Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 14:34
On the topic of coffee scales, the thoughts and questions that often arise is: can you use a Kitchen scale for coffee brewing coffee, and if you can, what are the results like?
The quick answer is yes, you can use a kitchen scale for brewing, but you have certain limitations, and it is imperfect.
Keep reading for a more detailed and more extensive answer to this question.
Can You Use A Kitchen Scale For Coffee Brewing?
Table Of Contents
- 1 Can You Use A Kitchen Scale For Coffee Brewing?
- 2 Coffee Scale Vs Kitchen Scale
- 3 Some Coffee Scales To Consider – Out Top Picks
- 4 #1 Timemore Coffee Scale – The Timemore Black Mirror
- 5 #2 Hario Coffee Scale – The Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale Best For Pour Over
- 6 #3 Acaia Coffee Scale The Acaia Pearl S – Best Coffee Scale For Espresso
- 7 What Should You Look For In A Coffee Scale?
- 8 Why Measure Your Coffee By Weight?
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Scale For Coffee
- 9.1 Can I Use A Kitchen Scale For Coffee?
- 9.2 Do I Need A Scale To Brew Coffee?
- 9.3 Do I Need A Scale For Pour Over Coffee?
- 9.4 Should I Weigh My Coffee Beans?
- 9.5 Are Coffee Scales Worth It?
- 9.6 Is A Coffee Scale The Same As Food Scale?
- 9.7 What Is The Difference Between A Coffee Scale And A Regular Scale?
- 9.8 Why Do Baristas Weight Coffee?
- 10 Frappé-Ing It All Up – Kitchen Scale For Coffee
it is absolutely possible that you can use a kitchen scale for coffee brewing. This is clear. What you cannot use is one of the larger scales that has a low sensitivity to small increments in weight. Both mechanical and digital kitchen scales will be okay as long as you can get precise measurements and, importantly, accurate measurements.
One of the drawbacks of using this type of scale is the lack of the specialist features that are focused on coffee brewing and that precision and an accuracy of 1/100th of a gram and a built-in timer.
Your quality of coffee brewed is slightly reduced, not a lot, just slightly, and will be slightly inconsistent. This is simply due to a slight inconsistency in weight and measurements due to inaccuracy.
I’m a strong believer in the right tool for the right job.
Read: Waterproof coffee scale
Coffee Scale Vs Kitchen Scale
The great debate or the great battle of Coffee scale vs Kitchen Scale it is really a question of the most accurate scale for the purpose that it is designed for.
As a foreword, this simply does not mean getting the most expensive coffee scale or the most costly kitchen scale.
While this is a coffee website, and there is an obvious bias here, I am open and comfortable with that and stake the whole reputation of this website based on honesty and integrity.
I am totally comfortable with the idea of using kitchen scales to brew coffee. In fact, I encourage the use of them for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money on buying expensive scales for brewing coffee just as long as they are digital scales and have an accuracy of 1/10th of gram, and they understand they won’t have access to any of the advanced features such as a built-in timer, auto off feature and other helpful but the not so essential features like Bluetooth connectivity.
If you are fine with that – a kitchen scale can be a reasonable choice while you are getting started.
Naturally, I have a preference for coffee scales, being a coffee lover, coffee enthusiast and coffee blogger I would. The reason I’d prefer you to use a coffee scale is the degree of precision and accuracy over all in your brewing and the much-needed timer function and auto-off function which are absent from kitchen scales.
Obviously, I am a big fan of using digital coffee scales. If finance and unwilling to part with a lot of money for one of the high-end expensive coffee scales is the issue, I completely understand that.
There are thankfully a range of budget-friendly coffee scales that you can use for any brew method including pour over coffee, French press, drip coffee and espresso.
I’d much rather, you used a coffee scale that you can afford rather than a kitchen scale with limited functionality in regard to coffee brewing.
Having that control over the extraction times is a huge plus point and will help you to make better coffee, this is the crux of the matter and why a specialist scale is better than a generic kitchen scale.
Read: Coffee Weighing Scale
Some Coffee Scales To Consider – Out Top Picks
The following are what we consider to be the top choices.
#1 Timemore Coffee Scale – The Timemore Black Mirror
Weight Range: 0.5 grams to 2 kgs.
Increments: 0.1 grams.
Power Source: USB-C Fully Rechargeable lithium battery.
This coffee scale will help you to brew excellent coffee thanks to their well-thought-out features with coffee brewing in mind. The accuracy of 1/10th of a gram is fine for most brewing methods and the timer function that will aid you in keeping to exact extraction times.
The tare function will allow you to “zero out” after you have placed your brewing equipment on top of it. The auto-off feature will switch off after only 3-min of non-use.
Despite the name black mirror, it now comes in white also. Despite the 1/10th of a gram increments (Vs 1/100th of a gram increments) this is completely fine for this scale as it is not quite designed for espresso shots as it is slightly too big for most espresso machine drip trays.
The 1/10th of a gram increments and accuracy is absolutely perfect for drip coffee, pour over and French press.
The minimalist design is fabulous, and is actually a very eye-catching scale. Be careful where water gets splashed as, even though it is water-resistant, the USB-C charging slot is vulnerable and exposed. Don’t get that area wet!
#2 Hario Coffee Scale – The Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale Best For Pour Over
Weight Range: 0Kg. to 2 kgs.
Increments: 0.1 grams.
Power Source: Size AAA batteries.
This is literally the perfect scale for pour over coffee, and it should come as no surprise at all as the brand, Hario, is associated with quality coffee equipment of all types.
