If you’re really serious about brewing the perfect cup of coffee every time, a high-quality scale is essential. Some coffee lovers might think that using a scale isn’t necessary, and for that reason, the temptation might be to overlook one. However, professionals in coffee shops use them for measuring everything precisely, and there are a couple of good reasons – they’re a great way to ensure both quality and consistency.
In this coffee scale buying guide, we will review the 6 best coffee scales we picked, and discuss what to look for when buying a scale.
Why Do You Need A Coffee Scale?
Some of the most popular coffee recipes use cups or scoops as units, which aren’t nearly as precise enough for brewing high-quality coffee consistently. Everyone has their opinion of what qualifies as a scoop of coffee grounds, for example. This means that even when following the same recipe, the coffee produced by two people could end up being quite different.
That’s because there are more factors at stake when deciding what constitutes a scoop. Some people will use a heaped scoop, others a level one. Meanwhile, you may press the coffee grounds down while the next person might not. You may even question what is a tablespoon or a teaspoon etc.
Similarly, you may have confusion as to how much water constitutes a cup.
All these elements have a significant stake in the all-important coffee and water ratio. For example, cold brew coffee concentrate is best with a 1:5 ratio, while pour over is nearer 1:15. Meanwhile, you’ll need a 1:2 ratio for espresso.
A coffee scale takes away all the doubts surrounding brew ratio, leaving you to concentrate on water temperature, extraction times, and grind size. If you do these aspects correctly, you only need to use the correct ratio of coffee to water, and you’ll get great results every time.
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Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Coffee Scale
You might think that there’s no difference between a coffee scale and a standard kitchen scale, but is that the case? Coffee scales typically have similar functionality to kitchen scales. However, they will also have some valuable additional features specifically with coffee brewing in mind.
Let’s look at some of the things to consider when choosing the best coffee scale.
A critical aspect of a good coffee scale is accuracy, meaning you should focus only on digital scales. Most digital coffee scales will register amounts as small as 0.1g, while a standard kitchen scale might only be able to read 1g or higher measurements. It is not a big issue, though. If you have a food scale, just use it. Most of the time you’ll be measuring in full grams or ounces. However, some brew recipes require more precise measurements.
A timer is the main feature that makes coffee scales stand apart from standard kitchen scales.
There are indeed other ways of timing accurately. For example, you could use a timer app on your cellphone. However, if you have a coffee scale with a built-in timer, you will remove all that hassle.
It’s useful for manual brewing methods, such as pour-over, you need to bloom the ground coffee for 30-45 seconds, and pour different amounts of water in different phases. Therefore, a timer is exceptionally useful. However, if you just need to weigh the coffee beans and brew coffee with a drip coffee maker, it’s not an essential feature.
This feature means you don’t have to press the start button manually. It may sound trivial, but there’s always a delay before the coffee starts to reach the cup when brewing espresso. An auto-start function can start the timer automatically the moment the coffee begins dripping into your cup.
This is a less important feature. However, it is not uncommon to forget to turn the scale off after finishing with it. You don’t want to leave the scale on for a whole day, which will ruin your battery life.
Generally, the more compact your coffee scale is, the better. However, you’ll need to ensure that it’ll be big enough to hold the most well-known coffee makers, such as Chemex, as well as your carafes. If you need a coffee scale for weighing espresso, make sure it can fit in the espresso machine. Some espresso makers, such as the Gaggia Classic Pro, don’t have much space under the portafilter, so this is one thing to keep in mind.
For people who would like to take their coffee scale on their travels, consider a battery-powered one. However, for people who mainly want to use their coffee scale regularly at home, a rechargeable model is your best option. Look for models with a Micro USB or USB-C cable.
Measurement Unit Conversion
The metric measuring system is the most common in coffee recipes. Many coffee scales will only have the option for metric measurements, while others will convert between metric and imperial (for grams to ounces). If you also plan to use your coffee scales for non-coffee-related measuring, you might favor a device that can convert between the two measurements.
A Smart Scales with App Support?
