How many grams ground coffee in a cup?

Quick Answer

The amount of ground coffee in a cup depends on the type of cup and how the coffee is measured. Generally, a standard 8 ounce (237 ml) cup holds between 5-8 tablespoons or 28-57 grams of ground coffee. A single tablespoon of ground coffee is around 7 grams, so a cup usually contains 40-80 grams. The ideal amount can vary based on personal taste and the brewing method. Using too much or too little coffee grounds can lead to overextraction or underextraction.

Measuring Ground Coffee

Ground coffee can be measured by weight in grams, volume in tablespoons or cups, or by scoops from a coffee scoop. Here is an overview of approximate coffee measurements:

  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee = 5-8 grams
  • 1/4 cup ground coffee = 4 tablespoons = 28 grams
  • 1/3 cup ground coffee = 5 tablespoons = 33 grams
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee = 8 tablespoons = 57 grams
  • 2/3 cup ground coffee = 10 tablespoons = 71 grams
  • 3/4 cup ground coffee = 12 tablespoons = 85 grams
  • 1 cup ground coffee = 16 tablespoons = 112 grams

Measuring by weight in grams is the most precise method since ground coffee can have different densities. Measuring by volume in cups or tablespoons can vary in accuracy. Scoop sizes are not always standardized either and can range from around 7 grams up to 15 grams.

Grams of Coffee Per Cup Based on Brew Method

The amount of ground coffee that should be used per cup depends on the brew method. Here are general guidelines:

Drip Coffee Maker

  • 1 tablespoon per 6 oz cup = 5-8 grams per 177 ml
  • 2 tablespoons per 8 oz cup = 10-16 grams per 237 ml
  • 1/4 cup for 32 oz pot = 28 grams for 950 ml
  • 1/2 cup for 64 oz pot = 57 grams for 1.9 L

For drip coffee makers, a good starting point is about 1-2 tablespoons or 7-14 grams of coffee per 6 ounce cup. Adjust to taste from there. Use more grounds for bolder coffee or less for milder coffee.

French Press

  • 1 tablespoon per 4 oz cup = 7 grams per 118 ml
  • 2 tablespoons per 8 oz cup = 14 grams per 237 ml
  • 1/4 cup for 32 oz pot = 28 grams for 950 ml

Since immersion methods like French press require a bit more coffee for full extraction, start with about 1-2 tablespoons or 7-14 grams coffee per 4 ounce cup.

Pour Over

  • 1 tablespoon per 6-8 oz cup = 7 grams per 177-237 ml
  • 2 tablespoons per 8-12 oz cup = 14 grams per 237-355 ml
  • 1/4 cup for 32 oz pot = 28 grams for 950 ml

With manual pour over brewers, use around 1 tablespoon or 7 grams of coffee per 6-8 ounce cup. The filtration from pour over means you can use slightly less grounds than drip.

Cold Brew

  • 1/4 cup for 32 oz pot = 28 grams for 950 ml
  • 1/2 cup for 64 oz pot = 57 grams for 1.9 L

Cold brew coffee requires more ground coffee since cold water does not extract as effectively. Use a ratio of about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grounds per 32-64 ounce batch.


  • 7 grams ground coffee per 1 oz shot = 28 grams for 4 shots
  • 15-18 grams for double shot = 30-36 grams for 4 shots

The standard for espresso is around 7 grams of finely ground coffee per 1 ounce shot. A double shot uses 14-18 grams. For a 16 ounce cup, plan on using 28-36 grams of coffee.

Turkish Coffee

  • 1 tablespoon per 3-4 oz cup = 7 grams per 89-118 ml
  • 2 tablespoons per 6 oz cup = 14 grams per 177 ml

Due to the very fine grind, Turkish coffee requires more grounds at around 1 tablespoon or 7 grams per 3-4 ounce cup.


  • 2 tablespoons per 6 oz cup = 10-16 grams per 177 ml
  • 1/4 cup for 32 oz pot = 28 grams for 950 ml

Similar to drip machines, use around 2 tablespoons or 10-16 grams of coffee per 6 ounce cup for percolators. Adjust the amount to your preferred strength.

Instant Coffee

  • 1-2 teaspoons per 6 oz cup = 2-4 grams per 177 ml
  • 1 tablespoon for 8-12 oz cup = 5-8 grams per 237-355 ml

Since instant coffee is dehydrated soluble powder, you need much less – typically 1-2 teaspoons or 2-4 grams per 6 ounce cup of water.

Ideal Coffee to Water Ratios

The proper ratio of ground coffee to water is also key for brewing the best tasting cup. Too little coffee can lead to weak, watery coffee while too much can make it bitter and overextracted.

Drip Coffee Maker Ratios

  • 1 tablespoon coffee per 6 oz water = 1:18 ratio
  • 2 tablespoons coffee per 8 oz water = 1:15 ratio
  • 1/4 cup coffee per 32 oz water = 1:16 ratio

Use a coffee to water ratio between 1:15 to 1:18 for standard drip coffee makers.

French Press Ratios

  • 1 tablespoon coffee per 4 oz water = 1:14 ratio
  • 2 tablespoons coffee per 8 oz water = 1:15 ratio
  • 1/4 cup coffee per 32 oz water = 1:14 ratio

Aim for a ratio of around 1:14 to 1:15 for French press.

Pour Over Ratios

  • 1 tablespoon coffee per 6 oz water = 1:18 ratio
  • 2 tablespoons coffee per 12 oz water = 1:15 ratio

Pour over brewing often uses a ratio of 1:15 to 1:18.

