So, you want to know where to buy a digital scale that you can use for weighing your coffee. Naturally I’ll point you in the right direction to where you can get your hands on one and what to look for in a digital scale and why you really should use one.
Importantly, I’ll also talk about how to weight your coffee and how accurate you need your scales to be and why you need accurate measurement and an accurate reading on your digital food scale.
What Is A Digital Scale?
A digital scale is a tool that you will often see used by chefs to weigh ingredients. Digital scales give you a more precise and accurate measurement than old-fashioned balance scales. They are quicker to use and read due to the backlit LCD display or eight segment digital display.
A highly accurate digital scale for weighing your coffee with exact precise measurements and a highly accurate reading a digital gram scale can be used. These gram scales are often called mass scales as they can measure to an accuracy of 0.01 (1/100th) of a gram.
This is far more accurate than, and better than digital kitchen scales, and can fit in your pocket.
Now let’s get to the beef of this article, where to buy a digital scale before detailing the best way to use a digital scale and how accurate your scales should be and a lot more.
Read: How much is a gram scale
Where To Buy A Digital Scale For Weighing Coffee Online
There are a number of places where you can buy a digital scale both online and offline. Personally, I have a strong preference to buying online when searching for a product as I can get a good indication of how good it is by reading the verified customer reviews and how well they are rated.
Reading these you get a great idea of the product functionality and any nuances.
You can buy a digital coffee scale online from Amazon, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Target, eBay, Alibaba, OXO, Home Depot, Wayfair and many more outlets.
You can also buy them offline at some of the stores mentioned.
Read: What is a coffee scale used for?
Why Use A Digital Scale When Brewing Coffee?
In a single word, consistency. To consistently get the same quality and predictability every single time you make your morning cuppa Joe.
Making coffee is somewhat of a mix, a blend of art and science. Each different brewing method that you use requires its own coffee to water ratio.
A Ristretto, a strong full-bodied espresso, needs a 1:1 ratio, while a regular espresso is around 1:1.5 to 1:2. A coffee percolator or coffee urn needs a 1:12 ratio, while a lot of drip coffee machines and other brewing methods need that coffee to water ratio to be 1:15.
These various ratios are used to get the perfect brew. Yes, at first it will look and feel a bit strange to you weighing your water in grams and also weighing the exact amount of coffee to be used.
Using “guestimates” can be done to a degree but will never get you the accuracy or consistency that you get when using a digital scale for coffee.
different roasts and different coffee beans have a different density. A fine example is a tablespoon of light roast weighs 7 grams while a tablespoon of a dark roast will weigh 5 grams. Mass is not the same as volume and cannot be compared.
It really is a matter of being consistent, using accurate scales with precise measurements to get that predictable end result every single time.
Here at Latte Love Brew we drill it into our readers that what can be measured can be controlled.
How Do You Weigh Coffee? What Is The Best Way To Use A Digital Coffee Scale?
There is no particular “best way” of using a digital coffee scale and there is nothing at all complicated about using them.
Calibrating Your Scales
Upon your very first use tare or zero out the digital scale and use the calibration weights and test a few of the weights and calibrate to from 0 to 300 grams in one gram increments by running several tests at each weight and recording the results.
For greater precision, calibrate in 100 milligram increments from 0 to 100 grams. This is a very tedious task. Thankfully, it is only required once every year. I like my staff at my coffee shops in Vietnam and Cambodia to calibrate the scales every 6 months.
Once your scale has been calibrated, run a quick test by weighing an object of a known weight, for example, your 20 gram calibration weight and test your scales.
Once your machine is calibrated and tested, tare and zero your scales and weigh the amount of coffee that you need. Let’s assume you are making percolator coffee at a 1:12 ratio and 360ml (12 ounce) cup size.
Water density and mass is 1gram per ml, so it weighs 360 grams of water. Once you have your water ready, weigh 30 grams and put them in your percolator and brew your coffee. And then brew your coffee. If your coffee tastes great, you can trust your scales.
What To Look For In A Digital Coffee Scale? How To Choose The Best Digital Coffee Scale
The first thing and main feature that you should focus on is that the scale has a digital display. Ideally, a backlit display or backlit LCD display for easy viewing
Advantageous but not essential is an angled display or the ability to set it at an angle or a pull-out display. The reason is for ease of reading while measuring your coffee and water. My own preference is for a backlit display that lights up automatically when weighing.
The next thing to look for is your coffee scales to be battery powered. Using regular batteries is up to you. I have a preference for a rechargeable battery not for prolonged battery life but for convenience as I use my scales a lot.
