I will let you in on a little secret; I wasn’t using a coffee scale for many years. Back in the day, weighing out my coffee was just like a game of Russian roulette. I would grab a tablespoon and guesstimate the correct amount of pre-ground coffee for my morning brew.
I would then throw it into my paper filter and press the start button on my automatic drip coffee maker. It was completely random and weighed out by sight, and it goes without saying that my brewed coffee tasted like dirty dishwater.
Thankfully that is in the past, and before I discovered my love for coffee and all the extra taste benefits that come with brewing a decent cup, the correct way, by using a coffee scale.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people that fork out a small fortune on expensive coffee makers and grinders that come with all of the bells and whistles, but they still measure their coffee beans with a plastic scoop.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best coffee maker in the world and some kickass coffee beans. If you don’t get the ratios correct from the get-go, you can forget about the rest.
Why Should I Use A Coffee Scale?
Listen. If you want to brew a great-tasting cup of coffee consistently every time, you should be using a coffee scale – it’s as simple as that. Having the correct measurement of water and coffee is essential.
Brewing coffee consistently is a science. It’s entirely possible to change your coffee’s flavor depending on the ratio of water and coffee you choose to use, and sometimes not in a pleasant way.
Some types of coffee taste their best with the standard 1:15 brewing ratio. In contrast, other coffee beans call for a slight variation in the brewing ratio. This can only be achieved by testing and, of course, using a coffee scale to measure and record different brewing variables accurately.
Can I Scoop My Coffee?
Well, you could, but there’s no guarantee you’re going to have the same tasting cup of coffee next time you reach for that scoop – again, you’re just guessing the right quantity.
Using a scoop, or even a tablespoon, can be done to a certain degree, but it will never be accurate unless you use a scale and measure the exact mass of both the coffee and the water.
Here’s why. Coffee beans from different regions and with varying roast profiles will produce beans with different densities. So, one batch with the same volume may have completely different masses and cannot be compared with volume.
Weighing by weight and not by volume will ensure that you’ll use the same amount of coffee for each brew you make. (1)
What To Look For When Buying A Digital Coffee Scale?
First and foremost, you need a digital coffee scale and forget about those bulky, oversized scales with a red needle on a dial that your grandma used to weigh out flour.
The best coffee scale has to be small, compact with accuracy to within two decimal places. It probably goes without saying, but make sure the coffee scale has a tare button that resets the mass to zero.
This is especially important because you will be placing various brewing devices onto the scale, and you’ll need to start from zero before you pour.
It’s a good idea to choose a water-resistant scale or, at the very least splash-proof. Even a highly skilled barista will accidentally drip or spill coffee onto the scale.
Is A Built-in Coffee Timer Necessary?
Yes and no, here’s my take on it.
A good basic coffee scale will be perfectly ok for most of you reading this who wants to weigh out their coffee accurately.
However, if you foresee that you’ll be doing a lot of pour-over coffee brewing at home, I would recommend that you opt for a scale with a timer built-in.
It’s just going to make brewing a little more convenient, and you won’t need to buy a separate timer. Plus, using your cellphone for coffee timer will quickly become tiresome.
What About Smart Coffee Scales?
In recent years coffee scales have become “smarter,” and you can now find high-end scales that come with Bluetooth connectivity. This enables you to monitor and track your brewing variables with an accompanying coffee app.
Personally, I don’t see any real need for a smart digital coffee scale and are they’re best left for professional baristas or those who love to geek out over stats.
Our 7 Best Coffee Scales For 2021
Below we have handpicked seven of the best digital coffee scales for this year. All of these perform exceptionally well, and they tick all of the boxes we have highlighted above.
Also, we have made sure that we included scales for all budgets – so if you’re looking for a simple scale that gets the job done or if you prefer a device that comes loaded with functions and features, we’ve got you covered.
Brewista Smart Coffee Scale
I am not going to beat around the bush, this Brewista digital coffee scale is fantastic, and I even have some love for the bright orange backlight that illuminates the LCD screen.
