A coffee scale is one of the most valuable yet overlooked tools in a coffee kit. It is the point of difference between precision and luck of the draw; between development and stagnation in your coffee brewing journey.
And the reason for this is that an accurate scale gives you control and consistency. A coffee scale allows you to measure your coffee beans and water with accuracy, ensuring consistency in each brew. It also allows you to replicate a delicious coffee and remedy a poor coffee.
In this article, we’ll explore the key features the best coffee scales should have and recommend the best digital coffee scales for the home brewer in 2023.
Acaia Pearl- Best Overall
If you simply want our recommendation, then the single best coffee scale on the market is the stylish Acaia Pearl. While it doesn’t come cheap, this scale is the gold standard for the specialty coffee industry. It is an incredibly accurate scale specifically made for coffee enthusiasts with a stack of impressive features and Bluetooth capability.
Why Do You Need A Coffee Scale?
A coffee scale is an indispensable tool for achieving precision and consistency in your coffee brewing. A reliable scale allows you to experiment with your brew ratio down to one-tenth of a gram or less and so find the perfect coffee recipe for your palate. And just as significantly, a reliable digital coffee scale ensures you have complete control over the various parameters, so you can replicate a fantastic coffee day after day.
Now maybe you find yourself thinking, ‘But I measure my coffee grounds or coffee beans out with a coffee scoop already, isn’t that good enough?’ The short answer is no; it’s not good enough. And the reason is that a scoop or a spoon is never wholly accurate or consistent. While eyeballing can put you in a similar ballpark every time, it can never ensure perfect uniformity.
Furthermore, the volume and weight of coffee beans change depending on the type of bean and whether it is light, medium, or dark roasted. So a level tablespoon of coffee beans one day may be a significantly different weight from another day, which will affect both the taste and extraction.
For both manual and espresso brewing styles, the brew ratio of coffee to water directly impacts the extraction time and subsequent taste. While you may be able to get away without one for espresso, to brew pour-over coffee, an accurate scale is an absolute necessity.
And as if there weren’t enough reasons already, just go and ask your local barista. Good coffee shops are a case in point that good coffee scales are part of the road to consistently good coffee.
Best Coffee Scale
Below we have compiled our top ten picks for the best coffee scale. We have split the list into scales optimized for manual brewing and then espresso, with the Timemore Black Mirror being the exception- working for both brewing methods. We have included general-purpose and coffee-specific scales so you can find the best digital coffee scale for your needs and within your budget.
Acaia Pearl- Best Overall
The Acaia Scales are the gold standard when it comes to coffee scales. Their range of scales are renowned for commercial-grade accuracy combined with elegance and a bucket load of high-end features. In every way, they are THE coffee scales for commercial settings or for those highly invested in coffee.
The Acaia Pearl is the original scale in the lineup, designed for manual brewing. It has recently been updated with the latest weighing technology to make it even faster and more responsive. It is one of the most accurate coffee scales on this list, registering to a tenth of a gram instantly, with a 20 ms response time. The designers boast that the scales are so accurate they can even detect evaporation!
However, what the Acaia scale range is perhaps most well-known for are its apps and Bluetooth compatibility. These apps allow the user to save coffee recipes, use pre-programmed modes, and even control the scale from their smartphone (available in both Android and iOS)!
The Acaia Pearl is specifically designed for manual brewing, and so has a larger weighing platform than the Lunar (their espresso scale) and a bright LED display. It comes with 5 modes, from basic weighing modes to more advanced modes like the Pour Over Mode which auto-starts a timer when you begin pouring water. They also include a Portafilter mode to improve workflow when weighing coffee for espresso.
The latest model of the Acaia Pearl also incorporates a real-time flowrate meter, aiding in the control of pouring speed—an especially useful aspect for those new to pour-over brewing.
As you can see, the Acaia coffee scales are more than simply coffee scales; they are statement pieces. They don’t come cheap but grace any benchtop and give the precision to significantly up your coffee game. While expensive, the Acaia range is indisputably the best coffee scale on the market at present. If you choose to invest in the Acaia Pearl, it is a scale you will never feel the need to upgrade from. It is also worth noting that even a few years down the track Acaia still leads the pack in terms of both precision and features. As such they still hold the title for the best coffee scales. For more info, see our in-depth review of Acaia Scales.
Fellow Tally Precision Pro Scale
The Fellow Tally Pro Precision Scale is one of the latest coffee scales to hit the market and a long-awaited release from Fellow. Fellow is a company well known for producing premium coffee gear and their scale hits the mark.
