As an avid coffee fan, you may spend thousands of dollars on the highest quality brewing equipment. This can include multiple grinders and brewing jugs. However, that’s not all! You may invest your time as well, trying to learn about the best methods for brewing different kinds of coffee.
Imagine the irony when you use a cheap plastic scoop to measure out your coffee beans. Why not use the best method to measure coffee as well? Of course, you can try to wing it! However, your results will fluctuate on a large scale. Would you rather leave the taste of your coffee to fate?
A coffee scale eliminates all guesswork from your brewery and ensures the perfect cup of coffee each time. Whether it’s your customers you hope to impress or a few house guests, a coffee scale allows for consistent results. After extensive research, we have compiled a list of our favorite coffee scales which will make brewing coffee a breeze. Although all of our best coffee scales performed well, three definitely stole the show.
Our #1 Pick:Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer
A high-end option for coffee lovers, the Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale comes with a timer as well to help you measure out the perfect pour time. It is quite easy to use and small in size. The high level of accuracy earns it some well-deserved brownie points.
Runner-Up:Ozeri ZK14-S Digital Scale
This affordable kitchen scale gives you all the precision you need to get your coffee started the right way. A large capacity scale, you can weigh in increments of 1g. This is perfectly enough flexibility for weighing out coffee where you’ll be sticking to full gram measurements.
Also Great:Coffee Gator Coffee Scale with Timer
The key selling point of this Coffee Gator scale is the onboard timer. This allows to measure out your beans then time your brew without needing yet another piece of equipment to crowd out your busy kitchen.
Table of Contents
I. Why Use a Scale for Coffee?
The first thing we should point out is that using a scale is not absolutely necessary so if you find the idea of measuring coffee is not for you, continue eyeballing it and enjoy!
If, however, you’re interested in maximizing consistency and getting the very best flavor out of your coffee beans every time, you might want to invest in a scale.
You might question why you can’t just gauge the quantity of beans by eye. Well, you can. The thing is, the imprecise results might surprise you.
All beans have a different density and what looks like the same volume of beans can weigh significantly more or less.
If you don’t believe us, take a couple of bags filled with different beans. Try filling a cup with each then weighing the contents. You’ll likely find there’s a marked discrepancy in weight. This is enough to alter the ratio of coffee bean to water and leave you short of your intended mark.
If you’re going to the trouble of measuring out your beans on a scale, you should also make certain that you use the same volume of water each time.
For a first class cup of coffee at home, you’ll want to dial in every aspect of the brewing process. Once you’ve got everything locked in, you’ll be able to replicate the perfect golden cup of coffee every time. And that starts with the precise amount of coffee grounds. Weigh up your beans directly before grinding and you’ll get things off to a flying start.
How about the ideal brew ratio, then? We’ll dive down into that right now…
II. What is The Perfect Brew Ratio?
As we stated above, trying to measure coffee by volume is unwise.
All coffee beans have different masses. Beyond this, moisture content falls as the beans are roasted. The darker the beans are roasted, the less moisture those beans will contain. Subsequently, dark roasts weigh less than light or medium roasts.
When you’re making coffee, quantity is important. Use too much and your drink might taste under-extracted. Tasting sour with no sweetness at all and a characteristic lack of depth, this is not a pleasant drink.
Go too far in the other direction, though, and you’ll end up with over-extracted coffee, equally bad in a different way. You’ll get a sour taste completely lacking in any real body.
Try to weigh out beans by eye and you’ll soon find it’s not quite so straightforward as filling a cup. This is where digital scales step in taking all the guesswork away and making your life easier. While you might instinctively baulk at the idea of spending out more money on what you perceive to be unnecessary, you really will benefit in terms of both ease and the quality of the coffee in your cup.
How much coffee do you need, then?
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), you need 60g of coffee for every liter of water.
Brew ratios are used to roll out this benchmark and if you follow this advice, you’ll get your coffee started the right way.
How about these brew ratios, then? What are they and how can you use them?
What Is a Brew Ratio?
Brew ratios are expressed as follows:
A brew ratio of 1:15 means 1 part of coffee to 15 parts of water. In real terms this might be 20g of ground beans with 300g of water. This will yield 300ml of coffee.