Some coffee scales allow for features including Bluetooth connectivity and use in conjunction with dedicated cellphone apps for tracking and analyzing statistics. These features are a bit of a luxury, and can even be unreliable, so we don’t consider them essential for brewing coffee at home. However, if you like the idea and have the extra budget for a coffee scale of that nature, there are options available on the market.
Now you know what to look out for, let’s go through the best coffee scales currently on the market.
The Six Best Coffee Scales You Can Buy in 2023
1.Timemore Black Mirror – Best Value Scale
Timemore is a Chinese company that has been trading since 2012 that produces award-winning coffee-related products. The company specializes in aesthetics and functionality, and this black mirror scale impresses on both counts.
The weighing pan consists of the entire top surface, and it has a smart finish of black matte. It has a high-tech and refreshingly simple look, making it appear more like a tech gadget than a coffee scale. It’s also water-resistant, meaning that if water spills on the surface, it will simply disperse over the edges without finding its way into any cracks and causing damage inside.
Beneath the surface is an LED display and touch-sensitive buttons, and you can turn the device on if you touch the bottom right-hand corner of the surface.
The display panel has a clear and nice-looking blue readout, and it’s easy to operate, with a timer button on the left and a power/tare button on the right. Crucially, the coffee scale can measure in 0.1 gram increments precisely.
To add to this machine’s impressive features, there’s an auto-off function, fast response time, and auto-timer built-in.
It comes with a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, you can recharge it via USB-C cable and it will last 7 hours.
Despite all these features, the scale is only mid-priced, meaning you can get much of the aesthetics and functionality of more expensive models for a lower cost. However, it is still that bit more pricey than standard coffee scales.
We would highly recommend this model as one to consider. We have been using this scale for a few months, here is our review of Timemore Black Mirror.
2.Hario Drip Scale – Best All-Rounder
This scale benefits from the Hario name. The Japanese brand is well-regarded in coffee circles and is also known for products such as the V60 coffee dripper, so you know it’s a brand you can trust.
This drip scale has been on the market for around 10 years and has pour over in mind. It is a digital scale and timer that has stood the test of time and is well-regarded by coffee enthusiasts of all experiences. Indeed, there’s nothing this scale lacks.
It’s compact, neat-looking, and has excellent functionality. Again, it can measure amounts as small as 0.1g, while the LCD sits in the center of the device for the timer and measuring. It’s simple to use, too, with only two buttons.
There’s an auto-off function to help preserve the batteries by turning off after five minutes without use.
This machine uses two AAA batteries, making it convenient when you’re on the move as you don’t need to concern yourself with cables or plugs.
This coffee scale is in the mid-budget range and for a reliable device from a well-regarded company that offers excellent value. Check out our Hario V60 drip scale review for more details.
For coffee enthusiasts with other Hario products, such as the Hario coffee server and V60 dripper, this will look great alongside those.
3.Brewista Ratio Pour Over Coffee Scale – Best Scale For Rookie Baristas
Brewista’s artisan gooseneck kettle is iconic nowadays, and the company’s reputation is on the up as a result. Rightly so, as Brewista are well aware of the problems baristas face and how to solve them.
This coffee scale aims to help you perfect the pouring. There are seven pre-set ratios, ranging from 1:14 to 1:20. It will then work out the precise amount of water required depending on the number of grounds you’re using.
As you begin to pour, it will tell you what rate you’re pouring at and which is the optimum rate. Your challenge is to match the timing bars. If you do it, you’ll attain the recommended pour time suggested by the Specialty Coffee Association. As well as helping achieve the perfect pouring rate, this is a great way to hone your pouring skills. It is an excellent option for inexperienced baristas who are learning their pour over craft.
The Coffee scale measures in 0.1g, and there’s a 2kg max capacity. There’s also an auto-shutoff function and a silicone pad that is water and heat-resistant.
This coffee scale has a USB rechargeable battery, which, when fully charged, is good for between one and two months if you brew 1-2 cups a day.
One drawback is the price. However, it is still a good option considering the number of features it boasts.
4.KitchenTour Coffee Scale with Timer – Best Budget Scale (1)
This coffee scale is an option for those on a tighter budget.
It has a measurement range from 1g to 3kg, while there’s a highly precise G-sensor that allows it to measure accurately as little as 0.1g.
