These are my volumetric measuring devices.
From left to right : Tablespoon, Teaspoon, 1/2 Teaspoon and 1 Pinch
These have a volume of 15ml, 5ml, 2.5ml and 1ml respectively.
In order to use these, you'll need to CALIBRATE the volumes vs weight for each substance, and every time you change anything, like you get a new box of lets say soda, you need to ascertain the weight vs volume, by weighing out and checking vs previous measurements.
No big deal, really.
My wife bought these measures in a set, I have "lent" them, so far without any repercussions!
How to use a teaspoon? Well since we are having a discussion across time-divides and geographic dvides, the most important is to establish a baseline.
US and british measurements are totally unsuitable for this, we need to use a standard, a prescise and universal standard, that always needs to be the baseline standard.
AND THAT STANDARD IS AND WILL REMAIN METRIC MEASUREMENTS.
Always when discussing recipes, they are meaningless, unless the data is backed up by grams and millilitres, anything else will give rise to misinterpretations, uncertainity and bad results and incomprehensible catastophes, with no images on film.
However once established, weight can be measured out quickly, repeatable, and prescise by volume - if one knows HOW.
Using measures - know your powder!
Soda, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, KBr - these are chemicals, and easy to measure out by volume. If one does this RIGHT, the variation from batch to batch will even be less than by weight measured from an old, cheap weight, even modern electronic weights are sometimes less prescise, since they often don't have the RESOLUTION needed.
Any weight bought for the kitchen is most times less than desirable.
So in order to calibrate, one measures out svereal measures, 10 to 20, and weigh that as best as one can, the result divided my the number of measures.
This will be the calibrated weight per measure for the chemical in question.
However, it is important HOW this is done, one must use a volumteric measure exactly the same each time :
1. Scoop up the powder, make sure the measure is full and topped a little.
2. Hold the measure level over the container, and strike off the surplus with a knife or something similar, leaving a full and level measure.
3. Empty the measure into the water.
4. Repeat as necessary.
When one does this the same way every time, measuring out powder by volume is more than accurate enough for all photograpic purposes.
Coffe however is a special case, instant coffee is grainy, and varies there are grains, granules, powder and anything in between. If one tries to level off, the biggest grians will, either drag with them the fine powders, or be pressed into the measure, compacting the contents. This means there will be no repeatability.
Therefore a slightly different approach for coffee :
Just scoop the measure full, with a little top ("rounded" as the americans call it), try to do exactly the same each time, and pretty quickly you will do the same each time, once calibrated, it will be more than good enough.
Establish your calibration as outlined above, but with "rounded" measures.
Thats all there is too it. Once done one can do as I have done, go from metric weights and volumes, to fast and simple measures.
I use and stick by Coffenol CCH as outlined in Reinhold's blog, measures in ml and grams, but have adapted them to my Kaffenol 327, same thing, really but more practical and quicker.
I advocate that anyone who want to try the same follow the simple instructions given here, and follw this simple standard, that way it will also be possible to compare notes across oceans!
Best of luck!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DONT HAVE MEASURES LIKE ME?
Like, if you only have spoons like these?Well its really simple, as you can see a tablespoon might have double the volume from spoon to spoon, the same with teaspoons.
Therefore, trying to establish rules and trying to tell others what to do, based on these are meaningless.
BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE USELESS!!
Simply establish YOUR calibration, based on the principles above, and use them meticulously, you will be succcesful.
But NEVER try to use what you have in your house as a world standard!
If you choose to go down this road, always translate what you find into grams and millilitres, or grains and fl. oz. , which is the same thing but to different standards.
Whatever you choose, YOU will be succesful, this is easy and fun!