If you’re a coffee drinker that’s serious about brewing excellent coffee at home, we’re guessing you already know just how important it is to have all the right gear in your coffee setup. You probably have a brand of pre-ground coffee sitting next to your brewer, or perhaps you’ve got whole coffee beans and a burr grinder on hand to grind the joe yourself before brewing.
Regardless of what you use to make a good cup of coffee, one thing is sure: you’ll need to measure your grounds before you get to brewing. And that’s exactly why every coffee enthusiast needs a coffee scale nearby.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Coffee Scales
Do you really need a coffee scale?
Okay, we know what you’re thinking. Need is a strong word. And you’re right; you don’t technically need a coffee scale to brew coffee. But you should have one at your disposal if you hope to make the best brew.
Sure, you could just rely on a coffee scoop to shovel your coffee grounds into your brewing process of choice, but ask yourself the following questions: What exactly is a heaping tablespoon? How do you level a tablespoon? When the coffee recipe calls for a tablespoon of joe, is it referencing whole beans or just the grounds?
We reckon that most home baristas use a considerable degree of “eyeballing it” when prepping their morning coffee, so there’s a pretty high chance your measurements are slightly off every time you brew. (Seriously. If you don’t believe us, check out this article detailing folks’ inability to measure liquid with a teaspoon consistently.)
A coffee scale gives you precise measurements, which means you can say farewell to inconsistent brews. Think about it. All scientific experiments are based on precisely controlling various elements of the process to yield the desired result. Creating great coffee is no different.
So, now you see that coffee scoops are okay, but a good coffee scale? That’s so much better!
How do you use a coffee scale to up your brewing game?
Using a coffee scale can drastically improve your brewing, whether your choice of coffee brewing methods is a drip machine, French press, espresso machine, or something else. But how exactly?
- Place the entire brewer and filter on the coffee scale if you’re using a manual brewing method. If it has a dedicated tare button (and we hope it does), press it to reset the display to zero.
- Now, you’re ready to add your ground coffee. Your scale should tell you exactly how much coffee you have, which in turn lets you know how much water you need to add.
- Set the display back to zero, and add your hot water.
- If the coffee to water ratio that you just measured out gave you a cup of joe so good it could rival that of your favorite coffee shop, make a note of the measurements you used so you can easily replicate your perfect brew.
If you rely on a drip machine to give you fresh coffee in the morning, simply add the filter to the scale, then measure your grounds precisely. If you’re using your scale to make an espresso shot, tare the portafilter, then fill it with joe. Weigh the grounds before continuing with the process as usual.
Just as with a manual brewing method, you may need to do some experimenting to find the perfect amount of coffee. Even if you don’t feel inclined to weigh your water, you’ll still know precisely how much coffee you use every time you brew, which is still helpful.
Quick Summary: The Best Coffee Scales
|GREATER GOODS DIGITAL KITCHEN SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
|COFFEE GATOR DIGITAL SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
|OZERI TOUCH PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
|ETEKCITY FOOD SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
|APEXSTONE COFFEE SCALE WITH TIMER||Check on Amazon →|
|HARIO COFFEE DRIP SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
|ERAVSOW DIGITAL HAND DRIP COFFEE SCALE||Check on Amazon →|
Roasty Rankings: Our Top Picks for the Best Coffee Scale
Now, if you’ve never used a coffee scale before, you probably aren’t sure which one you should buy. No worries, though; we’ve got your back.
The Roasty crew has weighed the best coffee scales on the market, so read on to see which scales measure up to all of our standards.
Greater Goods Digital Kitchen Scale/Food Scale
Our favorite product comes from Greater Goods, and if you’re a barista on a budget, you’ll be happy to know this one won’t break the bank! This little gadget lets you choose between six different units of measurement and features a color display that makes the measuring process even simpler. On the right side of the display are white letters that indicate the weight of your coffee grounds, and on the left side is an integrated timer that counts up or down in bright orange.
Greater Goods’s scale is a popular option that belongs among your coffee accessories for sure. It gives accurate readings, has a waterproof silicone cover to protect it from any liquid spills that might occur during the coffee brewing process, and is stylish enough to fit in with almost every kitchen setup.
