How Many Cups of Coffee in a Pound? – Learning the Right Composition

Have you ever had these questions in your mind: How many cups of coffee in a pound of beans? What is the cost of brewing your own coffee at home instead of going to a coffee shop? Even though the answer might seem easy here, in reality; it really isn’t.

Those who love coffee and everyone with a common sense know it is not easy to drink coffee from a coffee shop on an everyday basis. As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned. It is as important to save money as it is to make it.

It is necessary to have some savings for rainy days as they come when you least expect them. You wouldn’t want to suffer just because you spent every penny you earned not only on needs but all your wants too. They are unlimited and the more you have, the more you spend. It’s a vicious cycle.

Saving should not only be limited to buying expensive things. You can save considerable amount of money if you brew your own coffee at the comfort of your home. Even if you opt for the better quality and higher priced coffee beans, you can still save.

Let us have a look at approaching this question in a successful way.

How many cups of coffee in a pound of coffee beans?

There is a short and simple answer to this. But then we will explain why this does not happen in every case.

The optimal water to coffee ratio is 33,8 ounces of water (1 litre) to 1,09 ounces of coffee grounds (55grams). If you calculate, then it’s estimated 47-48 oz per cup. This results in approximately 47-48 cups of coffee per pound.

These measurements are explained to Brewing Best Practices of Specialty Coffee Association of America. However, this is not the ultimate answer to our question. Let us explain why is that.

Multiple Factors to Consider

Let us have a look at some of the factors that play a vital role here.

Various Choice of Coffees

You can examine the options of a coffee house. What are the coffee choices that you can order from? You can order a cappuccino, espresso, an Americano, a latte, pour over, French press and many more. The options are manifold.

Due to this wide assortment of options, we can’t have a single answer to the question “how many cups of coffee in 1 lb of coffee beans?

The basic coffee beverages are a few, but the options for coffee drinks are numerous. There are different volumes of coffee grounds that are required in order to make different types of coffee. This makes complete sense too.

If you need a method, then you must first decide what brewing procedure you are going to follow. After the brewing procedure, you need to define the volume of coffee grounds.

If you are to brew a single espresso shot, then the coffee required is less compared to brewing a double shot. This is a variable that is important to take in consideration.

Exact Volume of Coffee

The next thing to take into consideration is that every person has different standards for volume when brewing coffee.

If we talk about a skilled barista who works at a renowned coffee house like Starbucks, then we need to take into account the fact that this person has been trained professionally to calculate exact volume of coffee grounds per cup.

On the other hand, a person who works at a smaller scale coffee house located at the corner might have a bit more freedom in calculating volume of coffee grounds.

When you are the barista, brewing a cup of coffee from the comfort of your own home, then you should think about your personal preferences as well. Do you prefer a strong cup of Joe to wake you up and give you much needed mental boost in the morning? While preparing their favorite coffee beverage, different people use varying amounts of coffee.

Following the Golden Ratio and the Best Brewing Practices, the optimal quantity of coffee used is 1-2 table spoons of coffee grounds per 6 ounces of water. However, the range between 1 or 2 table spoons for how much drink you will have is vast.

Grinding or Roasting?

Last not definitely not the least, the amount of coffee grounds per cup can also be affected by grinding, and roasting various types of coffee.

How Many Tablespoons in a Pound of Coffee?

If you have done plenty of research on how to make that perfect cup of coffee, then you would have definitely seen adding a few table spoons per each shot. The question arises here, how much coffee is in a tablespoon? 

One person’s table spoon could be different as compared to another person. This is where the problem lies. Tablespoon is not a standard method of measurement. The size of a tablespoon can vary. The depth of a tablespoon can vary from one person to another. There is no one way to define a precise figure for measuring coffee.

It is more of rough visual approximation and cannot be exact. If you do some research, you will come to know that coffee measurement is 5,3 grams – 7 grams – 8,7grams (or 0.18 – 0.24 – .030 if you measure in ounces). Then you need to figure out how many ounces or grams is your tablespoon.

A few tablespoons could be the easiest way to measure your morning coffee when you’re in a hurry. However, this is not the accurate answer.

A tablespoon is between 5 – 10 grams. Having this approximation in mind, we can say that a pound of coffee beans contains about 45 – 90 tablespoons. However, as mentioned above this can be different depending on the size of spoon you use.

