For The Most Balanced Pour-Over Coffee, Use A Kitchen Scale

For people who value flavor over all else in a cup of coffee, it's worth investing in the right equipment. Whether you're a fan of the automatic drip coffeemaker, an espresso devotee, or you have the patience required for the perfect pour-over, there's one piece of equipment that's a must-have for a balanced cup or pot of coffee, and that's a kitchen scale.

There's really only one best way to measure coffee beans, and that's with a scale. Spoons and scoops are notoriously inaccurate, and coffee is about balance and proportion. How big a difference can it make to use a scale instead of a volume-based measurement like a scoop or spoon? As much as 25%, and that's too much wiggle room. Whether ground or whole, coffee beans vary enormously in terms of their weight because of the variety of beans, how long it's been roasted, and how finely it's been ground. And your kitchen scale is even more important when making coffee, specifically with the pour-over method.

You also need a kitchen scale to measure the water for your coffee

It's remarkable that so much has been written about a drink made with just two ingredients: coffee beans and water. Getting the correct ratio of those two ingredients is essential, and the generally agreed-on proportion is 1 part coffee beans to 15-17 parts water, depending on how strong you like your coffee. That means for a typical Chemex pour-over, you'd use about 42 grams of coffee to about 700 grams of water. Pourovers rely on a little fine-tuning, and you'll want to play around with both the proportion and the grind of your coffee to achieve the perfect balance for your ideal cup.

Once you've weighed and ground your coffee beans, you still need that scale. The easiest way to measure your hot water is to place your pour-over brewer on the scale, hit the tare button to zero out the weight of the brewer, and measure the water as you pour. Once you've figured out your ideal proportion of coffee to water, brewing the coffee using the scale is as easy as can be, and it's far more accurate than using a measuring cup.