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Why a Coffee Scale is Important

Posted by Bean & Bean on
Why a Coffee Scale is Important

Coffee scales are an integral part of making great coffee. Most people will only eyeball the amount of coffee and water they need to brew a good cup. But, if you want to get the most out of your coffee in terms of flavor and longevity, or even if you want to experiment with different types of coffee, grinds and brewing methods, the coffee scale is a non-negotiable item.

What is a coffee scale?

A coffee scale is a device used to measure the weight of coffee and water during your brewing process. There are subtle differences between a coffee scale and a general purpose kitchen scale. 

Why is a coffee scale important?

Coffee scales are useful as they make your cup of coffee more precise, consistent and economical. Here are a few ways they do this:

Precision

Among coffee aficionados, there is a general consensus of a “golden ratio” for the perfect cup of coffee. The golden ratio is said to be from 1:15 to 1:18, depending on the kind of coffee you’re drinking. That means you’d use 1 gram of coffee beans to 15-18 grams of water. An 8oz cup of coffee holds 225 grams of water, thus if you’re following the 1:15 ratio, you’d need 15 grams of ground coffee. And if you’re following a 1:18 ratio, you’d need 12.5 grams of coffee for 225 grams of water. 

Different golden ratios enhance different notes in coffee, thus a coffee scale is vital if you’re looking to play around with your ratios and fine tune your coffee brewing process.

Consistency

A coffee scale is extremely useful for consistent results when you’re:

  • Brewing multiple cups of coffee - depending on the coffee you can multiply the weight of the coffee and water by the amount of cups you need for you and your friends.
  • Trying different grind sizes - If you rely on scoops to measure the amount of coffee, different grind sizes will give you varied volumetric measurements, yet the weight of ground coffee will always be the same.

Economical

Even if you’re accidentally using 1-3 grams more coffee per mug, it adds up. You can actually get 4-5 cups more per bag if you measure the amount of coffee you use carefully.

When should I use a coffee scale?

Let’s say you wanted to brew a 10 ounce cup using an Aeropress. We recommend using the 1:17 ratio for an Aeropress, with a medium-fine ground coffee. Here's how you do this:

Aeropress

What you’ll need:

  • A 10 ounce cup
  • 284 grams of water at 200 degrees F
  • 16.7 grams of coffee
  • Aeropress
  • Coffee scale

Process:

  1. Grind the coffee if it isn't pre-ground (medium fine).
  2. Put the grounds in the Aeropress.
  3. Attach the bottom half of the Aeropress on your mug and put it on the scale.
  4. Tare the scale by pressing the tare button so that it reads zero.
  5. Start the scale timer and add water until the scale reads 284 grams.
  6. Stir the water and coffee mixture for 3-5 seconds.
  7. Steep the mixture for 45-60 seconds.
  8. Remove the mug and Aeropress from scale.
  9. Finish brewing by hitting the plunger

A coffee scale can be used for many brewing methods like espresso, pour over, etc. Now that we’ve explained how to get the coffee right for an Aeropress, you can learn how to measure the different ratios for other brewing methods here. Below are the ratios we recommend for several other brewing methods:

French press: 60g of coffee with 900g of water

Pour over: 30g of coffee with 500g of water

Drip coffee maker: 60g of coffee with 1000g of water

Aeropress: 20g of coffee with 200g of water

Espresso: 14g for a single basket, 18g for a double, and 20g for a triple

What to look for when you buy a coffee scale: 

  • Precise to at least 1 decimal place.
  • Built in timer to prevent it from shutting off mid brew.
  • Extremely responsive to any change in weight.
  • Waterproof (preferred).

Conclusion

If you want to make the perfect cup of coffee yourself, get your hands on a coffee scale and order some coffee for your preferred brewing method.

Don’t know where to get perfectly ground coffee from? We recommend trying our crowd favorite with its sweet herby and earthy notes, the Downtown Blend. The best part?  You can choose the grind size that fits your brewing style and tastes!. Freshly roasted and ground, enjoy the taste of perfect ratios, perfectly brewed!

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