The Best Coffee Scales for Pour Over Brewing (digital scales)

TOP PICK: HARIO Drip Scale

hario v60 drip scaler

It doesn't get any easier, or more accurate, when using this bad boy for brewing coffee.

Your coffee will taste flawless and everything about the Hario scale works for brewing coffee.

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 (1) (duh).

"...using a kitchen scale can make a world of difference.... all inconsistency is put right to bed." -MEISTER

  • 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 (2), 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 (3).

Searching for the Best Coffee Scale - What's Important?

fresh cup of coffee on wood table made using the best coffee scale

If you’ve invested in a good coffee maker and grinder, a great coffee scale is the final piece of the puzzle.

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 will weigh in nicely (see what I did there?).

Size

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.

Style

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!

Precision

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.

Battery Life

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 get one that you can plug in so that you don’t have to worry about batteries at all!

Special Features

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 into the sides of your buttons.

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.

Making Espresso?

Tare the portafilter on the scale and then grind coffee directly into the filter like normal, checking the weight as you go. 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 Scales For Coffee in 2019

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.

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IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
hg-table__imageCoastLine Digital Pro Pocket Scale
  • Tiny and easy to travel with
  • Made out of stainless steel
  • Inexpensive
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageOzeri Touch Digital Kitchen Scale
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Inexpensive
  • Touch sensitive
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageEtekcity Digital Stainless Kitchen Scale
  • Made out of stainless steel
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with AAA batteries
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageHario Drip Scale
  • Comes with a timer
  • Longer auto-off period
  • Very accurate measurements
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageBonavita Electronic Scale
  • Stylish
  • No auto-off feature
  • Accurate timer and quick measuremeant
CHECK PRICE →

coastline digital coffee scale

Going home to see family doesn't mean you have to stop brewing excellent coffee. 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!

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, it's the man for the job.

PROS

  • 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).

CONS

  • Not breathtakingly beautiful; more utilitarian in style.
  • Could be too small for bigger brewers full of hot water to rest safely on.

Ozeri Touch digital scale

If you're looking for something that has a little more style than the CoastLine Pocket Scalebut but is still small enough to slide into a drawer, then this bad boy may just be the one. The Ozeri scale is an excellent option if you're wanting style and practicality in one since it’s about the size of an iPad coming in a sleek design.

It's a great all-rounder: its classy reflective black color makes it easy on the eye, the tempered glass construction makes it super durable, and the touch sensitive buttons make it easy to clean.

PROS

  • 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.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Touch sensitive buttons and tempered glass make the scale durable and easy to clean.
  • Uses Lithium 3V batteries (Lasts longer than AAA batteries).

CONS

  • Has an Auto-Off feature.
  • Uses Lithium 3V batteries (more expensive than AAA batteries).

Etekcity digital food 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.

PROS

  • Stainless steel is eye-catching, especially when paired with the purple display.
  • Small enough to put in a drawer.
  • Inexpensive.
  • AAA batteries are included.

CONS

  • Auto off feature makes it frustrating to use over an extended period of time.
  • Isn’t extremely precise when weighing tiny amounts.

Hario v60 drip scale

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.

It's slim, 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.

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.

Check out the Hario scale in action:

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • More expensive than other scales.
  • Only measures in grams.

Bonavita 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. 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.

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. 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.

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • Expensive in comparison to other scales.
  • Bigger in size and can't be stored away as easily as other scale options.

THE VERDICT: What's The Best Coffee Scale?

Although it is the most expensive option, the Hario V60 Drip Scale is miles above the other scales since it has so many features that make brewing your morning coffee more pleasurable than ever.

This super precise timer and scale makes it an all around machine for more than just coffee that should fulfill any of your kitchen weighing needs.

Hario v60 drip scale

Each scale we've 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?

Of course, these are the best coffee scales in my opinion, but what scale would you choose? Which features are most important to you? Let us know in the comments!

FAQs

Do I need a coffee scale?

Yes, you need a coffee scale if you want to brew consistently great coffee. Perfecting your morning cup of joe means you need to get your brew ratio right- accuracy is key here and making weighted measurements using a coffee scale is far more accurate than making volumetric measurements (using a spoon or the like).

Why do people weigh their coffee?

People weigh their coffee because the density of coffee grounds can vary greatly depending on the beans and grind size you’re using, making measurements based on volume pretty inaccurate. Using a scale, you’ll make sure to get your brew ratio right and produce that perfectly balanced cup of coffee, every single time.

What is the best ratio for making coffee?

The best ratio for making coffee lies somewhere between 1:15 and 1:19 (coffee:water) with most guides recommending a 1:17 brew ratio. To get your measurements correct and brew well-balanced coffee each time, you want to step up your game and invest in a (coffee) scale.

How do you weigh espresso?

The best way to weigh espresso is by using a coffee scale. You don’t need to get the most expensive scale on the market but you want to make sure it provides reliable measurements. Some scales are more precise than others so getting a scale that is specifically designed for coffee brewing would be your best bet.

References:

  1. Mazzarello, B. (2017, February 27). Do You Need a Scale to Make Coffee? Retrieved June 22, 2019, from https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/posts/do-you-need-a-scale-to-make-coffee
  2. Clarke, G. (2017, June 07). Weighty Decisions: Coffee Scales in Depth. Retrieved from https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/weighty-decisions-coffee-scales-depth/
  3. Coffee Basics: Brewing Ratios - How much water to coffee to use? (2018, June 13). Retrieved June 22, 2019, from https://counterculturecoffee.com/blog/coffee-basics-brewing-ratios
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Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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