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Chad

20 Tablespoons of coffee for a pot?

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MSNBC has an odd little article on coffee.

The part that really threw me was

Most coffee makers measure “cups” as one 6 oz. portion – use two level measuring tablespoons per each 6 oz. cup of water.

Am I reading that right? He wants me to put 20 tablespoons of coffee in the basket for a 10-cup pot? :shock::shock:

What gives, o' coffee gurus?

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I've seen the same thing on just about every bag of coffee I've bought recently and I am stumped too. I like my coffee very strong but that way it is just undrinkable. I usually go for a scant 1 1/2 per cup. A rounded coffee scoop is about right too, but of course with the fancy stuff you don't get one of those. Anyone know how much they hold?


Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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You are reading that right. It all depends how finely you grind your coffee and how your brewing it, but two tablespoons per 5-6oz cup is a good place to start.

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that's what i use.

for most people it seems to be too strong, but i love it.

actually my friends who are either european or latin or spend a lot of time in europe or latin america, love it like that. my american friends don't like it at all.


Edited by tryska (log)

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It totally depends on how long you brew the coffee, too. If you use the 2 T/cup formula, you don't need to brew the coffee for very long. This extracts all the good stuff and very little of the not-so-good stuff, while still providing a nicely strong cup of coffee. The only way to get the same level of flavor with less coffee is to brew it longer (which can either be via extended steeping in a presspot or a finer grind in a drip system). But this results in the extraction of more not-so-good stuff, and ultimately an inferior cup.

Then again, I suppose some people prefer coffee-flavored water. :blink:


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man do that method in a regular old drip brewer with some quality french roast, and it's this delicious brew you can practically chew. without the bitterness. love that stuff.

matter of fact i think i'm gonna have some french roast this weekend for brekkie.

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I use 5 coffee scoops of beans for my coffee. When I make coffee from already ground, I use about 3 1/2. 20? Maybe in a coffee urn!


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I do think so much depends on brewing method. Made with this ratio in a manual drip cone like a Melitta or with a press pot and brewed for the optimal (and relatively short) amount of time.... it yields a very ful bodied and satsifying cup. When lesser grades of coffee are used, brewing temps are not exactly right or brewing times are longer (a common problem).... this ratio can yield a bitter cup.

The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) shows 7.5 to 8.0 grams of grounds per 6oz cup to be the sweet spot for ideal extraction of the solubles. Not sure who this compares to the weight of grounds that fits into an industry standard scoop but I think it's probably closer to two tablespoons than one.

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I do think so much depends on brewing method. Made with this ratio in a manual drip cone like a Melitta or with a press pot and brewed for the optimal (and relatively short) amount of time.... it yields a very ful bodied and satsifying cup. When lesser grades of coffee are used, brewing temps are not exactly right or brewing times are longer (a common problem).... this ratio can yield a bitter cup.

I understand that the brewing method makes a difference. I can see using nearly this amount (about a cup and a half!) of grounds in a press pot or something of that sort. But for a standard Braun 10 cup drip coffee maker? Damn, that's a lot.

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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The Columbian Coffee Growers also use that recommended measure as do most major manufacturers.

Brewing time and grind should not play into the formula. Slower than ideal brewing over extracts the coffee making it bitter. Faster under extracts, making it weak. The same with fineness of the grind. It relates to brewing method. But too fine a grind than recommended for a brewing method over extracts. Too course a grind under extracts.

Best cup of coffee. Always one coffee measure or two tablespoons. Then the brewing speed and grind fineness recommended for your brewing method.

All that said. When I was developing the Coffee By The Pound program for Dunkin Donuts we had two formulas. One for Kansas and neigboring states - one tbs per 6 oz cup and one for the east and west coasts (any anywhere else but Kansas) - two tbsp.

At one point Dunkin Donuts made all franchises follow the same ratio of coffee to water. They had to relax their rule in the non-Chicago midwest.

Edit: I just checked a plastic coffee measure to be certain. The standard coffee measure is, indeed, two tablespoons.


Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Hmmm. I live in Kansas :rolleyes:.

Well, hell, I'll give it a try and see what happens. I generally like my coffee pretty strong, but not bitter. Dunno if the Braun is up to it. The real test will be to see how my wife reacts. I suspect it'll be something along the lines of, "Mmm, this is pretty good . . . WTF? Where did all our coffee grounds go?" :laugh:

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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It totally depends on how long you brew the coffee, too.  If you use the 2 T/cup formula, you don't need to brew the coffee for very long.

Not sure if I'm reading all the preceding posts correctly, but just to clarify...

A common standard is one coffee scoop (2 Tbs) per 6 oz water (which is 3/4 cup of water-not 1 cup).

Funny, my mom has always made coffee this standard way, but people that came over would always say how great the coffee was, etc. She doesn't use *fancy* coffee, I just think that many people make it much weaker, don't measure correctly, etc.

