How Many Cups of Coffee in a Pound of Beans

How Many Cups of Coffee in a Pound of Beans?

It’s common sense that having your coffee from coffee shops can isn’t inexpensive at all. Every penny you manage to save is added to your budget for other needs, so it’s essential.

At the same time, brewing your own coffee at home can be much more cost-effective. This happens even if you go for more expensive beans (better quality coffee beans)

But Have you ever had the question:

How many cups of coffee in a pound of beans? How much does it cost to brew your own coffee at home rather than going to a coffee shop?

The answer may seem simple here, but it’s not; I need to show you some more details to approach this question within a successful way.

How Many Cups of Coffee In A Pound Of Coffee Beans?

I’ll give you a short answer to this, and then I am going to show you why this can’t happen in all cases.

The optimum ratio between water and coffee is 33,8 ounces of water (1 liter) to 1,09 ounces of coffee grounds (55 grams). I wish to save you from calculating and will give you an estimation of 47-48 ounces per cup, which results in 47-48 cups of coffee (approximately) per pound.

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These measurements are described to the Brewing Best Practices of Specialty Coffee Association of America. I am afraid though that this couldn’t be the single answer to your question. But, let me explain why I am saying this.

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Several Variables

I want you to examine here the choices of a coffee shop. What are the coffee options that you could order from? You could grab a shot of espresso, a cappuccino, an Americano, a pour-over, a latte, French press, and list goes on and on… For this wide variety mainly I can’t give you a single answer on the question “how many cups in a pound of coffee beans.”

Check out the following video that shows 27 drinks made from coffee.

Yes, there are a few basic coffee beverages, but the variety of coffee options is pretty wide. Various coffee types require different volumes of coffee grounds. Make sense, right? So, if you need to have an approach, we must first decide the brewing procedure we’re going to follow.

Following to the brewing method, we should define the volume of coffee. If you’re about to brew a single shot of espresso, you’re gonna need less coffee than brewing a double one. This is also an essential variable to consider.

After that, you should consider that each person when preparing coffee has different volume standards. If you have in mind a professional barista of a coffee shop, then this person has the training to calculate the precise volume of grounds per cup. On the other hand, at your local coffee shop of the corner, the barista could have a little more freedom in coffee dosing.

On top of that, when you’re the barista at the convenience of your home, you should consider your own preferences as well. Do you need a strong coffee to wake up in the morning? Different people use a various amounts of coffee when preparing their favorite beverage.

Following the Best Brewing Practises and Golden Ratio, the optimum amount of coffee is 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds / 6 ounces of water. Yet, the range between 1 or 2 table-spoons for how much beverage you’ll have through is enormous!

At last but not least, roasting, grinding, various types of coffee, and many more, can affect the required amount of grounds per cup.

Keep reading this article, since I am gonna give you an approach on each case on how many cups per pound of beans.

How Many Tablespoons Per Pound Of Coffee Beans?

In case you’ve searched for guides on how to make the perfect cup of coffee, you should have seen add a couple of tablespoons per shot. But how much coffee is it in one table-spoon? (calculate link)

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My table-spoon could be different compared to yours, right? And here is the problem. Table-spoon isn’t a standard measurement method. What’s the size of your table-spoon? How deep is it compared to mine? There isn’t a safe way to define the exact figure for coffee measurement.

A table-spoon is more of a rough visual estimation, and it couldn’t be precise. If you do your own online research you would see that the measurement for coffee is 5,3 grams – 7 grams – 8,7 grams (or 0.18 – 0.24 – .030 if you prefer ounces). Again, how many grams or ounces is your table-spoon?

I realize that a couple of table-spoons could be the most convenient way of measuring in your morning rush coffee. Yet, it’s not the correct answer for this topic.

To help this conversation move forward, I’ll assume that a table-spoon is somewhere between 5 – 10 grams. With this assumption, I’ll try to approach the topic and answer this question.

Having in mind this kind of estimation, I could say that each pound of coffee beans contains about 45 – 90 table-spoons. But this may be different since it depends on the size of the spoon you’re using!

Drip Coffee

Pod style coffee makers such as Keurig or Nespresso are the most common machines for making coffee at the convenience of your home. Drip coffee is still the most popular way of having coffee. Drip coffee makers are straightforward to use, and they make excellent coffee in a consistent way. To prepare excellent coffee, you have to know the basics such as how much coffee to use, what grind, water, and more.

