We don’t have a simple answer for you. What we have instead is a really good explanation why a simple answer won’t cut it.
It’s all about the variables
Trying to work out how much coffee you’ll get from a 1kg bag of beans means understanding the variables that come into play.
It depends on how you measure your coffee
Are you pouring your beans into your grinder by sight, or measuring the coffee using scoops or scales? Each method can affect the amount of coffee you’ll get from your 1kg bag.
Take scoops, for example. There’s no international standard or universal metric for scooping. Anytime you measure coffee with a teaspoon, tablespoon, special coffee scooper etc, it’s going to be a stab in the dark in terms of exact amounts.
And, measuring by volume doesn’t account for the variable amounts of empty space in each scoop or spoonful of coffee. Even if you are being extra careful, leveling off the granules and pressing them down a bit - those grams of coffee you think you’re adding per scoop could be pretty far off the mark.
You can also blame grind size (kind of).
This is why the grind size matters
Grind size only matters if you measure by volume.
Think about salt.
One tablespoon of fine, granular table salt can contain twice the amount as one tablespoon of rock salt.
The same goes for coffee.
A scoop of finely ground coffee can contain twice the amount as coarsely ground coffee - which means depending on the size of the grind (coarse, medium or fine), the overall amount of coffee going into each cup - and coming out of a 1kg bag - can fluctuate massively.
Luckily, the solution is easy. Just swap your scoop for a scale.
Measuring by mass using a digital scale is the best way to help you accurately calculate how much coffee you can make from your 1kg bag.
(It’s also an ideal way to help you produce consistently good brews)
We rate this scale from Brewista.
Think about how much coffee is wasted per 1kg of beans
For every 1kg bag of coffee beans, expect some waste. And when we say waste, we mean all the grams that never make it into the cup.
Like the grounds that the grinder retains. Or the waste from the coffee grounds you spill on the counter when making a cafetiere (we’ve all been there).
Or the waste that happens when you are dialing in a new grinder and trying to get the shots right.
In a commercial setting, large commercial grinders will often gather quite a lot of coffee waste between the plates (aka “burrs”) of the grinder, and over time this can result in many ‘lost brews’.
Factoring in something like coffee waste makes any calculation of ‘cups per 1kg bag’ more precise.
It depends on how you brew your coffee
What kind of coffee are you making?
Cold brew requires a lot more beans than other coffees (here’s a recipe that proves it).
And espresso machines work by compressing larger amounts of finely ground coffee into a small space which generally means they need more beans than, say, a filter coffee machine.
Also, if you like your coffee stronger and with a more intense flavour, you are going to get through more coffee than if you like it weaker.
So taste preference and brewing method also has a lot to do with it - meaning that 1kg of beans will go down a lot faster or slower, depending on how you like your coffee.
Does it matter whether the coffee is ground or whole beans?
Remember that old riddle about 1kg of feathers vs.1kg of iron? Well, it’s a bit like that. 1kg of coffee in, equals 1kg of coffee out.
You are going to get as much coffee from 1kg of pre ground beans and 1kg of coffee beans.
The only difference between 1 kg of ground beans and 1kg of whole beans is in what you produce, not how much you produce.
Conclusion: How many cups for 1kg of coffee beans?
So now you know why it’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question as it largely comes down to how you individually like your coffee.
Establish your brewing methods, taste preferences, cup size etc and test it out. Just make sure you weigh your coffee. And work your way through a few 1kg bags to find your average.
We reckon this bag of Brazilian Love Affair will do the job.
Approximations per bag
1kg bag = 55 coffees
250g bag = 16 coffees
Helpful Tip: Alex Spampinato, our Quality Assurance manager, recommends an app called Filtru. It’s pretty useful for anyone trying to get their head around things like brewing measurements and coffee to water ratios. Check it out here.
If you're really into coffee and want to explore the subject further, here's how you can learn more about coffee.