How do you measure the coffee or the water for your pour-over or French press? Do you eyeball until the quantity feels 'right'?
Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is an art, and like every art, it requires skill in ensuring high precision and consistency down to the gram and water ratio.
Investing in a quality digital coffee scale eliminates guessing and eyeballing. Moreover, it improves precision, which measuring cups can't offer consistently.
Even the cheapest coffee scale can offer much-needed:
If you're yet to integrate a coffee scale into your pour over, espresso, or drip coffee routine, or are due for a coffee gear upgrade, we're here to give you a detailed review of the best coffee scales on the market.
These digital kitchen scales aren't only suitable for coffee lovers wanting to take their brewing to the next level, but they're also fit for home cooks or professional bakers.
The Best Coffee Scale Overall: Escali Primo
Of all the food scales we tested, the Escali Primo Digital Scale is our top digital kitchen scale pick.
The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s metallic, which ensures it's durability.
The scale has a size of 8.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches and a weight of 0.7 pounds. Its lightweight and small size make it highly portable, thus easy to store and retrieve.
It has one of the highest accuracy levels, and we managed to get accurate coffee increments of 0.05 ounces (or 1 gram) with it. Other cheaper coffee scales we tested had difficulty reading weights of less than 1 gram.
The scale has an 11-pound capacity. Hence, you’ll easily weigh heavy bags of coffee up to 5kgs.
This model takes 4 minutes and 13 seconds to shut down after immediate use, making it the second-longest duration before the automatic-off that we recorded.
Most of the other scales we tested averaged approximately two minutes before they shut down.
The Escali has a minimalistic design. It’s operated using only two easy-to-use buttons. The first button switches between ounces, grams, and pounds and ounces (oz, g, lb: oz).
The second button is the tare button that also switches the scale on and off.
For easy cleanup, the buttons and the LED display are sealed to prevent spilling contents from entering their crevices.
This scale runs on 2 AA batteries and has rubber feet to stop it from sliding over the counter.
The price ranges between $25 and $40.
OXO Stainless Steel Digital Scale
As its name suggests, the OXO Digital Scale is made from smudge-resistant stainless steel.
Although it’s almost twice the price of the Escali Primo scale, it comes with extra perks.
It has a backlit digital display too., which means that even in poor lighting, you can easily read the measurements.
There’s a pull-out display feature, which comes in handy when weighing heavy or oversized ingredients since you don’t have to bend over to see the readings.
Like the Escali scale, it has a maximum weight capacity of 11 pounds; thus you won’t need to use another scale to weigh heavy items of 5kgs or less.
It reads the weight in ounces, grams, pounds, and ounces, and also kilograms and grams.
The OXO Stainless Steel Scale has the longest duration before automatic-off at 30 minutes. However, after 6 minutes without use, it goes into sleep mode.
The stainless steel platform is removable, meaning it’s easier to clean.
The only disadvantages are that the stainless steel food scale is quite heavy at 2 pounds, and it may take up to three seconds to display the weight reading. This affects its ease of storage and also may test your patience respectively.
It runs on 4 AAA batteries, and its price ranges between $49 and $60.
American Weigh Scales LB-300 Compact Digital Kitchen Scale
For java lovers who value high precision when coffee brewing, this is the best kitchen scale.
The American Weigh Scales LB-300 is a pocket scale with a maximum capacity of 6.6 pounds.
It measures in pounds, ounces, grams, troy ounces, and also pennyweights.
Since the best coffee is made using a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water, you’ll need a scale that can also read in milligrams.
This food scale can get an accurate reading in grams and milligrams in decimal format. For example, instead of rounding milligrams to whole grams, it’ll display 11.3 grams instead of 11 grams.
This high accuracy comes in handy while you’re making the pour-over coffee, and you don’t want to end up with either watery or bitter coffee.
This kitchen scale has an automatic shutdown of two minutes, and its backlit display ensures visibility in dim light.
It’s also the only one in our top picks that comes with a mixing bowl and a protective cover.
There are four operating buttons: Tare/Print, Cal/Mode, On, and Off. The Cal/Mode button calibrates the units of measurement while the Tare/Print is for the tare function.
There’s a removable platform, and the buttons are membraned, making it easier to clean after spilling water and coffee on it.
Finally, it has four rubber feet that ensure no sliding on and off the counter while in use, and it’s powered by 4 AA batteries.
Its price starts at $27.
My Weigh KD8000 Scale
When it comes to digital food scales with advanced features, the My Weigh KD8000 Digital Food Scale takes the lead.
Among all the scales we tested, it registered the highest maximum capacity at 17 pounds and 6 ounces. Also, it’s larger than all the other scales in our favorite list.
It reads in increments of 0.05 ounces or 1 gram.
While the other scales don’t give you the option to turn off the automatic-off function, this digital food scale enables you to disable the feature. Also, it offers different automatic-off times. There are two minutes, five minutes, and indefinitely.
Compared to other scales, it has the highest weight-reading speed of less than 1 second. The readings are displayed in a large backlit display that’s easy to read from afar or in dim light. Also, the elevated weighing platform enhances visibility.
The My Weigh KD8000 Scale has a removable stainless steel platform and laminated buttons that make cleaning easier.
There are four rubber feet to keep the digital kitchen scale in place. Also, it runs on three AA batteries, but an AC Adapter can also be used.
Its price starts from $50.
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
The Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale is the most budget-friendly kitchen scale we tested with high accuracy.
It measures in increments of 0.05 ounces or 1 gram.
This model has a capacity of 11 pounds which allows you to measure ingredients of up to 5 kilograms.
Although it doesn’t have a backlit display, it has an elevated platform that enables you to read the weights easily.
Unlike our top-pick scale Escali, it has a shorter duration before it automatically shuts off, which kicks in at approximately 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
It also has a minimalistic design with only two buttons. The first button tares the weight of the container and gives only the weight of its contents. It also switches the scale on and off.
The second button is for switching between the units of measurements.
It's smaller than the Escali scale and takes more time to read weights at 2 seconds.
This scale runs on 2 AA batteries, but four batteries are included in its packaging.
The price ranges between $11 and $27.
Kitchen Scale vs. Coffee Scale
The main difference between a kitchen scale and a coffee scale is that the best coffee scales are waterproofed while kitchen scales are not. Coffee scales expect to have water splashed on them while not all kitchen scales do.
Many regular kitchen scales start measuring at 1 or 5 grams; so achieving true accuracy with weight may be difficult with a standard kitchen scale.
So this naturally begs the question ...
Can I Use a Food Scale for Coffee?
For espresso, no. Kitchen scales simply aren't good enough.
Being able to set the scale under the machine to weigh in real-time as it pulls, plus accuracy to .1 of a gram is super important (most kitchen scales are simply too big to fit under an espresso machine).
One of the largest issues you may find with a kitchen scale is it will not stay on long enough for you to brew your pour over completely.
During our scale review testing, if I wasn't careful, it would shut off in the middle of my brew leaving me to wonder where I stopped and started.
Heat sensitivity may also cause havoc with a standard kitchen scale's sensor and, over time, will likely need to be replaced. One option is to use a mouse pad to protect the sensor from the heat of your coffee maker but it is likely this will negatively impact the accuracy of your weight.
Bottom line, the scale doesn't need to be designed only for coffee but you should make sure it has specific coffee brewing features:
- ability to measure rapid weight change by gram
- not turning off in the middle of your pour over
A lot of kitchen scales can't do all of these things, and it might not be clear even from the product description. As a result, I would say it is safer to get something designed for coffee.
Is a Coffee Scale Worth It?
Personally, I would prioritize other equipment, specifically a grinder and kettle in that order. If you could add a better grinder or kettle to your kit, save your money on the scale and invest in these instead.
Already have a great grinder AND a great kettle?
Spend a bit more on your scale. It is arguably the best value for the money of any piece of coffee equipment and will make your brewing so much easier.
Brewing with a scale means you can follow a recipe, and you can tweak it according to your preferred taste. For example, you can easily and accurately make it 17:1 instead of 16:1, and when making coffee by feel without a scale, your ratio can probably vary anywhere between 15:1 to 20:1 leading to noticeable differences in consistency.
Level up your brewing ritual to include a good digital coffee scale and it will be very noticeable how much more consistent your cups are!
What should I look for in a coffee scale?
Rechargeable battery: Finding a rechargeable coffee scale is important and another reason, price aside, I love the Acaia.
There have been so many mornings I’ve gotten up to find mine with dead batteries and been relieved to just be able to plug in a usb cable.
Timer: While an integrated timer is convenient, in the age of smartphones and watches, I wouldn't list a timer as a requirement. Whatever the source of your timer, it is highly recommended you have one.
Waterproofing: Lack of waterproofing is kryptonite for cheaper scales and many a standard kitchen scale. After spending $15-$20 on multiple ruined scales, the cost of a Brewista Smart Scale or a Timemore Black Mirror might seem more reasonable.
Tare Button: Last but not least, while a tare button is standard on nearly every scale, making sure it stands alone can be a useful when brewing coffee.
While I love the simplistic design, the Timemore coffee scale tares with the same button as the power on/off which can result in an inadvertent powering down.
Do I Need a Scale for Pour Over Coffee?
With some pour overs the weight is more important for measuring water than measuring beans.
For example, with a V60 the flavor profile can change dramatically with how many pours you do and how much water each time.
Most recipes use weight of the water to weight of the coffee ground as a way to measure the pours and resulting flow rate. At the same time, other brewers are less sensitive and it matters less.
How Can I Measure Coffee Without a Scale?
Whether it is cold brew or an espresso machine, everything in coffee brewing is about consistency and good coffee scales will provide that.
Any coffee lover will tell you, if you are trying to replicate that same great cup of coffee over and over, without weighing the beans this becomes impossible as does being able to tweak the dose to your liking and really know what you've adjusted.
To that end, some make the argument that the scale is the most important single piece of equipment on a coffee bar!
Still not convinced?
You could use a measuring spoon or small cup for the ground coffee and a fluid measuring cup for the water.
The big problem with using a scoop or some other non weight measuring device is that coffee beans are all different sizes and weights. So a scoop of coffee on Monday is not likely to weigh the same as the same scoop of coffee on Tuesday or Wednesday. A scale removes all of this guesswork.
If you truly want to remain minimalist in your brewing method, just make sure that you always use the exact same measuring vessels, and that way at least the relative ratios of this to that will be in balance, even if the gross amounts per se are off slightly.
It is well known that each brand of measuring cup holds different amounts of matter. If you can stick with your favorite cup or bowl or spoon rigorously, you can at least guarantee good comparative data across bean types, grind weights, etc.
My take? Dose is a massive variable, and you can’t dose grounds consistently or accurately without a scale.
Ready to Take Coffee Brewing to the Next Level with a Coffee Scale?
Whether you fancy espresso first thing in the morning or enjoy tweaking Hoffman's pour over coffee recipe, having the best digital coffee scale is the first step to enhancing your coffee brewing experience and ensuring a consistent, accurate measurement every time.
But without high-quality coffee beans, the experience will, unfortunately, remain mediocre.
That's why we, Nomad Coffee Club , provide you with high-quality, organic, and freshly roasted coffee beans to ensure you enjoy a great pour over coffee brew every time.
We offer different coffee subscriptions ...
... as well as flavorful espresso roast options to put that new espresso scale to good use.
Subscribe here to join our fast-growing club of coffee lovers. There's free shipping on all orders made in the United States.