Clarifiying the meaning of a tablespoon/ scoop

jellicle911

New member
Jul 18, 2009
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Hi. I'm pretty new to coffee.

I recently purchased a Cuisinart dgb-600bc. I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm a little confused about the meaning of a "scoop" or "tablespoon." If it's a tablespoon of water, then obviously the top surface of the water would be flat. But if you need a scoop of coffee or a tablespoon, is the surface supposed to flat or more mountain-shaped? I'm wondering if anyone could clarify this for both whole bean scoops and (pre)ground coffee.

I've also been confused on this issue for other tea/tablespoons of butter, sugar, etc for a long time. Thanks for humoring me. (I really don't know!!!!!)

Enjoy your coffee!
J
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
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MASS.
Hi Jellicle911 -

A tablespoon would be an exact measure - One level tablespoon.

Sometimes, you may read or hear, "rounded tablespoon" or even "heaping tablespoon"! These are not exact measures. If they were, one could just say "three teaspoons" instead of an estimation of what one would consider to be a heap of something. Or as you described, "mountain-shaped". If it's a sensitive measure, one would do better to use "grams", instead of tablespoons or teaspoons anyway.

A scoop? Well, scoops come in many sizes, so it would depend on the size of the scoop. If it's a scoop that came with the machine, I would assume that they recommend a level scoop. Coffee amounts vary with each person's taste though, so try the level scoop first, then if you like your coffee stronger, move toward that mountain-shape, on your next brew.

I hope this helps.
 
OP
J

jellicle911

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Jul 18, 2009
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Thanks. That was a helpful explanation. My wife likes to use a heaping spoon, so I started to get confused. But it turns out that she already understood that it was supposed to be a "level" spoon as you call it. Rather, she's been adding extra coffee as a matter of preference this whole time, haha.

J
 

PinkRose

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Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Tablespoons of butter .....that's a bit tricky. It's always nice when you can buy the sticks of butter that have the tablespoon markings printed on the wrappers, but even then you have to check to make sure the wrappers were put on correctly.

It's always safer to weigh your ingredients, but it's not always practical.

Rose
 
Pinkrose... I remember back when I was a kid. All the butter was wrapped in paper with 25gm lines marked along the side. You could cut slabs off....and use the paper to "grease" cake pans. Where did that great idea vanish to? These days the dairy producers I know (NZ and Aussie ones) use plastic. I did hear a few of the US ones still use paper
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Hi Alun,

Most of the butter that we buy in the supermarkets in the United States comes in a one-pound box that has four sticks, each of which are wrapped in grease-proof paper, and there are lines that show tablespoon measurements. Sticks of margarine are marked in the same manner. It's very convenient to be able to slice off a tablespoon or two when you need it for a recipe. I also use the wrapper to "grease" the cake pans. We're very lucky that that idea hasn't vanished in the U.S.

So, since your butter is wrapped in plain plastic, how do you measure it? Do you slice off a chunk and hope for the best?

Rose
 
Butter comes in plastic tubs here. It is not convenient for cooking (measurements) as I have mentioned, but I guess it has other reasons behind why it is packaged as such. Measuring is really very difficult. Weighing butter is messy! Our cafe businesses use 4kg tins of butter...its even more fun!
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
Wow!
I can't imagine trying to measure butter when it's in a tub and fresh out of the refrigerator. I'd end up bending all of my measuring spoons for sure!

Now I'm curious to know why butter is only packaged in tubs in your part of the world.

Do you recycle the plastic tubs?

Rose
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
0
MASS.
:D
If the tub or block of butter is too cold, I like to scrape across the top with the tablespoon measurer. Like little shavings, then pack it into the tablespoon.
 

griz1

New member
Jun 22, 2009
9
0
go to your local rest. supply store and get a table spoon scoop, scoop up your butter and level the top off on the side of the container. hold the scoop over where you want butter and push sweep and out pops butter.
 

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