When trying to brew the best cup of coffee possible, accuracy is essential to the best cup of coffee! When starting out with coffee, many of us use the volumetric approach to measuring our doses and brew ratios. The problem with this, is that each coffee can be more or less dense, making voluemetric measurements inaccurate compared to weighted measurements. Further, the volume of your coffee and espresso can vary widely depending on freshness and roast level, making a scale that much more useful in seeing your true brew ratio.
We'll save brew ratios for another time, but a standard rule of thumb for filter coffee is a 1:16 ratio of dry coffee to water.
This has to be one of the most beneficial reasons for using a scale. Once coffee and water are measured, a scale enables you to repeat this with the same result every time! Ever brew an AMAZING cup of coffee, but when you try to repeat a recipe it just isn't the same? Weigh your coffee! You'll get more similar results every single time.
But what if you don’t need a scales help? What if you’re already consistent?
I really hate to say it, but unfortunately you’re not. And here’s why:
Every coffee has a different density. Maybe you recently purchased an Ethiopian coffee and are using two scoops per brew. Those two scoops might weigh 20 grams. But before this you bought a Costa Rican coffee and were using two scoops for that brew as well and you loved it! Those two scoops from the Costa Rican coffee may have only weighed 16 grams.
Because of your love for your Costa Rican results you feel that the Etiopian coffee should taste good with two scoops. But you've got an extra 4 grams of coffee in your brew and your ratios are much higher than that of the Costa Rican! All of a sudden your coffee is bitter, over extracted and leaving a dry taste in your mouth.
To add to this depending on which coffee you are buying you may have different weight from scoop to scoop of the same bag. Coffee blends will have different coffee varietals from different regions having different densities. One scoop of your house blend from your favourite roaster may have a different weight than another identical scoop.