How to measure Roasted Coffee Density

Tools needed:

  1. Graduated cylinder 100ml ($6 on Amazon, or a high quality one in NZ)
  2. Scales, accurate to at least +- 0.1gms. (Acaia Pyxis are awesome)
  3. An optional extra is a funnel to help you pour the beans into the cylinder – or you can use a barista jug.
  4. Roasted Coffee beans



1.       Place the empty 100ml cylinder on the scales and zero.

2. Fill the cylinder to the 100ml line. Tap the coffee beans down, pack it level with something like a piece of dowel, or rolled up cardboard. I use a small glass jar that fits inside the cylinder. The object is to get it level on the 100ml line as accurately as possible, by adding or removing coffee beans and packing it level.

3. Then weigh the cylinder with the 100mls of coffee beans. If this is a very light roast, the coffee beans will be relatively heavy, as much as 49gms. If your roast is very dark, the coffee beans will weigh a lot less, as little as 34gms.

lightly roasted coffee beans
darkly roasted coffee beans

4. Put the coffee beans back in the bag, give them a stir to mix them up, and repeat the process twice more so you have 3 weight readings. They should be within +/- 0.5gms of each other.

5. Average the 3 readings by adding them together and dividing by 3. For example (41.1 + 41.5 + 41.3) /3 = 41.3

6. We need the coffee bean density in gms/ml, so divide the weight by 100. For example 41.3/100= 0.413


This coffee bean density value tells you exactly where this coffee roast level falls on the spectrum. Enter this number in the search box at to find the coffee sweet spot.

2 thoughts on “How to measure Roasted Coffee Density”

  1. Pingback: Why measure density – Coffee Sweet Spot Density Indicator (SSDI)

  2. Pingback: Computational Coffee - Coffee Sweet Spot Density Indicator (SSDI)

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