Coffee and coffee beans are such an everyday thing for so many people that most people don’t put very much thought into them.
However, coffee beans are fascinating, and how much a coffee bean weighs can actually tell you a lot about how the bean has been roasted and how fresh the coffee is.
How much does a coffee bean weigh?
On average, a coffee bean weighs between .12 and .17 grams or 120 to 170 milligrams. This is just over 1/10 of a gram, so between 6 and 10 beans make up 1 gram. This also gives us an average coffee bean weight of about 145 milligrams or .145 grams per bean.
Exactly how much a single coffee bean weighs will depend on a number of factors.
First, although coffee beans all grow to roughly the same size, there will be some slight fluctuations in size and therefore in weight due to different growth rates, how the parent plant grew, and how much water the beans received while they grew.
Healthier plants produce larger coffee cherries, from which the coffee bean, which is really a coffee plant seed in the middle of the coffee cherry, is harvested. Larger coffee cherries often retain more water, which is passed on to the coffee bean.
In addition, different varieties of coffee plants might produce beans of slightly different sizes and weights. How much the bean has been dried can also affect weight.
Does roasting affect the weight of coffee beans?
When a coffee bean is roasted, the bean is toasted to a specific point to change the flavor of the resulting coffee.
Coffee beans can be roasted to a light, medium, or dark roast. Roasting doesn’t simply change the flavor profile of the coffee, however.
When the beans are exposed to heat, they’re essentially baked, which draws out moisture.
The less moisture there is in a coffee bean, the lighter the bean will be in weight.
Beans that have a dark roast have been roasted for a long time, so they’ve lost a good amount of moisture. These beans tend to weigh closer to 120 milligrams.
Unroasted coffee beans are often called green coffee beans. These beans tend to weigh closer to 170 milligrams, as they still have most of their moisture and are therefore heavier.
Does freshness affect coffee bean weight?
We know that roasting a coffee bean draws out moisture, so darker roast beans often weigh less than light roasts.
Moisture also leaves the bean as time goes by, so older beans tend to weigh a tiny bit less than fresh beans.
You can track the freshness of coffee by weighing your coffee beans when you bring them home.
If you wait a week or two to use them and weigh them before brewing the coffee, you may notice that the weight has decreased slightly.
If you get a 1 pound bag of coffee beans home and it weighs a bit less than 1 pound, it may be because it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while and isn’t fresh.
How many coffee beans are in a pound?
Coffee is usually sold by the pound, but figuring out how many coffee beans are in a 1 pound bag can be a bit tricky.
There can be a few variances in the answer depending on how the beans were roasted, how fresh they are, and what type of beans were used.
However, using an average weight of 145 milligrams or .145 grams, we can devise a formula to figure out roughly how many beans are in a 1 pound bag of coffee.
First, we can convert grams into pounds. The average weight of a single bean, .145 grams, is equal to just over .0003 pounds.
If we divide 1 pound by .0003 we get an answer of 3,333.3 pounds, which tells us that there are just over 3,333 coffee beans in a single pound of coffee.
If the beans are a dark roast, there will be more coffee beans in a single pound, but if the beans are a lighter roast, there will be fewer beans in the bag.
We can also figure out roughly how many beans are in a pound of coffee using a different formula.
We can use a dark roasted bean, weighing about .12 grams, as an example.
There are about 453.6 grams in 1 pound. It would take, on average, about 8.3 dark roast beans to make up 1 gram.
If we multiply 453.6 by 8.3, we get an answer of about 3,780, which is about the average number of beans in a pound of dark roast coffee.
A dark roast coffee bag of whole beans will weigh the same amount as a dark roast coffee bag of ground beans, but because the ground beans are smaller and take up less space, the bag will be much smaller in size.