If you’re looking to lock down a brew ratio, you can work this out in one of two ways. You can either start with the amount of coffee you want to use or you can start with the amount of coffee you want to make and work backward.
Brew Ratio Method #1
If you want to use 20g of coffee with a brew ratio of 1:15 then:
20 x 15 = 300
This would mean you weigh out 20g of beans on your scale to use in your French press.
Just pop your press on the scale, add the coffee grounds then hit Tare and add water until you’ve got 300g as required.
Brew Ratio Method #2
Everyone likes coffee in different sized cups and there’s no unified standard.
For the sake of this example, we’ll say you want a 300ml cup of joe brewed at a ratio of 1:15.
300 ÷ 15 = 20
This gives you the same quantity of 20g of beans calculated in reverse.
If you’re making multiple cups of coffee for the whole family, it’s easy to multiply the above figures by the desired number of cups.
We mentioned several brew ratios there but which methods require which ratios?
Well, a 1:15 ratio works effectively for immersion brewing while 1:17 is ideal if you prefer pour-over.
As with all aspects of making your own coffee at home, you should make it personal and use these as guidelines to work from. All that counts is getting your coffee exactly the way you want it. After all, that’s why you’re going to the trouble of using grinders, scales and high-tech coffee machines.
If there’s one thing better than a digital scale, it’s one that comes with a timer onboard…
III. Do You Need a Timer Built into Your Scale?
Well, as with the scale itself, it’s not a question of need but rather of convenience and precision.
Just as it pays to accurately weigh out the coffee beans, you should also time the brew. Once you’re happy with the brew, you should easily roll out the same drink time and again.
Having a timer baked into your scale just means you’ll have one less piece of kit to worry about. If you’re anything like us, your coffee paraphernalia is already starting to take over. With a scale and grinder, a French press, a coffee machine and, of course, the coffee beans, things can start to get crowded. In just the same way that espresso machines with integrated grinders work so well, so does this combined scale and timer.
Precise timing of the brewing depends on the method.
All you need to do to get things started is to weigh up your fresh beans:
- Switch on your scale and make sure you set it on a flat and even surface
- Place the container in which you want to measure your coffee on the scale. You might want to put your French press itself on the scale if you’re using this method
- Hit Tare so the scale resets to zero
- Measure out the amount of coffee you need using the brewing ratios outlined above
- Take your time and prize precision above all else
IV. Top 10 Best Coffee Scale Reviews
1. Our #1 Pick:Hario V60 Drip, Pour Over Coffee Scale and Timer
When it comes to the best coffee scales, none can deny the accuracy of the Hario V60. Most users noted that it had a small size and didn’t take up a lot of space. This makes it perfect for smaller kitchens, especially the ones in offices.
In addition, it allows you to precisely measure up to the closest 0.1 gram. What’s unique about this scale is that it includes a drip timer that helps you achieve the ideal bloom time on every pour.
As a result, it ensures complete control of the brewing process. Thus, it is best for those who enjoy powerful and precise blends. For us, the major points were the ease of use and high level of accuracy. Lastly, it comes with an auto power-off function to conserve power.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Highly precise and accurate.
- Easy to use.
- Includes a timer for complete control.
- Auto Power-off function.
- No backlight for use in the dark.
- Slow working.
2. Ozeri ZK14-S Digital Scale
This affordable kitchen scale gives you all the precision you need to get your coffee started the right way.
A large capacity scale, you can weigh in increments of 1g. This is perfectly enough flexibility for weighing out coffee where you’ll be sticking to full gram measurements.
You can read your measurements in 5 units (grams, pounds, pounds/ounces, ounces, milliliters). The clear display is easy to read at a glance.
The Tare feature common to all decent scales allows you to weigh out your beans first then add some water without removing the container from the scale.
This overhauled model features a new and improved weighing platform giving you even more room for maneuver. You’ll have more than enough space to pop on your French press or your portafilter.
We should point out that a few disgruntled customers have complained about build quality and problems developing over time. We’d suggest you do your own due diligence but the overall consensus is a reliable and accurate scale at a pocket-friendly price.
All you’ll need to get going is a pair of AAA batteries and you’ll even get some thrown in. What more can you ask for at this price-point?
