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The Sensible Carafe

The practical carafe! Label the carafe by how many MUGs it holds, not how many CUPs.
  [vote for,

(edit: I have revised the post with more accurate title and more common mug-sizes used in the descriptions to avoid confusion. Nothing else was changed. No further revisions to the title will be made, sorry folks!)

Every coffee maker I have ever purchased has misled me on the amount of cups that the carafe can hold. I suspect the error is caused by the misconception on the part of the manufacturers that their consumers drink their coffee in tiny, 5-6 oz cups. My research leads me to believe that the AVERAGE American coffee drinker actually consumes their beverage of choice in actual standard-size 8-oz cup measures or larger.

I currently have 2 coffee makers, of different sizes and made by different manufacturers. One is made by a brand called Kitchen Gourmet, and the carafe supposedly holds 4 cups. My mugs are the 12-oz variety, which accommodates 9 oz of coffee, plus room to add milk and prevent spilling. I fill the carafe with coffee, yet I only get 2 mugs of 8.5-oz apiece (the carafe, at the 4-cup mark, holds 17 ounces. That's a 4.25 oz cup assumed by this manufacturer).

My other, newest, coffee maker is made by Black & Decker, and supposedly makes up to 12 cups. Just a few minutes ago, I filled it to the 6-cup fill mark (the special mark slightly above the 6-cup mark to accommodate for boil-off), and when it was done the coffee level in the carafe was right at the 6-cup mark. I got exactly 3 9-oz mugs out of it.

For as long as I can remember, the majority of coffee mugs sold in stores have been the 12 ounce variety or larger. Smaller mugs are generally labeled as "espresso" or "tea". So what I am proposing is a coffee maker made with more modern, practical measurements. If it says 4 mugs, it will make four 8-ounce mugs of coffee. If it says 12 mugs, it will include a very large carafe, indeed.

Including a complimentary mug sized to hold what they consider to be a cup with the maker could also go some way to preventing this kind of consternation.

Given that the 9-ounce size (again, 12-oz total, but I'm referring to actual serving size) is the most common size (Along with 10 and 11...see 3rd link), I'm confident that an 8-oz standard for labeling mug content would be ideal for American coffee makers.

The Black & Decker 12-cup carafe holds 8.5 8-oz cups, meaning Black & Decker assume a roughly 5.8-oz cuppa Joe.

What this means is that a full "12-cup" pot will make me about 7.5 mugs when I use the 9-oz size.

21 Quest, Jan 21 2011

Americans use larger mugs than Europeans... http://ezinearticle...d-it-Be?&id=3902716
... yet American coffee makers are made closer to European size standards. Stores such as Starbucks serve a minimum size of 8 ounces, in cups larger than 8 ounces to prevent spillage, yet home coffee makers assume a 5-6 ounce serving. WHY?? [21 Quest, Jan 21 2011]

Standard measure of coffee is 4-6 ounces http://answers.yaho...100526154418AArdNyh
[21 Quest, Jan 21 2011]

The only mugs smaller than 9 oz are labeled "espresso" http://www.discount...egory/ceramic-mugs/
[21 Quest, Jan 21 2011]

Starbucks releases new *Trenta* size - WTF?? http://westernfront...ces-new-trenta-size
[xandram, Jan 25 2011]


       Any coffee which is legal to serve in an 8-ounce measure is not really coffee, now, is it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2011

       This is for homebrew, Max. Take a look at the links I've provided. I ran a Google search on "coffee mug" and came up with a whole lot of mugs ranging 12-16 ounces, some much larger than that. The smallest mug I found not labeled specifically with the term "espresso" was 9 ounces. The next size down, labeled as "espresso" was a 7-ounce "mug" that looked more like a teacup.
21 Quest, Jan 21 2011

       Hmmm. Very odd. Seven ounces of a European espresso would actually cause your pancreas to melt.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2011

       Ah, I see the misunderstanding. Americans have simply evolved a stronger pancreas. 4 ounces of European espresso wouldn't get an American out of bed, let alone through a whole morning at the office. It would take a whole pot of your unmanly European coffee to do the job of a single 8-oz American cuppa Joe.
21 Quest, Jan 21 2011

       "Wrong" is such a short, sharp word. And yet...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2011

       1.5 mugs x 8oz/mug = 12oz
12oz / 4 cups = 3 oz.
Does Kitchen Gourmet really think a cup hold 3 oz?

