how much ground coffee to use per cup

How Much Ground Coffee You Need to Get a Perfect Cup?

Probably like many of you out there, we think that enjoying that wonderful cup of joe is the best thing in the morning. But sadly, nothing we did ourselves could ever compare to the perfect cup. You know, like the one barista in your neighborhood café makes. We tried different brands, types, and different machines. And no matter how much we tried, something kept being off.

We couldn’t figure out what exactly was the problem until we talked with a barista who said, “Are you sure you are using the right amount of coffee grounds per cup”?  He then explained that lots of people use too much or too little coffee and that it is the main reason why coffee at home doesn’t taste as good as it does in a café. So we’ve decided to investigate this topic in more detail, learn ourselves and share with you how much ground coffee to use per cup.

How to Measure Coffee Grounds

Somehow, when thinking about a dose of coffee per cup, many people have a teaspoon in mind. However, in reality, one dose of coffee should be the size of a tablespoon. So around 5 grams of coffee. Another easier way to measure coffee grounds is to use only best coffee scale, since it gives you the most accurate amount.

Defining Coffee Ground per Cup

But nothing is always so simple, and not many people get a full, clear idea how much coffee grounds per cup of coffee they need. So let’s discuss it in more detail.

How Many Tablespoons of Coffee per Cup

Okay, so how much ground coffee per cup do we need? Well, first it is necessary to say that we all have a different definition of what good coffee is. Thus, different people will need a different amount of coffee to get that perfect cup. The standard ratio for brewing coffee is a tablespoon for 6 ounces of water if you want light coffee. If you prefer strong java, then the ratio is two tablespoons of coffee for the same amount of water.  Most coffee aficionados would say that for an ideal cup, you need three tablespoons for 12 ounces.

Tablespoons of Coffee Grounds vs. Tablespoons of Coffee Beans

Many coffee lovers prefer buying beans and making their own blends. If you recognize yourself there, you might be thinking “Okay, I see now how to measure coffee grounds per cup. But what if I am using beans”?. Basically, for one 6 ounces of water, you will need at least about 0.38 ounces of coffee beans. It roughly equates to about 39 beans.  So basically, you need three ounces or 85 grams of coffee beans for one cup of coffee. We already mentioned that the best way to measure coffee is with a digital scale. However, you can also do it if you don’t have a scale:

  • Start by adding four tablespoons of beans to the coffee grinder. 
  • Take 2 tablespoons for each cup. 
  • Add more beans if it is necessary until you get enough.

How Many Scoops of Coffee Per Cup

Plenty of coffee machines come with a scoop, which makes things much simpler when you want to know how to measure coffee grounds. On average one scoop equates to two tablespoons. If you like a strong cup of joe, you need a scoop per cup. If you want light coffee, then half of the scoop will be right about enough for one coffee. People who like medium strength coffee opt to put 1.5 scoops for 2 cups.

Coffee Ground Per Cup Summary

Now that we understand better how many tablespoons of coffee grounds per cup we need, let’s see how much we need to make more. Take a look at the table to get a clear idea of how much ground coffee for 12 cups you need:

A cup of coffee (150ml) Coffee ground (g) Tablespoons
1 8.3 1.6
2 16.6 3.2
5 41.5 8
6 49.8 9.6
8 66.4 12.8
10 83 16
12 99.6 18.2

Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Standards Overview

Most of you probably know about the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). In case you somehow missed it, we will say that it is a membership-based trade association. It represents thousands of professionals involved in the coffee business worldwide.

This association is known, among other things, as a developer of the Golden ratio – a rule that enables everyone to brew a perfect cup of coffee.  Generally, the coffee to water ratio should be between 1:15 and 1:18. In simple terms, it means that you should add one gram of coffee for every 15 -18 ml of water.  In terms of how much ground coffee to use per cup, SCAA claims that if you are following the American standard, you need 0.36 ounces or 10 grams of coffee per 6 ounces (180 ml) cup. The European standard is 7 grams of coffee for 125 ml of water.

Get the Right Amounts: Additional Tips

  • If you are grinding coffee beans, make sure that you don’t grind too fine for your particular coffee machine. The best is to use a mill grinder because it provides consistency in the size of the grounds.
  • Make sure that you are grinding adequately for a specific type of coffee you want to make. And if you are using a French press, aim for more coarse grounds.
  • Keep in mind that the amount of coffee you will use mainly depends on your taste.


That’s all about how much ground coffee to use per cup, folks!  But in the end, it is necessary to say that these are just general guidelines. We all have our tastes, and thus we brew coffee as per our preferences. It is necessary to know that if you make it a bit too strong, you can solve the problem by adding a bit of water.

If your favorite beverage is too light, you need to figure out the problem and fix it next time. We hope these tips will help you enjoy a more delicious cup of joe! In the meantime, we would like to hear what kind of coffee do you like?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *