The Best Coffee Scales Reviewed And Tested

If you love coffee and you want to achieve the best possible results when it comes to coffee at home, then coffee scales play a major part in the preparation process, because dose control is a fundamental part of ensuring you get the correct extraction for your chosen brewing method.

In this article, I’ll explain why the best coffee scales are a great weapon in your armory in the quest for coffee perfection, why you should consider using a dedicated set of coffee scales for specifically weighing coffee and how/why they differ from ordinary kitchen scales.

I’ll also help you to understand the difference between the vastly differently priced coffee scales, as you’ll see that they range in price from about a tenner to over two hundred pounds!

Why do you need coffee scales, anyway?

Getting the correct ratio of ground coffee to liquid coffee in your cup is crucial to maximising the flavour.

For example, with espresso as a general rule you should be looking at around 20 grams of ground coffee to produce 40 grams of double espresso in your cup.

With filter coffee 60-65 grams of ground coffee is a good guide to freshly brew 1 litre of coffee. 

If you get it wrong by just a few percent then it can make a big impact on the overall flavour and a very common mistake that a lot of people fall for is the “scoop” or spoon method of measuring out your coffee.

This is a bad idea for several reasons. Firstly, coffee beans are very light and you’ll never pick up in a scoop the same number of beans each time so the weight of beans in a scoop will vary in every scoop and remember dose control (getting the exact weight every time) is crucial.

This is a bit sad but I have weighed individual coffee beans on a number of occasions and on average they tend to weigh in at around 0.1 – 0.15 of a gram so if you are used to using say 3 scoops or spoons of coffee (it will vary a lot depending on the brewing method you use) you’ll never pick up the same number of beans and will always be out by a few grams.

That makes a difference to the extraction and flavour so you’ll never get the consistency you need to get top quality coffee every time.

Also there is no standard volume of measurement for a scoop or a spoon. Some scoops may hold 5 grams and some may hold 7 grams or more (the aeropress scoop tends to hold around 17-18 grams) and the same for spoons. So if you go down that road, depending on the scoop or spoon you use you’ll get huge differences in the amount of coffee you are using each time. 

Finally, coffee beans are different weights depending on the roast type, I’ve weighed them (I know, extremely sad). Lighter roasts weigh less than darker roasts and so when you combine all of these things, you’ll simply never get an accurate weight for your coffee if you use spoons or scoops.

If you use scales then you remove all of that uncertainty. If you don’t use scales, the resulting coffee is going to vary in taste from one cup to the next.

Here are some of the important features to consider when looking at coffee scales in particular, and these features are mainly what distinguish coffee scales from standard kitchen scales.

Accuracy

When it comes to how much you’re going to end up spending on coffee scales, this will be at least partly determined by how accurate you want them to be at different weight levels.

And it’s not only the accuracy level that is important but also the increment levels. Cheap digital scales will measure to the nearest 1g but better scales will measure to the nearest 0.1 of a gram and the best scales will measure to 0.01 of a gram. 

Going down to 1/100th of a gram is not really required for coffee and those kinds of scales are mainly used for things like jewelry where it matters for things like high-quality diamonds.

Most people that weigh coffee for home use won’t need to weigh more than say 100-200g at any one time in increments of 0.1 grams and so that’s a good starting point when choosing your coffee scales.

For a double espresso you won’t need to weigh more than around 20g at any one time and to brew 1 litre of filter coffee you’ll need about 60-65g of ground coffee.

So you don’t need scales that are good for 0.1g increments up to say 2kg as you’ll never need to use them at those higher weights, and you’ll be paying for functionality you don’t need.

For weighing coffee, personally I think as long as the scales have increments of 0.1g up to around 200g, this is more than enough – if the scales then weigh in increments of up to 1g after this, as some of the more affordable scales do, personally I think that’s fine – but if you want to spend more on your scales, then accuracy up to a higher weight is a feature you’ll usually get with more expensive scales.

No matter how accurate you are with the weight of your coffee, though, it will only taste as good as the coffee you use to brew. Understanding how to choose the best coffee for your palette is discussed in this article:

How to choose and buy the best coffee beans  

Timing extraction

Regular kitchen scales don’t usually have a timer on them but most coffee scales do. One of the most important variables for producing great coffee is how long it takes for the water to pass through the coffee so regardless of your brewing method knowing how long it is taking for your coffee to be delivered is super important.

Sure you can get your phone out and pull up the stopwatch and then try and look at the scales and your phone at the same time so that you get the exact weight correct for a double espresso and then hit the stop button on your phone to see how long it took.

I’ve done that numerous times and you end up all fingers and thumbs and it’s so much easier and more convenient when both the weight and time are incorporated into the scales and you can do it all on one device.

Response time

Response time means how long it takes for the coffee scales to detect the increased weight. This is important for coffee brewing, because the better the response time, the more accurately you’re able to brew. This is particularly important when it comes to espresso, if you’re using a cheaper set of scales which suffer with latency, it can mean that when you stop the shot you actually have a few more ml of espresso than you thought you had when you stopped the shot.

Rechargeable 

Normal kitchen scales might sit in a cupboard to only come out occasionally, for example when the latest series of Great British Bake Off has inspired you to crack open the flour, eggs & sugar to prove to yourself that it’s really not as easy as they (sometimes) make it look on the telly. So, batteries in standard kitchen scales might not need changing at all over their lifetime, or maybe very infrequently.

With coffee scales, though, you’re going to be using them on a daily basis, maybe several times per day, so you’re more likely to have to replace batteries with coffee scales than you might with standard kitchen scales.

This might not be a big issue for you, but I find it a real pain when I find that something has run out of batteries, and I have to go hunting for the AAAs. I’m sure there’s an environmental element to this too, I would assume that re-charging an internal battery is better for the environment overall than using disposable batteries. 

Although, you could of course go for rechargeable batteries. My issue with these is that I’m terrible when it comes to losing battery chargers ;-), I’ve given up buying anything with rechargeable batteries as I’m convinced we have some kind of alien living in the house which survives only from consuming battery chargers! So I prefer to use devices that simply have a charging port on them – yes, this little alien eats them too, but I’ve usually got one of them somewhere for charging something else, that I can use.

You’ll find that many of the cheaper sets of coffee scales are battery powered, while most (not all) of the mid range and higher priced scales are usually rechargeable.

Not all rechargeable scales are the same when it comes to how long they last on a charge, though, and generally speaking the more expensive scales last longer on a charge. Some also have more obscure charging ports while some come with USB-C ports which is the same as most modern smart phones except iPhone, which can be very handy.

How much should you spend on coffee scales?

If you’re searching for coffee scales, you’ll find very cheap brew scales at one end of the spectrum from about £10 – £20, and then you’ll find a plethora of scales from here upwards, into and then beyond the couple of hundred pounds mark.

In a nutshell: 

The very cheapest coffee scales: 

  • Tend to struggle with latency, also known as lag, meaning it can take a second or two for the weight to update. 
  • Tend to be more flimsy, less durable, and less reliable, with higher rates of faults – generally speaking.
  • Have a tendency to not be particularly precise with the weight, and can suffer from weight variance, meaning that if you put something on the scale, tare it and then weigh it again, you can get a different result.
  • Don’t usually have some of the features that may be desirable for certain uses, particularly espresso – and namely the auto timer function, which is a feature many people would prefer if they have an espresso machine that doesn’t have a shot timer.
  • Usually require batteries.
See also  How to Make Coffee Without Electricity?

But the thing is – for some people, some or all of the above doesn’t matter.

If you’re using manual brew methods, and if you really couldn’t care less how cheap a scales feel, and you don’t care that it’s a bit laggy (you can just slow the pour down at the end) and if you’re happy with batteries, and if you’re more than happy to take a risk of buying a scales which have a fault or which don’t last long (and that’s one of the great things about Amazon for cheaper products, easy to get a refund or replacement) then some of the cheapest coffee scales are absolutely fine for most people.

The reason you’d spend a bit more for coffee scales is:

  • Better responsiveness, less latency.
  • Better build quality and durability.
  • Better precision.
  • Better features. 
  • Rechargeable rather than requiring batteries. 

When I say “a bit more” I’m talking about in the region of £30-£50 ish. This is what I would class as the kind of price point which most people would regard as acceptable for investing in a better set of scales.

So why would you want to spend a great deal more than this?

  • Blue tooth connectivity and smart phone apps.
  • Very high quality build, with some of the highest-priced scales being made completely from aluminium.
  • Super fast response time with almost zero lag.
  • Amazing precision.
  • Bag of features.
  • Low profile, specifically when it comes to espresso specialist scales, to fit better on drip trays under portafilters.

So the question to ask, is what makes sense for you – as we’re all different.

For me, for example – I want more from a set of coffee scales than the £10-£20 scales tend to provide, BUT, I don’t need the apps, the super precision, the super-fast response and so on, that I might get from something like the Felicita Arc or Acaia Lunar (both included below), which is why I’m more than happy with the scales I’ve settled on at present, the Timemore black mirror which I also discuss below. 

But for the more hardcore home barista types who want the very best in responsiveness and who want all the most nerdy data they can wrap their eyes around, only one of the higher end coffee scales will do – and for the every day coffee drinker who isn’t bothered about anything I’ve just said, one of the much cheaper scales will be fine.

So in this post, I’m including what I believe to be the best scales in each category, the cheap scales, reasonably prices scales, and high end coffee scales. 

Cheap coffee scales

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 3kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1 – 1g depending on weight
  • Power: AAA batteries (included)
  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 15.5 x 2.9 cm
  • Timer function
  • Auto off function

My Observations

This is a very low cost set of brew scales, aimed at manual brew methods rather than espresso. It comes with AAA batteries, along with some of the other quirks you’re usually going to get with low cost coffee scales, including lag and weight discrepancies. They’re one of the best selling cheap coffee scales on Amazon UK at the time of writing, and I think when it comes for manual brew methods, for a lot of people these are going to be fine.

The good stuff. 

Ultra cheap.

Simple to use. 

The bad stuff. 

Many owners of these scales report that when you turn them on they default to 0.4 – 0.6g, and you need to tare them to clear that. Quirks like these I just think come with the territory, when you’re deciding to spend as little as possible.

Not particularly responsive, suffers from lag as I would expect at this kind of price. 

If you read through the reviews you’ll find a fair number of complaints about reliability, with quite a few people having sent them back for a refund. As I mentioned earlier, though, I think this is a risk you take when buying such a low cost set of coffee scales, and that’s the benefit of buying from Amazon, very easy to return if you end up with a dodgy one.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 3kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: AAA batteries (included)
  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.05 cm
  • Timer function
  • Sleep mode and auto-off function

My Observations

Just look at these coffee scales side by side compared to the Coffee Gator scales, below, they look spookily similar – whether they’re the same scale re-badged or whether one is a copy of the other, it’s hard to say, it could just be a coincidence ;-).

They do appear very similar in terms of features and in terms of the positives and negatives reported by users.

The good stuff. 

Very inexpensive, even less money than the coffee gator scales I’ll talk about shortly.

Same high capacity as the coffee gator scales and supposedly good in terms of sensitivity (supposedly as this is coming from the sales blurb, rather than from the reviews).

The bad stuff. 

Although the sensitivity is reportedly 0.1g, as with the coffee gator scales there are a significant number of users saying that they don’t actually appear to be as sensitive as they’re supposed to be. 

