How Much Coffee Should I Use Per Cup?

by Kitchen Barista

It is the question that plagues coffee drinkers everywhere…how much coffee should I use when I make a pot of coffee at home? Or more to the point, how much is too much or too little? Although, the standard is 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of coffee for every 6 ounces (oz) of water, the answer largely depends on personal taste and the standard may be too much for you. I am a firm believer in the notion that the perfect cup of coffee is the one you will drink. However, there are some things you need to know.

Measuring Ground Coffee Versus Whole Beans

There is no difference in how much ground coffee you should use and how much whole beans you should use. They will measure out the same. However, for taste and freshness sake, you should always use whole beans.

Knowing How to Measure

If you are using an automatic drip coffee maker than you need to know what the cup size is as indicated by the marks on the water reservoir, some will be 6 ounces while others will be 8 ounces. If you are using another brewing method, then I would recommend using a measuring cup for the water.

Use the Same Scoop

In order to make sure that you’re measuring the same way each time you make a pot or cup of coffee, use the same scoop. Also, do yourself a favor and get a good coffee measuring scoop .

The First Steps

If you are not sure and still struggling with how much coffee to use, then try this. If you have a way of measuring to the standard of 2 tbsp per 6 oz. of water, then try that first. If you do not like it and want something lighter than just reduce the amount by one scoop.

If you do not have a way of measuring to the standard than take the number of cups you are brewing and cut it in half and use that number of scoops and adjust accordingly. The thing you need to remember is that you do not want to use too little coffee that you are taking away from the fullness and flavor of the bean.

Simple Rule

If you still have trouble then just remember this simple rule: if you can see through it, you aren’t using enough coffee.


  • Karl Bucus

    I am not a pedant, and am sure you know what you’re doing. But since this is the no. 1 organic Google page for my search query, I do feel I should mention:

    Measuring whole beans and ground coffee may not, in fact, get you the same measurements. Of course both would be the same by weight, but by volume it is entirely possible that folks would get more coffee in a tablespoon of ground coffee than they would with a tablespoon of beans.

    Be well.

  • Anonymous


    Thanks for the comment. As far as measuring whole beans and ground coffee, tests have shown they are virtually equal when measuring by volume (1 to 1.2 ratio). Whole beans can get 1.2 times larger in volume after grinding. 

    Measuring the amount of coffee is not an exact science and I made the video to give people somewhere to start. In the end, it is a subjective task as people have different tastes and you should adjust your measurements accordingly. For example, I like a stronger tasting cup than my wife does so I adjust the amount I am using based on who is drinking it. I will add a shot of espresso to my cup if it is from a pot that I made with my wife in mind to give me the extra taste (and caffeine kick).

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

  • Gene

    Two TBSPs of coffee beans yield  three TBSPs  of ground coffee, by volume
    of course.  Karl was perfectly right.  I use a hand burr grinder every day and measuring exactly two TBSPs of beans and getting three TBSPs of  ground coffee. Maybe with an electric blade grinder you get two TBSP of ground coffee, I don’t

    know since I wouldn’t waste good beans with a blade grinder.


  • Fksva

    That’s 7 minutes and 21 seconds of my life wasted that I’ll never get back. The information could have been presented in less than 2 minutes. Problem is, it wasn’t worth presenting.

    Since there’s no consistency with home brewers for cup size, maybe you should USE A MEASURING CUP to determine cup size. What a novel idea!! Then you can come up with a formula or ratio that works for you on a consistent basis with any machine.

    And coffee is to be measured by weight because it varies greatly from roast to roast. If you always use the same coffee, then a scoop will work once you determine what you like, but you’ll likely have to vary the amount if you change from say a dark roast to a light roast.

  • kitchenbarista

    You are right, I did go on too long. It was one of my first videos and I will be updating it soon to present it more succintly. The point of the video was to give some guidance on how to measure your coffee. There are so many variables (roast, type of grinder, type of brewer, etc) and the main point is for people to figure out their personal tastes and be consistent by using a scoop or measuring cup as you suggest. 

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment. 

  • Baldie

    BABBLE BABBLE BABBLE, ….Never did give the proportions of beans to cups

  • Daaaaa

    ahhhh. If you where listening; 1:02 seconds into it he says: two table spoons of ground coffee per 6 oz. of H2O or water. Check it…

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