When you’re looking to brew the perfect golden cup of coffee, it’s tempting to try changing everything in pursuit of perfection.
Instead, you should examine the basics starting with the foundation of all great coffee…
Fresh beans ground directly before brewing and weighed accurately will get things going in fine style.
To that end, you’ll need an accurate scale.
If you already have a digital scale in the kitchen, you don’t need to go and buy a replacement. If, on the other hand, you have those old and imprecise pan-style scales or you don’t have any weighing instrument at all, you really do need to remedy that.
Why is it necessary to weigh your coffee in the first place, though?
I. Our Top Picks for Coffee Scales
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
Hario Drip Coffee Scale and Timer Our #1 Pick
|Coffee Gator Scale with Timer|
|Brewista Smart Scale II|
|Ozeri Pronto Digital Scale|
|Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale|
|GreaterGoods Digital Scale|
|Escali Primo Precision Scale|
Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Scale
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Why Should You Use a Coffee Scale?
Have you ever tried measuring out coffee by the scoop?
If so, you’ll appreciate this is not the most accurate method of doing so. The scoop could be level or heaped. It’s hard to tell by eye. How about beans and grounds? A scoop of each will not weigh the same. Also, the density of coffee beans varies to the extent that trying to gauge weight by volume won’t work out well either.
By using a grinder, you can completely sidestep most of the hassle and intricacy of attempting to measure by eye. The inbuilt advantage is that you won’t just get the job done with a scale, you’ll get it done right.
And all of this matters since the best cup of coffee needs coffee and water at just the right ratio. How can you get that ratio right if you don’t have an accurate weight to use?
By dialing in the weight, you’ll find it much easier making coffee. Blitz your beans and dump the grounds on the scale. Use the exact amount of grounds to deliver coffee just the way you like it. Case closed.
What Should You Look For When Buying a New Digital Coffee Scale?
You might think buying a scale is just a case of picking the first one you see. You could do that and you might get lucky. More likely, you’ll end up with something unfit for purpose.
Instead of rushing in, take the time instead to focus on the following elements and you’ll have more chance of finding the best scale the easy way…
- Overall Dimensions
- Battery Life and Type
- Ease of Cleaning
The tolerance of most digital scales is 0.1g or 1g.
You really shouldn’t get too hung up over accuracy. Think of it this way: simply by using a scale, you’ll enjoy complete precision. What you don’t need is a scale that weighs to the tiniest tolerances.
When you’re weighing coffee grounds, chances are you’ll be doing so in increments of 1g. If you know for sure you’d prefer a little more precision, look at those scales offering 0.1g increments.
You should also give due consideration to whether you want to use the scale for anything else in the kitchen. If you intend to weigh up herbs and spices, for example, you might place more priority on a scale offering 0.1g increments. You should also think about what upper weights you’ll be measuring and look for a scale that delivers.
We’ve drawn attention to the precision levels of each of the scales we reviewed so you can compare them at a glance.
With that element taken care of, it’s time to think about size…
We fully understand the storage nightmare for any coffee fiend with too much equipment! With your grinder and coffee machine along with any other accessories, the last thing many people want is a bulky scale.
Obviously, if you opt for a larger model, you’ll be able to weigh more. That said, when are you likely to weigh up large quantities of coffee? It would defeat the object of grinding directly before brewing and there’s only so much coffee you’ll drink in a single sitting.
Think about your lifestyle and whether or not you need a portable scale. After all, there’s no need to compromise the quality of the coffee in your cup just because you’re a frequent flyer. Grab a small portable manual coffee grinder and a slimline scale and you’ve got the makings of precision coffee on the road.
Do you plan to stash your scale out of sight when it’s not being used or are you looking for a conversation piece on the kitchen counter?
Given that shopping for scales is straightforward and that most perform similarly, appearance counts.
Take the time to find the right style and color of scale and you’ll be glad you didn’t blunder in.
Battery Life and Type
Most scales take AA batteries although some require costlier lithium batteries.
The vast majority of scales come with an auto shut-off feature to prevent you constantly tearing through batteries.
Most scales should give you many months of use before you need to hit the store for a top-up.
If you’re trying to make the perfect cup of pour-over coffee, you need to time brewing with precision.
Sure, you could grab a regular timer but do you want yet another piece of equipment thrown into the chaos of your coffee-making kitchen counter?
