How Many Coffee Beans Are in a Cup? (Essential Reading)

I’ve drunk a lot of coffee in my time and pretty much loved every cup. But I’ve never once considered how many beans go into making each one. I now have to know the answer so let’s find out. 🙂

On average there are 76 coffee beans in a cup, weighing 0.35 ounces. A typical shot of espresso needs around a quarter of an ounce of roasted coffee beans, or 56 beans. For a slightly larger 0.38-ounce espresso you’d need about 70 beans.

Join me as we look in detail at the relative number of coffee beans in a cup and different bag sizes – and find out how to measure the number of coffee beans you’ll need before grinding…

How Many Coffee Beans Are in a Cup?

How Many Coffee Beans Equal a Cup?

Let’s do some bean counting. To make a typical cup of coffee, you need around 0.35 ounces of beans (that’s 10 grams in the metric system). If you want to be really specific, there are about 76 coffee beans in 0.35 ounces.

Using ready-ground coffee? You need about two tablespoons per cup, aiming for a ratio of 1:15 to 1:18 water to coffee.

Before we all start laboriously counting coffee beans, remember that different types of coffee bean vary in size and density (for example, Arabica beans are bigger than Robusta beans).

76 is the average number of beans in a cup. (If you’re interested in the differences between the four types of coffee bean, this short film introduces the varieties.)

One more thing, before we go on to look at specific quantities of coffee. When we say “cup”, we’re talking about coffee cups rather than measurement cups.

While the type of cup we use for weighing ingredients holds 8 fluid ounces, a coffee cup takes a smaller 5 or 6 fluid ounces. So, just bear in mind that we’re referring to this slightly smaller quantity when we discuss cups of coffee.

How Many Coffee Beans Are in a Cup of Espresso?

A typical shot of espresso needs around a quarter of an ounce of roasted coffee beans (or as an Italian barista would measure, 7 grams). This is somewhere in the region of 56 beans. For a slightly larger 8 gram (0.38 ounce) espresso, you’d need about 70 beans.

Phew – I’m glad we got that straight!

You may have noticed that we said “roasted beans”. This is because pre-roasted green beans have a different size and density, and even if you’re unlikely to have a store cupboard full of freshly picked beans to measure out, we like to be precise about these things.

Unless you’re a farmer or green bean coffee buyer, coffee bean quantities are always given as roasted.

How Many Cups Are in a 12-Oz Bag of Coffee Beans?

You can make 32 cups of coffee from a 12-ounce bag of coffee beans. However, this calculation is made using the standard coffee cup measure of 6 fluid ounces. In real life, it’s probably half that amount, as we all love our 12-ounce mugs.

Of course, there’ll always be a variation, depending on how strong you like your coffee, what the type of bean is, what the type of roast is, and whether you need a fine or coarse grind.

Different brewing methods also use different amounts of coffee: an espresso machine is much hungrier for ground coffee than a French press.

How Many Cups Are in a 16-Oz Bag of Coffee Beans?

If you really love your homemade fresh coffee, then buying bigger bags can work out cheaper. How many cups can you get from a larger 16-ounce bag of beans?

We reckon you can get almost 20 decent-sized drinks from this amount of beans (and close to 40 cups in standard coffee measurements). 

How Many Beans Do I Grind for 4, 6 & 8 Cups of Coffee?

A cup of coffee uses 0.35 ounces of beans (10 grams), or if you want to count them out, about 76 individual roasted beans.

So, here’s a quick table to help you out:


If you’re measuring for espresso coffees, you need to reduce this amount. The espresso measurements are based on 0.25 ounces of beans (7 grams).

So the quantities needed to make espressos are:


How great are these tables by the way? If you’re a coffee nerd and a stats geek then you’ll definitely be able to sleep better at night now! 🙂

How Do You Measure Coffee Beans Before Grinding? (With & Without a Scale)

Measure your beans before grinding them. If you have a scale, it’s an easy job. Place a clean, dry, and empty bowl or cup on the scale, tare it so it gets back to zero, then tip in the beans.

But what if you don’t have any scales to hand? Well, you now know how many beans you need to make a cup, so you can always get counting!

This may be OK if you’re just brewing a single shot of espresso, but you may get bored if you’re making normal-strength coffee for eight.

If you don’t have any means to weigh the beans and really don’t have the desire to count out 608 individual beans, you’ll have to do this by eye. What looks like roughly half the bag, or a quarter of the bag?

Another way to measure coffee without scales is to use spoons or a coffee scoop. The easiest way to do this is to grind the coffee first, then measure it with the scoop.

You may get some waste as you’ll have to guess the amount of beans to grind; however, you will end up with an accurate dose of coffee.

If you did make too much and there are coffee grounds left over, bag them securely or pour them into a glass container and stick them in the refrigerator. They’ll be fine in there for a while, and if well sealed, ground coffee should keep fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.

How Do You Measure Coffee Beans Before Grinding?
How Do You Measure Coffee Beans Before Grinding?

How Much is a Coffee Scoop of Beans?

A scoop of coffee is two tablespoons of ground coffee, which is back to our old favorite original measurement of 0.35 ounces, 10 grams, or 76 individual roasted beans. This amount should make the perfect cup of coffee.

How Many Coffee Beans Are in a Tablespoon?

There are about 38 roasted coffee beans in a tablespoon. However, this isn’t the best way to measure beans as it’s not as accurate, and tablespoons are better for measuring ground coffee.

If you don’t have scales, either grind your coffee first or use a larger scoop for a more accurate measurement.

Summary: How Many Beans Are in My Cup of Coffee?

If you’re a stats nerd like me, then it’s great to find out how many beans go into making a cup of coffee, plus all these other measurements, weights and amounts.

Whilst not essential to know in terms of general knowledge (this wouldn’t make you fun at parties right?), if you’re using coffee in a recipe to cook with, then knowing all these relative quantities is fairly essential.

In the final analysis though, I guess the main thing to remember is does my cup of coffee taste amazing? If it does, then you know you’ve got your roasting, grinding, and brewing down to a fine art. 🙂