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Why Do Baristas Weigh Coffee? Find Out Here!

So why do baristas weigh coffee before brewing? Do you weigh the coffee before or after grinding? What is the right coffee bean weight to use for brewing?

We answer these coffee bean questions (and more) right here, so you can make great coffee at home, everyday.

Barista weighing coffee beans on coffee weighing scale.

Why Do Baristas Weigh Coffee?

Baristas weigh coffee to ensure that every cup of coffee is of a consistently high quality. Weighing the coffee allows them to ensure quality control within every coffee that they serve.

Coffee beans are an agricultural product, and there are many different things that go into making the perfect cup of coffee. Too much or too little coffee can make a big difference to the final taste. 

Following the same coffee to water ratio is one of the best ways to make sure that each coffee brew is as consistent as the next.

Without following a recipe with specific measurements, each cup of coffee would be slightly different in terms of body, flavor and strength. 

You could go ahead and eyeball your measurements, but you can’t be certain that you will maintain the exact same weight in each coffee that you make.

This is due to the variation in coffee bean weight that occurs based on their origin, age, the roast, how long ago they were roasted and how they have been stored.

Coffee shelf life varies a lot based on these factors and as a result the weight will vary from cup to cup.

Baristas will weigh the coffee so that they can control the amount that they use, exactly. This helps achieve a consistent flavor every time. 

Weighing coffee is a really important part of a barista’s coffee-making technique, and it is something that all experienced baristas will do. 

If you would like to make more consistent coffee at home, click here to read our coffee scale reviews and find the best coffee scale based on your brewing style.

barista weighing coffee grounds

Do You Weigh Coffee Before or After Grinding?

If you want to have the best possible results, then you should weigh the coffee before and after you grind it using a coffee scale to ensure that you are getting the most consistent end results.

You should weigh the coffee before you grind it to ensure that you are using only the amount that you need, and you should weigh it again after you grind it to double-check the weight.

There are some coffee grinders that will retain some of the coffee, or there could have been some leftover in it before you started, leaving you with too much.

Following a recipe using the same coffee weight each time will help you replicate it again and again and ensure you get the same results each time.

Otherwise, the coffee can be either too weak or too strong, and you will never be able to achieve the perfect cup of coffee.

Do Coffee Beans Weigh the Same as Ground Coffee?

If you are grinding the coffee yourself, then the coffee beans will weigh the same once they have been ground as they did when they were whole.

Theoretically, you could just weigh your coffee beans, grind them, and go ahead and make your coffee.

However, you should always double-check the weight once the beans have been ground to make sure that none of the coffee has been retained in the coffee grinder.

Note that if you have sourced packaged whole coffee beans and ground coffee, then these two things will not weigh the same each time.

This is due to the fact that there are many different varieties of coffee that have been ground and packaged differently.

Each cup of pre-ground coffee or whole beans will have different weights. It will vary depending on:

  • The grind size
  • Age of the coffee beans
  • How well they have been packaged to prevent oxidization.

You should always double-check the weight of coffee and how much you need to use each time as you won’t always get the same results from each bag. 

Coffee scale on espresso machine weighing espresso shot

How Much Should a Coffee Shot Weigh?

A standard shot of espresso coffee should weigh between 7 and 9 grams.

For a double shot of coffee, it is recommended that the proper dose is between 14 and 18 grams. 

However, it is worth knowing that like many coffee brewing facts, every barista will have a different opinion on how much a shot of coffee should weigh.

It will depend on personal preferences and what has gone into the making of the coffee shot. 

There are also different methods of making a shot of coffee that could influence the overall weight and different types of coffee that will have varying weights.

When it comes to making coffee shots, the best types of espresso coffee are Arabica coffee beans, and these are the most commonly used coffee beans for coffee shots.

However, this is not to say that you can’t make the perfect shot of coffee outside of these recommended weight measurements.

Some people may follow different recipes and methods that result in heavier or lighter weights for their shots of coffee.

Want to know more about brewing coffee? Find all our brew guides here or choose from the articles below.

More coffee articles

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glass of whole coffee beans resting on coffee scales with text why you should weigh your coffee beans.
About Rachel R

Founder of Creators of Coffee, Rachel is a passionate coffee lover, SCA member and former barista, who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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