- Multiple colorways
- Oversized weighing platform
- Tare function ideal for coffee
- Batteries included
- Some issues with build quality
- Bottom rubbers wear away easily
3. Coffee Gator Coffee Scale with Timer
We’ll kick off by stating that a few customers suggest this scale is not as accurate as they would have liked. We feel you should get more than enough precision for weighing out your coffee beans, though.
The key selling point of this Coffee Gator scale is the onboard timer. This allows to measure out your beans then time your brew without needing yet another piece of equipment to crowd out your busy kitchen.
As with most solid scales, you can flick between 5 different measuring units so you’ve got everything you need at a glance with no need to perform any mental calculations.
The class-leading 3kg capacity of this scale means it makes a versatile addition to your kitchen and can be used for weighing much more than the coffee for your morning brew.
The design leaves something to be desired. Inkeeping with its capacity, the scale has a pretty bulky footprint. While the backlit display is easy to read, the green lighting is not to everyone’s taste, though.
We have to say that in the areas it counts, this powerful scale is well worth the modest price tag if you’re looking to dial in all elements of your brewing method with precision.
- Non-slip rubber feet and mat
- Measurements displays in choice of 5 units
- Generous 3kg capacity
- Large pans to accommodate a French press
- Integrated timer
- Some complaints about accuracy
- Quite bulky
4. Greater Goods Digital Food Scale
If you thought our top pick was too expensive, then you might enjoy the Greater Goods Digital Food Scale much more. This inexpensive coffee scale comes with an easy to read, high-contrast LED display. In fact, the numbers are quite big so even the most visually impaired persons can read it easily. Furthermore, it comes with an 11 lb. max capacity which is quite sufficient for weighing coffee.
The plastic construction makes it easier to clean while the scratch-resistant feet add durability. The best part is that you can easily switch between different units. However, where it falls short is the precision. It can measure precisely up to 1 gram which may deter a few people. But at the price point, who can argue?
- Easier to clean.
- Easy to read LED display screen.
- Durable sensors and feet.
- Allows you to switch between units.
- Not too precise.
- Inconsistent Tare button.
5. American Weigh Scales AMW-SC-2KG Digital Pocket Scale
Perhaps the lightest and most compact scale in our list, the American Weigh Scales AMW is the perfect pocket scale for weighing coffee. It measures merely 4 x 4 inches, which is ideal for small counter spaces. Although the surface is small, you can still pile up mounds of coffee due to the clear plastic bowl that goes on top.
Moreover, it is quite precise as it can measure weights up to 0.1 grams or 0.01 ounces. Speaking of which, it can easily perform measurements in both metric and standard units. This way, you can use it no matter where you live.
What we love about this mini scale is the backlit LCD screen which not only enhances readability but also allows you to take measurements in low-light conditions. To top it all off, it comes with a 10-year warranty.
- Compact size, about 4 x 4 inches.
- Includes a 10-year warranty.
- Highly precise.
- Backlit, easy to read LCD screen.
- Can hold large amounts of coffee on top.
- Drains battery quickly.
- Quick Auto shut-off after merely 30 seconds.
6. Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale
If you’re looking for an easy-to-clean unit that is unaffected by water, the Escali Primo Digital is the only way to go. It features a spill-proof body which you can clean with a single wipe. Even the display buttons include a protective seal on top to ensure no water penetrates through them. This is perfect for those looking to brew coffee.
In addition, the readings are quite clear on the high-contrast LCD display. Furthermore, the BPA-free plastic adds to the durability and sturdiness of the scale. Although it can handle about 11 pounds of weight, its precision is quite low. It can measure coffee weight to the nearest 1 gram.
Unlike the American Weigh Scales, this one automatically shuts off after 4 minutes of inactivity, thus saving and prolonging battery life. We loved that the rubber feet were quite sturdy and prevented any slippage.
- Simple to operate.
- Easy to clean and spill-proof.
- Automatic shut-off feature included.
- Easy to read display.
- Prolonged battery life.
- Lower accuracy.
- Hard to read the scale if you use a larger bowl.
7. American Weigh Scales LB-3000 Compact Digital Scale
A truly unique scale by American Weigh Scales, the LB-3000 includes a counting feature through which you can set a sample size for coffee beans and count as many as 50 coffee beans. It comes with a compact bowl which you can use to measure coffee powder or other liquids.
