Acaia Scale Review

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Acaia has become a household name in the specialty coffee community. They were first launched in 2013 and quickly became the benchmark by which all other coffee scales were measured. And it’s no wonder! They are beautifully designed, extremely precise, and have Bluetooth capabilities. While an Acacia Scale involves a significant investment, it is indisputably the best coffee scale on the market for coffee enthusiasts.

In this article, we will weigh the different models of Acaia coffee scales: Acaia Pearl, Acaia Pearl S, or the Acaia Lunar scale? We cover their differences and the features they offer to help you work out which would be best for you. As a side note, the Acaia scales have all been updated in the past year and while the original models are still available we think it is worth investing in the updated version.

About Acaia

The Acaia Pearl model was the Original coffee scale that was first launched as a Kickstarter project in 2013- and it’s safe to say it was a success. It went on to win the best product at the SCAA Expo in 2014. Acaia redefined what we should come to expect from a coffee scale. Precision? Tick. Fast response time? Tick. Bluetooth compatibility? Tick. Acaia sought to meld beautiful design with high-end technology and succeeded. In addition to their coffee scales, Acaia has collaborated with different companies to include their weight-based technology in various grinders and espresso machines.

Acaia Scale Review


Design

The first commendation for the Acaia Scales is their beautiful design. Almost Apple-esk in their appearance, they have an understated elegance. The design is minimalistic and sleek. All the different models are available in either a white or black color (and in some cases silver). The scales are composed of high-quality materials, and each scale is hand-built and calibrated. This results in a durable coffee scale that will stand the test of time. 

The Acaia Lunar, which specializes in espresso, is also water-resistant; all the electronic components are coated with a water-resistant spray. Each coffee scale comes with a rubber heat pad to hold a brewer, cup, or portafilter and a USB cable for charging. The lunar coffee scale also comes with a calibration weight.

Acaia Lunar Accessories

Precision

When it comes to investing in a coffee scale, precision is the most crucial factor. The Acacia scales are renowned for their commercial-grade precision. In fact, the designers boast that the scales can even detect weight loss due to evaporation! The scales go up in 0.1g increments and have an incredible 20 millisecond response time

Size

The size is one of the key differences between the Acaia Pearl model and the Acaia Lunar. The Acaia Pearl coffee scale is aimed at manual coffee brewing, so the scales are larger, measuring 160mm x 160mm x 32mm. This larger size allows you to easily sit a Chemex or v60 on the scales and still read the screen. The Acaia Lunar scale specializes in espresso, so it is substantially smaller measuring only 105mm x 105mm x 15mm. This small size means the coffee scale can easily fit on an espresso machine drip tray. Which one you opt for will primarily be driven by what coffee brewing style you intend to use it for.

Acaia Lunar under espresso machine

Features

The Acaia Scales are smart scales, so they do a lot more than just display weight. And this is really one of the main reasons you would decide to take the plunge and invest in one. The features on offer vary depending on which model you opt for. But all the scales are equipped with a built-in timer, automatic tare and starting functions, and a real-time flow rate indicator. When paired with an app, you can use pre-programmed modes, get real-time data, and even control the coffee scale from your smartphone. There are several apps available for both IOS and Android.

Acaia Apps

Brewguide: This app is for the Acaia Pearl S only. As the name would suggest, this app allows you to find, create, and share brew guides with other users worldwide. You can also download recipes to your Acaia Pearl S and the coffee scale will walk you through the steps to replicate it.

Brewmaster: This app connects to all the different Acaia scale models. This is the primary app you use to log all your brewing data. It records your brewing process, giving you real-time flow rate charts, showing things like pouring speed, a flow rate indicator, extraction rate, weight, and time. You are also able to add notes as you brew coffee, helping you perfect your recipes.

Brewbar: This app is only available on IOS and is compatible with the original Acaia Pearl or Lunar scale. It allows you to sync multiple scales and duplicate a recipe. This app is helpful in a commercial environment.