The Fellow Tally scale is a brew scale that has a sleek and minimalist design fitting with other Fellow products. The scale has a solid build that can withstand the rigors of daily use. A rechargeable battery keeps the scale powered for up to 13 hours of continuous use or 1-2 months for the average home user. The only downside of the design is that glossy finish can be difficult to keep clean.
The Fellow scale offers some pretty impressive specs, with an accuracy of 0.1g and an ultra-fast response time. It is one of the most precise and fastest scales around, competing even with Acaia. The scale has a 2500g capacity, allowing it to double as a kitchen scale as well. It is very simple to use with 3 modes: Weight, Timer, and Brew Assist.
In the Weight mode, the scale displays the weight in grams, ounces, mls, or pounds. With the Timer mode, the scale has a split screen displaying the timer on one side and the weight in grams on the other.
By far the highlight of the scale, though, is the Brew Assist mode, which is far simpler than Acaia’s Brewguide. Here the user can enter the weight of coffee being brewed, select a brew ratio and the scale will calculate the required amount of water. When you start pouring, the scale displays the target weight on the screen and changes color to notify you when this is reached. This guided mode is helpful for beginners, learning the intricacies of pour-over brewing.
While the Fellow scale has a smart and simple design, it does come with a high price tag. So may not be the best option for those not already invested in Pour Over coffee brewing.
Greater Goods Digital Coffee Scale
The Greater Goods Digital Coffee Scale is another great option, with a sleek design and durable build that seamlessly integrates into any kitchen or coffee setup. This scale is designed for manual brewing (not espresso) or general kitchen use. It has a large 3000-gram capacity and offers six different units of measurement, to keep everyone happy.
The scale is well-designed and intuitive to use. A bright color display shows a vivid orange timer on the left and the weight displayed in white on the right. This attention to detail makes it easy to read and use, even for those groggy early-morning coffee rituals. The Greater Goods Scale is also accurate to a tenth of a gram, providing the precision required for coffee brewing.
Beyond its features, what sets Greater Goods apart is their commitment to giving back. A portion of each purchase goes to their charity partners—Global Orphan Project and Love146—making it a doubly commendable choice. For a dependable and versatile scale suitable for both coffee and kitchen applications, the Greater Goods Digital Scale is an excellent option.
Hario V60 Drip Scale
Hario is a Japanese company that has become well-known in the coffee world for producing high-quality and aesthetically pleasing coffee gear. And the Hario V60 drip coffee scale is no exception.
The Hario drip scale boasts a built-in timer with an LCD screen split between the timer and the weight. It also has the valuable function that whenever the timer is activated, the auto-off is disabled until the timer stops.
In terms of technical precision and accuracy, it has a maximum limit of 2kg and has three levels of accuracy. From 2g to 200g, it measures in 0.1g intervals, from 200g to 500g in 0.5g intervals, and above 500g in 1g intervals. Interestingly this was decided on with input from leading coffee roaster and Youtuber James Hoffmann.
The Hario drip scale particularly comes into its own in manual brewing methods like pour over coffee. Because of its size, it isn’t great for regular travel or to be placed on an espresso machines drip tray.
Overall the Hario is an excellent entry-level scale with a decent track record. Also, you can buy it without mortgaging the house (something that might not be true of the later scales intended for espresso).
We have been using this coffee scale for several years now, mainly to brew pour-over coffee, Aeropress, and espresso (not in real-time on the drip tray but after the espresso shot has been pulled).
A few years ago this was perhaps THE go-to coffee scale for those who didn’t want to fork out for the Acaia. However, while it is still a reliable option, it is now somewhat dated. See our full review of the Hario scale here.
Oxo Brew Precision Scale
The Oxo Brew Precision scale is an affordable but solid choice. Oxo is a well-known kitchen appliance brand and its coffee scale reflects that. While the Oxo Brew scale has been optimized for pour-over coffee it can also double as a general kitchen scale. The scale offers multiple measuring units including grams, ounces, and pounds.
The Oxo Brew scale features a simple interface with a brightly lit display making it easy to use and read. On the left is a start/stop button for the built-in timer, which lasts up to 10 minutes. In the middle is a zero function to auto-tare the scale. And on the right, the unit button, to switch between measuring units. The scale runs on 4 AAA batteries goes into standby mode after 5 minutes of inactivity, and then automatically turns off after 30 minutes to save battery life.
The scale provides measurements from 0.5 grams up to a maximum of 6 lb, in 0.1 gram intervals. Readings are quick and precise, perfect for manual brewing. The other nice feature of this scale is the silicone sleeve which provides grip and protects the scale from heat and scratches. All-in-all the Oxo Brew Precision Scale is a sleek and affordable scale with all the fundamental features required for coffee brewing.
