The best coffee scales will give you an accurate reading to 0.1 of a gram and will ensure you get a delicious cup of coffee. If you don’t use the correct amount of coffee it can ruin the flavour and turn a great cup of coffee into a bad one.
It is surprising how much different a cup of coffee can taste if you don’t use the right amount of coffee.
Do you really need to weigh coffee?
It’s common to just use a scoop and go with one scoop per cup or to just fill up the portafilter if you are making espresso but using the correct coffee to water ratio really does make all the difference.
If you want to get great coffee that tastes as good as a coffee shop weighing your coffee is essential.
Coffee shops use the same amount of coffee every time using the same beans and the same amount of water to produce the coffee.
If you like to try out different coffee then you will definitely need some scales because depending on how the coffee beans have been roasted, the weight will be different.
Light roast coffee beans will weigh more than dark roast because the longer the beans are roasted the lighter they become.
If you are using say 1 scoop per cup and you need 7 grams of coffee per cup for a cafetière and you switch beans you’ll be surprised how many more beans you need to get to 7g with a lighter roast than a dark roast.
If all this seems a little over the top, if you weigh your coffee by following the guidelines in some of our other articles you’ll definitely notice how much better your coffee tastes
These articles go into more detail on why you should weigh your coffee:
How much are good coffee scales?
It is very possible to spend hundreds of pounds on coffee weighing scales to accurately weigh your coffee but the good news is that it is completely unnecessary to do so.
Scales start to become expensive the more accurate you want them to be at higher weights because of the calibration required.
It is much harder and more expensive to manufacture scales that are accurate to 0.1g going up to 2kg than it is to get accuracy of 0.1g up to 200g.
Basically the heavier the item is you are weighing the more money you have to pay for the weight to be correct.
Scales that cost in the hundreds of pounds will be accurate to 0.1g up to 2kg and scales that cost in the £20-£50 range will only be accurate to 0.1g up to about 200g and then they will be slightly more out (about 0.5g to 1g) as the weight rises to 2kg.
If you want a great cup of coffee then the coffee you are weighing needs to be accurate but not mega accurate.
When you are weighing it out prior to brewing the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time you will not need to weigh more than 65g of coffee at any one time depending on the brewing method you are using.
For the most popular methods of brewing coffee the ideal amount of coffee to be used is:
Espresso (double shot) – 20 grams
Filter Coffee / Pour over / Chemex – 65 grams per litre
Cafetiere – 7g per cup
So even if you are making a litre of coffee then you won’t need to weigh more than 65g of coffee and even cheap scales are accurate to within 0.1g up to about 200g.
These are the best coffee weighing scales in the UK:
Hario Coffee Weighing Scales
Hario are coffee specialists and they only make coffee-related products and therefore this set of scales has been made specifically with the coffee enthusiast in mind.
Most scales are made in China to make them as cheap as possible but these are made in Japan because they want to make sure the workmanship is of the highest standard. Using quality component parts ensures the accuracy will be better for longer.
It has a good-sized weighing platform that measures 19cm x 12cm and is a slim 2.9cm tall. It also comes with a timer built in so you can measure the important variable of coffee extraction time without having to get your phone out and start the stopwatch.
The maximum weight is 2kg and it goes up in increments of 0.1 so its incredibly accurate and is suitable for all coffee brewing methods.
Its been around for a number of years, has many thousands of happy customers and enjoys consistently high ratings.
Salter Digital Kitchen Weighing Scales
These are not specifically for coffee use only but they will do a perfectly good job with coffee and you can use them for all of your other weighing requirements in the kitchen as well.
We like them because they are made by Salter who are a household name in the UK kitchen appliance market so they are a name you can trust. And if the name isn’t good enough then they come with an amazing 15-year guarantee. It’s not often you see something this cheap comes with a guarantee that long.
They measure in 1g increments and can weigh items up to 5kg and have dimensions of 16cm x 18cm.
Great scales with peace of mind that they will work for a very long time.
Accuweight Digital Scales, Best Cheap Scales For Coffee
If storage space in your kitchen is at a premium and you don’t want another kitchen appliance cluttering the place up then these portable scales are so small you won’t even notice you have them and as an added bonus they are very low cost as well.
They go up in increments of 0.1g and go up to a maximum of 1000g which is plenty for weighing out what you need for whatever brewing equipment you use.
It measures only 9cm x 6cm but cleverly the lid doubles up as a weighing platform ensuring you have plenty of space to weigh your coffee beans or ground coffee.
Ascher Portable Digital Scales
These are ridiculously cheap but we found them to be as effective as other scales at double or triple the price. They are very accurate to within 0.01 of a gram but have a maximum weight of 200g which is fine for weighing coffee but if you want something more multi-purpose then go for something else in this list that weighs up to 2kg.
They come in a self-contained box so just open the lid, weigh your coffee and close the lid when done. They are super easy to store measuring in at 12.8cm x 7.8cm
Accuweight Digital Scales
From the same company as our cheap scales listed above, Accuweight knows how to make good quality, effective but low-cost scales.
These are not as portable as the other ones but have a larger weighing platform and weigh up to 5kg making them great for everything in the kitchen.
What are the different types of scales to weigh coffee?
There are many scales that are touted as being for coffee but they don’t actually do anything different to a normal set of kitchen scales so if you are willing to pay a premium for scales to weigh your coffee then be sure to check that you are getting something extra for your money.
Normal kitchen weighing scales. The cheapest way to weigh your coffee is with a digital set of scales that are suitable for weighing anything and everything.
If the primary purpose is for weighing coffee then try and get one that has a larger surface area to make it easy to lay the portafilter on if you are making espresso.
Make sure the scales have a “tare” button which allows you to put something on the scales and then it will zero it and will only show the weight of the coffee that gets added afterwards.
Most scales come with a “zero out” button and it makes it a lot easier than doing the maths yourself.
For most people, a regular set of digital kitchen scales will do the job just fine but if you are looking for something that will take your coffee drinking experience to the next level or perhaps you are looking for a gift for a coffee lover then there are specialist scales that offer something more than just plain old kitchen scales.
Coffee specialist weighing scales. The perfect cup of coffee requires not only the right amount of coffee combined with the right amount of water but it also needs to be delivered in the right amount of time as well.
For example, great espresso is achieved by using 18 grams of coffee with 36 grams of water delivered in 25-30 seconds.
If it’s delivered in 15 seconds it’s under-extracted and 45 seconds or more and it will be over-extracted. You don’t want either of these things to happen as the flavour will be significantly impaired.
You can get your phone out and start a timer but it’s much easier to have a timer built into the scales and it can come in useful for other things in the kitchen you want to keep an eye on as well.
Manufacturers of specialist coffee scales know how important timing your coffee delivery is so they build a timer into the scales.
Smart coffee weighing scales. This is a whole different world meant specifically for coffee geeks.
You can download an app that will give you all sorts of different measurements such as coffee flow rate and times that you can save and historically measure how consistent you are.
Once you have perfected the coffee making process consistently doing it the same every time is the key to coffee excellence and smart coffee scales will help you get there.
You need to be a coffee nerd to be able to justify it though as they can cost a few hundred pounds and its hard to justify spending that kind of money on scales to weigh your coffee.
Here is a short video explaining the importance of weighing your coffee: