WHY YOU NEED TO GET A PAIR OF COFFEE WEIGHING SCALES

So, you’ve got your RiSE coffee box subscription in place, and you are starting to improve your at home coffee game, but haven’t yet invested in coffee scales. This guide will hopefully explain why you need them and which coffee scales to buy! Using coffee scales was one of our top 10 tips to brew like a barista at home, and is definitely a very important factor for brewing a home. You can also check out RiSE coffee box coffee equipment section here

Coffee Scales

Luckily you don’t need to spend a fortune to get some good quality coffee scales, with prices varying between £50 and £100. It may sounds like a lot for a pair of scales, but the results will be noticeable. There are some cheaper options also listed below, around the £15 mark. By this point, you have likely moved away from supermarket coffee or the dreaded coffee pods (more on sustainability and coffee pods here) and are buying high quality, responsibly sourced coffee from independent coffee roasters. To get the best out of the coffee beans that have been expertly roasted, there a few critical pieces of equipment you need and so paying the higher price is worth it, in our opinion.

SO, WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BUYING COFFEE SCALES?

Weighing coffee seems like a nerdy, quite particular thing only certain coffee aficionados do, however anyone who is buying specialty coffee and has a little experience in brewing coffee, should invest in scales! Weighing your coffee only takes a few extra moments, but will be critical to get that perfect cup of coffee. This applies to whichever brew method you use, from espresso to cafetière, moka pot or pour over methods. Weighing the dose of coffee, and weighing the end resulting coffee is key to ensure you have the right ratios of beans and water. Each coffee and brew method has an optimal point in the brewing variables (including weighing, grind size, water ratio, etc). Cafe baristas will dial in the coffee machine every morning to ensure they have the right variables and ratios. Using scales will help your morning (or afternoon!) coffee to taste well balanced and reliably delicious.

3 REASONS TO GET COFFEE SCALES:

1) Precision:

Coffee scales allow you to weigh to a much lower gram versus using ordinary kitchen scales. This gives you much more control of how much coffee and water you are using. Some people use coffee scoops for weighing, but scales are far more precise. Once you know the amount of grams that works for you and your chosen brew method, then you can weigh that amount each time and you are good to go!

The coffee to water ratio is key. For every 1g of coffee you should use between 15-17g (or millilitres) of water. This is a golden rule across the world for any coffee aficionado. If you know you like 20g of coffee then you should use between 300 and 340g of water to get the right balance.

2) Consistency:

Once you have discovered the coffee to water ratio that you enjoy (this varies slightly from person to person), you know you will be able to get the same results everyday by using these exact ratios. Without being precise with your coffee brewing using coffee scales, then your coffee will be hit and miss each morning.

3) Quality:

When buying specialty coffee online you want to maintain the quality of the bean throughout the whole brewing process. The precision and consistency of a coffee scale will ensure that you get the best flavour and tasting notes from your coffee.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A COFFEE SCALE

There are so many options when it comes to choosing the right coffee scales to suit your needs. Here are just some of the items to consider:

  • Measures in grams as well as ounces

  • Capacity of up to 1KG

  • Measures down to at least 0.5g

  • Quick response time - especially if you are brewing espresso

  • Large measuring platform to allow your french press to sit on

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND ON COFFEE SCALES?

The range of options on the market are daunting. Coffee scales start from as low as £10 and go up into the £100s. Depending on your level of interest in coffee, we would start with a lower to mid range option to get yourself started and then invest in something more fancy as you get more experienced in brewing coffee.

Why we wouldn’t go for the cheapest options:

  • They often have a lag in recording the weigh which means it is very easy to go over the desired weight, ruining your coffee bean ratio.

  • Generically speaking, they are usually less durable, less reliable, and flimsy. You will end up replacing them in no time.

  • Weight precision isn’t always that accurate.

  • They can lack certain functions such as the auto timer, which is preferred if making espresso.

  • Battery powered - which can be annoying!

