle my imagination. I picture myself making coffee with a classic moka pot over a bonfire, just outside of a small hut on the shores of a majestic lake. Or, alternatively, in a small apartment in downtown Chicago – but I guess the dream ends there.

Here is what you need to get right:

  • Coffee to water ratio
  • Strength
  • Brewing time
  • Crema
  • Temperature

So, let me help you get one thing straight today. When you know how to measure coffee you are halfway to making your first perfect cup.

Essential Guidelines

I’m starting with a few handy tips today, so you can use them while you practice the procedure later on.

Consistency is Key

If you want to get this right, you must be consistent in your actions. If you don’t know exactly how much coffee or water you’re using today, how will you recreate the process tomorrow?

For this reason, measuring tools such as scales or scoops are vital. Just make sure you stick to the same tool.

Understanding Measurements

One reason I never bothered with this years ago was because I didn’t grasp the measurements. Coffee packaging mentions grams, ounces and other measurements that can be confusing and inconsistent.

So let me help you understand the basics:

  • An average coffee cup contains 6 fluid ounces, or:
    • ¾ cup
    • 177ml
  • Your beloved coffee mug—usually a bit bigger—usually takes up to 9 fluid ounces
  • Coffee scoops are usually designed to hold 0.36oz of coffee, which is equal to:
    • Two tablespoons
    • 10g

These terms usually appear in instructions, so from now on, you’ll know what the manufacturers mean.

Know Your Coffee Types

Remember you can’t measure coffee beans and coffee grounds in the same manner. For a strong 6oz cup of coffee, you’ll use the following amounts:

  • 2 tablespoons coffee ground or coffee beans which will be equal to:
    • 38oz
    • 6 teaspoons
    • 6grams
  • Only 2 teaspoons of instant coffee crystals

For regular strength coffee, you can simply half these measurements for every cup of coffee you want.

Does it all make more sense now?

Let’s Start Measuring

Get Your Gear Ready

As mentioned, you must be accurate, so get your utensils:

  • A measuring spoon or scale
  • Decide what size cup you want to use
  • Get containers for measurement on a scale

Measure and Document

I advise you to keep notes on your first few brews. Adjust the amounts of coffee you use each time until you discover the ideal strength. These notes will help you recreate the exact brew in future.

Measuring Spoon Method

This is not the ideal method. Different grounds have varying densities. Your coffee won’t be measured precisely.

If you do prefer this method, simply spoon coffee—according to the notes mentioned above—into your cup or coffee maker. Now measure the exact amount of water (177ml) with a measuring cup and pour it in.

Scale Method

This will be much more accurate since you don’t have to compensate for varying densities:

  • Place container on the scale
  • Press the ‘TARE’ button to zero the scale
  • Pour in the required amount of coffee, 0.38oz or 10.6g (depending on your scale type)
  • Remove the coffee container
  • Place down a new container and measure 177ml of water in the same manner

Now add the ingredients to your coffee maker and enjoy the perfect brew.

It’s as easy as that. I’m enjoying my perfect cup right now.

READ MODE: Learn the difference between Latte and Flat White or between Cappuccino and Macchiato.

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Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.