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How many cups of coffee does a bag make?

How many cups of coffee does a bag make?

We get asked this somewhat regularly, and we understand why. People want to know how much coffee they're going to get out of the bags they're turning over their hard-earned money for. What's their coffee bang per precious buck? 

Well, here's a little bit of help in that regard! In this post we'll give you some basic guidelines for how to figure this out yourself. 

Based on the standard bag sizes we offer here at Ross Street Roasting, you can expect to get about this many cups of coffee out of each bag...

We're making a few assumptions here, so let's just tell you what those are. This guide assumes...

  • A 1:17 ratio of ground coffee to water used when brewing (achievable with the use of a scale)
  • A mug size of 10oz
  • Each person is only drinking 1 cup / day

Things can get confusing fast in the world of brewing coffee at home. There are so many different home coffee makers out there today: Drip coffeemakers (Ye Olde Mr. Coffee), Keurigs, Nespresso's, Ninja's, French Presses, Moka pots, AeroPresses, and on and on and on!

Further complicating things is how much ground coffee to use in each device, because each type will call for differing amounts of ground coffee. (And don't even get me started on different grinds per device! - That will be another blog post.)

And notice above that I mentioned using ratios, weights, and a scale. I know what you're thinking...

There are some times when even Roaster Brian ain't got time for that, either! So here's what I usually tell people when they ask "how much"...

"Just use as much ground coffee as you normally use."

If our coffee comes out tasting stronger than you're used to using the same amount of grounds, and you like that stronger flavor: Keep on keepin' on! If you don't like how strong it came out tasting, just use a bit less ground coffee next time.

Interlude: The "I like a bold coffee" drinker

We get this quite often. What I've learned when coffee drinkers here in Iowa use the word "bold," what that usually means is they like dark, smoky roasts (and we've got a coffee for that). It's true that the acrid, bitter, smokey qualities of a dark roast seem "strong" or "bold," relative to other types of flavor notes you'll encounter in light or medium roasted coffees.

I get it - But here's the thing: "Bold" or "strong" aren't actual flavors; they're intensity descriptors. I can make you a weaksauce cup of dark roast by using a lesser-than-normal amount of coffee grounds.

And then I can turn around and make you a knockout punch strong cup of light roast by using a higher amount of coffee grounds in the brewing process.

So back to the original question: How many cups?!

If you love math, numbers, and spreadsheets and haven't bought yourself a scale for measuring coffee and water, you have my permission to go get one. You'll love nerding out with using mass instead of volume to measure out your coffee. And you'll get more consistent results. Use the industry standard 1:17 ratio for drip coffee as a guide, and you'll be able to calculate just how many cups of coffee you'll get out of a bag of roasted beans.

If you don't love math and just want the damn cup of coffee, just look back up at that handy table at the top of this post, because that's going to be a good enough place to start gauging how many cups of The Good Stuff you'll get out of our bags of fresh-roasted awesomeness. Here's an even simpler guide:

  • 5oz bag: Just under a week
  • 12oz bag: About 2 weeks
  • 2lb bag: About 1 month
  • 5lb bag: You better have a lot of coffee drinkers in the house :) 

If you have any questions, critique, or want to correct the error of my ways - pipe in the comments below or sent us an email through the Contact page.

Happy brewing!

("Coffee Mug in Beans" photo by Matthew Henry via Burst)

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