Timemore Black Mirror Pro- Best Budget Coffee Scale
In many ways, this Chinese coffee company is the new kid on the block for coffee scales. They are most well known for their range of manual coffee grinders, but this coffee scale and its older brother, the Timemore Nano, are gaining more and more notoriety in the coffee world. Strikingly similar to the Acaia Pearl but at a fraction of the cost, the Black Mirror Pro offers an array of impressive features.
Beyond its elegant and stylish appearance, this scale is accurate to 0.1 grams, water-resistant, equipped with a built-in timer and LCD screen, and features a quickly rechargeable battery through a convenient USB-C port. Remarkably affordable, it has earned our top spot for the best budget coffee scale.
Although lacking Bluetooth capability and smart functions, the Black Mirror Pro still offers practical features. The Auto-Timing mode assists with pour-over brewing by automatically starting and stopping the timer based on water detection. Additionally, it includes a flow rate measurement for perfecting pouring technique. This is a great scale for the average coffee lover, it excels in the basics, accurately weighing coffee and timing brews.
The other nice thing about the Timemore Black Mirror Pro is that it is a size that could be used for both espresso and manual brewing (it is compact enough to fit on an espresso machines drip tray). It is a scale that will work comfortably for a range of brew methods while maintaining a compact design.
The Timemore Black Mirror Pro is now a serious contender for our favorite coffee scale. It has a superb price-to-quality ratio and has been very well-received in the specialty coffee community. See our full review of the Timemore Black Mirror here.
Acaia Lunar- Best Espresso Scale
The Acaia Lunar is a miniature version of the Acaia Pearl, that is widely regarded as THE best espresso scale. The scale has a stunning, minimalist design and a compact footprint to fit onto any drip tray. Each scale is meticulously built, with all the electronic parts inside and the LED display coated with a water-resistant spray to prevent any damage from liquids. The Lunar has a far better build than the Black Mirror, with a bright screen that is easy to read.
But where the Lunar really shines is in its features. The Lunar offers incredible accuracy to 0.1 of a gram with a 20 millisecond response time, which is essential in an espresso scale. Another highlight of the Acaia Lunar is the Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair the scale with apps to record data and replicate brews. The latest version also comes with a real-time flow rate indicator to monitor extraction and 6 helpful weighing and brewing modes. Two noteworthy features include an auto-start timer and a tare save function which remembers the weight of a selected cup.
The Acaia Lunar espresso scale has long been setting the bar, loved by professionals and enthusiasts alike. If you are looking for the best espresso scale the Acaia Lunar is it.
MiiCoffee Nano Pro Coffee Scale
The MiiCoffee Nano Pro coffee scale is a recent release and has become quite popular with espresso enthusiasts given its great value for money. The scale ticks all the boxes with a compact size, fast and responsive readings, and accuracy down to 0.1-grams.
The MiiCoffee Nano has an aluminum unibody design, that feels more solid than other budget coffee scales. The LED display is bright and clear, showing the time in red on the left-hand side and the weight in white on the right. The scale is simple, but intuitive to use, with responsive buttons. It comes with a thick heat insulation silicone pad, to protect the scale.
While the MiiCoffee nano is a basic scale it still has an Espresso mode. This mode automatically tares when a cup is placed on it and initiates a timer with the first drop of espresso.
Weightman Espresso Scale
While it may not look like much, the Weightman espresso scale is a fan favorite in the coffee forums and it’s easy to see why. This tiny scale is small enough to fit on the drip tray of most espresso machines; including those from Breville, Flair, and the Gaggia Classic Pro. With an accuracy of 0.1 gram and good responsiveness, it offers excellent functionality. However, what really sets it apart is its remarkably affordable price, which is unheard of for an espresso scale.
The scale itself is fairly bare-bones. It has a simple LCD backlit display and offers a timer, tare, and weighing function. No fancy modes or apps, just basic functionality- which is all you really need. Powered by two AAA batteries, the Weightman works well as a portable scale, thanks to its small size and a protective plastic cover—making it an ideal companion for travel. If you’re in search of an affordable, no-frills coffee scale, the Weightman is the one to consider.
Brewista Smart Scale II
Brewista is a well-known and respected brand in the coffee world and for a good reason. This scale ups the level from an entry-level home brewer to a professional barista. The Brewista II is an across-the-board excellent coffee scale that shines in virtually every brewing style.
It is incredibly accurate, and its tiny size makes it both portable and versatile. It is water-resistant and comes with a protective silicone pad making it ideal for placing on an espresso machines drip tray.
