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Coffee Scale Reviews: 2020. They have come a long way!

A coffee scale is a gadget you might easily forget about. However, it’s as important as any other piece of gear. Regardless of your preferred brew style, guesstimating the amount of coffee beans won’t yield a consistently perfect cup of coffee.

But what are the best scales? Are there any key features you should be looking for? We’ll provide the answers, but check out our top pick first.

TOP PICK
Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale

Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale

The V60 is a fully spec’d, café-ready scale with a capability to measure down to 0.1 gram. It’s ideal for drip coffee and pour-over, but the unit performs equally well for espresso or any other brew. With Hario, you are also getting Japanese design and engineering.

How to Select the Best Coffee Scale for Your Home or Cafe

Turn on your grinder, pick up a portafilter and eyeball just enough grounds to fill it up. This technique has been perfected by baristas for years, but does it suffice?

Weighted measurements […] ensure using a consistent amount of coffee each time you brew. This helps you ensure delicious [coffee] every time.

First of all, measuring out the coffee beans or grounds gives you more control over the brewing process. You’ll quickly determine exactly how much coffee is enough for a reinvigorating doppio or a punchy French press.

a container with coffee beans on a coffee scale
coffee beans on a coffee scale

Then, there’s the experimentation. For example, you might find that your pour over yields a better brew with fewer grounds than you are used to. WIth a scale, you can add or subtract a few grams to each pot until you reach the bliss of a perfect pour – and then you know how to repeat that pour every time (1).

In short, a coffee scale gives you the upper hand in pursuit of brewing perfection. Here is a quick overview of the features you should look for.

Accuracy

Measuring your coffee beans down to a tenth of a gram helps you maintain consistency when you’re trying new beans or switching to a different brewing style. What’s more, volumetric measurements are inferior to metric weighted measurements. (2)

Quick guide: The metric system uses kilograms and grams; one kilogram is 2.2 pounds or 35.27 ounces, one gram is 0.035 ounces or 0.0022 pounds.

The metric system allows you to zero in on the minute weight differences without having to hassle with decimals and fractions. This is important because the volume and strength of your coffee can significantly vary based on the roast level and beans’ freshness (3). That said, keep your coffee beans in airtight container to keep them fresh.

Design

A novice coffee lover might believe that the scale design is second to its accuracy. This is true, to an extent. But remember, your coffee scale will be spending time in a hot, moist environment and you might easily spill water or coffee over it.

For this reason, it’s best to go for a waterproof or, at least, a water-resistant unit. On the upside, most models are engineered with this in mind and can withstand a single spill. Next, you should think about the scale’s footprint.

Your coffee gear already includes a machine, a grinder, and an assortment of accessories such as sifters, filters, milk frothers, and more. Add a scale and your barista nook is likely to become cramped. This is why you should go with a compact model.

Portability

The question of portability brings us back to the scale’s compactness. A large analog scale might look cool next to your lever espresso machine, but it’s hard to move it out of the way when you don’t need it.

Besides being accurate and compact, a digital scale should also have a sleek profile. The best option is to go for a battery-operated model that’s not too tall. Ideally, the scale should also fit your kitchen drawer or backpack if you like to take the brewing kit on the go.

Extra Handy Features

Extra handy features like auto-off or timers don’t make a scale more accurate. However, they help to ensure a smooth brewing experience.

A model with touch-sensitive or capacitive buttons is usually more durable than the one with traditional press-down controls. Coffee grounds are delicate and fine, so they can easily end up in nooks and crannies around the regular buttons. This rarely happens with touch-sensitive controls.

Tare function is not an extra feature and certain coffee scales initiate it on auto (4). This basically resets the weighted measure to zero. To be exact, the tare function can subtract the weight of your portafilter, cup or carafe and give you just the coffee weight.

Place the portafilter or cup on the scale and press the tare button. Once the weight reads 0, you can measure the beans.

The Best Coffee Scale Review

Looking for the most accurate and portable coffee scale? Here’s the ultimate rundown.

1. Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale – Industry Favorite and Top Pick

Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale

Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Auto-shutoff, integrated timer
  • Dimensions: 1.1” x 4.7” x 7.4”
  • Weight: 9.6oz
  • Material: ABS resin

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The first thing that grabs the attention is a slim and sleek profile. However, the V60 is not the smallest scale on this list – it measures 1.1” x 4.7” x 7.4”.

The model we reviewed is completely black and you can also get one with a metallic top. This should make the Hario universally aesthetically appealing. But, the accuracy and ease of use are the V60’s true highlights. It can measure down to 0.1 gram and it offers simple touch controls.

What we love about the Hario V60 drip scale is a beautifully simple design… We love this scale’s sleek black matte finish and […] streamlined design on the display screen.

There is also an integrated timer that allows you to take control of the manual brewing process. If left unattended, the Hario turns off automatically in five minutes though this option disengages when you use the timer. Another highlight is the large and easy to read LCD display.

Two AAA batteries power the V60 and they are included in the package. However, Japanese engineering and top specs don’t come cheap, meaning this scale has an upper price point.

BEST SUITED FOR: Connoisseurs in need of unparalleled accuracy. It will take your brewing to the next level.