For most of us, the right amount of coffee is 2 tablespoons per cup. We assume that your cup will be 6 ounces, and given this fact I can give you the following estimation: you may have about 24 and 46 cups of coffee per pound of beans.

Now you may have realized the size of variance that depends on how big is the table-spoon of your kitchen.

For sure, you may test the amount of coffee (in table-spoons) that are required for you to have the perfect cup. But I don’t think that you’ll go out of the range of cups from the estimation I gave you. The only way to go over or lower than 24-46 cups is if you prefer your coffee ultralight or ultra-strong.

Pour Over Coffee Beverage

For many coffee enthusiasts, this pour-over is their top choice of brewing. Some of them use specialty selections of beans, and they simply don’t drink other coffee than pour-over. This brewing method lets the complex and subtle notes of a specialty coffee to shine through to be cherished by the real connoisseur.

For the fans of coffee, pour-over brewing is like art than brewing with a regular drip coffee maker. One thing that is very simple to control is how much coffee to put.

Remember that the suggested amount of coffee is a couple of table-spoons. Yet, if this kind of coffee is prepared by a professional barista, he would likely use a coffee scale and not a visual estimation. Most likely, he would use 10 grams of coffee.

In short, I would say that the estimation of the coffee cups that you can prepare would be the same as with drip coffee. This means that it remains between 24-46 cups (6 ounces cup), but the estimations would tend to be closer to the lower limit.

French Press

Another typical brewer for preparing coffee at home is the French press. The measurements you need to check when using a French press are steeping time, size of grind, the ratio of coffee to water.

Similar to the previous methods of brewing coffee, the required amount of coffee varies according to your preferences. So, the question here is how do you prefer your coffee?

Some coffee experts say that 1-10 coffee to water ratio is the right spot to prepare coffee. Coffee sellers also mention that 7-8 grams of coffee is excellent for 200 ml of water (6,7 ounces). (Source: Illy)

These measurements remain within the area of the previous brewing methods. But, if it’s required to make a comparison, the table-spoon should be again at the lower limit.

Once again, a pound of coffee beans would give you 24-46 cups of coffee. This would depend on your taste. The cup remains at 6 ounces for the shake of the measurements.

Espresso Coffee

For me, espresso is a unique brewing method for coffee since it’s the only method that utilizes pressure to make water run through coffee. Moreover, the final extraction is something like a shot and not a cup of coffee. It’s the most concentrated form of coffee beverage. Think about how possible is to drink 6 ounces cup of espresso?

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Espresso is Italian, and the Italian institution of Espresso suggests that the appropriate amount of grounds required is between 6,5 – 7,5 grams for a single shot of espresso. With this amount, a pound of coffee could give 60-70 shots of espresso.

Yet, we don’t all live in Italy, and the answer couldn’t be that simple.

Within the borders of the United States, professional baristas tend to use a little more of coffee and serve a bit longer espresso shots than the Italian. So the amount of coffee used can reach up to 11 grams per cup.


On top of that, in the US, people tend to drink other beverages based on espresso (latte, cappuccino, etc.), which require double shots of espresso. Bear in mind that a double shot of espresso doesn’t require the double amount of coffee to be extracted. For a single shot, 10-11 grams are needed, whereas for a double you could use around 17 grams. Yet, this is far from the Italian measurement.

Under these measurements for the United States, a pound of grounds could give 40-55 single shots or 27 double shots of espresso.

Check out this video explaining the brewing ratio.

How Many Cups Of Coffee In A Pound Of Coffee Beans?

Has anybody recently made you the old joke question, what is heavier, a pound of metal or a pound of feathers? Of course, the response is that they have the same weight, but with the only difference in the amount of space they require, the volume.

The same stands for coffee grounds and coffee beans. A pound of beans has the same weight with a pound of grounds, and both will extract the same volume cups of coffee. The only distinction is that a bag, including a pound of coffee beans, will have a bigger size because they need more space.

I am happy that at least this enigma has a simple solution.

Check out the following video to see how mathematical problems could be easy and funny if you know to calculate…

The Perfect Cup Is…The Way You Prefer It

I believe that I’ve given an answer to some of your concerns about how many cups of coffee in a pound of beans. Actually, the most significant variable is you since everybody has various tastes and whatever makes excellent coffee for you is the correct amount to use.

How many cups do you make from a pound? What’s the amount of coffee you use to make a shot of espresso? If your opinion is different these measurements, either you find them too high, or too low just share with us know your thoughts to the comments box – and please if you don’t mind share this article!


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