Using a scale when brewing coffee may seem like turning your morning ritual into a high-school science experiment, but weighing out the water and coffee you use will ensure that you start out each day with a great cup. It’s the best way to make sure you have a proper water-to-coffee ratio, which is a frequently overlooked aspect of brewing great coffee.
A Scale Instead of A Scoop
Most people control the water-to-coffee ratio by measuring the volume of water and coffee they use. They use a certain number of scoops of coffee with a specific amount of water. A scale, however, is preferable to a scoop.
Weight is a more accurate measurement than volume, because the density of coffee beans can vary. Some beans may weigh more than others, although they might be the same size. Making sure you use the same number of grams or ounces of coffee each morning will ensure your coffee-to-water ratio remains consistent. Once you start using a scale to measure your coffee, it is easy to use the same scale to weigh the amount of water you use.
Features to Look For in a Coffee Scale
There are some features that a coffee scale must have, and others that are nice to have. When looking for a scale, you should only consider ones that:
- can tare (zero)
- are accurate to one or two decimal places
- are compact but large enough for your brewing apparatus
- have both grams and ounces (grams are smaller units and more accurate)
- is battery powered for portability
Nice but not necessary features include a back-lit display, being waterproof and a timer.
Scale We Recommend
With these features in mind, here are three scales that we like:
The Jennings CJ4000 Digital Scale is an inexpensive option that has all of the necessary features listed above.
The Hario Coffee Drip Scale and Timer is affordable and compact, and it has a timer. This model is popular in cafes, as it eliminates the need to have an additional timer.
Acaia’s Pearl is the premier coffee scale on the market. With an Apple-like design, this scale is pressure-sensitive, waterproof and has a timer. It even comes with an app that will help you with pour-overs. We’re still learning to use the app.
If you don’t already have a scale, invest in one of these models and enjoy great coffee every morning by weighing out the coffee and water you use.