There’s a prominent and easy-to-read digital display with white LED backlights.
The surface of the scale is a non-slip and heat-resistant rubber matt, where you can put your brewer on top steadily.
This coffee scale requires 3 AAA batteries, making it a convenient option for people who travel a lot. It will also turn itself off after 2 minutes without use to help preserve the batteries.
Another handy function of this model is the unit conversion from grams to ounces and grams to millimeters. This can be useful if your other kitchen appliances use the same measuring system and you’re not so familiar with metric.
If you are budget-restricted but would like a scale with plenty of uses that has features like a timer and an auto-off feature, this is worth considering.
5.Apexstone Coffee Scale With Timer – Best Budget Scale (2)
The Apexstone is another great option for people with smaller budgets. The design is simple enough – indeed, it resembles a standard kitchen scale with a timer. However, looks can be deceiving, and this device has all you need for making your morning coffee.
The scale comes equipped with an LCD screen that’s easy-to-read and clear. There’s also the nifty option of changing the colors of the backlight between blue and green. There’s a silicone mat to help guard the scale from heat and spillages, too. It’s powered by two AAA batteries.
High-precision sensors allow for a 0.1oz/1g to 3000ml/g measurement range., while there’s a built-in timer that helps control the pour rate.
This device can measure in pounds, ounces, milligrams, grams, and grams/milligrams, making it useful for general weighing while baking, rather than just coffee.
One issue is the aesthetics, which do look somewhat dated. Having said that, though, this is not an expensive digital scale, so if you’re more interested in accuracy and functionality rather than how it looks, it is well worth considering.
6.Acaia Pearl – Best Smart Scale
The Acaia Pearl is a premium smart scale that will cost you considerably more than any other scales on this list.
The design is modern, sleek, and beautiful, resembling the kind of products you’d buy from Apple.
The scale is full of features and accurate to a tenth of a gram. It also has a 2kg weight capacity, a response time of two milliseconds, an auto-tare feature, touch-sensitive controls, and an outer shell that is spill-proof. There’s a built-in timer too, which makes your brewing even more straightforward.
Where this scale differs considerably from the others is in its iOS and Android companion apps. The scale can utilize Bluetooth 4.0 to take advantage of the app features while updating its firmware through the apps on your smartphone.
The app opens up a wealth of new features that you may find helpful, including recipes for a range of brewing methods. The app also records your brewing information, offering data on things such as flow rate, coffee-to-water ratio, and brew time.
A significant advantage of this scale is its precision, thanks to its lab-grade technology. It’s so accurate that it is responsive and sensitive to evaporation. Indeed, if you blow in its surface, the weight will change.
Despite its massive range of features, we believe this device is best-suited to professional coffee shops rather than domestic use. As a standalone coffee scale, we think it’s on the expensive side too.
We think the Tinemore Black Mirror is as good, and it won’t cost as much. However, if the “Smart” element of the device and its ability to interact with the app attracts you, it’s worth taking a closer look.
Acaia also has a Pearl-S model with even more smart features, while the Acaia Lunar is an espresso scale with features specially designed for espresso.
Our Verdict – Our favorite is The Timemore Black Mirror
Of the 6 coffee scales we’ve featured in this article, our favorite is the Timemore Black Mirror. It is extremely aesthetically pleasing and looks good on the kitchen counter, and it possesses all the features you need to make fantastic coffee. Best of all, though, it’s not particularly costly considering the amount of functionality it offers.
We are confident that you can significantly enhance your coffee-making expertise with a good coffee scale with a timer and any additional features. The best thing is, there are good options whether you are on a restricted budget or can afford to spend a little more.
Indeed, some of the more expensive coffee scales cost more than a high-quality burr grinder or a coffee maker. However, there are less fancy ones on the market that can do an excellent job for a fraction of the price.
Regardless of which one you opt for, one thing’s certain – you’ll get far more accuracy with a good coffee scale than by using a scoop or relying on your judgment, and it’ll take a considerable amount of hassle out of the overall brewing process too!
 Featured Photo credit: Photo by Maksim Goncharenok