As with the coffee gator scales, below, there are reports that the results can be inconsistent, with the weight occasionally jumping. Personally I just think this is what you’re going to get when you pay this kind of money for a set of coffee scales.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 3kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: AAA batteries (included)
  • Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Timer function
  • Auto off function

My Observations

Coffee gator is a fairly well-known brand, probably best known for their coffee storage canisters, although they also produce brewers (cafetiere, pourover and cold brew), a gooseneck kettle, and of course these scales. 

They strike me as being fairly similar in many ways to the more expensive Hario scale, below, with batteries being required, and with a timer function but no auto timer & a very similar footprint.

The good stuff. 

A higher weight capacity than most coffee scales, going up to 3 Kg, although I’m doubtful many people are going to be brewing up to three litres of coffee so I don’t think this is a feature most coffee lovers will need.

Fairly low priced, at about half the price of the Hario brew scales in the UK.

The bad stuff. 

These scales seem to share the same lag or latency issue with the Hario scales and with most of the other cheaper coffee scales, which possibly isn’t a massive issue for pourover or other manual brew methods, but would be a pain for espresso.

There are quite a few users claiming that the scales jump in weight before pouring, without the scale having being touched. There are also users reporting weight discrepancies, for example if you lift the brewer and put it back again there are reports that the weight can jump by a few grams.

Reasonably priced coffee scales

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Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.5g – 2 Kg
  • Sensitivity: plus or minus 0.1g
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-ion 1600mAH. USB-C. Up to 10 hours of continuous use on a full charge.
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 13.0 x 2.5 cm
  • Timer funcion
  • Auto timer function
  • Auto off function

My Observations

Before using these scales, I’d used a couple of the other scales that feature within this review – including the Brewista smart scale 2, and the My Weigh Barista, and I’d been impressed with both of these, but I have to be very honest and say that I’ve not looked back since I’ve started using the Timemore Black Mirror coffee scales! 

They’re just really, really convenient to use. They hold their charge very well so you don’t need to charge them often, they turn on almost instantly, they’re precise, they’re responsive, the auto-timer function is great if you need that, and I find the size and shape of them to be really good to use especially when it comes to espresso.

I also like how simple they are, they’re cool looking scales but they’re incredibly simple to use – and I’m a fan of the auto timer function.

I’m not 100% sure why they called them the Black Mirror, to be honest, as the surface is matt, maybe “Black Matt” didn’t have the same ring to it ;-). But they just look like a solid black object before you turn them on, there’s no screen, no buttons.

In fact the only thing that gives away the fact that this is some kind of a device is the charging port, and this is also the point of reference to show you where the invisible on button is. With the charging port on the top right, if you press the empty surface on the bottom right, this thing comes to life, and then it’s clear that you haven’t been sold a square lump of plastic, it is actually a set of coffee scales.

As I’ve said, these scales are mega simple to use, you just turn them on, put your cup on, press the tare button, press the timer button, and off you go. If you want to use the auto timer function, you just press the timer button 8 times quickly, until you see the A – then press the timer button, it counts down from 3, and then goes into ready mode, and will start timing as soon as it detects a change in weight.

Overall I think these are a very good set of coffee scales for the cost.

Good Stuff: 

USB-C charger, same as most modern android phones, and loads of other devices, so most people will have a charger knocking about that they can use for this even if they lose the included cable, which is something I tend to do. Most other scales at the moment, even the much more expensive ones, use the older, cheaper USB-B or “Micro USB”.

Very simple to use. 

Precise and responsive.

Wide enough to fit a portafilter. 

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Auto timer function.

Looks cool.

Decent when it comes to being water-proof, or more importantly coffee-proof.

Bad Stuff:

It’s a bit chunky, which means it’s not going to fit under all portafilters, for espresso. If you’re using for manual brew methods this isn’t an issue, but if you’re using an espresso machine, it’ll depend on what machine you’re using and also whether you’re using a low level drip tray, bottomless portafilter etc., 

You’ll be OK with most of the Sage or Breville machines. It’s slightly tight with the Gaggia Classic, but you can improve this by getting a bottomless portafilter and/or fitting a low-level drip tray.

