Barista General Knowledge Knowing Your Weight And Volume

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Welcome to the intricate and fascinating world of coffee brewing, where precision and passion blend to create the perfect cup. For aspiring baristas and coffee aficionados alike, understanding the subtleties of measurement – both in weight and volume – is crucial.

Let’s dive into this essential coffee knowledge, exploring how these measurements impact your brewing process and the quality of your coffee.

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The Art of Brew Ratios

At the heart of coffee brewing lies the concept of brew ratios. This is the foundational principle that guides how much coffee grounds are used in relation to water. It’s what differentiates various coffee styles, from the intense ristretto to the milder lungo.

How many grams of coffee in a shot – Australia?

Traditionally, espresso measurements were based on volume. In Australia, for instance, a standard shot of espresso typically involves about 7-9 grams of coffee, resulting in approximately 30 milliliters of espresso. This precise ratio is key to achieving the ideal balance of flavor and strength when you serve espresso coffee.

How many mls in a shot of coffee?

However, this approach falls short in accurately capturing the essence of the coffee’s flavor. This is because it doesn’t consider the actual amount of coffee grounds used to make the shot. For instance, the taste of 60 ml of espresso can vary significantly depending on whether it’s made from 18 grams or 24 grams of coffee grounds.

Moreover, relying solely on volume measurements for your espresso can lead to inconsistencies in your brew, especially as the coffee changes over time. For example, coffee brewed just two days after roasting will produce a double shot with much more crema than the same volume of coffee brewed two to three weeks later.

Although the volume remains unchanged at 60 milliliters, the difference in crema content can result in distinctly different flavors, demonstrating the limitations of volume-based measurements in achieving consistent coffee quality.

In addition, volumes of various constituent parts will vary depending on the type of coffee you are making. For instance, how much milk in a latte – Australia?

In Australia, when preparing a latte, the typical ratio of milk to coffee is as follows: one-third of the beverage consists of 1/3 espresso: double shot, 2/3 steamed milk (170 – 225 ml), 1 cm foam.

weighing coffee or ground coffee

What is standard coffee cup size (ml)- Australia?

Traditionally, coffee was often measured by volume. For example, in Australia, a standard coffee cup size is around 220-250 milliliters, while a standard latte cup typically holds about 220 milliliters.

However, as already stated, volume measurements can be inconsistent due to factors like the density of coffee grounds and the variable amount of crema produced. This is where weight measurement comes into play, offering a higher degree of precision and consistency.

The Superiority of Weight Measurement

Using a scale to weigh your coffee grounds and water allows for a more controlled and repeatable brewing process. This is particularly crucial in espresso making, where the exact ratio of grounds to water can significantly impact the taste and quality of the shot. For instance, in Australia, a standard shot of coffee (ml) (espresso) is about 30 milliliters, extracted from 7-9 grams of coffee. This precision ensures a consistent and enjoyable espresso experience.

The Significance of Brew Ratio in Espresso Making

Cappuccino cup, Latte, Espresso coffee

Understanding the brew ratio is crucial in crafting espresso that consistently meets your taste preferences. Once you’ve fine-tuned this ratio, it becomes a reliable method for reproducing the exact flavor profile you enjoy. The brew ratio is pivotal because it governs the extraction process – the interaction between the coffee grounds and the water used to brew them.

Essentially, the more water you pass through the coffee grounds under pressure, the more the grounds are extracted. This process of extraction is a delicate balance: increasing the amount of water not only enhances extraction but also dilutes the strength of your espresso.

Therefore, perfecting your brew involves striking a harmonious balance between the weight of your coffee grounds and the resulting liquid. The goal is to reach a point where your espresso is neither under-extracted, which can lead to a weak but also bitter flavour, nor over-extracted, which often results in a diluted taste, thereby ensuring a rich, well-rounded flavor and satisfying mouthfeel.

Essential Tools for Precision

To achieve this level of accuracy, a high-quality digital scale is indispensable. It becomes particularly crucial for methods like pour-over espresso, where the balance of water and coffee needs to be exact. The scale’s live readout helps in monitoring the weight in real-time, ensuring that each brew meets the desired standards.

When Volume Measurement Suffices

In certain brewing methods, such as using a French press, volume measurement can still be effective. Since all the water is added at the start, measuring the grounds and water by volume can be sufficient.

However, it’s important to note the challenges of volume measurement, especially when it comes to the consistency of ground sizes and their compaction. Also the style of coffee and volume of milk is a vital factor. In Australia, for a latte, the amount of milk typically used is around 150-200 milliliters, depending on the size of the cup.

For precise coffee brewing, the tools you choose for measurement are crucial

Options range from a highly accurate digital scale to basic kitchen scales, as well as measuring spoons, cups, and jugs.

Using scales provides the advantage of precision and control. This is particularly beneficial for brewing methods like pour-over drippers, where maintaining accurate coffee-to-water ratios is key. Here, you pour water from a kettle over the coffee grounds, keeping an eye on the scale’s live readout in tandem with a timer.

Similarly, for espresso, adhering to the maximum dosing guidelines for the espresso basket, typically specified in weight, is essential. The scale helps ensure the correct espresso shot ratio is achieved, with a timer aiding in monitoring the process.

Live weight readouts are crucial in these scenarios for maintaining accuracy.

In contrast, for immersion brewing methods like the French press, constant monitoring of water addition isn’t necessary. Everything is added at the beginning, allowing for volume-based measurements.

Measuring Techniques

For Scales:

  1. Place your cup, bowl, or brewing vessel on the scale and use the tare function to zero it.

  2. Measure the coffee according to your chosen ratio.

  3. Tare the scale again with the brewer containing the coffee.

  4. Add water, watching the scale until you reach the desired weight based on your ratio.

For Volume Measurement:

  1. Consistently measure coffee using spoons or cups. Strive for uniformity in each measure, whether heaped or leveled. a. For heaped spoons, maintain a consistent volume. b. For flat spoons, level off the heap consistently for uniformity.

  2. Transfer the measured coffee grounds into your brewing vessel.

  3. Use heat-proof measuring cups or jugs to measure the boiled water.

  4. Add the water to the brewer as per your measurement.

Discovering Your Personal Coffee Ratio

Finding your ideal coffee ratio, whether using weight or volume, is a journey of personal taste and experimentation. Begin with standard recipes and adjust them to suit your palate. Keep a detailed brewing journal to track your experiments with different ratios and methods. This practice will help you refine your technique and discover what works best for you.

Consistency: The Secret to Great Coffee

Drinking coffee, coffee cup sizes, cup sizes

The ability to consistently recreate your favorite coffee is what separates a good barista from a great one. Whether you’re working with an espresso machine or a simple pour-over setup, accurate and consistent measurement is key. Remember, the journey to mastering coffee is ongoing, and each cup is an opportunity to learn and improve.


In summary, understanding the nuances of weight and volume in coffee brewing is a fundamental skill that every barista needs to practice until she masters her craft. By focusing on precision and consistency, and considering the specific measurements like the grams of coffee in a shot or the standard sizes of coffee cups in Australia, you can elevate your coffee experience. Each perfectly measured cup is a step towards coffee excellence, blending science and art in every sip..

Interested in embarking on a thrilling career as a professional barista? Skills Training College offers nationally accredited training courses across Australia. Explore our barista courses in SA, Brisbane CBD, and the Gold Coast, and take the first step towards your future by enrolling today.