2. Etekcity Coffee Scale  – Budget Pick

Etekcity Coffee Scale

Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Auto-off feature
  • Dimensions: 0.67” x 5.70” x 7.32”
  • Weight: 7oz
  • Material: 304 stainless steel

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Getting a good coffee scale doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune, and Etekcity is there to prove it. What’s more, this model looks and feels premium. Plus, it offers certain features of more expensive units.

For starters, the Etekcity has a stainless steel top, large backlit display, and laminated buttons. This makes the scale more durable and adds to its overall aesthetic appeal. The profile is slim and the scale measures 0.67” x 5.70” x 7.32” and weighs 7 ounces. This puts it among the most compact units, but what about the features?

The Etekcity is designed to give you precise measurements in the Imperial and metric systems and it’s easy to switch between the two. The maximum weight capacity is 11 pounds (5kg or 176oz) and the scale features 1g (0.035oz) increments.

On the other hand, there is a 3g to 5g limit to the minimum recommended measurement. It doesn’t mean that the scale cannot measure below 3g, only that it might be more accurate with larger volumes. This shouldn’t be of concern since you’d be measuring coffee beans at or above the minimum weight anyway.

BEST SUITED FOR: Beginners looking for a great entry-level scale, or if you are strapped for cash but don’t want to compromise on the specs.

3. Coffee Gator Digital Scale – Best Value for Money

Coffee Gator Digital Scale

Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Auto-off function, integrated timer
  • Dimensions: 1.97” x 6.02” x 8.98”
  • Weight: 1lbs
  • Material: Plastic/rubber mat

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The Coffee Gator digital scale has all the bells and whistles to keep a coffee lover happy and it comes at a reasonable price point. That’s why this model gets the best value for money trophy.

This is a multi-functional coffee scale and it has laminated buttons for some extra protection. You get a timer with reset, stop, and start functions to help you nail the bloom/extraction time for your pour-over, French press, or espresso. There is also the Units button to switch between ounces, pounds, grams, milliliters, and more.

This means you can precisely measure how much ground coffee you need, then switch and gauge how much water is needed for the perfect extraction. There is also a dedicated Tare button and this model has one of the largest backlit LCD displays around.

As for the accuracy, the Coffee Gator is hard to rival and the range is between 0.002oz and 6.6lbs. Aside from measuring coffee, this scale works great as a multipurpose digital kitchen scale.

BEST SUITED FOR: Novice and veteran brewers looking to measure across a wide range. The rubber mat gives an extra layer of protection to this versatile scale.

4. Eravsow Digital Hand Drip Coffee Scale – Budget Pick

Eravsow Digital Hand Drip Coffee Scale

Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Auto-off function, integrated timer
  • Dimensions: 1.15” x 6.1” x 7.7”
  • Weight: 10.6oz
  • Material: Plastic/stainless steel

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Coming at half the price of some other models, the Eravsow hand drip coffee scale can surely fit any budget. However, there’s much more to this gadget than its low price.

For example, the Eravsow is among the few budget scales that have the G load sensor. Without going into unnecessary technicalities, this sensor is there to help you measure with greater accuracy. And this scale is rated to measure between 1g and 3,000g (3kg).

Of course, you can switch between units, and measure fluids as well as solids. As a hand-drip scale, the Eravsow has a timer as well, plus there is an auto-off feature that turns off the machine after five minutes. Also, this scale sports a super-sleek design.

The unit has a droplet-shaped body with a rounded top and a somewhat narrower bottom. The round measuring platform is made of stainless steel, which adds some durability points. The Eravsow also has a sizable backlit display that incorporates a low battery indicator.

As for the size, this coffee scale is one of the most compact. It measures 1.15” x 6.1” x 7.7” and weighs 10.6oz. Its rounded design helps you easily find the place for the scale on your countertop.

BEST SUITED FOR: A coffee lover looking for a reliable coffee scale on a tight budget.

5. Acaia Pearl S – Baristas’ Choice

Acaia Pearl Model S Professional-Grade Digital Smart Coffee Scale (Black)

 Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Integrated timer, flow rate timer, advanced app modes
  • Dimensions: 1.26” x 6.13” x 6.13”
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  •  Material: Plastic 

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The Acaia Pearl S is a coffee scale for the 21st century. From the minimal all-black or all-white design to smart measuring features, the Pearl S has everything an aspiring or veteran barista might need. Plus, there is a proprietary smartphone app to keep track of your measurements and get advanced functions.

To start with the dimensions, the Pearl S measures 1.26” x 6.13” x 6.13” and weighs 1.3 pounds. Essentially, it’s a small square gadget that fits an oversized pocket and is completely travel-ready. This scale also features a Li-ion rechargeable battery that you can charge via USB.

When it comes to capacity, the Acaia can accurately measure between 0.1g and 3,000g and there is an option to switch to ounces if that’s what you prefer. Unlike most other models, this one features an LED dot matrix screen which adjusts the brightness to the ambient light.

The display shows weight, brewing time, and flow rate when you use the scale for pour overs. The package includes a heat-resistant pad to protect the surface from hot mugs.