Cold Brew Ratios

  • 1/4 cup coffee per 32 oz water = 1:4 ratio
  • 1/2 cup coffee per 64 oz water = 1:8 ratio

Use a higher coffee to water ratio of around 1:4 to 1:8 for cold brew.

Espresso Ratios

  • 1 oz espresso shot extracted from 7 grams of coffee = 1:7 ratio
  • 2 oz double espresso shot from 14 grams coffee = 1:7 ratio

The standard espresso ratio is around 1:7 coffee to water.

Turkish Coffee Ratios

  • 1 tablespoon coffee per 3-4 oz water = 1:3 to 1:4 ratio

Turkish coffee uses an intense ratio of around 1:3 to 1:4.

Percolator Ratios

  • 2 tablespoons coffee per 6 oz water = 1:15 ratio
  • 1/4 cup coffee per 32 oz water = 1:16 ratio

Use a coffee to water ratio of 1:15 to 1:16 for percolator coffee.

Instant Coffee Ratios

  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee per 6 oz water = 1:96 ratio
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee per 8-12 oz water = 1:64 to 1:96 ratio

Instant coffee is formulated to dissolve properly at ratios around 1:64 to 1:96 coffee to water.

Strength Guidelines Based on Grams

Here are some general strength guidelines based on grams of ground coffee per 6 ounce cup:

  • 2 grams = very weak coffee
  • 4 grams = mild, light coffee
  • 6 grams = medium strength
  • 8 grams = strong coffee
  • 10+ grams = very strong coffee

For a mild 6 ounce cup, use around 4 grams of ground coffee. For an intense cup, use 10 grams or more. Keep in mind that darker roasts will also produce a stronger flavor at the same amount of coffee.

Using Scales for Consistent Measurement

To get the most consistent cup every time, it is best to measure coffee grounds by weight using a small kitchen scale. This accounts for differences in ground coffee density and removes the variability of volumetric measurements. To use a coffee scale:

  • Place cup or carafe on the weighing platform
  • Press tare or zero to reset the displayed weight
  • Add the desired amount of ground coffee by weight

Many coffee enthusiasts recommend weighing beans instead of grounds for even more precision. This allows you to adjust the grind setting while keeping the coffee to water ratio perfectly consistent.

Factors that Affect Ideal Coffee Measurement

The precise amount of ground coffee needed can vary based on several factors:

Personal Taste Preferences

Some people prefer mild coffee, while others enjoy a very intense brew. The amount of coffee should be adjusted based on personal strength preferences.

Darkness of Roast

Darker roasts produce a stronger, bolder coffee flavor. You may need slightly less ground coffee for dark roasts to avoid overextraction.

Grind Size

The grind size significantly impacts extraction. Finer grinds lead to increased extraction, so less fine coffee may be needed. Coarse grinds require more coffee for full flavor extraction.

Water Temperature

Hotter water can extract more flavor compounds quickly so slightly less grounds may be needed at higher temperatures.

Filtering Method

Non-filtered methods like French press require more coffee since no flavors are filtered out. Additional grounds help achieve optimal extraction.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Cup

Here are some tips for achieving the ideal cup of coffee using the proper amount of ground coffee:

  • Always start with fresh, high quality coffee beans and grind right before brewing
  • Weigh coffee grounds using a scale instead of measuring by volume for consistency
  • Adjust coffee amount based on factors like grind size, water temperature and brew method
  • Use the recommended coffee to water ratios for the brew method
  • Change one variable at a time to dial in the perfect cup
  • Don’t skimp on coffee amount – insufficient grounds lead to weak coffee
  • Avoid excessive amounts that cause overextraction and bitterness

Proper coffee measurement takes some experimentation. Try weighing and recording the amounts you use as you adjust based on taste. Aim for a balanced cup that is smooth, nuanced, and highlights the best flavors.


Why does coffee need to be measured accurately?

Precise coffee measurement is important because too much or too little coffee will lead to under or overextraction during brewing. This can result in unbalanced, poor tasting coffee. Measuring precisely helps achieve the ideal extraction for great flavor.

Do you measure coffee grounds or beans?

Most people measure out ground coffee, but for ultimate consistency, weighing whole beans is recommended. Grinding beans to a consistent setting each time allows you to change grind size without altering the coffee to water ratio.

Is it really necessary to use a scale for coffee?

A scale is not mandatory, but is highly recommended for optimal consistency and precision. Measuring coffee by weight removes the variability associated with measuring by volume using cups and spoons. A 0.1 gram resolution scale can help dial in the perfect brew.

How fine or coarse should coffee be ground?

Grind size should match the brew method. In general, use a medium-fine grind for drip and pour over, coarser for French press, extra fine for espresso, and turkish grind for Turkish coffee.

How do you adjust coffee amount based on roast level?

Typically a medium or light roast benefits from slightly more ground coffee than a darker roast. Start with less for a dark roast, as more can lead to bitterness and overextraction due to the increased solubility.


Determining the right amount of ground coffee to use is important for achieving the perfect cup of coffee. Measure precisely by weight using grams, and adjust the amount as needed based on personal taste, brew method, coffee roast and grind size. Check that the coffee to water ratio falls within the ideal range for the brewing equipment. With some practice and controlled adjustments, you can learn to brew amazing coffee with the ideal measurement of ground coffee.

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