While I’ve included in the good stuff that this is a decent brew scale in terms of being water-proof, this is because of the clever way they’ve built it – but there is one thing I can’t help but see as a bit of a “schoolboy error” – which is the open charger port. I just don’t understand why they didn’t include a waterproof cover – otherwise you’re absolutely fine with this scale unless you’re  unlucky enough to end up with liquid getting into the charging port.

I just bought these USB type C charging port covers, and they are very inexpensive, but I’d have preferred to not have to faff around buying something like this.

The only other thing I can say as a bit of a negative is that the reading will change occasionally. Sometimes I’ll put the cup on the scales, tare it, and a bit of a knock will change the reading by maybe half a gram or so, and I have to tare it again. Not a huge deal but worth mentioning.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.5g – 2 Kg
  • Sensitivity: 0.1g – 1g up to 500g. 0.5g up to 1Kg. 1g up to 2Kg.
  • Power: 3 x AAA batteries
  • Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 2.9 cm 
  • Timer function
  • Auto off function

My Observations

More popular among fans of the Hario V60, the Hario coffee scales are really made for pour over. They share some features with the Timemore black mirror scales, same range, same reported sensitivity,  a timer function, and an auto-off function, but they don’t have an auto-timer function. 

They’re a good few cm deeper than the Timemore, 1cm narrower, and just a few mm taller.

The good stuff. 

Simple to use. Good basic functions including timer and auto-off. Decent sized scale surface compatible with brewing into larger jugs.

The bad stuff. 

Batteries. As I mentioned earlier, I do prefer rechargeable scales than having to hunt for batteries, although to be fair you could of course use rechargeable AAA batteries.

Latency/Lag/Delay. There’s quite a few niggles in the reviews about this, with some saying it has a delay of around one second. I do think, though, that a lot of people getting frustrated with this are trying to use these scales for espresso, for which latency would be more of an issue, and these scales are really intended for pour over.

Less accurate at larger weights. It weighs in increments of 0.1g only to 500g, after this is changes to 0.5g increments, and from 1 Kg to 2 Kg it changes to 1g increments, so the bigger batches you’re brewing, the less precise. This is only worth considering if you’re going to be brewing big batches, and even then, what’s one gram when you’re brewing up to 2 litres, are you really going to taste the difference?

Doesn’t like getting wet. The design of these scales means that if you do have a spill, it’s fairly easy to ruin them. Again, this is something a few people have complained about in the reviews, but it’s not only the Hario scales which suffer with this. Many coffee scales are, oddly, designed without much regard for making them water (coffee) resistant.

Check Price - Amazon UK

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

My Observations

This is another set of coffee scales I’ve owned – and I say “owned” and not “own”, for a reason I’ll get to shortly…

Brewista are a well known brand, with some really cool coffee stuff, including the Artisan gooseneck kettle (which I also have), and you don’t have to do much Googling to see that their scales com fairly highly recommended.

In terms of features, the Brewista smart scale ii is similar to the Timemore black mirror when it comes to accuracy and responsiveness, but it’s slightly smaller (meaning it’ll more comfortably fit under the portafilter on a larger range of espresso machines), and it has more features.

Looking at the stats it would appear that the Brewista has a smaller battery than the Timemore, but it must be true that size isn’t everything ;-), as I can tell you from experience the battery life on the Brewista smart scale ii is even longer than that of the Timemore Black Mirror. In all the time I owned these scales I can only remember having to charge them maybe two or three times.

Where these scales really differ from the Black Mirror, and other similarly priced scales is the number of user modes:

  • 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 good stuff. 

Good in terms of height, fits a bigger range of espresso machines than some of the chunkier coffee scales.

Loads of user modes means that there’s a perfect mode for most users.

The bad stuff. 

Smaller footprint means it can be tricky to fit a portafilter. This isn’t a big deal though, it’s the same with much higher end scales which tend to bed even smaller, and you can just use a portafilter stand. 

