How Big is a Coffee Scoop? Is it Bigger or Smaller Than a Tablespoon?

For years I made coffee based on changing things I thought I did wrong with the last brew. I never had any consistency, as I just eyeballed every scoop and used around the same amount of water.

Sometimes my coffee would come out extra strong, and others weak. I wondered if it was the roast I was using, as I switched up what I used frequently.

Eventually I decided I should take more care into the process of making my coffee. I started by getting a small grinder to get the freshest possible coffee each time I brewed. I made sure to keep my machine clean to prevent any undesirable tastes.

I continued to miss the biggest part though, and that was consistency in the ratio of coffee I brewed. At this time I wasn’t into making espresso, so I never thought much about ratios in my coffee brewing.

I always thought my parents just scooped out of their can of coffee each day by eyeballing it. I later figured out they always had the same scooper in the canister, which is why their coffee tasted consistent every day. I always struggled to achieve it.

I used to mistake one scoop of coffee for one tablespoon, which is why when I followed the instructions on my coffee I ended up with weak coffee. I started doing my own measurements when I decided the label was wrong, which kept resulting in coffee that was too strong for my taste.

So How Much Is A Scoop? Coffee Scoop Size Defined

coffee scoop sizeTraditional coffee scoop size is roughly equivalent to two tablespoons. Leveled scoopers of this size are designed to spoon 10-grams of coffee grind at a time, an optimal amount needed for every 6-8 ounce cup of brewed coffee.

However, when I think about the standard measurements for coffee, I like to assume that I am working with eight ounces because I own 8-ounce coffee cups in my home and I don’t need room for milk or creamers.

I also think of the caffeine content by 8-oz cup, which is around 100 mg give-or-take. So

when I think of how I will measure out my daily brew, I like to stick with eight ounces for consistency.

With this in mind, a coffee scoop should be at least two heaping tablespoons when brewing for an eight ounce cup of coffee if not a pinch more.

I used to do two leveled tablespoons per cup of coffee just as they say on the label but because most coffee product manufacturers size their brewed coffee in 6-ounce increments I’ve started using the rounded tablespoon or coffee scoop technique in my home and everything dies indeed taste better.

Realistically though, a coffee scoop can be whatever size you want assuming it allows for ease use and consistency in your measurements.

If however you’re reading a label or referring to scoop size or amounts in some brewing guide, just go with two level tablespoons as a code word for one scoop of coffee. This rule of thumb will usually produce the desired taste.

What If I Drink More Than Eight Ounces?

The guideline of using two heaping tablespoons per eight ounces is a base measurement that can be adjusted depending on your needs. Not everyone likes their coffee to be the same strength, so it’s natural that you might have to play around with the guidelines to find what is right for you.

A lot of people don’t stop at one cup. That’s why I was so confused by my coffee label and continued to brew bad coffee. I misunderstood the scoop information, and thought that the bag was trying to appear as if it will last longer than it truly does. Instead, I ended up making vastly inconsistent brews based on my own guesses.

You can easily adjust the two tablespoons to eight ounce ratio. As long as you measure out your water in cups, you can easily add the amount of tablespoons to match up. If you’re planning to brew a full 12 cups with your drip coffee maker, you will need 24 tablespoons of coffee, which would be 12 “scoops”.

Let’s break it down:

1 cup = 8 oz water + 2 tbsp coffee (1 scoop)

2 cups =16 oz water + 4 tbsp coffee (2 scoops)

3 cups = 24 oz water + 6 tbsp coffee (3 scoops)

4 cups = 32 oz water + 8 tbsp coffee (4 scoops)

5 cups = 40 oz water + 10 tbsp coffee (5 scoops)

6 cups = 48 oz water + 12 tbsp coffee (6 scoops)

7 cups = 56 oz water + 14 tbsp coffee (7 scoops)

8 cups = 64 oz water + 16 tbsp coffee (8 scoops)

9 cups = 72 oz water + 18 tbsp coffee (9 scoops)

10 cups = 80 oz water + 20 tbsp coffee (10 scoops)

11 cups = 88 oz water + 22 tbsp coffee (11 scoops)

12 cups = 96 oz water + 24 tbsp coffee (12 scoops)

If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet, don’t feel too bad. Remember, I made inconsistent coffee for years because I couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to measure out my scoops.

I’ll go ahead and give the pattern away.  If you’re making one cup, you need one scoop of coffee. If you’re making two cups, you need two scoops of coffee. If you’re making three, you need three scoops. And so on. It’s an easy-to-remember one.

If you don’t have something that measures two tablespoons as one scoop, the pattern is simple as well. Just double the number of cups to see how many tablespoons you’ll need. Again, this can be memorized pretty quickly.