Coffee Gator Digital Scale
The Coffee Gator scale is perfect for weighing your beloved coffee beans because of its accuracy; it can measure something as light as .003 ounces and as heavy as six pounds! This product is a little on the high end of the price range, but it’s still affordable and more than capable enough to handle any barista’s measuring needs.
Since it’s so precise and especially good at measuring liquids, this scale is a great choice for a pour-over pro. It’s got a non-slip rubber platform and feet, making it movable while keeping it stiff and strong. Plus, there’s an additional tray that can be used as a cover or a tool to help you measure larger objects.
Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Scale
The Ozeri Touch Professional scale is perfect for the budding barista who likes a more sleek and elegant coffee brewing experience. It’s not just stylish, though; it’s strong, too — the colored tempered glass is four times stronger than standard glass. No shatters here!
This affordable coffee scale has advanced touch-sensitive buttons and a large LCD screen that displays your joe’s weight in pounds, kilograms, grams, and ounces. There’s even a precision tare feature that automatically subtracts the container’s weight to give you the most accurate measurements possible. That’s great news because, as we mentioned before, one of the secrets to consistently amazing coffee is to use the same amount of grounds every time.
Etekcity Food Scale
Etekcity’s food scale is one of our favorite budget options, but don’t let its cheap price fool you; this baby can hold its own just as well as that more expensive scale you’ve been checking out.
Its features include the ever-important auto tare function (the feature that subtracts the container’s weight), a backlit LCD screen that stays lit for 30 seconds, and an auto-off function that saves the scale’s battery life. Easily switch between units — ounces, pounds, grams, milliliters, grams, and fluid ounces — and rest assured that the food-grade stainless steel is safe for whatever you put on it.
Apexstone Coffee Scale with Timer
If you’re looking for extreme accuracy, look no further than Apexstone’s coffee scale. This gadget is engineered with high-precision sensors that can measure from one to 3000 grams/milliliters. It can also measure your joe in ounces, pounds, and milligrams.
The Apexstone scale’s additional advanced features include a clear, easy-to-read digital display with a green or blue backlight, a built-in timer with a maximum of 59 minutes and 59 seconds, and a mat made of FDA silicone that protects it from an accidental spill or heat.
Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer
We’re going to give it to you straight: this is a somewhat expensive coffee scale, especially when compared to some of the other products on our list. This offering from Hario sits in the mid-range price bracket, and it’s only for the Roasty readers who are willing to shell out a few extra dollars for something good.
We particularly like how Hario’s neat, compact coffee scale is designed to be functional. It can give you precise measurements in tenth of a gram increments, and there’s enough space on the LCD screen to display both the measurement and the timer, which saves you the hassle of switching between the two.
When the timer’s in use, the auto-off feature (which extends the life of your batteries, you’re welcome) is disabled. That means you can perfect things like infusion ties without the scale powering down before you’ve finished.
Unfortunately, the Hario coffee scale is too bulky to fit on the drip tray of a regular coffee maker, and it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as some other models are. It is, however, reliable, and that overshadows its setbacks.
ERAVSOW Digital Hand Drip Coffee Scale
Now, if you’re only into sexy-looking coffee gadgets, this should be your scale of choice. Not to mention it does everything you need a coffee scale to do!
Meet the Eravsow scale. This bad boy uses a high-precision G-sensor to measure down to a tenth of a gram with incredible accuracy. And if you’re not interested in documenting how many grams of coffee you’ll need to use, switch to ounces, fluid ounces, or even milliliters. The large backlit display is clear and easy to read, and it also includes a helpful overload and low battery indicator.
There’s a built-in timer for making note of extraction times and an automatic power-off function that kicks in after five minutes of inactivity instead of the typical one minute wait of other models. If you spill a stray ground coffee bean or two on it, the brushed stainless steel platform can be wiped clean easily and quickly.
Standout Features of a Good Coffee Scale
Hopefully, you’re convinced by now that an accurate coffee scale has the power to take your coffee brewing techniques to the next level. But what should you look for when choosing one of these devices? Besides, if you’re going to spend the money on a coffee scale, you might as well take the time to find one that does exactly what you need it to do.