The different modes are a real pain to enter. I very rarely bothered changing modes because of how much of a faff it was to get into a different mode – not a big deal if there’s one particular mode you think you’re likely to want to stay in once you’ve managed how the heck to get into that mode ;-).

Not very water proof! Despite all the stuff in the blurb about them having “water-resistant nano coating” – and despite other reviews I’ve read stating that they’re very water-resistant, I can only go from personal experience, and from my experience, they ain’t waterproof. 

This is the reason I’ve said that I “used to” own these scales. Technically I still do, but they no longer work. I had a little bit of a spill, I wiped the scales, thought nothing of it – but the next time I went to use them, I turned them on and the weight reading was continually increasing.

I looked at the instructions about spillage, and it said they’d dry out in a matter of hours. Well, a matter of about 6 months later, they’re still not dry. They turn on, but the weight starts increasing straight away, by large numbers, so they’re not usable.

I have to say, though, from what I’ve read in terms of other reviews, I think I must have been particularly unlucky here because I can’t find anyone else complaining about this same issue, most people seem to agree that they’re very water-resistant. I may have to buy another one and give it a test. 

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 3kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: Rechargeable – micro USB
  • Dimensions: 15cm x 14.7cm x 3cm
  • Timer function with auto stop (not auto start)
  • Programmabl auto off function

My Observations

We’re back down to a more affordably priced coffee scale now, and these were the scales I bought to replace the Brewista smart scale II when I broke them. Initially these were my favourite scales after the Brewista scales, there was only a couple of small niggles which I’ll get to shortly. The only reason I don’t tend to use these now is that I prefer the timemore black mirror. 

The good stuff. 

Look and feel very sturdy.

Nice big easy to press buttons.

The timer automatically stops when you remove the cup.

Very simple to use.

Relatively inexpensive.

The bad stuff. 

Beeping while timing. This would be a plus for anyone with impaired vision, as would the big tactile buttons, but for everyone else I think the beeping is a bit of a pain. You can turn this off though, as a viewer responded, see the comments on the video above for instructions.

It’s a bit chunky, similar thickness to the timemore black mirror, so it might not fit perfectly under the portafilter on all espresso machines – you’ll be OK with most Sage coffee machines, but with some other machines including the Gaggia classic pro, you may have to make some tweaks (such as fitting a low profile drip tray and/or a naked portafilter) to make them fit.

It’s supposed to stop the timer and hold the weight for you when you remove the cup, when it works that’s great – but it doesn’t always work, good feature but slightly hit and miss.

Would be good if it had an auto timer function as the Timemore black mirror does. 

High-end coffee scales

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Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 2kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with reportedly up to 20 hours of continuous use per charge. Micro USB.
  • Dimensions: 16 x 32 x 3.5 cm  
  • Bluetooth connectivity with free Felicita Coffee App
  • Touch screen display
  • Timer function
  • Auto timer function
  • Auto tare function
  • Customizable Auto-off function

My Observations

Japan-based Felicita are a specialist producer of high-end coffee equipment, mainly scales although they also make a temp control kettle.

They offer three scales, this one (Parallel), Arc & Incline. Parallel & Incline were designed with manual brew methods in mind, while Arc is an espresso specialist scale.

The good stuff. 

Responsive, no issues with lag/latency.

Huge battery charge, so you shouldn’t have to recharge it often.

Loads of features including auto timer, auto tare and programmable auto off.

The app looks good, for pourover – it gives you a visual to guide you with the pour, and clever looking data analysis.

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The bad stuff. 

Price – it’s one of the more expensive coffee scales. It’s not the most expensive by any means, but it’s probably outside of what most of us would be comfortable spending on coffee scales. 

