If you plan to experiment with different recipes, you need an accurate coffee scale. This review will help you decide which is the best coffee scale. We cover the top models as well as budget options
Over the years, I have worked with a bunch of different scales for both espresso and pour over coffee, and in this guide, I have selected some of the best options on the market.
Don’t worry – you don’t need the most expensive one out there! Any of these in this article will do just fine.
However, coffee is about precision.
If you want to go from good to great brews consistently, you’ll need a scale.
Otherwise, it will just be guesswork.
|Timemore Black Mirror (Single Sensor)||✓||✓||Rechargeable|
|SearchPean Tiny1 Espresso Scale||✓||Limited||Rechargeable|
|Timemore Black Mirror Nano||✓||✓||Rechargeable|
|Weightman Espresso Scale||✓||✓||Battery|
|Hario Drip Coffee Scale||✗||✓||Battery|
|HuiSmart Digital Scale||✗||✓||Battery|
|Brewista Smart Coffee Scale||✓||Limited||Rechargeable|
|Acaia Pearl Coffee Brewing Scale||Limited||✓||Rechargeable|
|Acaia Lunar Espresso Scale||✓||✓||Rechargeable|
The Black Mirror single-sensor scale from Chinese brand Timemore is my daily driver.
It has a striking design, a bit similar to the Acaia scales, but it’s way more affordable and down-to-earth when it comes to functionality.
The UX is pretty basic in the sense that it’s just a scale with a timer. No fancy apps or Bluetooth connections. But that’s all you need, really.
I have owned the Black Mirror for a couple of years, and I’m still very pleased with the performance. It feels solid and looks great on the countertop.
The size of the scale is ideal: It sits somewhere between the Lunar and Pearl, which means that you can use it for pour over as well as espresso.
The scale charges via USB-C, which is a huge relief.
Bonus-Info: This scale has a big brother with two sensors and a built-in drip stand. For most people, the basic model will be the better option.
In the world of coffee scales, a new player from China has been making waves among budget espresso enthusiasts.
Known by several names, such as the SearchPean Tiny1, Miicoffee Nano Scale, and Flair Brew Scale, this versatile scale offers a lot of value for the money.
The main selling points of the scale is its compact size, making it ideal for espresso brewing. It can easily fit on any drip tray, and I have tested it to fit between the legs of the Cafelat Robot and the tiny rubber drip mat of the Flair 58.
While the scale does offer some advanced features, such as an auto-timer, it’s best to use it in its standard mode, where you manually start and stop the timer. The auto-timer function has room for improvement, but the scale still offers excellent value for its price point.
The buttons are responsive, and the display is easy to read.
The design is simple and sleek, reminiscent of the Acaia Lunar but without being a blatant knockoff. The button location is also more user-friendly than the Timemore Nano.
The scale charges via USB-C and holds its battery life for a few weeks at least. It also features a toggle on/off switch, ensuring it’s ready to use when needed.
While this scale is ideal for espresso, it does work for pour over, albeit with some limitations due to its small size.
The only real downside to this scale is the red digits on the display, which some users may find unattractive.
However, the newest version (called the Tiny2s) features all-white digits, addressing this minor design issue.
Overall, it’s an excellent option for budget espresso lovers looking for a compact, functional, and affordable scale. I like this scale and think we’ll see it pop up everywhere over the next couple of years, since it’s so handy and affordable.
This is the tiny espresso version of Timemore’s Black Mirror Scale.
It follows the same futuristic design language as the original version but brings a few awesome innovations to the table.
It has a stunning design with its angled display. This makes it easy to follow the weight whether you have the scale on a narrow espresso tray or are using it for pour over.
The Timemore Black Mirror works well for all kinds of coffee brewing, but in its essence, it’s created for espresso. For that reason, the software is also espresso-focused.
It has an auto-timer that starts when it detects the first drips from the espresso as well as flow rate measurement mode.
Personally, I don’t use these modes as much as I anticipated when I got the scale. However, if you just want an espresso scale with a small footprint and solid battery life (USB C charging is a plus!), this is a good bet.
Check out my full review of the Nano-version here.
The Weightman espresso scale has become an underground cult favorite among espresso snobs in the know.
I will say that that this scale is slightly too small to be used as a pour over scale, however, for espresso it’s ideal.
(You can use for other types of brewing in a pinch, though — for example if you’re on holiday).
There aren’t many scales that have a built-in timer while also being small and slim enough to fit on a drip tray of a compact home espresso machine. This scale does all that while ALSO being affordable.
In daily life the scale is pretty fast, responsive, and accurate. I find that you have to cut your shot around 2 grams before your target weight, in order to get the timing right, so that’s pretty solid.
It offers units of grams or ounces and has an LCD backlit display for ease of reading.
It runs on 2x AAA batteries, and from my experience they will last a long time.
This scale also comes with a plastic cover, so you can bring it on a trip. I don’t think it’s waterproof per se, but it can take some splashes. I have had my unit for more than a year, and it’s still going strong.
The Hario brand is famous for its V60 brewer, but it also produced one of the first dedicated coffee scales.
This scale is minimalistic in function and design. It allows for precise measurements, up to 0.1g of accuracy with a +/- 0.2g margin of error.
Of course, it has a built-in timer on the side.
This scale is also conveniently battery-powered by two AAA batteries. It has an auto power-off function after 5 minutes to save battery life.
This scale is not waterproof, so you will have to be careful when using it, especially for pour overs, since this model can begin to malfunction if it gets wet regularly.