Acacia Coffee: This app is available for all the Acaia models and is more of a coffee community than a brewing tool. You can connect with other coffee enthusiasts and share and review different coffee beans and brewing processes. It also allows you to keep track of the coffees you have tried. 

Acaia Updater: Finally, there is an updater app for the Acaia scales. This keeps you on top of the latest firmware and updates for your coffee scale.

Brewbar app for Acaia Scales

Which Acaia Model To Choose?

As we mentioned above, several different coffee scale models are available, so now we will weigh up the various options to see what they offer. 

Acaia Pearl

Acaia Pearl 2021

Weight: 500g | Dimensions: 160mm x 160mm x 32mm | Maximum Capacity: 2000g | Minimum Weight: 0.1g | Battery life: 30-40 hours | Warranty: 1 year

The Acaia Pearl was the original coffee scale, it has all the classic features but was updated in 2021 with the latest technology. It is really ‘THE’ coffee scale to get for manual brewing methods. It features the beautiful design and commercial-grade precision that defines Acacia scales. It has also been updated with a rechargeable lithium battery that lasts for 30-40 hours. There is also now a battery indicator on the scale that flashes when the power is running low. 

Perhaps the best addition to the Acaia Pearl is a real-time flow rate indicator on the top of the LED display. This is a series of dots on the top of the display that teaches you to control your pouring in real-time. This is a super helpful tool if you are just starting to help you improve your pouring technique. 

Other updates include faster and more responsive weighing technology and a brighter display making it easy to read.

The Acaia Pearl coffee scale offers the following modes for use:

  • Weighing Mode- The scale displays weight only in either grams or ounces.
  • Dual Display Mode- The scale displays weight on the right and a timer on the left.
  • Pour Over Auto-Start Timer Mode- The scale automatically starts the timer when it detects the first drops of liquid and stops it once you remove the equipment from the scale.
  • Portafilter Mode- The scale automatically detects the portafilter and tares the weight, allowing you to remove it for up to 15 seconds to add the ground coffee. When you place it back on the scale, it displays the weight of the coffee grounds.
  • Beverage Mode- The scale measures the coffee-to-beverage ratio. It shows you the total brewing time, the amount of water added, the final weight of the beverage, and then the coffee-to-beverage ratio at the end of the brew.

The Acaia Pearl is equipped with a real-time flow rate indicator located at the top of the display. This feature allows you to visually gauge your pouring speed and suggests ideal flow rates. The flow rate indicator can be activated in the Dual Display Mode, Pour Over Auto-Start Timer Mode, and Beverage Modes.

The Acaia Pearl 2021 is an excellent coffee scale that is designed for manual coffee brewing methods. The different modes make it ideal for both home and commercial setups.

Acaia Pearl S

Acaia Pearl S

Weight: 620g | Dimensions: 160mm x 160mm x 32mm | Maximum Capacity: 3000g | Minimum Weight: 0.1g | Battery life: 16-40 hours | Warranty: 1 year

The Acaia Pearl S looks identical to the Acaia Pearl from the outside and shares the same design, precision, and speed. However, it has a few extra features that put it a step above the Acaia Pearl. To start with, the Acaia Pearl S has a sturdier build, so it has a larger maximum capacity of 3000g. It also has a fancier dot matrix LED screen allowing it to display words, which is necessary for one of its key features- the Brewguide.

With the Brewguide mode, the Acaia Pearl S lets you download recipes for step-by-step guides to brewing coffee. With the app, you can scan the QR codes of your coffee beans to get recipes and guides directly from the roaster. The Acaia Pearl S 2022 model also has the added feature of voice and sound notifications and a countdown notification that plays a tune when your coffee is ready.

