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Which recipe is clearer?
blaisepascal

I want to post my recipe for making coffee in my office.  After some experimentation, I've found that one scoop of whole beans makes about 2 cups of coffee.  This is after thinking that 1 scoop whole beans = 1 scoop ground beans, and 1 scoop ground beans = 1 cup coffee, and finding that everyone (but me) felt that was a bit strong.  Experimentation showed that 6 scoops whole beans = 9 scoops ground, and a bit more tweaking.  12 scoops of beans overflows the grinder's output bin and nearly overflows the grounds basket in the coffee maker.

Poll #1510646 How to make coffee in my office....

Which recipe is clearer?

n scoops whole beans, ground, 2n cups water
2(25.0%)
n cups water, n/2 scoops whole beans, ground
0(0.0%)
To make 2n cups of coffee, grind n scoops of whole beans
0(0.0%)
To make n cups of coffee, grind n/2 scoops of beans
1(12.5%)
To make 8 cups of coffee, grind 4 scoops of beans.
5(62.5%)

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If not using a pre-measured bag of ground coffee that I used to use when making one pot at a time provided by the coffee service, I would personally base my coffee making on how much coffee I (and coworkers) planned to consume prior to needing fresh coffee. Thus my first thought would be "If I wanted X cups of coffee ..." and follow from there. I would not start from how much beans to use.

I will also have to assume that the recipe does scale linearly.

Oh, I also eliminated the 2n cups of coffee choice because sometimes I feel the need to make an odd number of cups of coffee assuming n can only be whole numbers. If n can be fractional, we're okay.

Office workers do not want to do math for their coffee. I've worked in a variety of offices and they all used the "Open pouch and pour in" method for this reason. The fact you're using whole beans to start with puts you in a higher class of office then I've ever worked.

All that being said, simplest really is best.

I chose the one with the actual numbers because it is my experience that this is the type of information that people are used to seeing on food and drink instructions and also because lots of people are afraid of algebra. These two things are especially debilitating in people who have not yet had their coffee!!!

Myown choice for a combination of logic and ability to be generally applied - would be the one above it (n cups and n/2 scoops of beans.

It's interesting though that it's all in scoops and cups, because that's a bit imprecise in comparison to the whole idea of an algebraic recipe. I understand that cup measurements are more common in the US though- I had to buy a set of cup measures just to be able to follow US recipes.

Oddly enough, in the US coffee scoops and cups are standardized, and cups (as a measure of coffee) don't correspond to either standard measuring cups or to the size of mugs people tend to drink coffee in.

A coffee scoop is 2 US tablespoons or about 30 ml, while a coffee cup is 6 US fl oz, or about 175ml. A typical coffee mug is 12 fl oz, or about 350ml, or 2 coffee cups.

Although the measurements are specific to coffee, doing the measuring is easy, since the coffee pot is calibrated with markings for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 cups, and the scoop is a fixed size. So the recipe in practice is "use n scoops of beans, fill the pot to the nth line with water, to get n mugs".

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