The LB-3000 is big on protection and durability which is why it includes a detachable lid. This lid helps to protect the weighing surface to guarantee accuracy. Speaking of which, the LB-3000 is capable of measuring to the nearest 0.1 gm, on par with the most high-end options.
Also included is a backlit LCD display for easier readout. However, you can turn the backlight off to save power. The best part is that you can use both batteries and AC power supply for power.
- Backlit display for easier readability.
- Includes a compact bowl to measure liquids.
- Detachable lid protects the weighing surface.
- High accuracy.
- Includes a unique counting feature.
- Can be quite large.
- The cover can cause inaccuracies.
8. Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale
With a sleek and slim profile, the Etekcity Digital Scale comes with the utmost precision without costing you a leg. It has a capacity of about 5 kg and can measure accurately to the nearest 1 gram. It owes its accuracy to the 4 high precision sensors.
You can use it to measure in ounces as well as in grams. As a result, you can follow any brew recipe easily. Apart from that, it includes a stainless steel platform that makes it easier to maintain and clean. Not to mention, the Etekcity Scale is easy to use as well.
What’s truly unique about this scale is that you can even measure the volume of certain liquids such as water and milk to brew the perfect coffee. Equipped with a backlit display and an easy-to-store design, it is a must-have for coffee lovers.
- Perfect accuracy and precision.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- Easy to store and carry.
- Simple operation with easier unit conversion.
- Can measure the volume of certain liquids.
- Only measures to the nearest 1g.
- Hard to read the display when larger plates are on it.
9. Brewista Smart Scale II
The Brewista Smart Scale II is a coffee lover’s dream. The scale is specifically designed to weigh coffee. It includes six different user modes which allow you to prepare different kinds of coffees such as espresso. One mode allows for fully manual operation to ensure you have full control over the brewing process.
With a high weighing capacity of 2000 g, the scale can easily measure weights to the nearest 0.1 gram. It includes a rechargeable battery which you can recharge using a USB cable. Furthermore, it comes with a large protective case that doubles as a bowl for measuring liquids.
Not only that, but it includes a silicone pad that protects the scale from scratches and liquids. Last but not least, it includes a pour timer function which is the perfect training tool for budding baristas.
- Includes various protective elements.
- Accurate and precise measurements.
- Includes a timer for accurate pours.
- Comes with a rechargeable battery.
- Includes 6 different preset modes.
- The top plate is too lightweight which can result in instability.
- Slightly taller.
10. HuiSmart Digital Coffee Scale
Another scale specifically for coffee, the HuiSmart Digital Coffee scale is a highly accurate device which can measure accurately up to 0.1 gram. What’s unique about the HuiSmart Digital Coffee Scale is that it functions as both a timer and a weight machine. Consequently, you can use it to measure accurate pour times for the most perfectly brewed coffee.
It even allows you to measure volumes of a few liquids and convert units as well. Apart from that, the backlit LCD display makes it easier to read even in the dimmest light. Not only that, but the small size and the light weight ensures it can be stored easily. In fact, it even comes with a handle and a hanger hole for easier storage.
- Extremely precise.
- Functions as a timer and a weight machine.
- Converts units.
- Easy to read display.
- Easier storage and handling.
- Backlight turns off too quickly.
- Numbers displayed may be too thin.
V. Coffee Scale Buyer’s Guide
Should You Buy a Coffee Scale?
A kitchen scale is an important device in the kitchen for professional baristas and coffee lovers alike. It allows for more consistent results and ensures the most perfect brews. Anyone who needs accuracy by their side when brewing coffee should use a kitchen scale.
Some scales are specifically meant for brewing coffee while others are standard kitchen scales that you can use for coffee. Most of these scales are small and sensitive. When you are measuring out coffee or spices, you need the most accurate results which may be difficult as these are quite small quantities.
This may not be possible with a cup, scoop or even a teaspoon. But, more on that later!
How to Choose The Best Coffee Scale?
With so many kitchen and coffee scales in the market, how do you find the one that suits you best? Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of essential features you should consider when buying a coffee scale. These are:
- Accuracy and Precision
Accuracy refers to how close the measured value is to the true value while the precision refers to the closeness of repeated measurements. While you need your scale to be accurate, you also need it to be precise so it always shows consistent results.