If you are using one cup of water, you need two tablespoons of coffee. If you are making two cups of water, you need four tablespoons of coffee. If you are making three, you need six tablespoons of coffee. And so on.

Of course, you can always play with these numbers to get the right strength for your perfect cup of coffee. This is just a general rule.

What About Other Brewing Methods?

If I’m making a French press, I like my brew to be bold and strong. I tend to use three tablespoons per one cup of water for my French press brew.

If I were using a two-tablespoon scoop, it would be one and a half scoops per one cup of water. I usually brew 16 ounces in my French press, or two cups, so I’d use a generous three scoops of coarsely ground coffee for my desired strength.

To break it down, it would look like this:

1 cup = 8 oz + 3 tablespoons (1.5 scoops)

2 cup = 16 oz + 6 tablespoons (3 scoops)

3 cup = 24 oz + 9 tablespoons (4.5 scoops)

4 cup = 32 oz + 12 tablespoons (6 scoops)

And so on.

Again, play around with the ratio. You might prefer something stronger or weaker, and the texture of the grind will affect this as well.

If I’m making espresso, I like to go with the general rule of two tablespoons, or one scoop, per double-shot of espresso normale.

If I’m making ristretto or lungo, I play around with the amount of water, but stick to one scoop for a typical shot.

What About Single-Serve Coffee Brewers?

Keurigs use two tablespoons of coffee for each of their K-Cup pods. The standard ratio for these brews is two tablespoons, or one pod, for six ounces of coffee. You can look at K-Cups as being one scoop, since they contain two tablespoons.

There are other Keurigs out there that are able to brew larger amounts of coffee, and for that they make pods which hold various amounts of coffee based on how much they can brew.

There are a lot of variations single-serve coffee makers, and they can all pack different amounts of coffee within the pods.

Do I Need To Get A Coffee Scoop?

You can easily make do with something that isn’t designated to be a coffee scoop. You might even have something your household now that is the perfect size for a two-tablespoon scoop of coffee.

I like to use a large spoon that I found holds just over two tablespoons. I typically brew coffee in my coffee maker, or make espresso, so the standard two-scoop spoon is all I need.

Using a scoop has helped me make better coffee, but I could easily swap it out for measuring out two tablespoons. Whenever I’ve misplaced the scooper, I can just measure out two tablespoons per one cup of coffee.

You’ll want to play around with your measurements and figure out what brews the best coffee for your tastes. I’d recommend using two tablespoons per one cup of coffee as a baseline, and adjusting around there.

You can add more water or coffee to the ratio as you go, just be sure to keep track of what you liked best. Eventually you’ll be able to narrow down the most convenient size.

Once you’ve figured out the exact amount of coffee you like to use as a baseline for your ratio, you can decide what to use for your daily scoop. It can be fun to go out and find a quirky item that holds the right amount.

For many, simply using a tablespoon measuring spoon will be enough. It’s an item most people have laying around the house, and will yield accurate results.

You’ll eventually get down the right amount of coffee to water, and be making consistent cups each day. If you’re looking into figuring out how much a scoop of coffee is, you’re starting in the right place. Dosing the correct amount is crucial to getting the most out of your coffee.

How Big Is A Coffee Scoop?

How Big Is A Coffee ScoopIt’s not always clear what size of scoop you need to use for your coffee, but it can be so important!

The amount of coffee you use can determine the flavor and strength of your cup, and it relies on a number of different variables.

These kinds of things can include what you’re using to measure, as well as how much you drink at a time.

Some users may even want to consider how sensitive they are to caffeine, or how much they enjoy the flavor of the coffee.

For the perfectionist its always best to dose your coffee up by weight relative to the amount of water you are using and the brewing method you intend on using. We have an entire post here dedicated to reviewing the best coffee scales if you want to get that precise.

For the average person however tablespoons to water is the simples and easiest rule of thumb to keep in mind and in fact most coffee tins that come with scoops some with tablespoon sized scoops.

Check out the following links to see some of our favorite scoops that you can buy.

There are really so many things to take into account when you think about the coffee you’re scooping into your machine.

Continue on, and you’ll find out what to look for in your scoops and how to use them to make the perfect cup every time!

Ground Coffee Vs. Pods

If you use coffee pods, then you’ll likely find the design makes it very easy. Typically, each pod works for one serving. If you use group pods like K-Carafe, then they’ll likely be marked with how many cups you get per pack.

For those who use them, this is a highly convenient aspect that can mean you don’t have to worry about measuring out grounds.

If you’re interested in a coffee maker that gives you the option to use these pods, there are plenty that can use both options for the highest possible efficiency.

However, if you don’t use coffee pods then it’s going to be important to know how much coffee to use for each cup.

