A contribution from Leo Schulze from 19 March 2023
I made my first coffee with a floured kitchen scale and a stopwatch until I switched to my first professional precision scale. But which scale is the right one? For this reason, I have tested four well-known coffee scales from Hario, Brewista via Acaia in detail.
Before my time as a coffee lover, I only knew scales for weighing flour when I was craving a cake. That I would use a scale, and then even a precision scale once to prepare coffee, was rather unrealistic to me. And anyway, coffee was always prepared in such a way that it was only bearable with a lot of milk. After I realized that coffee can taste good without a lot of milk and with a lot of kick, I simply used the old kitchen scales and a stopwatch the first few times. But at some point, old and floured is no longer enough to adequately celebrate its coffee preparation. That’s why I bought my first precision scale for making coffee – the Hario Drip Scale. The classic among coffee scales. In the meantime, there are several coffee scales on the market. I took the opportunity to test four well-known scales from Hario, Brewista and Acaia.
These are the scales we tested
Hario Drip Scale – or every uncomplicated coffee fan
The classic Hario scale comes in a timeless design and typical Hario quality. With a total (LWH) 190 x 120 x 28 mm dimension, the scale is nice and small and including two AAA batteries only 274 g light. The plastic surface is easy to clean and any brewer will fit on the weighing surface. The display is a simple LCD, without many frills. Even if it comes across a little old-fashioned, it is easy to read. To the left of the display is the start/stop button for the timer and to the right of the display is the on/off button with tare function. Two buttons for everything – is enough. The two buttons are flat and respond to touch. From 2-200 g, the Hario Drip Scale weighs accurately to one decimal place. At a total of 2000 g is the end of weighing.
Well, the design of the scale is debatable. However, it serves its purpose at a good price. The surface is easy to clean, the display is easy to read and the two AAA batteries last forever. What bothers me a bit are the buttons, which give no feedback at all. Second shortcoming is the delay with which the weight is displayed. If you pour too quickly, you’ll be over the desired weight in no time, because the scale displays the weight with a slight delay.
The Hario Drip Scale is a solid coffee scale that does what it is supposed to – display time and weight. Anyone who celebrates his coffee preparation, who likes the design and who does not want to do without a scale, should buy the Hario Drip Scale.
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Hario Metal Drip Scale – For the clean coffee enthusiast
The Metal Drip Scale is the further development of the Drip Scale from Hario, virtually a facelift. With (LWH) 175 x 120 x 31 mm, the metal version is smaller, but slightly higher and with a total of 470 g heavier than its predecessor. The metal version is much higher quality: The surface of the weighing unit is made of stainless steel and is even removable. The surface underneath is high-gloss black. With a quick twist, the top of the scale can be removed to clean both parts – which really makes sense with the mirror-smooth surface. Also, the batteries are integrated on this scale. The battery can be charged via USB using an included cable. According to the manufacturer, one charge lasts 80 hours. If you assume that a brew takes about five minutes, you can make coffee about 960 times (should be enough for one day).
I like the metal version of the Hario Drip Scale. It looks super high quality and is 1a processed. By charging via USB you do not have to bother with batteries. The removable weighing plate has advantages and disadvantages. Advantage is that you can make the scale so good clean. However, I fear that the connection with time ausnudelt and wobbles (but how often do you have to remove the plate to clean thoroughly? – it probably keeps within limits). It’s a shame that the scale is technically identical to the previous version. The display time has exactly the same delay and the buttons have also remained identical. Only the improved display with LED backlight is a technical advance high 10.
Visually, the metal version of the Drip Scale makes quite a bit. Anyone who pays attention to cleanliness and appearance when preparing coffee is well served by the scale. However, you should not be too fastidious, otherwise the delayed display of the weight quickly disturbs you.
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Brewista Smart Scale – For compact espresso lovers
The small waterproof Brewista Smart Scale measures only (LWH) 125 x 105 x 17mm and weighs 260g with batteries (2xAAA). Because of its size, the Brewista is perfect for espresso preparation. Filter coffee is also no problem, except with the big Chemex it will be tight. The LCD is illuminated in orange and is easy to read. The four buttons are easy to reach and operate. The special feature of the scale are the six different modes, which are preset for espresso and hand filter to use. Compared to the scales from Hario, the Brewista has four buttons (On/Off, Mode, Tare, Time). The weighing surface is made of stainless steel and the rest of the scale is made of a coated plastic.