       2 mugs x 8oz/mug = 16 oz
16oz / 6 cups = 2.7oz
Does Black & Decker really think a cup holds 2.7 oz?

       Seems to me the problem is outright mendacity, not merely confusion between cups and mugs. Or maybe your coffee makers have tapeworms.
mouseposture, Jan 21 2011

       My coffee maker can do 36 cups of espresso. Any more than that and he asks for some assistance.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2011

       See bottom of post for measurement amendments.
21 Quest, Jan 21 2011

       An espresso is normally about an ounce, depending on how long it is.

       A 16oz mug is known, in Europe, as a urinal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2011

       You urinate in large beverage containers? That explains why your beer tastes like piss. You poor, tiny-bladdered, weak-pancreased people.
21 Quest, Jan 21 2011

       Why are they Expresso, anyway? Usually they turn up the same time as a Latte...

       P.S. Real Ale cannot be compared to European lager and American imitations, except it is served at a temperature which is closer to that of it's future host.
Ling, Jan 22 2011

       Ok, so I did some more measuring. I use 3 mugs (depending on whichever is clean at the time... lol). One hold 14 oz (at least, that's how much i put in it). The other two, I fill to 9 oz. So an 8-ounce standard would be perfectly fine for me. I've revised the post to reflect the more commonly-used mug measurements.
21 Quest, Jan 22 2011

       The revised numbers give results both more consistent and more plausible: 4.25oz per cup for Kitchen Gourmet and 4.5oz for Black & Decker. The extra quarter-ounce with Black & Decker is presumably boil-off.

       It appears there's a simple factor-of-two conversion between cups and mugs. I wonder if it's consistent across all manufacturers?
mouseposture, Jan 22 2011

       //Why are they Expresso, anyway?//

       They're not. They're "espresso" - pressed. It's Italian.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2011

       People, I think we have found the cultural root of the misunderhension here. It seems that, just like "fanny" and "ass" have different meanings on the American and English continents, so does "coffee". The clue came from the Rosetta-stone-like article in [21Q]'s first link. It says:

       "Gourmet coffee served by franchises such as Starbucks and McDonald's ..."

       Now, I think this makes it really rather clear.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2011

       // "Wrong" is such a short, sharp word.

       Actually, no. "Cut" is a short, sharp word. "Wrong" is actually kind of long and soft, with approximant "wr" making for a soft ascent and nasal "ong" for a soft decay. In a pinch, you could use "wrong" as a pillow.
jutta, Jan 22 2011

       Ah, [Jutta], you have an eye for poesy. In fact, maybe two such eyes.

       Incidentally, I've long thought there should be a campaign to encourage subtle voicing of the "w" in words such as "wrong" and "write".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2011

       bun for jutta's anno
Voice, Jan 22 2011

       //They're not. They're "espresso" - pressed. It's Italian.//

       Wow, thanks for clearing that one up. Where abouts in the US is Italy?   
Ling, Jan 22 2011

       There's several, but they're small. That's why espressos are so small.

       There's also a full-size Italy in Europe*. The people there are much, much bigger than the "Little Italians" in the American Italys, and their espressos are, of course, perfectly normal in size.

       *"Eastern US rural oceanic peninsular extremities."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2011

       // their espressos are, of course, perfectly normal in size. //

       However, the genitalia of Italian males are notoriously tiny. That's why they put so much time and effort into making sports cars and motorbikes - it's a way of compensating.
8th of 7, Jan 22 2011

       //In a pinch, you could use "wrong" as a pillow.//

       Yes, but a gaffe or a faux pas would feel softer, fit better into the pinch and not reverberate when you rolled over in the night. Alternatively you could use inappropriate as a complete fold-away camp bed with rather squeaky springs.
pertinax, Jan 25 2011

       You haven't known real comfort 'till you've slept on a pile of bloopers.
mouseposture, Jan 25 2011

       I've sat on a pile of bloopers, but not in recent decades.

       Probably in future decades, though.

       No, wait .....

       Ohhhh, yeaahhhhh.
baconbrain, Jan 25 2011

       //In a pinch, you could use "wrong" as a pillow.//

       Never noticed that line before... [Marked-for- Tagline].
21 Quest, Dec 04 2011


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