What you prefer is up to you as a home barista; it is not going to make much of a difference. If you are a professional barista and like to use your own trusted scales, then an installed rechargeable battery is advantageous.
Running on battery power gives you that mobility of being able to use them anywhere and not need to seek out a power outlet to plug them in to.
Accuracy is something that you are looking for as well. Accuracy and precision are important. I don’t subscribe to the need for double-digit accuracy, that to 1/100th of a gram. A single digit or 1/10th of a gram accuracy and precision is all that is needed for measuring your coffee and water.
There is not going to be so much of a difference in taste measuring in 10 milligram (0.01 grams) increments Vs 100 milligram increments (0.1 gram).
Size matters. You are measuring coffee, usually in small quantities, typically from 10 grams to 30 grams at a time or multiples of 30 grams per cup for percolated coffee. Water you will be weighing in a glass or cup that does not take up much space.
Small scales with a flat surface are better. When you are making coffee for a crowd or a party of people, digital kitchen scales are what is best. At a party, you will be weighing coffee by the pound (454 grams) or kilo (2.2 pounds) depending on the size of the party (30 cup to 70 cup coffee urn size).
A tare button is important to reset the scale to zero. It is something that your digital scale should have.
Finally, an automatic shut off is needed to not drain your battery and save your battery should you forget to switch it off.
How Accurate Should Your Coffee Scales Be?
It is suggested by a number of other specialist coffee blogs and websites, of which I fully respect their opinion that double-digit accuracy to the 100th of a gram is how accurate your scales should be.
A 10th of a gram is accurate enough. Your scale should be able to sense 0.1 gram increments. Some coffee scales measure only 1 gram or 0.5 gram increments. This is not accurate enough, as if you are making coffee that requires only 10 grams, then your measurement can be between 5% to 10% out, which will result in a different tasting brew.
Can You Use A Food Scale To Weigh Coffee?
Yes you can. As long as they can measure accurately, any type of scale will do, be they kitchen scales, glass scales, or a mechanical scale. A digital coffee scale is better as they are more specialized and specific for baristas.
As long as they are lightweight, portable, accurate and get the job done, will do.
Why Are Scales So Expensive?
In my opinion, scales are not expensive.
You can get your hands on a good quality digital coffee scale without breaking the bank. You can get really good ones for less than US$30 and decent ones for less than US$20.
Do I Need An Expensive Coffee Scale?
No, not at all.
Only spend as much as you are comfortable with. If you want to spend US$60 or US$80 or more on the latest and greatest coffee scales, then go for it. If you don’t want to, US$15 to US$20 is enough.
Frequently Asked Questions About Where To Buy A Digital Scale
What Is A Good Brand For A Digital Scale?
There are a few excellent digital scales that are purposely designed for baristas here are the best ones:
- Acaia Lunar Digital Coffee Scale.
- Balanza Hario V60.
- Timemore Black Mirror Plus.
These are all highly accurate, top quality and perfect for the home and professional barista.
Are Cheap Digital Scales Accurate?
Yes, all digital scales have a reasonable degree of accuracy no matter how much they cost or what brand they are. The reduced price, the cheaper ones for baristas lack certain features like measuring brew time and recording data.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Digital Scale?
There are a few key things to look for in a quality digital scale for brewing coffee, there are:
- Simplicity of use.
- Capacity and readability of the scales.
- Features. Do they have any special features like the ability to record brew time? Definitely something I look for in a coffee scale.
How Can I Tell If My Scale Is Accurate?
You can check if your digital scales are accurate by testing it against your calibration kit which comes with your digital scale. Basically you are checking the weight of a known object.
If you have lost your calibration kit, you will need to buy a replacement set. Look for a gram scale calibration kit on Amazon, target, Walmart or eBay.
While you are waiting, you test against known weights like a metal paper clip (1 gram), a nickel 5 grams.
Do Scales Lose Accuracy Over Time?
Yes, over a period of time your scales can lose their accuracy which is due to simple wear and tear. This is the reason why you need to recalibrate your scales every 6 months or so.
Why Do Digital Scales Give Different Readings?
The reason why some digital scales and analogue scales can give different readings is due to the object that you are measuring is off center. Center the object on both scales and measure. If the reading is different, it is likely that one of the two needs to be recalibrated.
Frappé-ing It All Up – Where To Buy A Digital Scale
There is no need for you to wonder where to buy a digital scale anymore, as you know where you can get one both online and offline. All the usual outlets, from Best Buy to Walmart, from Amazon to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Make sure you get a digital coffee scale that exactly fits your needs and meets your requirements.
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