Deciding how many coffee beans you need to prepare a good cup of coffee takes work, especially when it’s your first time brewing by yourself, at home or at work. There are several things one might need to consider. Ranging from how much coffee beans or ground to the amount of water. This article will detail how much coffee you need per cup.
There are preferences for making coffee. Some like a bitter taste; others could prefer a mild taste. Some people with a sweet tooth would instead sweeten the coffee. Some calculations and breakdowns might require you to tweak your recipe until satisfied.
First, a quick recap about coffee beans: coffee beans are from cherry-like stone fruits called Coffea. Each coffee is said to contain a single pit which we refer to as the coffee bean. When split in two, the single seed gives two coffee beans. There are different types of coffee beans. Each varies in flavour, shape, and size. Irrespective of the coffee bean specie, they are all processed more or less the same way.
Coffee Beans Production
Coffee beans are processed using either the wet method or the dry method. First, the beans are either hand-picked or strip-picked. The difference between the two picking techniques is that hand-picking allows the pickers to segregate the ripe from the unripe fruits. Conversely, strip-picking takes all the fruits from the tree.
The wet method, also called the “washed method”, is used on beans from central America and parts of Africa. First, the skins and seeds are separated. Then the seeds are soaked and left in water for about two days. This is to begin the fermentation process. The fermentation process softens the mucilage. After washing off the mucilages, what is left are the wet beans.
The dry method is used in Brazil and some parts of Africa. It’s said to be used for lower-quality coffee beans, but when done right is worth its value. The most significant hurdle with this technique is equally drying the beans on all sides. While it takes more time, it’s simpler to execute.
The fruits are dried on a pavement, brick or concrete slab and consistently turned around to make all sides dry at the same rate. Doing this ensures the beans are dried at the same speed also.
Following drying for both methods, the sorting stage begins. After sorting, the beans are roasted and then packaged.
Factors Affecting The Number of Beans Per Cup
Many factors would affect the number of coffee beans required to produce a proper cup of coffee. Here are some of the said factors:
Coffee Bean Size
The primary factors affecting the size of a coffee bean are the specie and growth conditions. There are majorly two species: The Arabica and the Robusta. The average coffee bean is about 14 (medium) to 16 (large). Smaller beans are used to make cheaper coffee. The average bean weighs approximately 0.1 to 0.15 g.
In this process, harvested green coffee beans are heated by roasting. The process yields either light roasted or dark roasted coffee beans. The longer you roast the beans, the darker they become. Based on your choice, you can have either or both. Roasting coffee beans sharpens and heightens their flavour. Roasting affects the number of coffee beans per cup because moisture is removed during this process, and in turn, the beans shrink in shape and size.
Another determining factor is grinding. How well the coffee bean is ground contributes to the number of beans you’ll need in the first place. While it’s probably true that the weight of a specific number of whole coffee beans is the same as when it’s ground, there’s more to this factor. There are different grind sizes you can attain. The primary reason is that they could be used for other coffee-making methods.
The different ground sizes include the following:
- Medium-fine and
- Medium grind
The various combinations of coffee grounds to water ratio bring about different types of coffee. For instance, a single shot of espresso coffee requires 1 ounce of water (30ml), while a double shot requires 2 ounces (60ml).
How Many Beans Per Cup?
You’ll need to do some calculations to deduce the number of beans per cup. Used here are the size and weight of the average beans. Following the procedure, you can do your calculations if you have larger or smaller-sized beans.
The average bean size is 14 to 16 (medium to large) and weighs about 0.1 to 0.15 grams each.
To make a cup of a single espresso shot, you’ll need to use 6 to 8g of coffee beans. Take your coffee beans and weigh them with a simple weighing machine. You should already have one by now. Grind the beans to your preferred ground size. The weight should still be the same. Dissolve the coffee ground in one ounce of hot water.
A coffee bean weighing about 0.1g would mean you need 60-80 beans to get 6 to 8 grams, respectively. The range is to decide how strong you want your coffee. Feel free to reduce the weight to 4g if you prefer a weaker coffee.
To prepare a double shot espresso, roughly, you’ll need 14-18g of coffee beans. Calculated with each coffee bean’s weight still at 0.1g, you’ll need 140-180 beans per shot.
Since espresso is the baseline for all types of coffee, you can start from that recipe. Adjust the recipe to make any other type of coffee you want. For instance, making a cappuccino requires one part coffee (the shot), one part milk, and one part of the foam. If you wish to make more quantity, dilute with hot water or make a triple shot espresso.
The golden ratio refers to the perfect balance of coffee ground to water based on the most popular opinion of coffee experts and people. The Golden Ratio is 55 grams of coffee grounds per litre of water. According to the Specialty Coffee Association, this ratio will provide you with a good cup of coffee. You can add more hot water to meet your desired quantity or adjust your coffee ground to satisfy your taste expectations from this control ratio.
To sum up the given parameters, on average, one coffee bean weight= 0.1g, every one litre of water(33.8 ounces) to 55 grams of coffee grounds. With these, you can calculate how many coffee beans and, more specifically, how many grams you need to make a suitable cup.
Take a look at this example. Assuming you’d prefer your coffee to be as much as 200ml, to calculate the weight of coffee needed, do this using the golden ratio.
55g of coffee= 1 liter (33.8oz/1000ml)
X= 200ml. Cross multiply, and you get the weight of the coffee to be 11grams.
To deduce the exact amount of coffee beans, do this.
1 coffee bean= 0.1g
X= 11g. Cross multiply. The number of beans needed will be 110 pieces.
In conclusion, calculating the number of coffee beans you need per cup isn’t tricky once you have the Golden Ratio as well as the average weight of a bean. I hope this article has enlightened you on how to go about preparing your favourite beverage well-proportioned. Easily use this knowledge to your advantage when designing any coffee.