In addition to the weighing, dual display, pour-over auto-start, and portafilter modes that the Acacia Pearl has, the Acaia Pearl S coffee scale has a few extras:

  • Espresso Mode– The scale automatically detects when a vessel has been placed on it and automatically tares. When the espresso starts to flow into the vessel, the scale starts the timer and then stops automatically once the flow stops. This mode isn’t all that helpful as the Acaia Pearl is too big to fit on the drip tray of most espresso machines.
  • Flowrate Mode- The scale has a flow rate indicator designed to aid with brewing pour-over. The scale displays the weight, time, and flow rate (measured in grams or ounces per second) in this mode.
  • Flowrate Practice Mode- This mode helps teach pouring techniques. It displays the current flow rate in g/s on the left and a flow rate indicator on the right.

The Acaia Pearl S is a great all-rounder coffee scale that is incredibly useful for beginners learning pour-over techniques or following recipes. It also can be used for espresso as well. However, it is worth mentioning that some of the distinctiveness of the S model has been made redundant through the 2021 Acaia Pearl upgrade. 

Acaia Lunar

Acaia Lunar 2021

Weight: 265g | Dimensions: 105mm x 105mm x 15mm | Maximum Capacity: 2000g | Minimum Weight: 0.1g | Battery life: 30-40 hours | Warranty: 2 years

The Acaia Lunar scale has been built with espresso-making in mind. Given this, it is a much smaller coffee scale, allowing it to fit easily onto a drip tray. The scale has a more durable build- made of anodized aluminum, and all the electronic parts and the LED screen have a water-resistant coating. 

The incredible precision and ultra-fast response times make it an excellent espresso scale for professional and home baristas. 

The Acaia Lunar 2021 has several updates from the original Lunar scale including a real-time flow rate indicator to achieve the perfect extraction. It also has a helpful tare-save feature that saves the weight of your preferred dosing vessel. It has the weighing and dual display modes that the Acaia Pearl scales share, and then several modes aimed at brewing espresso:

  • Timer starts with flow mode- the coffee scale automatically measures the time a shot takes from the first drops of espresso in the cup until the flow stops.
  • Auto-tare, timer starts with flow mode- similar to the mode above, but with an added auto-tare step.
  • Auto-tare, auto-start timer mode- this is a helpful model for baristas wanting to measure the time of the total shot (including pre-infusion). The coffee scale auto-tares once a vessel is placed on it, and then starts the timer.
  • Auto-tare mode- This mode simply auto-tares the scales; there is no timer. 

As you can see, the Acaia Lunar 2021 has really been designed around espresso, from the build to the modes. While you can use the Lunar for manual coffee brewing, the small size makes it difficult to read the display. You can buy a magnetic weighing plate that fits on top, allowing more room for things like weighing a portafilter.

We have owned the Acaia Lunar for a while now and have found that it is an excellent tool for pulling espresso shots. The scale is fast, accurate, and easy to read. However, we have found we don’t use or need most of the modes and the flow rate indicator isn’t all that helpful for espresso.

So which coffee scale do you opt for? Well, it depends on what coffee brewing method you are intending to use it for. If espresso is your main game, you can’t go past the Acaia Lunar. The small footprint, durable build, and espresso modes are perfectly suited to pair with your espresso machine. Or, if pour-over is your thing, then the Acaia Pearl is an excellent choice. The larger size, pour-over modes, and real-time flow rate indicator make it the best pour-over coffee scale on the market to date. 

Who Is An Acaia Scale For?

Acaia leads the market in terms of design, accuracy, and features. Their scales are for the professional or serious home barista. Acaia has redefined what a coffee scale is and can do- a coffee scale is no longer just a tool for weighing. Paired with the app, it is the perfect teaching tool to analyze and perfect your coffee brewing. However, if you don’t intend to use the app, it may not be worth paying the premium for the ‘smart’ capabilities. There is a stack of more affordable coffee scales that can still work well for coffee brewing. See our guide to the best coffee scales for some other alternatives.

Acaia Pearl Scale used to brew pour over

Acaia Coffee Scale- The Verdict

An Acaia Scale is not just a weighing device but has become a statement piece in the specialty coffee world- that you are serious about coffee. An Acaia coffee scale offers precision, ultra-fast response times, and a stack of impressive features. If you invest in the Acaia Lunar or Acaia Pearl, you will never feel the need to upgrade from it.

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