Felicita Arc Coffee Scales

Felicita Arc Coffee Scales

Check Price - Sigma Coffee UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 2kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with reportedly up to 20 hours of continuous use per charge. Micro USB.
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 13.5 x 1.55 cm
  • Bluetooth connectivity with free Felicita Coffee App
  • Touch screen display
  • Timer function
  • Auto timer function
  • Auto tare function
  • Customizable Auto-off function

My Observations

This is Felicita’s espresso scale, and it’s an impressive-looking little thing, with a look of the (even more expensive) Acaia Lunar, I have even seen some talk of this being a “clone”, and I can see what they mean, although it’s a slightly different shape, it is very similar looking, and the manual for this is almost identical to the manual for the Lunar.

The good stuff. 

Short. At the same height as the well-known espresso specialist scale the Acaia Lunar, you’re unlikely to get much smaller than this in terms of height.

Good water resistance.

Very responsive, no issues with lag/latency.

A tonne of features including auto timer, programmable auto-off, auto tare, and blue tooth connectivity.

Smart phone app looks very clever if you’re into that kind of thing.

The bad stuff. 

Price – although, Sigma Coffee have it on offer at the moment which makes it a hundred and ten quid less than the Acaia Lunar at rrp, and about seventy less than the cheapest price I can currently find for the Lunar.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 2kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.1g
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium-ion 3.7 V 1100 (30-40 hours battery life from one charge) USB-C. (this is the case with the newest 2021 model at least. The earlier version is micro USB and lasts 20-30 hours on a single charge – so just check which version you’re buying).
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 3.2cm
  • Bluetooth connectivity with Acaia apps
  • Realtime flow indicator
  • Adjustable LED brightness
  • Timer function
  • Auto timer function
  • Various brewing modes
  • Customizable Auto-off function
  • Ultra-fast 20ms response time 

My Observations

If you ask most baristas or seasoned home baristas to name the best brand of coffee scales, they’ll probably reply “Acaia”. They have a very good reputation, for making some extremely popular high-end coffee scales. 

The Acaia pearl is the scale they’ve designed for manual brew methods. You can use it for espresso too, of course, but the way they’ve designed it in terms of the dimensions, height, and features, it’s really designed for manual methods such as pourover.

The good stuff. 

Extremely responsive, no lag/latency.

Extremely precise. 

Loads of great features, with brew modes to suit all manual brew methods.

20-30 hours of use from a single charge with the earlier model – or 30-40 hours with the newer 2021 version!

The bad stuff. 

There’s a lot of options, lots of functionality, and it’s not the most simple user interface. You might even need to read the instructions!

There are some negative reviews about app connectivity and the user interface being hard to understand – and the manuals not being the most clear. These reviews are of the earlier version, though, so I’m not sure if they made any improvements in these areas with the newest 2021 model.

The price, it’s one of the most expensive coffee scales aimed at manual brew methods, and is around three times the price of some of the more reasonably priced options above.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • Weighing range: 0.1g to 2kg
  • Sensitivity:  0.01g (this is adjustable)
  • Power: Lithium-ion rechargeable 3.7 V 1100 mAh. Micro USB
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 x 1.5cm 
  • Bluetooth connectivity with Acaia apps
  • Realtime flow indicator
  • Timer function
  • Auto timer function
  • Various brewing modes
  • Customizable Auto-off function
  • Ultra-fast 20ms response time 
  • Adjustable auto off
  • Optional beep
  • Very durable, made for professional use.

My Observations

The good stuff. 

Very low-profile at just 1.5cm tall, perfect for espresso.

Tonnes of features, including 6 brew modes.

Bluetooth connectivity and apps.

Ridiculously accurate, and very responsive.

Retains the last settings you were using when you turn it off.

The bad stuff. 

As with the Pearl, some users have complained that the user interface is a bit tricky to navigate, and overall that it’s not the most simple set of scales. I think it’s worth keeping in mind that these scales are made with professional baristas and hardcore home baristas in mind, so making them more beginner-friendly probably wasn’t on their list of priorities. Just keep in mind if you decide to get a pro set of scales like these, there may be a learning curve involved.

