September 19th, 2019

Don’t talk to us before our 240 cups of coffee. Luckily for us, that’s what we get from one 30.5-ounce container of Folgers Classic Roast ground coffee, according to the label.

But as a reader pointed out, the math here is fuzzy, to say the least.

Since some of you may be returning from a summer vacation where the only math performed was the mental tallying up of piña coladas at the end of a long night (no judgment here), we’ll try and keep this as painless as possible.

On the back of the container, Folgers says one tablespoon of coffee makes one six-ounce serving. One tablespoon is equivalent to half an ounce. So to calculate the amount of coffee required to make 240 servings in ounces, we divide 240 by two. That gives us 120 ounces — roughly four times the net weight of the container.

Our reader reached out to Folgers for an explanation. This was the coffee company’s response:

[T]here are two important factors that affect weight: the type and blend of beans, which varies from one version to another, and the length of time the beans are roasted. Coffee may be less dense in one blend than another, and our labels reflect that difference.

So some types of coffee weigh more than other types of coffee. Got it. The thing is that the difference here seems so extreme that it raises the question: Should Folgers be advertising cups of coffee on its labeling at all? That’s something to sip on.

Find more of our coverage on coffee here.

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2 Responses to Folgers

  1. Kenneth S. says:

    A number of folks involved in this expose deserve the big dunce hat. One tablespoon might be equivalent to a half ounce but that is a measure of volume NOT weight. Yes, ounces are an ambivalent unit and so feel better that you guys are surely not the first to be ensnared by the confusion. That coffee is sold by weight and there is no simple correlation to volume. (duh)

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    Who drinks a dainty 6 oz cup of coffee any more? If you measure the common mug it is 10 oz.

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