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Apr 25, 2012 02:23 PM

Do people really drink a 4-ounce cup of coffee?

This has always made me scratch my head.

We've used a Cuisinart coffeemaker for years and years, and almost every time I fill the carafe I ask my self why I'm filling it to FOUR cups to make myself one moderate-sized mug of coffee. Seems as if all coffeemakers share this same measure (at least the ones I've seen).

A "standard" cup of coffee (according to Wikipedia: ) is 4 ounces. I get that! BUT................ who drinks that small a cup??? That's just slightly larger than an espresso or demi-tasse cup (which is supposedly 2 to 3 ounces.

So............... why do manufacturers use that small a measure? Just because it's a "recognized" standard? Recognized where and by whom these days?

Not a huge issue, but I AM curious if this bothers other people and what you all think about it. (Obviously a little too much time on my hands this afternoon. ;o])

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  1. I use a Mr. Coffee and fill it up to 8 cups. I think it gets me 3-4 mugs. Never really thought about it, I just know if I fill it to 8 cups I won't run out of my morning coffee.

    1. Does anyone drink a 4 oz cup of coffee? Nope.
      They use that size because they can sell their machines -- if they said "makes 2 cups" no one would buy! Anything bigger would take up too much counterspace I think, especially if you have those thermal carafes -- that's what reduces the size of coffee held I think.

      1. I have a Nespresso machine at home and usually have a cup of coffee from 2 pods set to espresso size. So if that is 2oz, then I drink a 4oz cup of coffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ocshooter

          Isn't that a double espresso, and not a cup of coffee?

        2. I just checked the coffee cup from an Arcuroc dinnerware set, and it holds 6 fl. oz. to the brim and 4 fl. oz. to a normal level for serving. This seems right to me, in the context of formal dining. I've always known that the standard coffee cup was based on this type of cup, and have never thought it a problem.

          As a regular coffee drinker, however, I have larger cups at home, and get larger cups in coffee shops. This is just not an issue, in my opinion. It would be far more confusing if some coffeemaker maker decided to use a new unit.

          1. From what I understand that measurement is from the days when people actually drank their coffee out of a cup and saucer, which holds a lot less. My husband likes his coffee very hot, so his favorite mug is short and heavy and only holds about 4 oz--he hates travel mugs.

            3 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              "From what I understand that measurement is from the days when people actually drank their coffee out of a cup and saucer, which holds a lot less."

              yes, this is the reason. Mugs are a relative latecomer to the coffee party.

              1. re: escondido123

                and that cup and saucer was actually a teacup.................
                The first coffees brewed in Europe were by the turkish/Greek stovetop method in a tiny brass pot and served in what we call demitasse (half cup) cups...half cup equals 4 ounces

                1. re: escondido123

                  I finally broke down and bought a Thermos E5 TherMax travel mug. Pricey (around 20 bucks), but it keeps my coffee piping hot for at least an hour, and quite hot for 4 hours - as long as I remember to twist close the lid.

                  In the afternoon I use it for cold icewater - keeps the water ice cold for 5-6 hours easily.

                  Of course that mug is around 16-18 ounces - 4 regular so-called "cups" of coffee.