Go to any kind of website that sells coffee-making assets — I’m talking urns, percolators, brewers, that type of thing — and you’ll an alert that the assets are provided like this:

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Seems harmless enough, right? nothing here however a picture, a price, and also some bright title. However don’t it is in fooled through its dullness because it’s here, in these titles, wherein coffee suppliers hide their biggest marketing ploy. Look at this table, unaltered, taken straight from the legit spec paper the Omcan’s “CP06 Stainless stole 40 Cup Coffee Percolator”:


Boring, right? No one ever actually reads these things. That’s why this is the perfect location for a company to fess up. Execute you watch a misalignment of details here? maybe this hint will certainly help:


Unless you can count numbers on a sort of Rain male level, you more than likely didn’t passively notice that the “Cup Capacity” and also “Volume” quantities don’t quite enhance up, yet look:

So which is it? 320 ounces or 192? A sixty percent difference is a pretty substantial chasm. To recognize the seeming discrepancy here, simply remember that words cup have the right to mean a couple of different things and, keep in mind, that there are civilization in this civilization called “Advertising Executives” that are really skilled at twisting words around. When provided to compare the quantities of unequal things, the word cup usually means “eight liquid ounces,” however cup can additionally refer come something else: the white, ceramic, World’s-Greatest-Dad-type mug that human being drink your coffee the end of.

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Several decades ago an advertising company decided the their coffeemaker customer should begin listing coffee pot capacities through this World’s-Greatest-Dad an interpretation of cup instead of by themore apt, unit-of-measurement sense of the word. Now, together you know, mugs — cups — come in all different sizes, and also who’s to say how much fluid the typical coffee cup holds? This trail-blazing advertising firm assumed deeply around this question and decided that the typical cup the coffee is equal to exactly five ounces, or three-fifths that an imperial cup, a 40% diminish in size. Soon the remainder of the coffeemaker industry noted its pot capacities by this new World’s-Greatest-Dad cup measurementinstead of by the old — half-a-millennium old — measurement. They did this, surely, to make things an ext convenient for the customer.

…And the Gets much more Ambiguous

Now, if she buying a personal coffeemaker for your home, this no that huge of a deal. Most an individual coffee pot brands — Bunn , Mr. Coffee, KitchenAid, Hamilton beach — all measure themselves by the 5-oz cup, and also even despite a “12 cup” Mr. Coffee pot holds much less than it advertises, all the competitors’ coffee pots skimp in ~ the specific same rate. Besides, what household wakes up in the morning and also drinks six totality pints that joe?

The human being who need to be wary that this totality 5 oz cup company are restaurant and also hotel owners who space buying urns or percolators or high-capacity brewers for their kitchens. If you need a coffee urn that holds ten quarts that liquid, the ambiguity between “cup” and “cup” can lead you to a bad purchase. Andthat isn’t the finish of it.

"There is to it is in a single measure because that wine transparent our realm, and a solitary measure because that ale, and a single measure for corn” –The Magna Carta, i 25

Since the ’60s, when coffeemaker suppliers quietly changed the definition of a cup to five ounces, the coffee market has come to be increasingly stratified. Some contemporary companies specify a cup together 5 oz still, but others have actually started defining a cup together 6. Some providers say a cup is the imperial 8 ounces, but others go as low together 2. Over there is no typical anymore, and also coffee an equipment manufactures aren’t specifically eager come tell you around their eccentric beliefs about how much a cup is. Some, like the agency that made the percolator exampled above, perform their true volume in the product’s specification sheet, yet not every brands perform that. Some carriers bury your true capacity on different websites or deep within their FAQ sections. Some providers don’t perform their products’ true capacities in ~ all, and in order to uncover out what you buying, you have to contact up the manufacturer yourself and wait to speak with a representative.

We know that the a large hassle come compare various coffee urns from various manufacturers — we understand it because we already did the work for you. Us combed with websites and also phone listings and also came up v this table of who considers a cup the coffee what.

So now, with this table and a calculator, you can think that you have the right to start shopping because that coffee urns. No so fast! This ingredient goes also deeper. That one firm up there, Advantco, doesn’t have an amount detailed next come it. Well, that’s since when it involves defining the capacity of a coffee cup, this firm isn’t even regular with itself. Depending upon what lock trying come sell, a cup that coffee can mean 5 ounces, 4.5 ounces, or — because that a deluxe-model urn — 3.5 ounces. A “110-cup” Advantco urn provided for $80 seems favor a bargain till you realize that their urn holds a gallon less liquid than the $85 “60-cup” design sold by one more company, a company that doesn’t think about acupof coffee come be simply seven tablespoons.

So here’s What we Did

We don’t fault many of these carriers for adopting the faint World’s-Greatest-Dad unit that measurement; 8-ozis, ~ all, challenging to visualize: friend can snapshot a mug of coffee much more easily 보다 you can picture __ ounces the fluid.

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But still… it’s confusing and also intentionally deceptive and also it feels wrong. After ~ we discovered this totality cup thing, us rewrote the listings to every one of our coffee commodities using much less murky language. Currently capacity is listed by the 5-oz mug and by the clear ounce. We chose to begin using the wordmug now instead ofcup, because mug can mean one of only two things. It can mean a cylindrical cup provided for drink coffee, or it have the right to mean the unfortunate confront of some really ugly dude. Us hope that you’ll have the ability to differentiate in between those 2 concepts, and if that’s stillnot clear enough, well, ns don’t understand what to tell you.

Are we late to the game? walk you already know around this coffee pot crock? tell us around it in the comments!