The price. They’re probably around two hundred quid more than the majority of people would consider spending on coffee scales – and some would see the price of these scales as utter lunacy, see what I did there? ;-). But, again, these are made for professional use, they’re not made to be cheap or even reasonably priced.

They’re made to be used for hours & hours at a time in coffee shops, and to give baristas all the functionalities and features they might need, and as a result, they’re not cheap – but there are plenty of scales above which will suit most home baristas at a much more reasonable price point, so you really don’t need to spend this kind of money if you don’t want to.

Best Coffee Scales – Conclusion

To conclude this post, as with everything coffee-related, there’s a great deal of options out there, ranging from the more domestic, cheaper “standard” coffee scales right up to the professional grade barista gear at prices that would lead many of us to take a sharp intake of breath, followed by one or two rather rude words.

Personally, I think the reasonably priced options above are were most “normal” home barista should be looking, but anyone just getting into this hobby who just wants to be able to weigh their dose and their brew and wants to do so for under £20, the cheapest options above will be fine. Finally, for those reading this post who are either professional baristas, or what I refer to as “hard core home baristas”, who are willing to spend a couple of hundred quid on coffee scales, and who will benefit from the features and functions, then why not?

Now to just answer some commonly asked questions:

Can you use any kitchen scales for coffee?

If you don’t want to time how long your coffee extraction is taking and you don’t mind the accuracy being slightly out, you can certainly use any digital scales that you already have for general kitchen use.

But if you want to weigh more precisely, in increments of 0.1 of a gram and you feel as though a built-in timer will help you measure how long it takes for your coffee to be delivered into your cup then dedicated coffee scales will definitely make a difference to the quality of coffee you produce.

Creating great coffee is all about consistently doing the same thing and using the right amount of coffee and timing the extraction just right are two of the variables that will make a big difference to overall quality.

If you’re getting into drinking high quality, speciality coffee, in my humble opinion since you’re buying high-quality coffee, you may as well invest at least £20 or so on being able to weigh the dose and the brew at least with some level of accuracy. 

So you can use kitchen scales if you want to but using proper coffee scales will make your coffee experience better.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to make espresso taste better then see this article:

5 ways to take your espresso to the next level  

Do you need coffee scales for all brewing methods?

The more accurate you can be, the better your coffee will taste so however you choose to make your coffee, using dedicated coffee scales will give you an all-round better experience.

If you are used to just chucking a few tablespoons of coffee into the cafetiere and adding some water, try weighing out 15g of coffee for every 250ml of water used (250ml is a decent mug of coffee) and you’ll notice a big difference in taste.

This article explains more:

Ultimate cafetiere technique  

The same goes for filter coffee machines. Weigh out about 65g of coffee for every litre of water added and that will provide the right balance for great filter coffee. Filter coffee is one of the best ways to enjoy great at a low cost. This articles explains why:

The best filter coffee machines  

With espresso, 20 grams of ground coffee in and 40 grams of liquid coffee out is a good ratio to use to help produce fabulous tasting espresso to drink on its or to create milk based favourites such as Latte or Cappuccino.

This article may be of interest if you are looking for a great value for money espresso machine:

The best home espresso machines  

If you’re interested in understanding more about the importance of weighing coffee and the ratios to use, this video from James Hoffman explains:

Whatever brewing method you use, it will always benefit from measuring the amount of coffee used to the nearest gram and timing how long it takes to brew your coffee.

The best way to do that is to use a dedicated set of coffee scales to compliment the rest of your setup.

Life is like a box of chocolates, so join my Brew Time list, subscribe to my YouTube Channel, try my coffee at The Coffeeworks (use discount code coffeebotherers), follow me on Twitter & Instagram, follow the coffeeblog FaceBook page, and that’s all I have to say about that. 

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This article firstly appeared at Coffee Blog – The UK Specialty Coffee Blog – For Lovers of REAL Coffee!

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