Many of the best scales designed for making coffee come with a timer baked in. This gives you less to concentrate on so you can dial in your brew and enjoy coffee just the way you like it each and every time.
Ease of Cleaning
One of the drawbacks of making gourmet coffee is the mess it makes.
Luckily, almost all scales are extremely easy to care for and clean. Also, you shouldn’t really spill too much when you’re weighing up anyway.
Check user reviews to make sure there’s no dissatisfied pushback about tasky clean-up. Encounter scales like this and they’ll just end up gathering dust in the cupboard.
Right then, you should now see why you need a scale to make coffee at home and you should have a clear idea of what to look out for when you’re comparing models.
To make your life even easier, we’ve assembled the best scales on the market so you can see at a glance which best suit your tastes and budget.
The 8 Best Coffee Scale Reviews
1. Our #1 Pick: Hario Drip Coffee Scale and Timer
Getting that perfect golden cup of coffee starts with precisely measured coffee grounds.
If you go to the trouble of grinding your own beans, it’s reckless to try gauging them by eye or volume. All coffee beans come in at varying densities. You could end up quite far off if you don’t press an accurate scale into commission.
And accuracy is uppermost with this Hario. Measuring your grounds to a tolerance of 0.1g allows you to dial in the brewing process with unerring precision. You’ll find making coffee is much quicker and easier once you have your weights and timings set.
While this scale is not especially cheap, if you act quickly you can capitalize on a decent discount. Why not treat yourself?
2. Coffee Gator Scale with Timer
Coffee Gator has a deep bench of superb coffee paraphernalia and this scale with timer baked in continues that winning tradition.
Once you get locked into accumulating equipment to make great coffee, you soon find you start running out of space. Why not combine a scale and timer so you’ve got one less piece of kit to worry about?
Another large capacity scale, you can weigh up to 6.5oz and you can measure your coffee grounds in increments to 1g. You’ll be able to see the numerals from a distance thanks to the backlit display.
With responsive and helpful customer care, you’re getting a complete package with Coffee Gator.
3. Brewista Smart Scale II
As the name makes clear, the Brewista Smart Scale is a coffee lover’s dream. You’ll get everything you need and nothing you don’t so you can save space without losing out on what you need to make perfect home brewed coffee.
The scale is safeguarded by a protective silicone pad so this works well in crowded or hectic kitchens.
You’ll be able to weigh to tight tolerances of 0.1g giving you the ability to weigh herbs, spices, and anything else you fancy beyond coffee grounds.
Timing and taring both take place automatically for your complete convenience. You’ll be able to use the precise amount of coffee grounds and water while timing your pour-over to perfection. Invest in this scale and you’ll notice making coffee gets much easier while the quality of the drink in your cup should improve.
4. Ozeri Pronto Digital Scale
Ozeri make some exceptional scales and the Pronto is no exception.
If you’re loathe to lash out on a scale you’ll use for nothing but coffee, the Pronto gives you the freedom to measure up over 11 pounds of any ingredients. With a bulky weighing platform finished in subtle chrome, you won’t end up making a mess while you’re doing so either.
The trade-off for such great capacity at the upper end is a slight lack of precision. Unlike the Hario, you’ll be limited to 1g increments. That said, this is fit for purpose when you’re weighing coffee grounds. You shouldn’t need to go down to a greater degree of accuracy.
The scale powers down after 2 minutes of inactivity so you’ll get increased lifespan from the pair of AA batteries you need. These are easy to pry out without needing to reach for the screwdriver.
5. Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale
Many people wrongly believe digital scales all cost the earth. Etekcity roll out a model that’s precise enough to measure out your coffee grounds but priced within anyone’s budget.
The understated stainless steel finish is remarkably easy to clean whatever you end up splattering over it. For a cheap scale, the Etekcity looks anything but.
Weigh up to 11 pounds on this high-capacity scale. At the lower end, you can only measure from gram to gram. Nevertheless, this should be sufficient tolerance when you’re panning up coffee beans. If you’re also planning to weigh up spices and anything else weighing very little, you might be better off with a scale more sensitive at lower weights.
Despite packing quite a punch, this scale is compact enough it won’t eat up too much space on your kitchen counter. For coffee fiends, it’s all too easy for equipment to start taking over the kitchen so save yourself some valuable space with this dinky but powerful scale from Etekcity.
