How Many Coffee Grounds for 100 Cups of Coffee?

By Jody L. Campbell

The good news is that making the perfect cup of coffee when employing a 100-cup coffee maker is rarely necessary. Functions that require such a large amount of coffee being made almost never include attendees that have arrived to the event because of the coffee. However, it is appealing for both flavor and aroma to attempt the coffee-to-water ratio in order to make the best cup of coffee when using the 100-cup coffee maker.

A woman pours coffee from a 100-cup coffee maker

Taste and Preference

Cup of hot coffee with old fashioned coffee grinder, coffee beans, cinnamon, and mint

Almost any coffee connoisseur will tell you that the secret to a perfect cup of coffee includes the type of grind, the amount of grind, the coffee maker and the amount of water used. From there, the information becomes convoluted in sharp debates of how to store the coffee grounds and the type of water used. Which coffee makers are the best is yet another debate.

People are as different as their palates. Some like strong or medium coffee while others like mild. What are the odds that the coffee being dispensed from a 100-cup coffee maker is going to appeal to everyone that pours a cup from it? Your best bet is the go with a medium-brew that won't completely turn off the always strong or always mild crowds.

The Measurements

Measuring cup and coffee beans

A gallon of water is equivalent to 16 cups, and 6.25 gallons of water equal 100 cups. That's the easy measurement. The 100-cup coffee urn is now filled with the correct amount of water. The next measurement is the coffee. This is the difficult task. Luckily enough, most coffee urns and coffee makers come with instructions and recommended coffee amounts for mild to strong coffee recipes. Some instructions are either converted into pounds or cups of coffee per amount of water _ making a 100 cups of coffee is not always required when using a 100-cup coffee maker.

The next and more difficult equation is the type and brand of coffee grind being used. Some simply have a bold flavor that may require less grounds. In addition, on most high-volume coffee makers, the percentage of coffee begins to decline slightly when the volume of cups increase. Although 2 tbsp. of coffee is an average amount of coffee grounds to make a standard cup of coffee, 200 tbsp. of coffee will roughly equal 12 1/2 cups of coffee; almost twice the recommended amount of coffee for most commercial 100-cup coffee urns and makers.

With all this information swirling, most 100-cup coffee makers and recipes will recommend using between six and eight cups of coffee grounds for the variant spectrum of mild to strong coffee.


Measuring cup

Experimentation will be necessary to truly get the taste of the coffee right, and it may take more than one try. Wasting water and a couple pounds of coffee is not desirable, but unfortunately, for the perfectionist seeking the best cup of coffee from the 100-cup maker, it's the best advice. For a safe start, try using 6 1/4 cups of coffee grounds for the first experiment. If it's not satisfactory, increase the grounds volume by 1/4 cup on the next attempt. Going below the 6 1/4 cups of coffee will most likely result in brown-colored, water-flavored coffee.