Scale For Success!

A V60 on a coffee scale

If you came here in search of business advice, grab a cup of coffee and read on.  OK, I’ll admit that this article won’t directly benefit your business… but it may help you brew better coffee, which certainly can’t hurt!

…the scale actually made the whole process easier.

When I first bought a Clever Coffee Dripper for home, I had been using it in the office for quite a while.  For me, the brewing process was “old hat”, but my wife found the spread of equipment a bit intimidating.

The Dripper?  No problem.  A hot water kettle?  Great!  A coffee scale?  OK, now you’ve gone too far.

I’m sure that being married to a geek can be more cumbersome than I sometimes realize, and I was having a hard time convincing her that the scale actually made the whole process easier.  She wasn’t thrilled about me trying to run her through the process, so I wrote out step by step instructions (leave it to me to make using a simple tool seem convoluted).  So at her request, I left her alone until she was comfortable with everything but the scale.  Then, one day when her patience was full and her spirits were high, I showed her how to use the scale.  And she’s used it every day since.

Why use a coffee scale?

  1. It’s easier.  I know that I already mentioned it, but using a scale really does make brewing easier.  I’m serious, it really does!
  2. It makes your brewing more consistent.  Using a scale will allow you to get the exact same ration of coffee-to-water every time.
  3. You can fine-tune your cup.  Since using a scale gives you a more consistent cup, making small adjustments to your ratios is possible.


How to use a coffee scale

Okay, I’m going to start by giving you a very simple, 3-step method to using a coffee scale:

1. Without even turning on your scale, setup your entire brew kit on the scale.  Now when you turn it on, the scale will read “0”:

Coffee scale tared to 0

2. Add the desired amount of beans, and the select the “TARE” button to reset your coffee scale to “0”.

Coffee scale with 32.5 grams of coffee

3. Add water to achieve whatever ratio you want.  In this example, I added 520 grams of water to brew a pot at a ration of 1:16.


A couple simple “hacks”

1. A really nice part about using the coffee scale is that you don’t have to use a specific amount of beans.  You can just add a scoop of beans to your brewer, and multiply the weight by your desired ratio.  Viola, the same consistent cup, no matter how much ground coffee you use!

2. It makes it easier to grind as you go.  Charles likes to just grind the beans that he plans to use that morning.  He sets the basket from the grinder on the scale, pours in the whole beans, and then grinds just what he needs.

A basket from a Baratza Encor sits on a scale

Logically, it’s easy to assume that adding another device to your growing pile of coffee equipment would add to the complexity.  I hope that I’ve shown just how practical and easy using a scale can be

By the way, when I told my wife about my intentions of writing this post, she said: “if I can make a suggestion: this is one of those times a video would be really helpful.”  So, in the not-too-distant future, I plan to create my first video post.


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