Do you need a coffee scale to brew coffee?

By March 26, 2021

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Drinking coffee every single day, you may have never thought about using a coffee scale to weigh your beans and water. Is it really worth it? Absolutely yes. Scale is just the key to tastier and more balanced coffee. Here’s why.


Coffees bought from cafe taste better, and one of the reasons is that they use a coffee scale to ensure a perfect coffee to water ratio. For many people, the easier way may be “eyeballing” or using scoops, however, this volumetric method can be very unreliable. Generally, smaller coffee beans have fewer air pockets, while bigger ones have more air in between, which means that a tablespoon of bigger coffee beans takes less coffee in weight. As a result, the coffee you brew may taste bitter because it is over-extracted or under-extracted. On the contrary, if you use a scale, you can have better control over the ratio, thus making a more balanced coffee.


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Another reason why we recommend you to use a coffee scale is it can help you avoid waste on coffee beans. According to the experiences of many coffee lovers, people who use scoops tend to consume coffee beans much more quickly than those who like to use coffee scale. In other words, normal people only drink 15 cups of coffee, while you can have 18 cups with the help of a scale.

The coffee scale not only ensures you have a perfect coffee consistently, but it also allows you to experiment with the coffee-to-water ratio on your own. Based on several try-outs, you may find that 1: 2 ratio is the best for certain coffee beans, as it can mellow the body and highlight subtle notes to the maximum. For other beans, however, you may find it more delicious at a 1: 1 ratio. Whichever the ratio is, you will take more control over the coffee you brew.


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People tossing scoops of coffee beans into the grinder each time is going to run out of stock a lot quicker than those using a scale. Here’s an example. A friend of mine told me he typically uses a couple of scoops of beans for each cup, while I generally use 20g. We both started with 12 ounces of beans. The result? He had 20 cups, while I had 28. The difference is big, isn’t it?

How to select a coffee scale

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Choosing a scale for coffee brewing is easy, but it would be better if doing a bit of a search ahead of time. Here are some features that you can look for:

  • Measurements in grams and ounces
  • 1,000-2,000 gram capacity
  • Rapid response time
  • Measuring platform large enough for a French press or large mug

If you are still not sure which one to choose, I suggest you take a look at Jennings CJ4000, which is the most recommended scale for coffee enthusiasts. It can measure in 0.5g increments, while the others in the similar price category can only measure in 1g increments. Other frequently recommended scales include Acaia Pearl, Hario Scale, the American Weight Scale.

Just enjoy brewing!



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