If you’re serious about coffee—or getting there—then you’re probably paying close attention to your ratio of coffee to water every time you brew. This is especially true if you’re into pour-over coffee.
Many people are happy to eyeball this, and as long as they come close, it’s all good. But you can really take your coffee-making to the next level by being more precise about your grounds and your water. To do that, it helps to have the best coffee scale possible. Our choice is the Ivykin Multi-Function Digital Scale.
Truth be told, the Acaia Pearl Model S is the scale we dream about, but we couldn’t in good conscience put it at the top of our list. That’s an awful lot of money to pay for a coffee scale! But hey, if you have the means then it’s probably the one you want.
A coffee scale is a fairly simple device, but choosing one can be a daunting task. To make it easier, we’ve rounded up the top digital scales and provided a complete shopping guide to help you make the right choice.
5 best coffee scales at a glance
|Ivykin Multi-function Digital Food Kitchen Scale Timer||More info|
|Acaia Pearl Model S Professional-Grade Digital Smart Coffee Scale||More info|
|Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer||More info|
|Outry Coffee Scale with Timer||More info|
|HuiSmart Digital Coffee Scale with Timer||More info|
What to look for in a coffee scale
We suppose you could use your regular kitchen scale to weigh coffee, but your regular kitchen scale can’t tell you how long you’ve been brewing. These days, specialized coffee scales come with timers so you can be as precise about your extraction time as you are about your ratio.
Accurate measurement to the gram
A gram of coffee can make a difference in the taste of your coffee, particularly when you venture into the world of espresso. Therefore, you should look for a scale that offers accuracy to the gram. Bonus points if it can give measurements in other units like pounds and ounces, as this can help you with recipes when you’re not using it for coffee.
The tare function allows you to exclude the weight of the container you measure your coffee in. It’s easy to use. You place the container on the scale first and the scale reads the weight of the container. Then you press the tare button and the reading goes back to zero—even though the container is still on the scale. Whatever you add from that point on—the coffee—will show up in the new reading. The tare function really gives you precise measurement.
Ease of use
Although a good coffee scale should have all the features you need to make a good cup of coffee, it shouldn’t be tricky to use. A good scale has well-labeled buttons and ideally a backlit digital screen to make it easy to read measurements at all times.
You can choose between a fixed and a removable tray. The latter is easier to clean, but the former is more convenient. You can also choose between a digital or analog meter. A digital meter is more advanced and offers better features.
These scales might also be rechargeable, or they might come with replaceable AAA/AA batteries. Choose whichever is most convenient to you.
Your budget will likely determine whether you choose a plastic or metal finish.
Minimum and maximum weight
Most coffee scales have a graduation (minimum weight measurement) of 0.01 ounces. The smaller the graduation of your scale, the more precise its measurements will be. The maximum weight a coffee scale can measure also matters, as nobody wants to weigh their coffee in two phases and then do math.
5 best coffee scales in detail
You don’t have to test all the scales below – just pick one with all the features you need and that falls within your budget. We selected only the top scales in the market.
The Ivykin Multi-Function Digital Scale features four sensors to offer accurate weight measurement. It can measure between 0.05 ounces (1 gram) and 6.6 pounds (3.0 kg). On its surface, the scale has a rubber mat that ensures glass receptacles don’t slide off the weighing surface. This also helps insulate the scale.
We like its grip, too. Four non-slip pads on the bottom keep it anchored on your countertop.
This digital scale is an ideal choice for homeowners with minimal counter space. Its sleek design looks great. Other features include automatic power-off, an overload indicator, tare function, and timer. At the back it has a hole you can use to hang it on a wall if you’re really short on counter space! It runs on AAA batteries.
- High-precision sensors
- Non-slip rubber pads
- Sleek and stylish design with a digital meter
- Weighs amounts up to 6.6 pounds
- Digital meter not backlit
- Uses AAA batteries instead of charging
The Acaia Pearl Model S comes with smart features to give you full control over your brewing process, and hence better coffee. You will pay more for this scale than you would with any other option on our list. It is a barista-quality and laboratory-grade digital scale.
Unlike most other scales, this one offers a readability of 0.01g. This means it’s sensitive enough that a slight weight change as a result of temperature could trigger a change in readings. You can customize the scale to meet the needs of your environment.
One unique feature of this scale is Bluetooth connectivity, and a suite of apps to help you brew better. For example, you can download a brewing guide to the scale and just follow instructions as you brew on it. It will measure the rate of your pour as you add water to your grounds, and tell you if you need to slow down.
Other features include a timer, rechargeability via USB port, automatic power-off feature, and a tare function.
- Smart design for better control
- Measures up to 0.01 grams
- Built-in stopwatch
- Fast response times with accurate measurements
- You will pay more for the advanced features
The Hario V60 scale is one of the sleekest on this list and also one of the most accurate. It offers readings as low as 0.1 grams for precision brewing. It features a drip timer that allows you to time your bloom times for the perfect cup of coffee. The timer is integrated to offer total control over the brewing process.
It has an automatic power-off function after five minutes of inactivity, as long as the timer is not on. It runs on two AAA batteries, which are included with the scale. Other features include a tare function and ability to change measurement units.
- Measures down to 0.1 grams
- Built-in drip timer for the best drip coffee
- Sleek design that looks good an occupies minimal counter space
- Build material feels relatively weak
The Outry is a budget coffee scale with all the standard features you need for precise coffee measurement. It features precision sensors with fast and accurate responses to changes in weight. It has a built-in timer and can measure anything between 0.1g and 3kg, in ounces, grams or pounds.
The scale has an LCD screen with a backlight so you can see data easily at any time of day. Other features include a tare function, an automatic power-off function, low battery notification (the scale runs on two AAA batteries), and overload indicator. The scale has a silicon mat to protect it from drips and heat. The manufacturer also offers a plastic cover to protect the scale while it’s stored. The cover doubles as a weighing tray.
- High-precision sensors
- Built-in timer
- Weighs between 0.1 grams and 3 kg
- Backlit screen
- Two AAA batteries will likely drain fast with a backlit panel
As long as you place the HuiSmart scale on an even surface, it will give you accurate readings. It gives measurements in grams, ounces and pounds. It can measure between 0.1g and 3kg. It has an LCD screen with blue backlight.
This compact coffee scale has features such as tare function, automatic power-off, unit conversion, overload indicator, and low battery notification. It is small, so won’t take up a lot of space on your counter. It’s light enough to take camping or any other place you need coffee—but again, use it on a level surface so as not to fool the sensors.
The scale has a plastic cover that protects it from heat, scratches, and water, and doubles as a weighing tray.
- Offers great accuracy
- Measures between 0.1 and 3kg
- Sleek and compact design
- Backlit display
- Slow readings
Which coffee scale should you choose?
The Ivykin Multi-Function Digital Scale is an accurate scale that comes at a pocket-friendly price and with all the standard features you need. If you need a more advanced option and your budget allows it, you really can’t beat the Acaia Pearl Model S.
Coffee Scale FAQ
Why do I need a coffee scale?
A coffee scale comes in handy when you need to weigh coffee ingredients to ensure you have just the right amount. This helps you get the brew ratio correct for the most flavorful cup of coffee possible. With a timer, you also keep your pour-over extraction going for just the right amount of time.
How should I use a digital scale?
Most coffee scales are easy to use. All you do is power the scale on and press the tare button to reset it to zero. Place your weighing vessel on the scale and again tare it back to zero. Every time you add a new element, tare it to zero for weighing the next element you plan to add. If you need specific measurement units, you can change that from the units button.
Photo at top: Acaia.co