Why does a coffee maker say “12 cups” when each “cup” is only about 5 or 6 ounces when the water is measured?

Why does a coffee maker say “12 cups” when each “cup” is only about 5 or 6 ounces when the water is measured?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “how many cups in a pot of coffee

0 thoughts on “Why does a coffee maker say “12 cups” when each “cup” is only about 5 or 6 ounces when the water is measured?”

  1. “Cup” in this context doesn’t refer to the imperial measuring standard, it refers to a standard tea-cup, which was about 6 oz. Tea cups were originally imported from Asia (along with the tea itself), and were more like delicate bowls (without handles). Handles were a British change. And even then, there was a wide range of sizes; 6oz was less a “standard” size and more of an “average” size. Nonetheless, it stuck, and people now consider a “cup” of hot beverage to be 6oz. (but who only drinks 6oz of coffee or tea?).
    One thing to note is that until recently, cups were something you used fairly briefly; the coffee or tea was brewed into (or in) a larger container, and consumers would only pour a small amount into their cup. This allows the bulk of the beverage to stay warm, and lessens the amount of waste if you need to leave. There was no such thing as “Take out”, so the idea of dumping nearly a quarter of a gallon of coffee into a “cup” to walk around with would have seemed like the premise of a comedy skit.

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  2. A standard coffee cup as a measure is smaller than a US cup. The coffee maker says it brews 12 coffee cups and not 12 cups.
    Furthermore, what cups were you expecting to find? The US cup is 240ml, the Canadian cup is 250ml.
    A standard coffee cup is not a volume measure, it’s a serving size. It is what is recommended to drink as a coffee serving – around 5–6 fluid ounces.

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  3. The “cups” the carafe scale is sized for are china cups as used for formal tea and coffee serving in previous decades, typically 6 oz, vs kitchen meauring cups which are 8 oz.

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  4. There always needs to be a standard. This assures that everyone is talking the same language.
    A measuring cup is not a tea cup although at one time they probably were related. The standard for a measuring cup is 8 liquid ounces. Tea/coffee cups are smaller. The standard for tea/coffee cups is 6 ounces.
    My great-grandmother didn’t have measuring cups. She had a glass with a design that looked like fingers reaching up from the bottom of the glass. Her recipes referenced this glass. 1 full glass, half a glass, glass filled to the top of/half way/third of the way up the finger, etc. It was fine as long as you didn’t have to transfer the recipe to someone else. We tried to transfer the recipes to standards but it didn’t work and the glass has since been lost.
    Original question: Why does a coffee maker say “12 cups” when each “cup” is only about 5 or 6 ounces when the water is measured?

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  5. Probably because, until sometime after the 1950s, coffee was almost always served in 5 or 6 ounce cups. Large (8–10) ounce cups came along later and the giant mugs many people use today came even later.
    It’s a little annoying that the “cups” which measure coffee in coffee makers are neither realistic (although given the huge variety of coffee “cup” sizes, it would be hard to decide which size should be the standard), nor even the standard 8 ounce “cup” used in non-metric food measurement.

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  6. I make coffee in a plunger/beaker which has a volume of about 1 litre or 1000 millilitres . I pre-heat the beaker and plunger with boiling water from the kettle, drain off and add 40 grams of coffee, followed by just-off-the-boil water.
    After brewing for a few minutes the plunged coffee will yield about 900 millilitres for drinking.
    This will fill 12 demi-tasse cups (the small ones) which have a capacity of 75 millilitres (about 3 ounces) each.
    Enjoy.
    A milliliter (ml) is pretty much the same as a cubic centimetre (cc) in cooking circles. A sugar lump is a usually about 1 cc, i.e., one cm in all dimensions.
    Hope this helps.
    Why does a coffee maker say “12 cups” when each “cup” is only about 5 or 6 ounces when the water is measured? [Per the OP]

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  7. There are physical cups from which we drink; measuring cups with grid marking to make recipes, and a measuring unit called “the cup” which is a particular number of fluid ounces.
    Coffee makers have a marked carafe or pot that tells you the volume of water to be combined with measured amounts of coffee powder or coffee beans for maximum attainable flavor from minimum consumption of beans. .

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