How Many Ounces in a Cup of Coffee?

Does your day feel incomplete without a good cup of coffee? For many people around the globe, this adored beverage is a must in the morning. However, it is surprising how people often get confused with coffee recipes because of different definitions of a cup.

Naturally, this can make it difficult to follow a recipe correctly. To ensure that your concoction is perfect, you might ask, how many ounces in a cup of coffee?

How Many Ounces in a Cup of Coffee?

Conventionally, a cup is about 8 ounces but a cup of brewed coffee measures 6 ounces. While a standard coffee maker will produce 6 ounces worth of coffee; when you want a cup of coffee, a cup might have a different physical capacity altogether. However, it is worth noting that every country measures a cup of coffee differently.

A cup of coffee with beans

There is a lot of confusion surrounding how many ounces there are in a cup of coffee. Depending on factors like the sort of cup you have or the type of coffee strength you prefer, you may have to alter your coffee recipe. It thus becomes necessary to take a deep dive and understand more about coffee in general.

Your Preferred Strength Determines the Coffee Powder You Need

If you’re trying to figure out how much coffee you need to make a cup, it is worth thinking about your preferred strength. Generally, to make a cup of coffee you need between 1.5 to 2 tablespoons worth of coffee powder, while the latter quantity will make a stronger coffee than the former.

In other words, if you like stronger coffee, you need to use more coffee and if you prefer a lighter beverage, you need less. If you have coffee beans that you grind before making a cup of coffee, you might want to know how much you need to grind for one cup. If you need two tablespoons worth of coffee powder, grind 0.38 ounces worth of beans, and if you need 1.5 tablespoons worth of powder grind 0.29 ounces worth of beans.

To avoid any unnecessary errors, ensure that you use a digital scale to figure out the number of coffee beans you’re grinding for your cup of coffee.

Different Countries Have Different Conventional Cup Sizes

Did you know that different countries can have totally different conceptions of what standard cup size is? It can be a bit overwhelming to digest this information which is why I have arranged the important information below for you:

  • 1 US customary cup = 236.6 mL
  • 1 US legal cup = 240 mL
  • 1 metric cup (UK, New Zealand, and South Africa) = 250 mL
  • 1 imperial cup (UK, New Zealand, and South Africa) = 284.1 mL
  • 1 Australian Cup = 250 mL
  • 1 Canadian Cup = 250 mL

It makes sense to check the recipe you are following to figure out what measurement to follow. A recipe from an Australian site will necessitate a different approach from you to ensure you make the perfect coffee. A bad cup of coffee is a bullet worth dodging so be careful.

Starbuck Coffee Cups Measure Differently 

It is difficult to speak about coffee without mentioning the mammoth that is responsible for popularizing the beverage on a large scale. The craze surrounding Starbucks is justified as the business earned a whopping 24.6 billion dollars in the U.S. alone. The organization is present in about 80 countries and has earned itself a reputation among coffee lovers.

You might wonder what are the cup sizes offered at Starbucks since they look way heavier than 6 ounces. You might be surprised to know that the sizes that they offer exceed the conventional cup sizes. Here is a list of Starbuck cup sizes that you can check out for yourself:

  • Short = 8 ounces
  • Tall = 12 ounces
  • Grande = 16 ounces
  • Venti (Hot) = 20 ounces
  • Venti Cold = 24 ounces
  • Trenta 30 ounces

If you’re planning to keep an eye on your coffee consumption and regularly visit Starbucks, it might be a good idea to keep the cup sizes in mind for good measure. After all, the cup sizes are significantly larger than standard cup sizes. 

A woman holding a cup of coffee

Recommended Daily Coffee Intake

While coffee is a widely adored beverage, everyone doesn’t make it perfect. Ideally, a cup of coffee should be made according to the golden ratio (i.e. 1 part coffee should equal 18 cups of water). That being said, ideally, a person should only consume about 4 to 5 cups of coffee in a day according to the Food and Drug Association (FDA). If you are on a Keto diet, you might want to stick to 2 cups of coffee per day.

It is in your best interest to stick to the recommended coffee intake to avoid health complications that for some could even lead to death.

What Is the Golden Ratio of Coffee?

There is a decent amount of science involved in making a cup of coffee. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the ideal cup of coffee requires a ratio of 1 part coffee to 18 parts water. In other words, mix 10.6 grams of ground coffee with 6 ounces of water to concoct the perfect caffeinated beverage.

Many researchers talk about the importance of the water-to-coffee ratio. According to Christopher H. Hendon, an assistant professor from the University of Oregon, the right water-to-coffee ratio and the freshness of the coffee ensure a perfect cup of coffee.

Everything that you learn about coffee teaches you to be mindful of measurements. Therefore, it is best to pay attention to coffee recipes and use proper measurement tools like a digital scale and measuring cups to make the perfect cup of coffee. The outcome will be a caffeinated concoction that will leave you in a state of bliss.

Too much caffeine consumption can cause symptoms that are undesirable such as:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Facing difficulty in sleeping
  • Having trouble digesting food
  • Triggering high blood pressure
  • Feeling unusual fatigue
  • Frequently needing to urinate
  • Feeling dehydrated
  • Experiencing rapid or abnormal heart rhythm

If you consume too much coffee, you are essentially going to be more jittery. To avoid facing the negative consequences of drinking too much caffeine, limit your coffee consumption between 32 to 40 ounces of coffee in a day. However, do remember that these calculations assume that you aren’t consuming caffeine in other forms.

Related Questions

How Many Ounces Is a Normal Coffee Mug?

The average coffee mug will hold between 8 to 12 ounces of coffee in it. This is about two times the quantity of coffee a teacup can hold.

How Many Spoons of Ground Coffee per Cup?

Ideally, a standard cup of 6 ounces requires anywhere between 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. It depends on how strong the drinker prefers the coffee to be.

A lady holding a cup of coffee in a cold weather


Conventionally, a cup measures 8 ounces but a standard cup of coffee is about 6 ounces. However, most cups that I use daily for coffee consumption can hold more than 6 ounces. To add to the confusion, different countries have different cup measurements altogether. Understanding what a cup means can help you make it perfect and regulate consumption.