The best way to do that is to have a scoop that will be able to measure efficiently so that you know exactly how many grounds you get per scoop.

Finding the right amount can make a huge difference in the flavor of your cup because it helps you to get just the right ratio of coffee to water.

Most people likely use something around their home, like a spoon, tablespoon or teaspoon.

Some may not bother to measure out the amount at all, and just estimate how much they need based on the results. It can really vary from person to person!

There can also be some differences in the ratio depending on the kind of coffee maker you’re using. For example, a French press might need a different ratio than a drip-style coffee maker.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to make sure you’re using the right sized scoops in your coffee so that every cup is perfect.

It’s all about having the right tool and the correct ratio for the amount of coffee you drink.

You may be surprised when you find out how much better it makes your coffee!

What Should You Use?

Realistically, you can use pretty much anything you want to scoop out coffee grounds with as long as you get the right amount.

A regular spoon can work if you aren’t too picky, or for those who are keen on the exacts you can also measure the amount by weight.

There are grinders that can also measure out the amount you’re looking for, including such fancy devices as the Forte AP or BG. This can be a great option to make sure you get the exact amount.

Many people will fit somewhere in the middle, meaning you want to use the right amount but don’t feel the need to weigh every grain.

It’s helpful to have a measuring item that is clearly marked, and that you know can contain the amount it claims to.

For many, this is a tablespoon because a standard cup of coffee asks that you use two tablespoons per 8oz of water.

If you want something more specific that you can use just for your coffee then you can even find a 2-tablespoon scoop so that you only need one scoop per 8oz cup.

Something like this can make the process of making coffee a little bit simpler and it gives you something you can trust to provide the right amount each time.

Many of us don’t have the brain power in the morning to count out all the scoops we need. While it may not be too difficult if you just want one cup, it can quickly build up if you want more than one or need to provide coffee for multiple people.

The Ratio Of Coffee To Water

As mentioned earlier, the typical ratio for the ideal coffee is about 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces of water. Do keep in mind that depending on your coffee maker, some of that water can disappear into evaporation due to the heat.

Regardless, if you’re looking to stick to the standard then it’s a great place to start.

This is especially true if you’re new to making coffee.

You can think of it as being similar to learning a new recipe. Most people stick to the recipe exactly the first time they try it out, then make adjustments for their own tastes.

Naturally, it’s perfectly acceptable to do the same thing when you’re making coffee.

Generally speaking, the regular ratio will work perfectly well. After all, it’s the standard coffee “recipe” for a reason.

Most people don’t want to overdo it when it comes to the strength of their coffee, but also want to be able to get the boost they need.

While keeping this ratio in mind, it’s a good idea to measure the amount of water you use as well. For each standard serving size, you’ll use 8 ounces.

This magical combination is likely to improve the quality of the resulting cup for many people who haven’t been focused on the ideal coffee scoop or coffee-to-water ratio in the past.

How Much Do You Drink At Once?

While there is a standard serving size, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the serving size that everyone sticks to.

There are some people who drink 16, 20 or even 24 ounces in a sitting! In those situations, it’s important to adjust your ratio so that you’re still in line with the 2-tablespoon to 8-ounce ratio.

When you know what to expect from that ratio, you can also choose to use less coffee so that you can enjoy the larger serving without as much of a caffeine jolt. It all depends on your personal tastes, but starting with that ratio is the perfect starting point.

Another option you can use to simplify things is to stick to 8 ounce servings, but have them more often throughout the day.

No matter which you choose, you’ll want to make sure your scoops are well-measured in some way or another

If you want a device or tool specifically for measuring your coffee, that’s a highly recommended option that can simplify your efforts greatly.

Specialized Coffee Scoops

One of the most common options is a coffee scoop, which can measure out exactly the amount you need for an 8 ounce serving.

Many of these scoops are made to be lightweight and give you an easy way to get the right amount of grounds every time without having to worry about too much calculation.

It’s typically about twice the size of a tablespoon and comes in a number of different material options. You can easily keep these little scoops in your coffee container to use whenever you need it.

Another option you have is a grinder that can weigh out the coffee to measure it by weight rather than volume.

There are plenty of grinding options, from smaller grinders meant for home to heavy-duty options that are made for more heavy-duty use.

Not all of them are able to measure the weight, so you’ll need to shop carefully if that’s your ideal option!

Overall, the most important thing to take away from this article is that using the ratio of 2 tablespoons to 8 ounces of water can ensure that your coffee tastes as it was meant to.

It’s a great idea to use this ratio when you make coffee, but you can divert from it if your personal tastes drift in a different direction.

There are also a number of tools you can use to make measuring quick and easy for just about any serving size you may need.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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