6. GreaterGoods Digital Scale
GreaterGoods makes some neat kitchenware that’s priced firmly in budget territory without stiffing you in terms of accuracy. After all, what’s the use of investing in a scale if you end up with imprecision?
A quartet of weighing sensors dial in accuracy to 1g. This should suffice when you’re weighing coffee beans which is all that counts for our purposes. If, however, you’re looking to use the scale for wider-ranging kitchen duties, you might find that lack of precision restrictive.
Choose from a bunch of colors to inject some fun into your kitchen and coffee making.
US-based customer service means you can get help in an instant if anything goes wrong.
7. Escali Primo Precision Scale
You might be tempted to skip the scale when you’re gathering up your coffee equipment. This is inadvisable. If you’re looking to experiment with brewing methods, you need to know how much coffee you’re using to get the coffee/water ratio right. Try eyeing it up and you might find the results wildly unpredictable.
Put an end to guesswork with the Escali Primo scale. Weigh up to 175oz in increments of 1g so you can easily pan up the precise amount of grounds required for the brewing method you’re using.
A completely sealed unit, you won’t need to worry if you spill a little liquid on this scale.
A few disgruntled users have complained about build quality. We’d suggest handling this scale with care but, considering the cut-throat price point, you should keep your expectations about lifespan reasonable.
8. Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Scale
Another offering from Ozeri to round out with this pro-grade digital scale perfect for a small coffee shop or the home kitchen.
Weigh up to 5750g in 1g increments on the large tempered glass platform. This gives you the freedom to measure far more than just your coffee beans.
The precision tare mechanism allows you to pop a container on top of the scale and then add your coffee grounds or water.
If you’re tired of samey black and silver kitchen appliances, why not choose one of the more colorful scales instead?
Despite such powerful performance, this scale is priced in budget territory so what are you waiting for?
To tail off today, we’ve curated the most frequently asked questions about weighing coffee grounds.
1) Is it necessary to buy a scale specifically designed for weighing coffee?
Absolutely not. A regular digital scale will serve you just fine. Accuracy is key so any scale capable of weighing to a tolerance of 1g is more than fit for purpose if you want to weigh up coffee grounds.
2) Why do I need to use a scale at all?
If you’re experimenting with various brewing methods, you should have one simple goal: dial in the variables until you have a system you can easily replicate time after time. If you start off with imprecise measurements, how can you hope to achieve a perfect and consistent cup of coffee? You might get it right by blind luck then the next time you end up guessing the quantity of coffee inaccurately. When scales are so cheap, don’t leave things to chance.
3) Do I really need a timer on my scale?
You don’t need one but having an integrated timer gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re rustling up some pour-over.
4) What’s the point of grinding your own beans at home when you can buy pre-ground coffee?
Coffee degrades extremely quickly. When you buy pre-ground coffee, it’s already well past its best with flavor and aroma both impaired. Grinding your beans right before you brew up gives you your favorite roast at its freshest and finest. In order to make the most of this process, you’ll also need a scale so you can weigh out no more or less grounds than you need.
5) What is the main benefit of weighing your coffee grinds?
One word: consistency. You don’t just get a great cup of coffee once, you can roll out the same brewing method again and again based on accurate measurements.
You should now understand why a precision scale is crucial when you’re making gourmet coffee at home and why it’s worth spending a little extra to get the right equipment for you and your kitchen.
Hopefully, you’re also clear on what you should look for when you’re hunting down a great scale. While it’s not the most complex purchasing decision you’ll face, if you refer to our brief buying guide, you’ll maximize your chances of finding the optimum scale.
Beyond this, you should have a solid overview od the best coffee scales out there.
As with all aspects of brewing your own coffee at home, you should take your time and put in plenty of practice. Once you have the variables of each brewing method you use dialed in, making a golden cup of coffee is as easy as replicating weights and timings each and every time.
Here at La Mano Coffee we’ll never nudge you into buying any equipment you don’t need. In the case of a scale, though, you should resist the temptation to view this as an unnecessary purchase and watch your coffee get better in no time! Bookmark our blog and come back soon. We’re constantly updating our content to cover every angle of the wonderful world of coffee. See you soon!