Finally, the Pearl S app allows you to download a brew guide. There are also a few advanced modes – portafilter mode, for example.

BEST SUITED FOR: Stylish, data-obsessed baristas for whom money is no object. It’s precise, compact, and packed with smart features.

6. Brewista Smart Scale II – Easiest to Use

Brewista Smart Scale II

Specifications:

  • Helpful features: Integrated timer, 6 espresso modes, adjustable auto-off
  • Dimensions: 0.7” x 4.2” x 5”
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Material: Plastic/stainless steel platform

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Are you in need of a smart scale that doesn’t require you to waste time getting the correct settings? If so, the Brewista II might be the one you are looking for. In total, this model has six different espresso modes that allow you to focus on coffee brewing instead of measuring.

When in mode 2, the Brewista will auto-tare once you place a cup. Mode 5 auto-tares the cup and starts the timer as soon as the liquid hits the cup. What’s best about it, you can easily switch between the modes at a press of a button or manually start the timer.

It’s worth noting that even though the Brewista II is designed as an espresso scale, it works great for any other brewing method. How? It has a protective silicone pad if you are to use larger or hot mugs. The scale is also water-resistant and it’s perfectly safe to place it directly under the group head.

This model doesn’t lack accuracy either. The maximum load capacity is 2,000g and it precisely measures down to 0.1g. On top of that, the Brewista II is one of the most compact models – it measures 0.7” x 4.2” x 5” and weighs 8 ounces.

In the end, you don’t need AAA batteries to power the scale because it has a rechargeable Li-ion battery. Plus, you can extend the battery life with the auto-off function that you can set to one, two, or three minutes.

BEST SUITED FOR: Beginners looking for the easiest-to-use-scale. But it also has all the features that make it suitable for pros and coffee shops.

7. Greater Goods Nourish Digital Scale – Most Compact

Greater Goods Nourish Digital Scale

Specifications: 

  • Helpful features: Integrated timer, 6 espresso modes, adjustable auto-off
  • Dimensions: 0.8” x 6” x 10”
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Material: Tempered glass/plastic

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The Greater Goods Nourish is compact enough to easily fit your pocket or backpack. The unit measures 0.8 x 6 x 10” and weighs 1.1 pounds, so you won’t find it hard to pack this scale with your other gear. But is portability the only thing that this digital coffee scale has to offer?

Hardly!. The Nourish has special sensors that ensure the scale is accurate down to 0.1oz. You get to choose between Imperial and metric units, and you can measure liquids as well. Like all great coffee scales, this one has a timer and a large backlit display.

Another great feature is the heat-resistant glass top that incorporates touch-sensitive buttons. This also makes maintenance a breeze. Aside from that, this model works great as a food scale, but the manufacturer doesn’t specify the maximum load.

If you factor in the tempered glass, touch-sensitive buttons, and superb precision, the Nourish also falls into the great value for money category.

BEST SUITED FOR: Those looking for features that make even a hard-core coffee aficionado happy. Plus, it is easy to stash away when not in use.

The Verdict

When all is said and done, the best coffee scale needs to be accurate, easy to use, and easy to put away when not in use. The Hario Coffee Drip scale ticks all those boxes.

This unit is by far the most accurate on this list. It is built to last you a lifetime and sports a design that matches any coffee maker, automatic or manual. Get it for your own kitchen or give it to your pour over coffee snob friend, you won’t regret it. Don’t forget to tell us about your top pick in the comments section below.

FAQs

Yes, you need a scale for pour-over coffee. This doesn’t mean you must get a fancy model. An ordinary scale that measures water and coffee will suffice. A scale with a timer, however, will be more convenient for timing bloom and pours.

The ratio of coffee to water is one tablespoon of grounds per 6 fluid oz of water, according to the National Coffee Association. However, these measurements are volumetric and should be regarded as guidelines. The Specialty Coffee Association of America uses 55 grams of coffee to one liter of water as “the golden ratio.” Baristas use a range of ratios of coffee to water, from 16:1 up to 19:1, depending on the shop’s style and personal taste.

The volumetric ratio can provide adequate results for automatic drip machines. But for espresso or pour over, it’s best to use a scale for precision and repeatability (5). You can also use a gooseneck kettle for pouring water to produce great results.

Yes, you can use a coffee scale for other kitchen tasks. Scales are especially useful for baking, where more precise measurements by weight yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring by volume.

References
  1. Mazzarello, B. (2017, February 27). Do You Need a Scale to Make Coffee? Retrieved from https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/posts/do-you-need-a-scale-to-make-coffee
  2. Benefits. (2017, July 8). Retrieved from https://thinkmetric.org.uk/benefits/
  3. Coffee Roasts Guide. (n.d.). National Coffee Association. Retrieved from http://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/coffee-roasts-guide
  4. Using the Tare Feature on Digital Kitchen Scales. (2019, May 28). Retrieved from https://escali.com/blog/using-the-tare-feature-on-digital-kitchen-scales/
  5. Perfect Daily Grind. (2019, May 1). Weighing Espresso Shots in Service: Insanity or Essential? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2016/01/weighing-espresso-shots-in-service-insanity-or-essential/