With a standard drip coffee maker, paper filter, etc. the coffee comes out nice and strong but I would never classify it as inordinately so... but I guess it depends on what you are used to.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A comment about coffee scoops: it used to be that a standard scoop was one tablespoon, and the wooden scoops you get with, for example, Bee House canisters are still that size. Most new scoops are two tablespoons. I think the change came about when people in general switched from percolators to drip machines (believe me, if you make perked coffee with 2 tbsp. per cup, you'll end up with mud).

I've found that for smaller amounts of water, you need the larger proportion of coffee. For a while when I was in between coffee makers, I used my old one-cup electric Melitta "travel" drip coffee maker. It brews directly into a mug that holds about 9 ounces, and to make decent coffee, I needed to use at least 3 tbsp per cup.

Now that I have a large coffe maker again, I find that for anything up to about half a pot, 2 tbsp per (6-oz) cup makes the best coffee. After that, I use proportionately less coffee. Thus, for a full pot (60 ounces) I probably use about 15 or 16 tbsp of coffee.

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A comment about coffee scoops: it used to be that a standard scoop was one tablespoon, and the wooden scoops you get with, for example, Bee House canisters are still that size. Most new scoops are two tablespoons. I think the change came about when people in general switched from percolators to drip machines (believe me, if you make perked coffee with 2 tbsp. per cup, you'll end up with mud).

I've found that for smaller amounts of water, you need the larger proportion of coffee. For a while when I was in between coffee makers, I used my old one-cup electric Melitta "travel" drip coffee maker. It brews directly into a mug that holds about 9 ounces, and to make decent coffee, I needed to use at least 3 tbsp per cup.

Now that I have a large coffe maker again, I find that for anything up to about half a pot, 2 tbsp per (6-oz) cup makes the best coffee. After that, I use proportionately less coffee. Thus, for a full pot (60 ounces) I probably use about 15 or 16 tbsp of coffee.

Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed post. I have been generally using a drip maker; and not a huge number of cups. I'll make adjustments next time for a crowd. :smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Brewing time and grind should not play into the formula. Slower than ideal brewing over extracts the coffee making it bitter. Faster under extracts, making it weak.

The bold type is the point I was trying to make and failed to express it accurately. Using a manual drip or press pot allows the brew time to be properly controlled - typically to about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Most consumer auto drip makers take much longer to brew a 10 or 12 cup pot - often as long as 8 -12 minutes - the brew ends up being bitter. One might make a full pot on an auto drip maker and assume that the type or amount of the coffee (two tbsp per 6 oz cup) was the problem when in fact it was the brewing time. There are a few 10-12 cup auto drip machines that brew quickly but among those, the majority brew at too cool a temp - another serious problem.

Now that I have a large coffe maker again, I find that for anything up to about half a pot, 2 tbsp per (6-oz) cup makes the best coffee. After that, I use proportionately less coffee.

Yes... this makes sense. I know folks who make four cups at a time in their auto drip machine and pour off the results into a thermal carafe until they have a "full pot". There are some four cup coffee makers that brew quickly enough and also at about the right temp (I think the Kitchenaid four cupper may be one of these).

When I switched from using an auto drip maker back to a Melitta I found myself using more coffee and getting a much smoother cup that was also fuller bodied and more robust (my auto drip maker is not too competent).

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Using a manual drip or press pot allows the brew time to be properly controlled - typically to about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Most consumer auto drip makers take much longer to brew a 10 or 12 cup pot - often as long as 8 -12 minutes - the brew ends up being bitter.

My morning cup usually comes out of a one-cup Black & Decker machine that I bought years ago for my desk at work, so I wouldn't have to drink the awful office coffee. It uses a Melitta-type filter and takes about three minutes to make the coffee. I find I get good results if I use 2 tbs for a medium-sized mug. If I use 3 it just gets kind of muddy and unpleasant, and the wet grounds overflow the little cone, though with a lighter roast 2 1/2 works okay. I went through I little trial-and-error testing with the machine. Sadly, B&D no longer makes this machine.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I was actually EXCITED to brew my coffee this morning, armed will all of this newfangled coffee information.

I carefully, and coarsely, ground my beans, measured them out, and placed them in the Bodum (sp?) coffe press. Added the boiling water, let the grounds steep for 5 minutes, then presto, down went the press.

The resulting cup o' joe was deep and rich in color, and had a pleasant and refreshing bouquet. But the taste was, well, disappointing. I was using some Kona Peaberry I recently was given, and the taste was flat and astringent. All bitterness and surpirisingly thin body, given the color.

Please help me! Am I doing something wrong, or, even worse, to I actually prefer BAD coffee? :shock::angry::huh:

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I was actually EXCITED to brew my coffee this morning, armed will all of this newfangled coffee information.