The split display is easily readable and well-designed, with the weight measurement on the right side and the timer on the left side. The Hario V60 Drip coffee scale is not the most stylish of coffee scales as it is pretty plain with only a few color options, which are stainless steel, black and white.
Notably, the auto-off function does not activate while the timer is in use.
#3 Acaia Coffee Scale The Acaia Pearl S – Best Coffee Scale For Espresso
Weight Range: 0.5 grams to 2 Kilos.
Increments: 0.1 grams.
Power Source: USB -C Fully Rechargeable lithium battery.
These coffee scales are much loved in the coffee industry. This coffee scale, the Acaia Pearl S is the scale that is used by elite baristas at championship events. If you see a scale being used at a high-end Artisan coffee shops, it is likely to be this one.
This scale has an accuracy of 0.1 grams, touch sensitive controls and a splash resistant outer case with a silicone heat pad. Like all quality coffee scales, it has a much needed auto-off function. This function can be adjusted in 60 min, 30 min, 20 min, 10 min and 5 min increments.
What is very well thought out is the auto start function. As soon as you start pouring your water, or as soon as the shot of espresso hits your cup, the timer starts.
The Bluetooth connectivity gives you access to a series of apps on your iPhone or Android device. The apps are very handy and will help you to make better coffee, no matter where you are on your coffee journey. The one I like the best is the graph that measures and plots your pour rate.
What Should You Look For In A Coffee Scale?
The first thing that I look for in a coffee scale is accuracy, the second is precision. Obviously, it absolutely has to be digital – reading of the display is much easier. In terms of accuracy, I like to use one that has a 1/100th of a gram increments.
The other must have main feature is a timer. To be able to weigh the coffee, weight my water and get a perfect coffee to water ratio, the next obvious step and benefit is to ensure that I have a perfect brew time.
A tare button is essential as you will be putting your brewing apparatus on your scale. The size of your scale is more important that you might realize – this goes more so when it comes to espresso brewing. Imagine buying a coffee scale to make perfect espresso shots every single time and finding that it does not fit on your drip tray.
Small enough to fit in your pocket and able to fit on your drip tray is a must. You also want the flat area to be large enough for using with other brewing apparatus like a Chemex coffee maker, a pour over coffee maker and French press without fear of it tipping over.
Why Measure Your Coffee By Weight?
Coffee scales and coffee brewing is centered around accuracy, repeatability. It’s like science, create a repeatable process that you can repeat time and time again and achieve the same results.
Measuring a scoop or two scoops of coffee is not an exact measurement. The weight can vary in your scoop based on other variables, like the roast level, the beans themselves, the humidity level and the grind size.
If you measure by weight, 20 grams will always be 20 grams – regardless!
With a defined accuracy like this, you will get absolute precision every single time. This is what will get you unparalleled accuracy in your coffee brewing and the exact same tasting coffee every single time.
There is simply no other way to such accuracy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Scale For Coffee
Can I Use A Kitchen Scale For Coffee?
While it is absolutely possible for you to use a kitchen scale to weigh your coffee grounds, it is important to know that you will not have the same degree of accuracy, and you will be missing important features like an auto-off function, a timer and maybe even a tare button.
Do I Need A Scale To Brew Coffee?
To brew a perfect cup of coffee every single time and create a repeatable process, you will need to use a coffee scale. When you use one, you will be able to get precision measurements of both your coffee and water. The result is a perfect and exact coffee to water ratio every single time.
With the built-in timer feature, you will have precision in your brew time also and ensure perfect extraction every time. To say that you need one is an understatement. With a digital scale, you will have control over two key variables associated with coffee brewing.
Do I Need A Scale For Pour Over Coffee?
it is highly recommended that you use a coffee scale for pour over coffee brewing. I’d go a step further and insist that you need one to make all types of coffee drinks, including French press, drip coffee, siphon coffee and even your espresso shots.
Should I Weigh My Coffee Beans?
the weight of your coffee beans and the ground coffee is exactly the same. If you weigh your coffee beans before you grind them, you will waste less, and your coffee will be slightly fresher as the period between weighing your grounds and brewing them is eliminated.
As soon as your coffee is ground, you accelerate the process of degradation as you increase the surface area and their exposure to oxygen.
Are Coffee Scales Worth It?
Yes, a coffee scale is absolutely worth it as it helps you brew better coffee through greater accuracy in measurement. What you can measure, can help you to create a repeatable process which will help you to predictably perfect coffee every single time.
Digital scale for coffee brewing is more than worth it; it’s an investment in great coffee!
Is A Coffee Scale The Same As Food Scale?
No, coffee scales and food scales are different. Food scales give a 1 gram or 0.1 gram accuracy whereas coffee scales, particularly the better ones, have an accuracy of 0.01 gram.
They also come with additional features like being waterproof, and having a timer for timing your extraction.
What Is The Difference Between A Coffee Scale And A Regular Scale?
In a single word, the difference between a coffee scale and a regular scale is accuracy. Of course there are more differences including timers and being waterproof.
Why Do Baristas Weight Coffee?
Baristas weigh coffee as each brewing method has a specific coffee to water ratio and the amount of coffee use must be calculated, as must the amount of hot water to be used. It is important for a barista, particularly a master barista, to stick to given recipes and techniques, especially the coffee to water ratio.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Kitchen Scale For Coffee
When you are using a kitchen scale for coffee brewing, you will likely lack a degree of accuracy and most certainly you will be missing the key features that make a big difference – a timer and the auto off function.
Use the right tool for the right job and you will get better results.
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