I really like the scale itself. The design with orange illuminated buttons and orange display takes some getting used to at first glance. However, it is easy to read and the buttons give good feedback – nothing with wannabe touch, here you still have to press properly, which I personally prefer. The size of the scale is really very practical and the Brewista fits under many espresso machines. A Hario V60 Range Server finds loose space and even with a medium-sized Chemex can be relaxed brew. The six different modes are a fun idea in my opinion, but nothing more. After some trial and error, I only used the „hand2“ mode, where everything is done manually by pressing the buttons. If you want to change the mode, you first have to press through the modes for what feels like ages – snore! The keys react a bit sluggishly. If you tare the scale or want to start the timer, the Brewista does this with a small delay. Fortunately, the display speed is already much better than that of the Hario.
I can only recommend the Brewista Smart Scale. The price is on a par with the Hario Drip Scale. It is fast and easy to use. Anyone who is satisfied with the small weighing surface of 10x10cm, I can only recommend this scale.
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Acaia Pearl – For advanced coffee lovers
The scale among scales, the moped among mopeds! The Acaia Pearl looks really good and is solidly made. The design is reminiscent of a Mac Mini (except that the Mac Mini can not weigh – it also has Bluetooth). The scale also comes with an integrated battery that is charged via the included USB cable. According to the manufacturer, one battery charge lasts 20 to 30 hours. At 500 g, the scale is the heaviest of those tested, but is still compact at (LWD) 160 x 160 x 30. The Acaia Pearl also has only two touch-sensitive buttons. The entire surface is made of Plexiglas and the base is made of a non-slip material. The special feature of the Acaia Pearl is the connection via Bluetooth 4.0. With the own Acaia app, the scale can be controlled with the cell phone, brewing curves can be created and shared, the battery status can be displayed or photos can be taken. With the extra update app, the scale can also be updated regularly. Pressing the start button takes you to the scale’s settings menu, where you can set a number of parameters.
The Acaia Pearl is the ultimate and just right for every coffee nerd and design-loving frahling lover. The Acaia weighs very accurately and is very fast. Creating brew curves with the app is a nice gimmick and just right for anyone who is very precise, wants to improve their brew or likes to try new recipes. I was particularly impressed with the look, accuracy, and speed of the scale. The design is well done, the touch sensitive buttons give feedback in the form of a light or if you want a sound. The operation is really simple and well implemented. The only small drawback in my opinion is the display. It is very well solved in terms of design that you can not see the display itself, but when you turn on the scale is a white glow around the numbers. In the revised black version, this small error was fortunately fixed – complaining at a high level!
If you are willing to spend a little more for a scale (with Bluetooth), the Acaia Pearl will not disappoint. It’s really fun to brew with the Acaia Pearl. It is incredibly accurate, fast and looks good… Can’t complain! (The highest praise for a Berliner)
„If you want to get a really good brew, you shouldn’t do without a coffee scale.“
A scale is still a scale! But: If you celebrate coffee preparation and want to make a really consistently good brew, you shouldn’t do without a coffee scale. The Hario Drip Scale does a decent job for its price. If you prefer a higher-quality material, you can also opt for the more expensive Hario Metal Drip Scale. For those who are often on the road or have little space at home, the Brewista Smart Scale is a good choice – and the Brewista is also really good for making espresso. At €159.00, the Acaia is the most expensive in the test, but it can really convince across the board. Preparing coffee with the Acaia is simply a pleasure!
Leonard ist seit 2015 nicht mehr wegzudenkender Teil vom Marketing-Team. Inzwischen hat er zum Kaffee-Experten entwickelt, führt Produkttests durch oder schult neue Kollegen in der Kaffeezubereitung. Sein Favorit? Fruchtige, helle Röstungen mit dem Hario v60 Handfilter zubereitet.