Congratulations! You’ve finally made that perfect cup of coffee. Now. Can you do it again? Can you reproduce that perfect cup of coffee every time? As a professional coffee roaster, it’s my experience that without a coffee scale, duplicating that perfect cup of coffee is pretty darn hard. A coffee scale is an essential tool in your arsenal of coffee brewing equipment.
The Perfect Cup of Coffee
Unfortunately, many people think that finding the perfect bean is 100% of the equation for making a perfect cup of coffee. This kind of thinking couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, finding the perfect bean, which is roasted to perfection, that’s also super fresh is only 50% of the “Perfect Cup of Coffee” equation. The other 50% is all about how you brew your coffee.
Brewing Technique Experiments
The only way to learn how to make a perfect cup of coffee is to experiment. Your perfect cup isn’t the same as my perfect cup. That’s why you need to experiment. Then one day, BAMB! You did it. You got your perfect cup of coffee.
When I got my first perfect cup of coffee, it was awesome. But the next day, my coffee was good, very good, but not quite perfect. Over the years, my “perfect” success rate was about one out of five times. That kind of sucked.
My Coffee Counter Space
A small corner of our kitchen is “my” coffee brewing space. It’s kind of an un-written rule that no one messes with “my” coffee space. Well, one morning I found a food scale that was left on “my” counter. So, I put it in the cupboard. The next morning, same thing. Then the next morning, the same thing.
On the fourth morning, that darn scale was back on “my” counter. Well, heck, if it’s right there, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away any time soon, so I figured that I might as well use it and weigh my coffee.
As it turns out my ¼ cup of beans weighted about 22 grams, which produced a pretty darn good cup of coffee, but not quite perfect. The next day I tried 21 grams; again, a pretty darn good cup of coffee, but not perfect.
The following day, I tried 20 grams of beans. BAMB! Grand Slam! Awesome cup of coffee! The next day, I tried 19 grams. Not surprising, it was a pretty darn good cup of coffee, but not quite as good as the 20 grams. The following day, I went back to 20 grams. BAMB! Awesome cup of coffee again.
The only reason that I had never tried weighing my beans is that it seemed a bit too anal for me. Knowing that my mama didn't raise no dummy, I'm now starting to think that maybe there’s something to this weighing my coffee beans. Nerdy or not, after several months, I'm now hitting the coffee-making-ball out-of-the-park 100% of the time. I'm now convinced.
It turns out that 1 gram of beans equals about 6 beans. That’s it. Only 6 beans can throw off my perfect cup of coffee. And I’ll bet that might be happening to you. Check out the following link on how to make the smoothest cup of coffee.
Which Coffee Scale?
I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that a coffee scale is pretty darn cheap. They do a pretty good job of measuring coffee beans. Their accuracy is within 1 gram. I’d prefer a scale that could get down to one tenth of a gram, but the price for such a scale is ridiculous.
Here's the bad news. After 3 hours of searching the internet for a food/kitchen scale, I couldn’t find even one scale “Made in the USA”. I also couldn’t find a scale that was made anywhere outside of China. Most of the scales that I found, ran from $15 to about $50. I personally use a cheap $25 scale from China. That being said, my cheap scale works well enough.
Six Beans - Give or Take
Providing the perfect beans is my side of the equation. I love super smooth (non-bitter) coffee that has depth of character and perfectly balanced flavors. For a detailed explanation of how we select the single very best bean on the planet, see our article "The Smoothest Coffee Beans Are Back".
Here's the weird thing. Many brewing systems come with a 1/4 Cup measuring scoop. Unfortunately, that scoop isn't exact. You could be measuring 15/32th of a cup, 16/32th, or 17/36th of a cup. Which turns out to be about 6 beans, give or take. I know this sounds nerdy, but those 6 beans really do make a big difference in taste. This is exactly why using a scale can make a big difference to the coffee lover who demands a perfect cup of coffee every time.
Lake City Coffee
As coffee connoisseurs, Alisha (my wife) and I love great coffee. By great coffee, I mean coffee that knocks your socks off. We’re looking for coffee that gives you that “Ahhh…” moment. Where you put your feet on the coffee table, lean your head back, and say “Wow, that’s good. That’s really good.”
Alisha and I choose the beans that we like and we roast them the way we like. You all (our customers and friends) get what’s left over. Maybe that’s why we offer only one bean and three roasts. As you can tell, here at Lake City Coffee, we keep things pretty simple. If we had a motto, it’d be “KISS”. In other words, we know our business model.
All that boils down to this. If you like what we like, you’re going to love our coffee. The beans are awesome. The roast is perfect. And you’d be hard pressed to find fresher roasted coffee anywhere on Earth. In fact, our beans are still warm when they go into your Priority Mail Box. That's why we say and do "From our roaster to your table in 24-72 hours".
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