The latest addition to Oxo’s line of coffee-brewing gear is a sleek, affordable scale with a built-in timer accurate to 0.1 grams. Don’t think you need a scale for coffee? Think again.
Beyond a grinder and an actual brewing device (read: coffee maker), a scale is all you need to emulate the brewing process at the world’s best coffee shops. So why don’t more people own one? They think they can wing it, says coffee industry vet and cofounder of LA-based roaster Go Get ‘Em Tiger, Kyle Glanville. Here’s why you shouldn’t be one of them.
If every pot or pour-over you brew at home tastes different, it’s because your coffee-to-water ratio is changing from brew to brew. “You absolutely cannot eyeball water volume or coffee amount,” says Glanville. “I’ve won national brewing competitions and I can say with confidence that whether you’re brewing a fancy pour-over or batch brew, measurement is everything.”
Mastering the standard pot of coffee allows you to move on to the experimentation phase of coffee nerdery, which isn’t possible without a gram scale to record different brewing ratios. Glanville recommends using a pen and paper to make notes on the extraction level, body and flavors present with subsequent brews.
Every coffee bean is different. Some of the tiniest beans will be the densest in a bag, while others will be enormous and nearly hollow. This is the result of the processing that takes place at coffee farms and how the bean is roasted. All to say, tossing scoops of beans into a grinder without weighing them first is a very easy way to use too many coffee beans for the amount of coffee you’re brewing.
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