Pour over or French press isn’t the simplest brewing method. The key to getting it right is using accurate quantities of beans and water.
So, Which is the best coffee scale?
We take a look at some of the factors to consider when choosing where to invest your money.
And we review our pick of five high performing models to help you focus your search.
The Best Coffee Scale on the Market 2020
1. Coffee Gator Digital Timing Scales
The keenly priced Coffee Gator scales have a lot going for them.
Let’s start with the design. There’s a generous, flat weighing surface embossed with a great big ’gator so you won’t forget the brand.
It measures in either ounces or grams, with an accuracy of 0.1 grams making it ideal for coffee experimentation.
If you want to measure your liquid by volume, it can do that too, measuring in either liters or fluid ounces. And the ultra-bright display means you won’t need to squint to read the numbers.
The scales will take a weight of up to three kilos, so they’ll cope easily with your whole brewing assembly. There’s a non-slip mat too, helping you avoid spills.
There’s also a timer, though it doesn’t start automatically as some pricier models do. But for some pretty inexpensive coffee scales, you won’t find yourself missing much else.
2. Hario V60 Drip Scale and Timer (Our Top Recommended)
The Hario V60 comes in a choice of sleek black or stainless steel.
The black version is considerably pricier that Coffee Gator’s offering. And the newer stainless steel model is two thirds as expensive again.
So what do you get for your money?
The V60 measures with an accuracy of 0.1 grams up to a maximum of two kilograms.
So it won’t take as much weight as the Gator, but will still handle your brewing assembly.
There’s a timer too, though like the Gator, it won’t start automatically when weight is added.
It’s powered with two AAA batteries, making it simple and cord-free. Newer models go one better with a rechargeable battery powered by a USB.
The nickel-hydride battery lasts for an impressive 80 hours of continuous use.
The weighing platform can also be removed easily for simple cleaning. It’s a good looking coffee scales, with many ardent fans.
3. AcuDrip100 Digital Coffee Scale and Timer
The AcuDrip 100 is the budget coffee scales on our list. You can pick it up for about the same price as four cups of coffee from an artisan coffee shop.
That doesn’t mean you’re compromising on accuracy.
Like its more expensive counterparts, the AcuDrip will measure to a precise 0.1 grams. And it will maintain that accuracy all the way up to three kilos.
You can change the units to ounces, pounds or milliliters, if you prefer. There’s also a tare function and a timer. What more could you ask for?
Well, the AcuDrip also has a spill-proof surface, which improves on the pricier V60.
There are large, clear buttons and a bright LCD display. And the manufacturers offer a 90 day money back guarantee if you don’t love it.
If we were trying to find a negative, it would be that the AcuDrip isn’t quite as stylish as the V60. But you could afford it. That looks like a pretty good buy for us.
4. Brewista Smart Scale II (BSSRB2)
Heading back up the price coffee scale, we come to the Brewista Smart Scale II.
Let’s admit one thing at the outset: it isn’t such a stylish machine. Set that to one side, however, and there are a lot of impressive features here.
As with the other coffee scales on this list, it’s accurate to 0.1 grams.
Its maximum weight is two kilos and it has the usual options to change units of measurement. But it also combines the best features of other models.
There’s a non-slip and spill-resistant surface. There’s a clear, backlit screen and a rechargeable battery. Plus there’s a timer and tare function.
Even better, there are six different barista modes where the timer and tare function will start and stop automatically.
If you’ve got the money, this is one clever set of coffee scales to spend it on.
5. Acaia Pearl Scale
The granddaddy of digital coffee scales, the Acaia Pearl is a thing of beauty. It’s also almost twice as expensive as the next priciest scales on this list.
So is it worth it?
For precision brewing, the answer is a qualified “yes”. The major bonus of the Acaia is its speed.
These coffee scales respond to changes in weight in 20 milliseconds, making them as close to instant as you can get.
If you want to be spot on with your pour over times and weights, that’s a major advantage.
It has the best of the features of all the other coffee scales, plus you can connect it to your smartphone.
The accompanying app allows you to track the blooming, pour and infusion time.
You can also customize the auto-off time – though it’s clever enough not to shut off during brewing anyway.
If money is no object, it’s definitely worth considering the Acaia as your pour over scales of choice.
What makes a good set of scales?
It goes without saying that if you’re using scales to measure your coffee, you want them to be accurate. But what exactly does that mean?
Most recipes will include quantities for coffee and water measured by the gram. So if you’re just following a recipe, coffee scales that are accurate to 1 gram should be good enough.
However, most coffee gurus recommend an accuracy of 0.1 grams. So are they just being pretentious?
Well, maybe. But if you want to fine-tune recipes to suit your personal taste, small differences can be very important.
And with a brewing method like pour over that’s sensitive to tiny variations, highly accurate coffee scales can save considerable frustration (1).
2. Tare function
For anyone not familiar with this term, taring simply means setting your coffee scales to zero when they’re already loaded.
This will save you a lot of arithmetic when it comes to brewing coffee.
That’s because you’ll need to add different quantities of coffee and water at different stages.
If you tare the coffee scales after each step, it will be much easier to check you’re adding the right quantities.
3. Built-in timer
Brewing coffee demands precision in timing as well as weight.
Some coffee scales have a built in timer to assist with this. But why not simply use a kitchen timer, or the timer on your cell phone?
Well, there’s no reason you can’t – but coffee scales with a built-in timer are just that little bit easier.
You won’t have to worry about someone phoning and hiding your timer right in the middle of some precision brewing.
And some coffee scales can begin counting precisely when the first bit of water hits your grounds.
4. Power supply
There are two things to think about here.
First, select a model with a decent battery life or one that plugs into the mains.
If you choose a plug-in version, though, remember you won’t be able to use it whilst out camping.
Secondly, try to find a set of coffee scales that doesn’t have an auto-off feature. Making pour over coffee isn’t a fast process.
The last thing you need when you’re halfway through your carefully calibrated brew is the coffee scales turning themselves off!
The look of your coffee scales is important. If you’re making pour over or French press regularly, they’ll probably sit on your countertop.
So you want something that will work with the aesthetic of your kitchen.
More critically, though, you need a design that suits the use. In other words, you’ll need a flat surface for weighing that’s big enough to accommodate your brew assembly.
Versions, where the substance being weighed can only be poured into a bowl, won’t work.
This YouTube video showing pour over coffee being brewed shows how important it is to have a coffee scale with a large, flat surface.
Consider too where you’re going to use them. Will you be brewing only in your kitchen, or might you want to take them elsewhere?
If you enjoy making coffee in the great outdoors, you’ll want coffee scales that are small and portable.
It may surprise you to know there can be huge variations in price between digital coffee scales.
The different degrees of accuracy plays a part in this, but that’s not the whole story.
If you really want to splash out, you can find models with all kinds of special features.
These include blue tooth to allow you to connect your coffee scales to your smartphone and record your brewing experiences.
If someone you love is a coffee geek, something like this makes a great gift.
For everyday brewing, though, you can pay a fraction of the price without making big compromises on functionality.
Ready to buy?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of the best coffee scale.
You can spend a fraction of the money and get an excellent set of scale with the Hario V60 Drip Scale and Timer.
Whichever model you choose, enjoy the benefits for your brewing coffee!