A scale can be useful for all different methods of coffee. For automatic drip coffee makers, french press/immersion, pour overs, iced coffee, AeroPress, etc, a scale will be more accurate than using a tablespoon to measure and can greatly increase the flavor of your preferred method. And for espresso, it's almost a requirement. 

A few reasons why scales are important

  1. Accuracy (precision). When it comes to perfecting good coffee, finding the right ratio of ground coffee to water is essential. While guessing can sometimes result in a good cup of coffee, this will not always be the case.
  2. Consistency (repeatability). Once coffee and water are measured, a scale enables you to repeat this with the SAME result every time!
  3. Eliminates waste. When using a grind time function on your grinder, it is often easy to grind too much coffee then you will use, causing wasted coffee.

With coffee, it is all about finding the right ratio between coffee and water and being able to repeat that result every time. For espresso, it will allow you to take things to the next level and will eliminate a lot of frustration and wasted shots.

Hario V60 Hario Scale

How to use a scale when making coffee

Coffee recipes require a certain amount of coffee and water, typically measured in grams. If you are just getting started, it's a good idea to follow a recipe but then fine-tune it to your personal taste preferences. Maybe the recipe suggests a 1:17 coffee to water ratio, but you prefer your coffee a bit stronger. This is where a scale helps you to understand exactly what you like.

Measure the beans before you grind them. Place your brewing device (Chemex, pour over, french press, etc) on the scale and after you pour in your coffee grounds, tare the scale to zero. Based on the recipe or ratio you are using, you will now know exactly how many grams of water to pour. Below are a few scales we recommend. 


Types of scales:

Jennings CJ-4000 $29

Jennings Espresso Scale

Pros: Affordable; multi-purpose (can weigh in grams, ounces, pounds); durable, with a 20-year manufacturer warranty  

Cons: Doesn’t come with a timer; less aesthetically pleasing with a slightly bulkier footprint, and doesn’t weigh to the tenth, so not ideal for espresso.

Hario V60 Drip Scale $57

Hario drip scale

Pros: Sleek look; simultaneously measures weight and extraction time for the perfect pour-over brew; thin profile allows you to place on the drip tray under your portafilter for pulling shots; auto off

Cons: A bit pricey; not waterproof; only weighs in grams; no warranty

Bonavita BV2100SC Auto Tare Gram Scale $60

Bonavita 2100SC Scale

Pros: Automatically tares; water-safe; built-in timer; programmable auto off; clean simple look.

Cons: a bit pricey

Check out our Brew Guide to get started as well as our collection of scales

Posted by Adam Raper on