I carefully, and coarsely, ground my beans, measured them out, and placed them in the Bodum (sp?) coffe press. Added the boiling water, let the grounds steep for 5 minutes, then presto, down went the press.

The resulting cup o' joe was deep and rich in color, and had a pleasant and refreshing bouquet. But the taste was, well, disappointing. I was using some Kona Peaberry I recently was given, and the taste was flat and astringent. All bitterness and surpirisingly thin body, given the color.

Please help me! Am I doing something wrong, or, even worse, to I actually prefer BAD coffee? :shock:  :angry:  :huh:

For many years, I made coffee every day in an automatic drip coffeemaker. I always thought press coffee was, eh, though I used a small press to make coffee at work. I didn't much like the sludge or the flavor.

Then I started roasting my own beans, and as I was home in the morning, I started brewing it one cup at a time in a small Melitta unit. The method I ended up going with was to put the coffee in a Pyrex measuring cup, pour on the hot water, and stir. After 3 minutes, I would pour it into the filter, it would rush through, and my coffee was done. Rather like steeping tea.

Then I found that the automatic drip coffeemaker was no longer acceptable to my taste. The coffee tasted awful, though I'm sure there wasn't any change in the machine. So I gave the machine away and went strictly Melitta.

I don't drink coffee anymore, but if I did, that's how I'd do it. I never thought Kona was all that flavorful a brew, though, YMMV. My favorite was a blend of Yirgacheffe and monsooned Malabar. Sigh.

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Like I don't have enough to do packing up my life for an impending move and now you all have me measuring the amount of coffee I use! :biggrin: I have the plastic cone-shaped coffee scoops (Melitta- I think) and they hold exactly 1 (ONE) tablespoon. But I always lift as much coffee as possible with them so I just measured that out and it is within a hair of 2 (TWO) tablespoons (for each 6oz cup). I have a Braun and most people compliment me on my coffee. I ALWAYS remove the filter with the used coffee the minute it has dripped through.

Edited to make better sense, I hope.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Like I don't have enough to do packing up my life for an impending move and now you all have me measuring the amount of coffee I use! :biggrin: I have the plastic cone-shaped coffee scoops (Melitta- I think) and they hold exactly 1 (ONE) tablespoon. But I always lift as much coffee as possible with them so I just measured that out and it is within a hair of 2 (TWO) tablespoons (for each 6oz cup). I have a Braun and most people compliment me on my coffee. I ALWAYS remove the filter with the used coffee the minute it has dripped through.

Edited to make better sense, I hope.

If you use too much coffee, you can always add hot water to your cup. But if you don't add enough, there is nothing you can do to save it. So better strong than weak.

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MSNBC has an odd little article on coffee.

The part that really threw me was

Most coffee makers measure “cups” as one 6 oz. portion – use two level measuring tablespoons per each 6 oz. cup of water.

Am I reading that right? He wants me to put 20 tablespoons of coffee in the basket for a 10-cup pot? :shock::shock:

What gives, o' coffee gurus?

Chad

I generally make a 12 cup pot of Coffee with a Melita # 6 Filter and weigh out 12/13 oz. of Coffee for a extremly strong Brew.

I'm sure that this measures more then 24 Tablespoons and if you take into consideration of the volume of ground coffee tempered into each shot of expresso it would even add up to more then 20 Tablespoons.

For general Restaurant URN Use it averages 1 pound per 2 gallons of brewed coffee. Only the most institutional operations will dilute this into 2 1/2 Gallons per pound.

Pre Mix Packages for Coffee Makers use serving into standard 64 ounce Serving Carafes run from 4 packets per pound all the way up to 8 per pound [biege?]

I'm not sure of the weight/volume per Tablespoon of Ground Coffee but 20 Tablespoons seem about right middle of the road per 10 cups of regular coffee.

Irwin :unsure::biggrin:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) shows 7.5 to 8.0 grams of grounds per 6oz cup to be the sweet spot for ideal extraction of the solubles. Not sure who this compares to the weight of grounds that fits into an industry standard scoop but I think it's probably closer to two tablespoons than one.

Wow, I go for 18 grams in a 12-ounce cup. I must like my coffee super-strong.

Funny thing is, even my non-coffee-appreciating friends really like my coffee. I blame having a close personal relationship with day-out-of-the-roaster coffee :biggrin:

FWIW, I use a melitta cone. I also have noticed that water temperature is a very difficult thing to control, but yields the most variance in a cup.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Added the boiling water, let the grounds steep for 5 minutes, then presto, down went the press.

Clifford, I would suspect that if you backed off the time to 3.5 or 4 minutes, you will have better luck.

As an aside question, do you use a blade or a burr grinder? I use a blade grinder, and I find that press-pot coffee is slightly inferior to filtered coffee because the nature of grinding with a blade creates a lot of small schmutz which makes the coffee bitter before its time.

Best of luck!


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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