And we get it: something with a stylish design, like a set of old-school brass tipping scales, would be a killer addition to your coffee bar setup. But for the sake of getting the most exact measurements, it’s best to stick to something digital and keep those family heirlooms for display purposes only.
That said, the qualities we’re encouraging you to look for when on the hunt for a coffee scale only apply to digital ones.
Without a tare function (a handy feature that subtracts the weight of the container your coffee grounds are in), you’ll find yourself reaching for the calculator function on your iPhone more often than you’d like to unless your mental math is better than ours.
If you’re anything like us and struggle to crunch a lot of numbers in the wee morning hours, we recommend making sure the type of scale you buy has this function.
The point of a coffee scale is to, of course, get the most exact measurements possible. For the sake of your brew, make sure your coffee scale measures to within a tenth of a gram. Any less than this, and you might as well go back to trying to figure out precisely what a “heaping spoonful” is.
A timer isn’t a must by any means, but a built-in timer makes things simpler and more convenient. Plus, that’s one less piece of kit you’ll need to buy, especially if your preferred brewing device is the pour-over.
Of course, this feature is less critical if you’re using a drip or espresso machine, but if you’re using a pour-over or French press, you’ll need some sort of timer to keep track of the brew time.
A machine that shuts off on its own after a few minutes of idleness is helpful if you care about saving battery power. Still, we recommend finding one that won’t turn itself off until at least four or five minutes have passed. If your scale goes into sleep mode too soon, you risk it turning off at a crucial moment in your manual brewing process and wrecking your results.
The size of the scale you choose will, to some degree, depend on your brew method of choice; after all, you need your manual brewer to fit on top of it!
Small scales take up less storage space and are probably a better choice if you plan on taking it with you when you travel. But, if you tend to brew large amounts of black coffee, you might want to consider something bigger. Plus, You can also use a larger scale for measuring other foods, not just coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best ratio for making coffee?
Since you’re on the hunt for a good coffee scale, it’s safe to assume you care about finding the brew ratio. After all, that’s the only way to make sure your home-brewed coffee tastes just as good as the joe you’d get from one of the many artisan coffee shops out there.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all coffee ratio; ultimately, how much water and coffee you use depends on how strong you want your brew to be.
However, the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) Golden Ratio is 1:18 — that’s one gram of coffee for every 18 milliliters of water. Remember, though, this may not necessarily produce your version of the perfect brew, so you still may need to do some experimenting.
How do you weigh espresso?
The process of measuring finely ground espresso beans before pulling a shot of the rich, strong coffee is the same as when you measure coarse beans for your French press or medium ones for use in your drip machine. Use the same process we outlined above, and you’ll be consistently pulling delicious joe in no time!
Can I use a regular kitchen scale for coffee?
Now, you might be thinking: I already have a kitchen scale in my kitchen — do I really need to buy another one just for measuring coffee grounds?
No, you don’t technically need a barista-level coffee scale for your at-home brewing endeavors. So long as the scale you have can accurately measure mass, it can be used to perfect your brew recipes.
However, some scales designed explicitly for weighing coffee might have a few attractive features that your everyday kitchen scale may not have. For example, many coffee scales are water-resistant (which is helpful if your brewer of choice involves a kettle), while the run-of-the-mill scale might not be.
Do I need an expensive coffee scale?
When buying a coffee scale, the price tag isn’t necessarily the most important factor to keep in mind. Of course, the barista at your local café might swear by that costly, high-end smart scale, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only product that will get the job done. As long as the scale you purchase can provide accurate, precise measurements (and preferably has a built-in timer and tare function), it’s good enough to aid you in brewing coffee every day.
Wrapping it up
A good coffee scale will ensure that your measurements are always accurate, saving you from suffering disappointment in your brew quality and helping to build your confidence in your ability to create java of consistent, reliable quality. All of the coffee scales we’ve included in our guide will give you the accuracy and array of essential features that you’ll need, as well as look cool on your clean kitchen counter.
What are you waiting for? Send your unreliable scoop and your guesswork to the trash and order yourself a coffee scale today!