While the Brewista is called a ‘Smart Scale’ it is not smart in terms of Bluetooth connectivity or apps. Rather, what sets the Brewista II apart are six pre-programmed modes for different brewing styles. There are five different modes for espresso and a separate mode for manual brewing. In addition, it has an auto-off feature that can be set for one, two, or three minutes, or even completely disabled. It is powered by a USB rechargeable battery with good battery life.
The Brewista is a great all-rounder scale. It has all the musts of an espresso scale: compact, water-resistant, precise to one-tenth of a gram, and a timer, while it can also accommodate larger brewers like the Chemex without obscuring the display. An excellent option for a coffee enthusiast after a versatile scale.
The Brewista Smart Scale is an excellent option for the serious espresso enthusiast who is not afraid to spend some money. See our comprehensive review of the Brewista scale here.
The Best Coffee Scale in 2023
We hope the above reviews have been helpful for you in your coffee journey. Any of these coffee scales has the potential to lift and optimize your coffee experience.
We recommend that while the Acaia Pearl or the Acaia Lunar may require you to mortgage your house, it is worth it! These are the best coffee scales on the market and are completely optimized for coffee with every feature you could ever want or need. In our opinion, the Acaia scales are still indisputably the best coffee scales for the home brewer.
If (understandably!) you balk at the price of an Acaia scale, then the Timemore Black Mirror is a great non-smart coffee scale alternative at a fraction of the price.
Features to Look For
So now you are (hopefully!) convinced that purchasing a scale to use when brewing coffee is a worthwhile investment to up your coffee game.
Next, you have the challenging choice of what to opt for; general kitchen scales or a designated coffee scale? An espresso or pour over scale? Basic or Bluetooth enabled? The options are almost endless!
To help you figure out which is the best coffee scale for you, we have compiled a list of different factors to consider. It will largely be driven by your preferred brew method.
The single most crucial factor to look for in any coffee scale is precision. If it can’t be trusted to measure your target weight with accuracy, then simply put, it is a waste of money.
The level of precision can differ substantially between the various brands, but as a minimum, a coffee scale needs to be accurate within 0.1 gram. While your budget will likely determine the final choice of scale (the price gap between the Acaia coffee scales and the Weightman is rather astounding!), accuracy is the most crucial consideration. All of the scales on this list meet this requirement.
The next important factor to consider is usability or functionality. Because you will depend on your scale whenever you brew coffee, it needs to fulfill your specific needs. So, for example, the buttons need to be easy to push and use so that you are not fiddling with them during your careful coffee brewing process.
Similarly, response time can make or break the functionality of this piece of kit. Especially for pour-over and espresso, a slow response time and lag can significantly hinder a scale’s usefulness and mess up careful time and weight parameters.
One essential function that any coffee scale requires is a tare function. This allows you to put your portafilter onto the scales and then ‘tare’ the weight to zero so that you can then measure out your ground coffee.
Another vital thing to note is the auto-off feature. Most digital scales that are not specifically designed for coffee will have an auto-off function that kicks in after one or two minutes. This can be incredibly frustrating for manual brewing styles, such as pour-over or drip coffee with longer extraction times. So if you opt for a set of generic scales, try and find one without an auto-off function.
Also, how easy is it to clean? Without a doubt, you will end up on occasion spilling ground coffee or a few drops of water on it. So is it easy to clean, or will ground coffee end up wedged in the push buttons (this is one advantage of touch-sensitive buttons).
The size that will work best for you will primarily be driven by what brewing style you will use it for and where you will use it. You want to make sure that the scale you choose fits your preferred coffee maker.
If the aim is to use the coffee scale with your espresso machine, it is essential to get one small enough to fit comfortably on your drip tray. Likewise, if your preferred method is the Chemex, you want one that is sturdy and large enough to have the Chemex on it and still be able to see the screen.
Another factor to consider is where you intend to do your brewing. If this is for your morning coffee at home, size is probably not an issue (depending on how those who live with you view your growing coffee collection!).
But if it is for those regular business trips or holidays, you will want a durable and compact coffee scale that takes up little space.
As with anything in life, a scale for coffee brewing can range from basic functionality to the Rolls Royce packed with bells and whistles. This is going to come down to what you want your scale to accomplish and how much you are willing to spend.
One unique feature that is particularly helpful is a built-in or integrated timer. Most coffee scales boast these, and they do just make life that little bit easier, especially for manual brewing, which requires careful time parameters.
Another helpful feature that some of the best coffee scales have is a waterproof or water-resistant design. Again this means one less thing to worry about and tends to make for longer durability.
Finally, the Acaia range are Bluetooth compatible and so connect to your smartphone where you can do everything from saving recipes to starting the timer to giving your instructions on various brewing styles. While these smart capabilities are helpful for coffee enthusiasts with a passion for precision, they are a bit excessive for the average coffee lover.