Now for those baristas out there, I don’t need to tell you how important a scale is! It has become one of the things I most rely on as a professional barista. I even take scales with me when I travel.
It’s true, you can still estimate and get a good brew, but if you are looking for consistency, then I’d say its essential for anyone making coffee at home or in a café to have a good set of scales on hand at all times.
I’ve written a blog before (here) on my top five products for brewing (a V60) and usually I use Hario Scales, which are excellent – but for the past few weeks I’ve been using and testing the newly released Brewista Scales! Finally they are available in the UK from Coffee Hit!! Yay!
What’s so different about these scales, you ask? Weeelllll…..read on!
These MyBrewista scales are slightly more advanced than your average weighing scales – they actually calculate the brew ratio for you AND you can change your brew ratios really easily!
What is a brew ratio?
It is the relationship between the amount of dry coffee and the amount of coffee extracted, so a ratio of 1:2 means that for every gram of dry coffee, we will extract two grams of espresso coffee. When we are talking about filter coffee, the ratio is larger, so it’s sometimes harder to calculate those brew ratios quickly without getting your phone out or a calculator to find out how much water is needed to brew according to what dose of coffee you are using.
These Brewista scales will tell you exactly how much water is needed to brew coffee with the amount of beans you’ve weighed. It’s particularly useful if you’re at the bottom of the bag and have less than what you’d normally use for a brew (eg: 14g instead of 20g) or when you are a gram or two off what you intended to sprinkle into your V60. You can calculate exactly how much water to use, to get the brew tasting consistent to how you normally like to drink it!
Sometimes I keep a reminder with a formula close by to change brew ratios, in case I forget – especially if I’m under time pressure or doing multiple brews with different methods, if I’m doing a workshop or am busy in the café. So these scales are great if you’re not so mathematically inclined (like me)! There’s also a target-rate bar that guides your speed of pour against your target end weight.
To accompany the video (above), here is a brief guide on HOW TO USE these scales and show you some features that I really like.
How to set different ratios:
- Press and hold the RATIO button for 3 seconds.
- It’ll display in the top righthand corner
- Press the RATIO button until the ratio you want is displayed.
- It has 7 pre-set ratios. 1:14 up to 1:20.
- I usually set mine at 1:16 - which is my go to ratio.
Now onto the pourover:
- To power the scales press: ON/OFF
- The brewing ratio will display in the upper right for 3 seconds then go blank. Wait until the LCD displays ZERO.
- The mode allows you to choose between a manual scale and an automatic scale that works out all your brew ratios. You’ll see the indicators denoted by an ‘A’ (automatic) or ‘M’ (manual). Using it on manual is similar to a regular scale – except here you can still use the target-rate bar as a guide. Using the Automatic mode, you’ll be able to see how cool it is to use the ratio calculator.
- Place the whole vessel on the platform. (The pad is silicon so it provides a good non-slip grip.) In 3 seconds the Brewista scales will auto-tare.
- Grind your beans
- When the coffee bean icon appears add your grounds.
- Press ratio. This will tell you how much water is needed to brew coffee with the amount of beans you’ve weighed.
- The “kettle” icon will appear which tells you when you should be pouring water over your coffee and you can start your pouring process. There is a Target rate bar to guide you along the pouring and time continuum against the proposed target weight and what you’re actually pouring – this is great for new baristas and people learning how to make consistent pour overs! Each ‘target’ rate segment appears in 10 second intervals. When the weight is close to the calculated ratio the screen will flash and turn white once the target has been reached and you now have your perfect brew!
I love this bc you can use this information to calculate how much water goes into any other coffee brewer you have at home or cafe too! - like your Caffetiere (French press) and aeropress! I’ve been using this function to check my water levels are correct for my (automatic batch brewers ) – the bonavita 8cup brewer, Moccamaster, and Oxo water-tank pourover - this is one of the main reasons I like these scales because it provides on demand brew ratios for any brewer
Some other great features that I like about these scales is that you can charge them with a USB which makes it super convenient – you don’t need to run out and get batteries or have spares in the drawer. There is also a battery icon that shows you how much power it has left, so you know when to charge it. I hate it when things spontaneously run out of power, and it's always at times when you need it most!
You can also set the scales to turn off automatically (I know this is normal for a lot of scales) but you can set it to varying time increments to save even more battery power!
If you are thinking of having this at the cafe, and have multiple baristas making brews, you can set the scale so that everyone is brewing to the same ratio or the head barista can choose different ratios for different brew methods and be confident that all the baristas will be following the same recipes, if they are using these Brewista scales.
Regardless, the main point I’m making here is that it’s really important to have a good reliable and accurate scales. I definitely think this Brewista scale is unique, straight forward to use and really handy if you want to brew consistent coffee with different ratios