If you're using manual brew methods, such as cafetière and aren’t looking for it to get too complicated than some of the cheaper coffee scales would be fine for you.

The more expensive scale options tend to have:

  • Blue tooth and smartphone app connectivity

  • High quality, long lasting products i.e made from stainless steel

  • Brewing modes for every brew type

  • Super fast response time with almost zero lag. Real time flow rate indicator.

  • Down to 0.1g precision and 0.1g readability and repeatability

If you are a dedicated home barista looking for the most responsive piece of kit with all the nerdiest data then only one of the higher end coffee scales will be right for you. If you are just an everyday coffee drinker looking for slight improvements than go for something mid range around the £30-40 mark.

OUR TOP 5 COFFEE SCALES BELOW TO SUIT EVERY BUDGET

COFFEE GATOR COFFEE SCALES - AROUND £20

Coffee Gator are a well known reasonably priced coffee equipment producer. They have a whole range of products including coffee storage canisters, cafetières, pour overs, cold brew kits, and gooseneck kettles. As well as their coffee scale.  

This coffee scale is entry level coffee scale, similar to the Hario range (below). The scales need batteries and has no auto timer. There is definitely a lag in the response time, which isn’t too much of a problem for cafetière brewers but not great for espresso makers, or those looking for a faster and more accurate coffee scale. The scales can weigh up to 3kg which is great, though not sure anyone would need to weigh that much coffee at home. The coffee scales sit around the £20 mark, half that of Hario (next on this list!). If you are looking for something cheap to get started, than the Coffee Gator could be a good option.

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 3kg

  • Sensitivity:  0.1g (but people who have left reviews contest this)

  • Power: AAA batteries (included)

  • Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 3 cm

  • Timer function (but not auto)

HARIO DRIP SCALES - AROUND £60

If you are looking to get started with at home brewing, Hario have you covered from every angle, with a range of excellent products, all very reasonably priced.

We started our coffee journey with a Hario coffee scale before progressing to an Acacia Pearl. The Hario is excellent. It is easy to use and will get you started on your coffee journey. We have a number of bits of coffee equipment from Hario including a cold brew bottle, plastic V60s, a glass V60 and Hario immersion dripper. We took the V60 to Uganda to help us make coffee on the go and it was super durable. The Hario coffee scale measure to 0.1g of accuracy and has an integrated timer, making it very accurate.

Features:

  • Measures in 0.1 gram readability

  • Drip timer

  • Easy to use

  • Uses 2 AAA batteries (included)

FELICITA INCLINE SCALES - AROUND £140

If it is time to really up your at home coffee game and you love being able to visualise nerdy data, than the Felicita could be the coffee scales for you!

Some of the features that make it worth every penny include the link to its App. This allows you to track how you brew real time. The data in the app shows you the total weight used, extraction times and flow rates. The scales are compact, are waterproof and slim, which means they can often fit underneath your home espresso machine.

The product is incredibly high quality, made from durable materials and has excellent functionality. You’re pretty much guaranteed to make the perfect cup of coffee, every time.

Features:

  • 2000g Capacity in 0.1g Increments

  • Lightweight 295g

  • Bluetooth Connectivity with Felicita Coffee App - awesome data visualisations!

  • Measurements: 130x160x26mm

  • Lithium-ion USB rechargeable battery

  • Customisable Smart Auto-off

  • Waterproof

ACACIA PEARL - AROUND £210

Founder of RiSE coffee box, Ben, has this coffee scale and can not recommend it enough. It is designed for coffee enthusiasts and professionals. The things we love about the The Acaia Pearl include how lightning fast it is, its accurate, and how easy it is to use. The Pearl has bluetooth functionality, which helps with recalibration and a flow rate indicator. At RiSE coffee box we love making a daily pour over, and the flow rate indicator is our daily go to feature.

You can create your own extraction profiles for different brew methods and share these on social networks as well as on the ACAIA platform. The only down side of the Acacia is that has got (potentially) too much functionality, which can be a little overwhelming.

