If you are looking for a fool-proof way to get an exceptional cup of coffee, it’s time you invest in a coffee scale - because consistency is the secret ingredient to great effing coffee!
There are many different scales available in the craft coffee market, so today we will be looking at the best coffee scales in the industry.
Why Should I Use a Coffee Scale?
According to Blue Bottle Coffee, the reason many coffee fanatics love to use a scale is that measuring out coffee by grams as opposed to “coffee scoops” is much more exact (duh).
Is it heaping, or level?
Is a scoop of ground coffee and whole bean the same amount?
How dense is your scoop today when compared to yesterdays?
Weighing the coffee out by grams instead of going by volume takes all the questions out, and ensures that you will be using the same amount of grounds each time.
This allows you to focus on other factors such as grind size, water temperature and extraction time.
Didn't think it mattered? Well, check out this article from Serious Eats - they show just how much of a difference a scale can make.
When it comes down to it – if you’ve invested in a great burr grinder, a great coffee scale is the final piece of the puzzle (in regards to grinding coffee beans perfectly).
Searching for the Best Coffee Scale - What's Important?
Although a coffee scale seems pretty basic in itself, there are a few features to ‘weigh’ when picking out a scale that will match your style.
Consider the following 5 issues and your scale with weigh in nicely (see what I did there?)
Scales range in size from about the size of an iPhone 6 to being the size of a magazine.
The right size is important to consider because if your scale does not suit your lifestyle (e.g. you may tend to travel more than the average Joe), you'll just end up neglecting it.
Are you looking for something that just gets the job done, or are you looking for a statement piece to leave on the counter in your kitchen?
Scales range in style from being more utilitarian and basic to looking like a piece of art!
Any scale worth buying is accurate, but some won’t show measurements less than 1 gram.
If you want to know that you have exactly 8.24 grams of coffee, pick a scale with more precision.
To be honest, knowing this is not too important, as most of the time you'll be measuring in grams or ounces.
Scales that are not specially designed for coffee often have an auto-off feature to save battery life - this will drive you crazy, especially if you do pour over coffee.
If you're an occasional home brewer, you can just skip this point, but if you brew coffee like there's no tomorrow consider something that gets more mileage out of each battery, or
Some scales come with additional features, such as a built-in timer or no auto-off feature so that your scale doesn't turn off mid-brew. Scales with touch sensitive controls ensure that you won’t get coffee grounds
These added features are not essential, but they are cool.
What is the Best Way to Use a Coffee Scale?
How you use the scale depends on how you plan to brew, and which brewer you’re likely to use.
Using a Portable Brewer?
If you plan on using a brewer that you can set directly on the scale, such as a Melita or a Chemex, set the brewer on the scale with the filter and tare it.
Add ground coffee until you reach the desired grams of coffee, and then go ahead and brew like normal.
Smooth, Tamp, and brew as usual.
Regular Coffee Maker?
Set just the filter on the scale, tare, add the desired amount of coffee, and then stick the whole filter with the coffee into your coffee maker like usual!
To get a better idea of how to use your scale, check out this video:
The 5 Best Coffee Scales of 2017
We’ve come to the best part of shopping for a new coffee toy… Picking and buying one! Check these out and look at the pros and cons of each to see how well they tickle your fancy.
Digital Pro Pocket Scale
2 AAA batteries
Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale
2 Lithium ion batteries
Digital Multifunction Stainless Kitchen Scale
2 AAA batteries
Drip Scale (With a Timer)
2 AAA batteries
Wall plug adapter or 3 AAA batteries
1. The CoastLine Digital Pro Pocket Scale
This scale is the smallest of the lot; being the size of an iPhone (a little wider) you can take it with you anywhere; even in your pocket!
Going home to see family doesn't mean you have to stop brewing excellent coffee. It’s made out of easy to clean stainless steel and has a bright backlit display. You even get a couple of fancy plastic trays to use for measuring, if you want to go that route.
This scale is super basic, so if you are looking for something that you can take everywhere that will get the job done, its the man for the job.
- Tiny and easy to travel with.
- Made out of Stainless Steel for durability and easy clean up.
- Inexpensive (it won't be the end of the world if you lose it).
- Not breathtakingly beautiful; more utilitarian in style.
- Could be too small for bigger brewers full of hot water to rest safely on.