- Least Count
The least count refers to the extent the scale is capable of measuring. Some scales can measure weights to the nearest 1 gram while others can measure to the nearest 0.1 gram. While measuring to 1 gram is fine for most recipes, some smaller measurements need that extra digit after the decimal for accuracy.
Most pocket scales can measure in 0.1 gram increments which is useful in measuring coffee.
- Unit Conversion
Some brewing recipes might talk in terms of Metric units while others may measure the ingredients out in standard units. This is why it’s better to go with scales that can provide measurements in multiple units.
Another important factor to consider is the size of the unit. Smaller scales are portable and space-saving. If the scale is too large, it might not be able to sit on the counter properly. This is especially true for smaller kitchens or office kitchens where there is low counter space. On the other hand, if the scale is too small, you might not be able to measure larger quantities of coffee.
If you do go for a smaller scale, then ensure that it comes with a bowl so you can pile up the coffee beans or powder. This way you can save counter space without worrying about limited space on the scale.
A tare button allows you to subtract the weight of the container and measure only the contents. This way measuring powder and liquids is easier. In fact, you can continue taring and add ingredients to calculate the additional weight. Hus, we highly recommend that you look for this feature.
Another function that some coffee scales come with an integrated timer. This timer can help you in determining the accurate pour times, infusion times as well as blooming times. Having a timer within your scale can help you follow exact recipes.
Not only should your scale be accurate and precise, but it should also be quick. If your reading fluctuates a lot and takes a lot of time to stabilize, then you might end up noting the wrong readings. The best coffee scales should show a gradual increase in weight and should stabilize quickly.
When you’re making coffee, it’s only obvious that your scale should be water-resistant. Water-proof scales might be too expensive and unless you plan to submerge them into the water, there really is no point to them. Instead, look for the more inexpensive, water-resistant options. Laminated buttons ensure the system remains safe in the case of a spill.
- Power Source
Another factor to consider is the power source. We highly recommend going for one with a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to buy batteries over and over again. Apart from that, if it comes with a plug-in option, then that’s even better. This way you can use it for longer periods of time without worrying about the battery.
VI. Benefits When Using a Coffee Scale
You might wonder why you shouldn’t use a scoop instead? Why invest your money in a coffee scale? Well, there are various advantages that a scale has over a scoop. Let’s face it, sizes differ from one scoop to the next. Also, the shape tends to differ. Some might be more rounded while others may be flat.
It’s the same case with spoons and cups. Heaped teaspoons and leveled teaspoons may be fine for baking, but when it comes to brewing coffee, you need exact and consistent measurements. Scoops aren’t consistent either. The same scoop can pick up different amounts of product no matter how careful you are.
For instance, a scoop of coffee powder can equal 4-6 ounces. There are a number of factors that can affect this amount such as how heaped the scoop is and how humid the flour is. On the other hand, a scale allows you to measure out 6 ounces of powder, accurate to the last digit. 6 ounces are 6 ounces and will never vary.
This is why scales are more preferred than a scoop or a cup or even a spoon. In addition to this, when you’re making pour-over coffee, a scale can help you determine the exact amount of water and coffee bean.
Other benefits include:
- More accurate and consistent measurements.
- Allows you to add ingredients and measure additional weight by taring.
- Makes cooking easier and quicker.
- You can mix all ingredients in one bowl.
- Measurements are unaffected by other factors.
All in all, the best coffee scales are ones that work the best for you. There is a wide variety of options in the market to choose from, including both cheap and high-end options. However, the average price of a coffee scale is quite inexpensive. Whether you work as a barista or just want to make perfect brews at home, a coffee scale is the best way to ensure accurate measurements.
Our top picks are bound to impress you. They are specifically designed for measuring coffee and integrate a high-quality design that is durable and sturdy. Not only that, but these coffee scales provide you with the utmost accuracy and precision to ensure consistent results.
The Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer bags the first place and rightly so due to the excellent craftsmanship and superior quality. On the other hand, our alternative pick, Greater Goods Digital Food Scale is for those who need a budgeted option without cutting corners on the quality!