The Brewista Smart scale has been designed from the ground up with the true coffee connoisseurs in mind. Everything about this scale has been added to make your life that little bit easier, and with six different user modes, you’re covered for virtually all types of coffee brewing from the French Press all the way to the Aeropress.
If you’re old school and prefer not to use the built-in brew modes and use the Brewista as a standard scale, just select “mode 1” and use the scale without the automatic timer or automatic tare option.
If you’re a regular espresso drinker, Modes 2 to 5 are going to get you excited. Once you pick mode 2, for example, you then have a smart scale that will automatically tare when an espresso cup is placed on the rubber platform, and also, the timer begins straightway – great for mastering that perfect “pull.”
If you’re more of a Chemex or V60 kind of guy (or gal), hit mode 6, which comes preprogrammed for pour-over use. The Smart Scale II already knows the ordered steps for proper pour-over preparation.
Other notable features of the Smart Scale are the durable silicone protective pad that protects the scale from accidental spills. The scale has a weight compacity of 2000g with accuracy within – 0.1g.
Timemore Black Mirror
Another scale that has made our list is the Timemore Black Mirror single-sensor scale. This scale looks very similar in design to the iconic Acaia scales that have proven to be a hot item among baristas and coffee geeks.
But the good news is the Timemore is a lot more affordable. In fact, it’s practically half the price of the popular Acaia drip scale.
But don’t let the low price put you off. The Timemore still comes with enough functionality to keep any coffee fanatic happy.
Sure, it doesn’t come loaded with Bluetooth and preprogrammed brew settings, but the simplistic approach means you can put all of your focus on brewing and not on buttons and settings – the Timemore is just a scale and a timer; accurate and straightforward (to 0.1G), that’s all you need.
The size of the Timemore is ideal for most, not too big and not too small, somewhere between an Acaia Pearl or Lunar – It’s the perfect size for pour-over or espresso brewing.
Again, I’m comparing the Timemore to the Acaia, but they are very similar. The Black Mirror feels extremely durable, I would say more so than the above Brewista Smart Coffee Scale. The Timemore also get bonus points for looking awesome sat on the kitchen countertop.
Just like the Brewista Coffee Scale, the Timemore Black Mirror comes with a built-in 1600mAh rechargeable lithium battery; use a regular USB-C to charge.
Hario Drip Coffee Scale
If you’ve been around specialty coffee for any extent of time, you have undoubtedly come across the Hario brand name. The Japanese company is the pioneer of some of the most popular coffee grinders and pour-over brewers in the coffee industry – such as the Hario V60 Drip.
So, it goes without saying that they have a pretty neat line of digital coffee scales that have become a staple for barista’s worldwide.
This smart-looking white scale is minimalistic in both design and features. In fact, the Hario only comes with a basic timer and a regular scale.
If all you care about is weighing out your coffee accurately and being able to time the perfect bloom and your pours, the Hario scale is perfect.
Accurate measurements are where the Hario scale truly excels – boasting precise 0.1-gram increments, you know your coffee is where it needs to be for that perfect brew. The timer on the left side allows you to keep track of time-sensitive brewing methods with ease.
Unlike some of the other scales that come with a preinstalled rechargeable batteries, the Hario is old school and is powered by two AAA batteries.
But don’t fret, because the unit does come with power off function after 5 minutes to save battery life.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Hario is not waterproof. Sure it can handle a splash of coffee or a few drips from a portafilter, but don’t expect it to hold up to a split coffee cup or a drop in the kitchen sink.
I did notice that if you add your beans to quickly, the scale does tend to lag, this slow response can be annoying at first, causing you to overshoot the amount of coffee you’re aiming for.
But once you realize that you have to add your coffee in incremental amounts, it’s not really an issue.
This isn’t a problem just affecting the Hario digital scale. Many of the best coffee scales suffer from this slow delayed response; it’s a trade-off for more accuracy rather than speed.