Drip Coffee

Keurig and Nespresso are the most commonly used pod style coffee brewers for making coffee at the comfort of your home. The most renowned way of having coffee is still drip coffee.

There is no rocket science required to use drip coffee makers. They make fantastic cup of coffee in a reliable manner. However, in order to prepare a fantastic cup of coffee, you need to have a know-how of the basics – as to how much coffee should be used, water, the grind, and so on.

For most, the optimum amount is 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup. Assuming that the cup will be 6 ounces, we can have the estimation that you may have about 24 and 46 cups of coffee per 1 lb of coffee beans.

The size of variance depends on the size of tablespoon that is present in your kitchen.

You can test the quantity of coffee in tablespoons that are necessary for you to make a delicious cup of coffee. But we doubt that you will go out of this range of cups from the approximation we provided above. The only way to go higher or lower than the 24 – 46 number of cups is if you have coffee ultralight or ultra-strong.

Pour Over Coffee

Pour over is the top most brewing choice for many coffee aficionados. Some use specialty collections of coffee beans, and they don’t simply drink any coffee other than the pour over. This method of brewing lets the intricate as well as the delicate notes of a specialty coffee to be clearly seen that are to be enjoyed by the true coffee connoisseur.

For the avid coffee lover, brewing pour over coffee is more like art rather than brewing with a standard drip coffee maker. There is one thing that is pretty easy to control – it’s how much coffee to put.

As we know that suggest quantity of coffee is 1-2 tablespoons, nonetheless, if this coffee is brewed by a skilled barista, he would probably use a scale to measure coffee instead of using a visual estimation. He would use approximately 10 grams of coffee.

We can say that the approximation of the cups of coffee you can brew would be the same as with the drip coffee. Meaning that it remains between 24 – 46 cups (6 ounces cup) but the approximation would be nearer to the lower limit.

French Press

Another common brewer used for brewing coffee at the convenience of your home is the French press. You need to check size of grind, steeping time, ratio of coffee to water while preparing coffee with a French press.

Much like the coffee brewing methods discussed above, the quantity of coffee changes as per your likings. How do you like your coffee matters the most.

1 – 10 coffee to water ratio is considered the perfect for preparing coffee as per some coffee experts.

For 200 ml of water (6,7 ounces) 7 – 8 grams of coffee is considered excellent by coffee sellers.

These measurements are within the area of brewing methods discussed above. But in order to make a comparison, the tablespoon must be at the lower limit again.

Again, 1 lb of coffee beans would give 24 – 46 cups of coffee depending on your taste. The cup would remain at 6 ounces.

Espresso Coffee

Espresso is an exclusive method of brewing coffee as it is the only technique that utilizes pressure in order to make water run past coffee. Also, the ultimate extraction is a shot instead of a cup of coffee.

It is the most concentrated amongst all sorts of coffees. The origin of Espresso is Italy. It requires around 6,5 – 7,5 grams of coffee grounds for a single shot as per the Italian institution of Espresso. With this quantity, we could have 60 – 70 shots of espresso with 1 lb of coffee.  

The quantity varies in the United States. Some skilled baristas use more quantity of coffee for espresso shots and hence, serve longer espresso shots compared to the ones made in Italy. The quantity of coffee can go up to 11 grams a cup.

The people in United States like to drink other beverages that are based on espresso such as cappuccino, latte etc. This requires double shots of espresso. You must know that a double espresso shot does not need twice the quantity of coffee to be extracted.

For a single shot, you need 10 – 11 grams. For a double shot, you need around 17 grams. Again, this amount is different than the Italian measurement.

For the United States, these measurements could give 40 – 55 single shots or 27 double shots of espresso for 1 lb of coffee grounds.

Our Final Thoughts on Coffee Composition in a Pound

In case someone has ever asked you this, which is heavier, a pound of metal or a pound of feathers? Then you probably know the response already that they both are equal in weight. The only difference is the amount of space required by each, the volume.

Same is the case with coffee grounds and coffee beans. Both have the same weight and they extract same volume of cup of coffee.

The only difference is that a bag, having a pound of coffee beans will be larger in size as they require more space, more volume.

This mystery has a pretty simple solution.

The most significant variable in this question, “how many cups of coffee in a pound of beans?” is YOU since everyone has their own unique tastes, and the optimum quantity is the one that makes fantastic coffee for you.