So you have come this far in your coffee drinking adventure and now you want to take that next step and get a coffee scale. But your probably asking yourself, if your reading this post, with all the choices out there which one should I get?
What should I look for? Look no further! Read on and I will give you some general information and my best recommendations on coffee scales and what would be my top 5.
Ok Ok.. I won’t make you read any further ( but it would help!) My 5 top coffee scales are Jennings CJ4000, Escali Pocket Scale, Hario Drip Scale, Ozeri Touch Digital Scale and the Acaia Lunar Scale
Why use a Scale for Making Coffee
The first question you may be asking yourself so why do I need to use a scale in the first place? Can’t I just eyeball it and won’t that be close enough? Short answer… NO!
Even if you have done everything right at this point and bought whole bean coffee, freshly roasted from a local roaster (hopefully you have one near you), it can all go for not if you do not have the correct coffee to water ratio and a good scale is imperative to getting this right
Although many people don’t realize it, measuring out the right amount of coffee to water can make or break the taste or flavors you get from your coffee and so skipping or not carefully measuring out both your water and your coffee will result in a less then ideal cup.
Get rid of the scoop…. like the blade grinder
Your next question may be so what exactly can a scale do for you? Here are 4 reasons to get a good scale:
- Accuracy – This is probably the most important reason to get a scale. If you are precise with the measurement of both the coffee and water with the ratio that is best for you, you will have gone a long way to making a memorable cup
- Experimentation – This is where the fun comes in. Its always interesting to taste the difference with different coffee at different ratios. For example, you could start with a 17 to 1 ratio (water to coffee) and then the next time use a 15 to 1 ratio and you will be amazed more often then not at the difference this slight change makes in the taste of your coffee.
- Consistency – If you find the ratio that you like for your coffee then its important obvious reasons to be able to repeat time after time so you get that same taste and with a scale its infinitely easier then using say just a scoop.
- Beans – Buying quality fresh roasted coffee is generally more expensive then typical store bought coffee. In addition it takes a coffee farmer alot of hard work to bring it to your table and so by carefully measuring out your coffee your not only saving money by not wasting coffee but your also making sure that the coffee farmers work does not go for not.
What to Look For in a Coffee Scale
Tare – This just means to be able to zero out the scale either before or after (or both) you put something on it. For example you put a cup on the scale … tare it.. and then put in the amount of beans that you need. This is a critical part of any coffee scale as without it, its much more difficult to get a accurate number.
Size – You need to be aware of this, especially if you travel alot and are taking on with you. For example if you use a Chemex alot you will want to get a larger size scale so that it fits on top. However, if you are going to use say.. an aeropress, then you get a smaller one.
Grams or Ounces Option – I would recommend that you get a scale that has the option of weighing grams.. Most of the measuring thats done in the coffee world seems to be done using the metric system and grams are one of the more common measuring units you will see.
Just to give you a baseline to go by 29 grams is equal to 1 ounce of water and is this very helpful when measuring out your coffee to water ratios since a gram is the same weight as a milliliter of water. You can use a site like Metric Conversions if you want more information on conversions
Timer – This is not such a big deal to me but I have heard from alot of people how handy it is to have one. If your brewing a pour over coffee like say a Chemex or V60 then it is convenient to have and does make the process easier
My Top 5 Coffee Scales
Now the moment you all have been waiting for. The list of my top 5 coffee scales that will help you drink better tasting coffee and impress all your friends!
- Jennings CJ 4000 – This is the scale that I used at my coffee shop and I loved it.. It’s reasonably priced and could hold more weight then I would ever put on it (8.8 pounds). The batteries lasted forever and it could take a beating. Now, I would not get recommend this scale if you are going to be doing espresso but for pour over or drip coffee measurements, it can’t be beat. Keep in mind its not a scale you would want to travel with but for light to moderate use in a kitchen setting.. its a great way to go. You can check current pricing on Amazon
- Escali Pocket Scale – This is the scale you want to go with if you travel alot and have taken that extra step of bringing your coffee setup with you while you are on the road. Its super small, light and best of all very affordable while giving you the option of weighing in both ounces and grams (pounds as well for whatever that is worth). Check the current price on Amazon.
- Hario V60 Drip Scale – Although it was designed with the V60 in mind, this scale can be used for almost any coffee measuring you are going to do and is large enough for use with a Chemex. What I like about this scale is that it comes with a Timer and can measure all the way down to 0.1 grams so it can be used for measuring out your espresso weight. See what it currently costs on Amazon
- Ozeri Touch Digital Scale – This scale may not look as impressive as the Hario above but it has all everything it has except the timer and at about half the cost, currently about $20.00 on Amazon. Its not a complicated scale by any means as it only has 2 buttons. One for switching between your weighing options ( grams, pounds etc.) and the other is the Tare button to zero out the scale. It even comes with tempered glass surface which makes it extra strong and at the same time easy to clean. Its great choice if price is more important then having a timer.. Check out the latest price on Amazon.
- Acaia Lunar Scale – This is the scale you get if price is not an issue and you want almost an experience when measuring out your coffee.It’s a beautiful piece of equipment and it’s super accurate. This scale has it all including a timer, bluetooth tech and its own app. Needless to say its built with the best materials around and therefore will probably be the only scale you will need for a very long time. Check what the current price on Amazon.
You really cannot go wrong with any of the scales I mentioned. You just have to decide what you are looking for in a scale as well as your budget. The most important thing here is that you at least get a scale as you will notice a huge difference the taste and flavors that you get when you accurately weigh and measure your coffee before brewing.