Acaia Pearl Coffee Brewing Scale
The Acaia Peral is highly regarded among enthusiasts worldwide as the crème de crème of coffee scales. It comes with a full host of functions, features, and even a Bluetooth connected coffee app, all of which are going to take your coffee brewing the next level – and let’s not forget it looks amazing to boot!
The dedicated Acaia app enables you to seamlessly connect your scale to record and share essential coffee brewing data such as the coffee beans used and water weight. It can even aid in calculating the best ratios – pretty neat if you ask me.
If you’re looking for coffee brewing recipes, it has you covered in that department too!
In addition to the app’s awesomeness, this coffee scale is really hyper-accurate – like, really accurate. It measures to within a tenth of a gram, which is insane. It’s so precise that the scale is sensitive even to weight changes resulting from evaporation.
If you want to dial in your espresso shots, this clear-cut accuracy is going to put a smile on your face.
The Acaia Pearl is fast. There is no delay or lag, and the 20ms response time fills the screen with near-instant readings.
Looking at the design, the unit only has two functioning buttons, which are both touch sensor activated, rather than the typical push buttons found on other scales.
This makes the scale easy to wipe clean, but accidentally hitting one of the sensors mid-brew can very easily happen if you’re not careful.
In my opinion, the display screen is relatively small, but I think the idea is to look at the synced app on your cellphone rather than the tiny screen on the scale.
If you don’t mind spending a small fortune for a super accurate scale and let’s not forget looks impressive, the Acaia Pearl is a great option.
Coffee Gator Digital Scale with Timer
If you don’t want to jump all-in on one of the pricey scales listed above and you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, I highly recommend that you take a look at the Coffee Gator Digital Scale.
It’s among one of the best cheap coffee scales we found, and it performs just as well as the coffee scales listed above.
Even though it’s a budget coffee scale, it still comes with the essential functions needed, such as a built-in timer and tare button. You can also switch between ounces and grams with ease with a push of a button – it’s nice to have the option to use imperial or metric units.
All of the information is clearly displayed on a large bright green LCD screen.
Another nice feature with the Coffee Gator is the ability to switch over to milliliters (ml). So, you can weigh your whole bean coffee in grams and then set up your Hario V60 – for example, hit tare and then select milliliters, so you know exactly how much water to pour without having to do any on-the-fly conversions mid-brew.
The rubber mat is a neat addition, it not only aids in keeping a slippery glass carafe in place, but it also stops any unwanted coffee splashing down onto the body of the scale. Talking about accuracy – the Gator is precise from 0.003 ounces to 6.6 pounds.
The Coffee Gator Scale is the perfect option for anyone starting out on their homebrewing journey.
Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale
This is the cheapest coffee scale on our list, yes, even cheaper than the above Gator Scale. But, don’t let the discounted price fool you, the Ozeri still packs a punch in the features department, and it can stand on its own against other premium coffee scales.
The Ozeri lets you weigh in pounds, kilograms, grams, and ounces, so you’re covered for weighing out your coffee beans and your water.
As you would expect to find on any scale, the Ozeri Touch features a tare button controlled by only running your finger over the tempered glass surface.
The only thing missing from the Ozeri is a timer – but hey, you really can’t complain at this price point!
It’s worth noting that the Ozeri Touch boasts four high precision GFX sensors that provide you with precise measurements from 0.05 oz to 12 lbs. (1 gram to 5750 grams).
The Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale is an excellent option if you’re looking for style and practicality all in one since this device is roughly the same size as an iPad – perfect for storing inside of your kitchen drawer.
KitchenTour Coffee Scale with Timer
The final recommendation on our list is the KitchenTour Coffee Scale. If you’re wondering about the price – well, it probably slots in between the Gator Scale and the Ozeri Touch, so still in the budget range.
The KitchenTour comes with a sort after built-in timer, a much-needed tare function, and a handy non-slip silicone pad.
What I like about the KitchenTour are the different weight options that will enable you to effortlessly switch from liquid to solid measurements with a push of a button. Keeping on the subject of weight – the scale has a precise capacity from 0.3g – 3000g.
I’ll admit I love the look of this digital scale – to me, it looks like something out of the Matrix!