How many cups of coffee does a pound of coffee grounds make?

How much coffee does a pound make?

It goes without saying that coffee for some people is a matter of life – and as such also a regular and visible part of the household budget. But how many cups of coffee does a pound actually make? Read on to see the answer(s)!

The simple answer to the question is: It depends. It actually depends wildly. But when it comes to brewing coffee, there is always a starting point from which you can proceed to set up the right cup for yourself.

But remember if you have friends over, they may not want it as hefty as you do. Below you will find a nice table with our suggestions to the number of cups you can brew from a pounds of ground.

How much is a pound of coffee?

Let’s define first: When we talk about a pound – or lb for short – we are referring to a measurement unit of the so-called imperial measurement system. One pound of coffee is “roughly half a kilo”, but more accurately, we are dealing with around 453 grams.

In the US, bags of coffee are often sold in units of 12 oz, which is around 340 grams, but you will also see bags of 10 oz, or canisters with different contents, like 30 oz. Often, the more exclusive the coffee, the smaller the content.

How to calculate the amount of coffee that goes in a cup

This is easily the most complicated part of brewing the right cup of coffee for you and your guests. While each bag of coffee would have a suggestion to the brew, there are lots of factors that go into the right combination.

One is taste. Another is the water you use (water tastes different and is a huge part of the brew), the brewing method, the beans, and what you wish to add to your coffee afterward.

When using the most regular method – a drip coffeemaker – more often or not you would have a measurement spoon included in the bag. One spoonful per cup seems to be the common suggestion for a lean and easy-going cup of coffee.

The carafe (jug) of the coffee maker would then have indications for water, so when you fill water in the coffee maker to the 8 cup line, you should add 8 spoonfuls of ground coffee using the spoon provided.

The typical measuring spoon contains two tablespoons of ground coffee. Add to that the common coffee cup size of 6 ounces, and you are well underway to a typical brew. If you are using a mug, you would probably want to add another half measuring spoon, given the typical mug would be around 50% bigger at 8-9 ounces.

And remember: Every real tablespoon is different, so the only ‘valid’ way of measuring up is using the supplied spoon, or using a real measuring spoon. Your own dish spoon from the drawer would never contain exactly a spoonful.

How much is a cup of coffee really?

This is a tricky question! You need to realize that this is probably the most tricky question to answer.

Firstly, we have to get our heads around the metrics of “The Cup”. In the US, a “legal” cup is 240 millilitres, while in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, a “legal” cup is 250 millilitres, so that 4 cups gives a litre.

This was a way of inching old measurements into the metric system.

However, a cup of coffee is usually nowhere near the size of a “legal” cup. If you tried pouring that amount into a regular coffee mug, it would simply spill over.

Instead, you could use a measurement closer to half of that – around 120 to 150 milliliters.

Regular cup sizes used around the world:

  • Extra small cup: 4oz / 120ml – primarily for Espresso
  • Six-cup: 6 oz / 177ml – for a regular cuppa coffee
  • Medium: 8 oz / 227ml – for a larger cup, maybe to take away
  • Large: 12 oz / 340ml – mostly for takeaway or when the coffee maker at the office is a mile away
  • X-large: 16 oz / 454ml – for the morning commute, the walk to the office, those early morning meetings and then some

How many tablespoons are there in a pound of coffee?

A regular coffee scoop contains two tablespoons of coffee, or around 10 grams of coffee. So one tablespoon of coffee should roughly weigh around 5 grams. So when a pound of coffee is the same as 453 grams of ground coffee, the calculation is simple: There are around 90 tablespoons of coffee in a pound.

If you use the standard suggestion of one scoop per cup, you would get around 45 cups of coffee from a pound.

Knowing that, you should start investigating your own taste and add or subtract to find your own recipe. Coffee has a range of effects on your brain and body, including things like “waking you up”, relaxing your body and being laxative.

These effects kick in at different levels, depending on how you brew your coffee, and you should definitely work out a method where you make the most of your own pound of coffee.

How many cups of coffee from a pound of coffee?

From what we learned above we can now calculate how many cups of coffee we could expect to brew from a pound of ground coffee, whilst we also remember that one scoop of coffee is based on the standard size of spoon you get with a bag of coffee AND that the scoop contains the equivalent of two tablespoon measures:

Size of cupScoopsCups per pound coffee
Extra small cup: 4oz / 120ml¾ scoop (1½ tablespoons)60 cups
Six-cup: 6 oz / 177ml1 scoop (2 tablespoons)45 cups
Medium: 8 oz / 227ml1½ scoop (3 tablespoons)30 cups
Large: 12 oz / 340ml2 scoops (4 tablespoons)22 cups
X-large: 16 oz / 454ml3 scoops (6 tablespoons)15 cups

How many cups of coffee from a 12oz bag of coffee?

The 12oz bag is a typical size for a bag of coffee, especially in the US, so it is obvious that you would want to be able to calculate, how many cups of coffee this size of bag would provide, if you were to have a large party of coffeeholics over.

12 ounces equals just about 340 grams in the metric system, and since we previously established that a scoop of coffee weighs roughly 10 grams, we end up with 34 scoops from a 12oz bag of coffee. You can use the table below to calculate how many cups you can brew. Remember the “Six-cup” is the most widely used cup size.

Size of cupScoopsCups per 12oz bag of coffee
Extra small cup: 4oz / 120ml¾ scoop (1½ tablespoons)45 cups
Six-cup: 6 oz / 177ml1 scoop (2 tablespoons)34 cups
Medium: 8 oz / 227ml1½ scoop (3 tablespoons)22 cups
Large: 12 oz / 340ml2 scoops (4 tablespoons)17 cups
X-large: 16 oz / 454ml3 scoops (6 tablespoons)11 cups

So the simple answer to the question is: 34 cups, when using the standard “1 scoop to one cup” measurement.

Example list of 12 oz coffee bags from US retailer Wholefoods (Source: Screenshot from Wholefoodsmarket.com)