Features:

  • High accuracy

  • Battery life from 20 to 30 hours

  • Non-slip mat to rest on the scale to keep your coffee machine in place.

  • ACAIA Bead Scale Rechargeable via USB Cable

  • Bluetooth

BREWISTA SMART SCALE II - AROUND £72

Brewista is a well known brand, not one we have personally used before, but they come highly recommended in the coffee community.

The Brewista smart scale II has good accuracy and timings and is slightly smaller than some of the others, so it sits nicely under your espresso machine. It has a variety of user modes, so suitable for most people. It has a USB rechargeable lithium battery for longer life, which is a nice upgrade from batteries compared to scales in the lower price ranges. Apparently the Brewista II is a lot more airtight than the previous model, making the water proof element more effective. The weighing range only goes as long as 0.5g so not as precise as some of the slightly higher priced scales.

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.5g – 2 Kg

  • Sensitivity:  0.1g

  • Power: Rechargeable 1000 mAh battery. Micro USB. 

  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 10.7 x 1.8 cm

  • 6 different user modes

The variety of modes are the key difference for the Brewista compared to other similarly priced scales. The 6 modes are:

  • Fully Manual mode.

  • Espresso 1: Auto tare and auto timer with immediate timer start.

  • Espresso 2: auto tare and manual timer.

  • Espresso 3: Auto tare, no timer.

  • Espresso 4:Auto tare and auto timer with timer starting when liquid hits the cup.

  • Pour over mode.

The modes can be a bit of a faff to use and change, so how often you would use them I am not so sure.

TIMEMORE BLACK MIRROR - AROUND £44

We love the look of the Timemore Black Mirror coffee scales. They look pretty slick so would look good in most modern kitchens. They are scratch resistant and have a matt finish. They look similar to the Acacia range, but at £44 compered to £210, they have it nowhere near the same functionality.

Features:

Weight: 0.1g - 2000g

Battery: Rechargeable

Other Specs: Scratch Resistant

HIROIA JIMMY BREWING & ESPRESSO SCALE - AROUND £240

Leading the way with innovative coffee equipment, The Jimmy Espresso range is pioneering how we brew coffee at home.

One thing you will love about this smart scale is the detachable display. You can clip it to your espresso machine or place it in your kitchen (somewhere at eye level) so you can read the display while you brew - clever! The coffee scale has bluetooth connectivity and has been designed for both espresso and pour over coffee. The Espresso mode has an auto-tare and Auto-start/stop timer giving you a choice. The pour over option lets you know your bean weight, water flow rate, water weight and water to bean ratio.

This is one of the top of the budget options and on Ben’s Christmas shopping list!

Features:

Weight capacity: 0.1g - 2,000g

Continuous usage time: 10 hours

Battery: polymer Li-ion Rechargeable Battery, 3.7V, 520mAh x 2

Material: Stainless steel

BODUM BISTRO - AROUND £35-48

The Bodum range of coffee equipment is one of Alice’s faves, here at RiSE coffee box. The designs are sleek and stylish and the products are reasonable priced considering the quality. We have a Bodum cafetièire  and pour over which we would also highly recommend.

Features

  • Digital kitchen scale with LCD screen and integrated timer

  • Silicone pad protects against water spillage and surface scratches

  • Battery operated

  • Weighs to a tenth of a gram

  • 5,000g maximum weight

  • Smart black and red design

We hope you found our article on coffee scales useful! It can be a daunting heading into the at home coffee brewing world, however a few key pieces of equipment for your kitchen will help you brew coffee like a barista in no time. At RiSE coffee box, we recommend starting wherever you fee comfortable and progressing when you are ready. If you are a newbie to specialty coffee, we would suggest you start with the Hario (if the budget allows) as this has a combination of great features and is super easy to use.

If you ever need any advice, reach out to Ben and Alice via email: hello@risecoffeebox.co.uk or on Instagram and we will always be happy to help!

Love,

Ben & Alice


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