It also has a slow response time when adding beans, so you will have to add your grounds slowly so as not to overshoot the amount of coffee you want.
The HuiSmart coffee scale is a cheap but solid option.
It’s a popular option among people, who are just getting into pour over, but not yet ready to invest in one of the brand-name scales.
It does everything you’d expect, but a lot cheaper than the best-in-class models.
It has a built-in timer and offers units of grams, ounces, or pounds.
It’s also rather big, so it can double as a food scale.
The display is backlit, which is pretty nice on a dark morning.
It’s not the most stylish scale on the block, but I wouldn’t call it ugly.
It is powered by two AAA batteries, which allows for mobility in the kitchen. Battery power is preserved with an auto-off function and a low battery indicator.
This scale also comes with a silicon mat that allows you to cover the actual scale itself to prevent spills or other sources possible damage. This mat can then be taken off and cleaned separately for ease of use.
The Brewista digital coffee scale is another popular coffee scale. One could probably say that it’s a bit more focused on espresso due to its compact size.
The size might be an issue if you want to place something big on it like the Chemex. It can be slightly tricky to see the display.
Of course it also has a timer and it’s rechargeable, which is a feature I really appreciate in a coffee scale. Buying and throwing away batteries just feels a bit odd in 2021.
It’s however a downside that uses a micro-USB, instead of a C-type like the Timemore Black Mirror does. We’re already at a point in time, where it would be nice to only have one type of cable.
Overall, the scale has a fine accuracy and refresh rate.
The main downside is that the scale feels a bit expensive for what it is. You have some really cheap options that do the same things and look almost as good. On the other end of the spectrum you have the luxury scale from Acaia that are vastly superior in terms of looks and functionality. The Brewista Smart Scale II lands somewhere in the middle.
Although, if you’re specifically looking for a rechargeable espresso scale that doesn’t cost a fortune, this probably your best bet.
The Acaia Pearl is a high-end coffee scale at a significantly higher price point than the other models in this round-up review. It is currently the scale of choice in commercial settings, since it’s more durable than other coffee scales. It also has a slick, minimalist, Apple-like feel to it.
The Acaia Pearl is by far the most accurate of the scales discussed here.
This scale doesn’t rely on batteries – instead you charge it via mini-USB. This could be annoying, if it had to be charged all the time like your phone or Bluetooth-speaker. But in fact it goes for ages on a single charge – so don’t worry about that. In the long run it’s actually nice that you won’t have to think about buying batteries.
One of the standout features of this scale is the Bluetooth connectivity. However, in the end most user report that there’s no real purpose of these modes.
This is Pearl’s black brother. Packed with just as much cutting-edge technology but intended as an espresso scale instead. For that reason, it’s smaller and slimmer, so it fits perfectly in the crowded space under the cup and portafilter.
The Lunar is also built to withstand the hectic environment of a busy barista’s coffee desk. It’s both steam=, espresso- and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about accidents.
However, the Lunar is a bit more expensive than the Pearl. So unless you’re a hardcore espresso fan, I’d recommend going for the other one.
Read a coffee shop owner’s review of the Acaia Lunar scale.
The flavor of coffee changes depending on the ratio of coffee and water you use.
Certain beans and brew methods really shine at the standard 1:15 ratio of coffee to water, while others require a totally different approach. The main takeaway though is this: You need to be able to measure both beans and water in order to hit your ideal ratio.
While this can be done to a certain degree by using volume measurements (like with a tablespoon scoop), it will never be accurate unless you use a scale and measure out the exact mass of both the coffee and the water.
This is because different beans and different roasts produce beans with different densities. Therefore, beans with the same volume may have completely different masses and cannot be compared with volume.
Knowing exactly how much coffee and water you are using will allow you to either remain completely consistent once you have a cup you know you enjoy or allow you to change different parameters accurately if you want to try something else.
If you don’t trust me, then here’s the opinion of coffee pioneer James Freeman of Blue Bottle:
“Volume is a less accurate way of measuring things than mass is. That’s not an opinion; it’s physics,” he explains in The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee book.
“Gram measurements are more accurate, and we think using them will improve your experience as a coffee drinker and baker—and therefore improve your life. So let’s face it: you need to go the extra mile and buy a gram scale if you don’t already have one”.
So there you have it. You should really get a scale.
The main feature you should look for is pretty obvious – the scale should be digital. You do not want to be squinting at an arrow, especially not early in the morning before coffee.
Accuracy to within two decimal places is generally enough for daily coffee, especially since grams are an extremely small unit of mass.
A coffee scale should be fairly small. Since you will only be using it for coffee, you do not want it to take up a lot of space. However, make sure it has a decently sized, even, flat surface to put your brewing apparatus on without any fear of it tipping over.
Since many brewing methods will have you starting with your brewing apparatus on the scale, a tare button that resets the mass to zero is also very important to look for.
Basic scales will do fine as long as they measure mass accurately and have a tare button, but some additional features will make brewing coffee more convenient.
A few companies have started to offer scales with Bluetooth connectivity. This means that you can track your brews in a nifty app or do more complicated things.
To be honest, most smart scales aren’t very smart. There’s a lot of bugs in the software and the functionality doesn’t seem to offer anything normal people would care about. Even the Acaia scales fall into this category.
Some scales can train you in having a certain flow rate, while others have various modes. However, in the end I still haven’t seen any real killer features among the so-called smart scales.