2. The Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale
You might be looking for something that has a little more style than the CoastLine Pocket Scale, and this bad boy may just be the one!
If you still want something that is small enough to slide into a drawer, the Ozeri scale is an excellent option since it’s about the size of an iPad.
And its a great all-rounder: It’s a classy reflective black color makes it easy on the eye, it's tempered glass construction makes it super durable, and the touch sensitive buttons make it easy to clean.
- Sleek and stylish, making it something that can sit on the counter without being an eyesore.
- Small enough to go into a drawer if need be.
- Touch sensitive buttons and tempered glass make the scale durable and easy to clean.
- Uses Lithium 3V batteries (Lasts longer than AAA batteries).
- Has an Auto-Off feature.
- Uses Lithium 3V batteries (more expensive than AAA batteries).
3. The Etekcity Digital Multifunction Stainless Kitchen Scale
Keeping up with the stylish trend, the Etekcity scale features a bright purple backlit display and stainless steel construction that makes it durable and easy to clean.
This is another scale that can hide away when necessary since it’s roughly the size of the iPad mini! The great thing about this scale is that it takes AAA batteries, which you most likely have on hand.
The biggest issue with this scale is that it’s not super precise. To get a weight reading, you need to start at around 2 grams, which is frustrating if you are someone who is looking for a super precise measurement.
- Stainless steel is eye-catching, especially when paired with the purple display.
- Small enough to put in a drawer.
- AAA batteries are included.
- Auto off feature makes it frustrating to use over an extended period of time.
- Isn’t extremely precise when weighing tiny amounts.
4. The Hario Drip Scale (With a Timer)
This scale bumps us up into the league of scales that are specifically designed for brewing coffee - in case the brand name didn't give it away!
The Hario scale benefits you with a few of those special features we mentioned earlier such as an Auto-Off feature that doesn't kick in till after five minutes, touch-sensitive buttons, and a built-in timer.
One of the coolest things about this bad boy is that when the timer is activated, the Auto-Off feature doesn't kick in at all until you turn it off yourself, which puts you in control.
It's slim (think iPad), it's super precise, and in our opinion, it's sexy as all hell. After all, it's made by Hario, and it's made for craft coffee, so it's no surprise that its a crowd pleaser around these parts.
Check out the Hario scale in action:
- Features a timer for brewing right along side the weight reading.
- Longer Auto-Off period allows you to take your time, and it doesn’t turn off while using the timer.
- Features very accurate measurements down to 0.1 grams.
- More expensive than other scales.
- Only measures in grams.
5. The Bonavita Electronic Scale
*Note: this scale is currently unavailable. we will let you know when it becomes available again
The BonaVita is to scales like La Marzocco is to espresso machines. This scale features a super quick and precise measurement down to 0.1 grams in 1 millisecond, no Auto-Off feature, a built-in timer, and the ability to run it on batteries or plug it into the wall.
It demands to be left out on the counter with Its incredibly beautiful clear glass measuring surface and the fact that it's about the size of a larger hardback book!
All of these things set it apart as a scale that is specially designed just for coffee, and, unfortunately, the price tag shows it. No biggie, though - as you get what you pay for when it comes to craft coffee.
- Beautiful design makes it a statement piece on the counter.
- Super accurate timer and quick weight measurement.
- No auto-off feature so you can continue brewing for days.
- Ability to plug into an outlet or run on batteries.
- Expensive in comparison to other scales.
- Bigger in size and can't be stored away as easily as other scale options.
Although it is the most expensive option, the BonaVita is miles above the other scales since it has so many features that make brewing your morning coffee more pleasurable than ever.
With this super precise timer and scale, plus the ability to plug it into an outlet and measure more than just grams, it makes it an all around machine for more than just coffee that should fulfill any of your kitchen weighing needs!
Each scale we've just touched on are great options, so just think about which one works best for you...
- For heavy users (i.e. large households) and coffee shops, the Bonavita wins hands down.
- For Home-brewing connoisseurs, the Hario is our favorite option - but any of the scales mentioned will keep you happy.
- If you love great coffee, and you love to travel, the Coastline pocket scale makes the most sense, does it not?
The Bonavita Electronic Scale
The Hario Drip Scale (With a Timer)
The CoastLine Digital Pro Pocket Scale
Of course, these are the best coffee scale’s in my opinion, but what scale would you choose?
Which features are most important to you? Let us know in the comments!