Review: Brewista Ratio Scale
I’ve been using “pour over” as my primary coffee brewing method for awhile, primarily in my Chemex, but I use other options when traveling that are less breakable.
In order to make the best coffee, you need to pay attention to the ratio of grounds to water. People are generally satisfied with various levels of imprecision in the process. For me, this has been measuring the coffee beans with a scoop before grinding, and then trying to pour approximately the same amount of water every time by using a point on the side of the chemex to gauge it. This gets more complicated, however, when I use a different pour over kit. Sometimes I do this just because I take something different on vacation, and sometimes it's because I want something that makes coffee for several people instead of my small Chemex, which only makes enough for one person.
Weighing out beans, then grinding, then calculating the ratio, then doing the pour over process on a scale to get the right ratio all seemed to require a bit more work than I was willing to put into it, so I settled for less precision. The problem is that the lower precision eliminated some of the advantages to using the pour over method in the first place.
So when I heard about the Brewista Ratio Scale, I was intrigued. The claim is that the scale automatically handles a lot of the complications to mke things easier for you. However, the list price of $100 was a bit rich for my blood. I added it to my wish list and almost forgot about it. When updating my Amazon wish list around my birthday, I noticed that the price had fallen to $34.50, and snatched it up.
The way the scale works in auto mode is this:
- Put the pour over setup on the scale, and the scale auto-tares and indicates when to add grounds.
- Add grounds. I add a scoop or so of beans to my grinder just like I normally would, and dump them into the Chemex.
- Push a button to tell it you’re done with the the grounds, and it will switch to water mode, and automatically calculate the ideal amount of water based on the weight of the grounds you added.
- As you add water, the scale starts a timer, and shows two progress bars on screen. One is for how much water you ideally will have poured as the timer progresses, and the other is for the actual amount. This gives you a rough guide to help optimize brewing time.
- The scale alse displays the weight of the total ideal water amount, as well as the weight of how much water you’ve added. As you get close to the ideal amount, the light on the display will flash as an additional indicator (remember, you also have the progress bars and the target and actual weights being displayed).
There is really nothing about the process that is much more complicated than my process was before. There is no math involved, and no super precise measuring of beans or grounds. I like that I can do a rough coffee quantity, and the scale will automatically adjust everything so I don’t have to figure it out. I can also use a different pour over kit with a different amount of grounds without having to do any calculations.
Due to the timer and progress bars, I’m also brewing more closely to the optimal brew time. This is something I haven't paid enough attention to in the past, but it can make a big difference in the final result.
The weight and timing elements of the scale have resulted in a more consintent and tasty cup of coffee every time, while adding very little to the complexity of the process. I'm very happy with this scale.
Bonus: As of May 18, 2020, there’s now a $10 coupon on Amazon, which brings the price to under $25.