Scales and design

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#1: Post by Espressoman007 »


Perhaps there is an answer or discussion on the forum about it, if there is, send me a link. If not, perhaps someone has the answer - why are all coffee/jewelry scales made to be used with AA or AAA batteries, and not with button batteries. I don't know if every kitchen scale is thinner than a coffee scale because of that, but most familiar to me are.

Is there a reason for that or... what?

There are not many espresso machines, levers, that have a gap that small between the base and group/portafilter, but there are some that need the thinnest scale there is. Strietman for example. And what's more interesting is that kitchen scales (unlike coffee scales) are manufactured to measure heavier things.



#2: Post by BaristaMcBob »

The problems with tiny jeweler's scales are (1) they are too small to weigh a portafilter and (2) they typically don't have a timer.

Recognizing these limitations has given rise to special coffee scales. Most of these scales are designed to be used with the pour-over method. In those cases, the thickness of the scale doesn't matter.

However, as you have discovered, if the scale is too thick, it doesn't work very well under the brew group of an espresso machine. I.e. can't fit a cup under the portafilter.

So, you have two choices. (1) buy a $200 bluetooth fancy espresso scale such as the Acaia Pearl. These are thin - but IMHO too small to weigh a portafilter. Or (2) buy this one for $35 bucks. It's about 3/4" thick, fast response, at fits nicely on top of the espresso machine drain. ... 0923DMDWH/

The Timemore scales are good too. But they are slightly more expensive and slightly larger. ... 084FBMV1D/

User avatar
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

"Back in the day" AA or AAA batteries were inexpensive and three could provide the then-typical 3.3 V for logic without conversion. AA and AAA are ubiquitous and cheap. Especially back when incandescent bulbs were used for illumination, the ~1000 mAh capacity of three AAAs was a longer-lasting and less-expensive choice over the "watch battery" LR44/A76 (~120 mAh) or a button cell like the CR2032 (~225 mAh).

In the years intervening, regulations on heavy metals have made the button cells more expensive and transportation regulations related to lithium batteries have added to the delivered cost.

On the design front, many coffee scales are "upside down" in that there's a weighting platform that extends over the base, to reduce potential water ingress. That adds to the height that is reasonably achievable. You can't inset the platform and you need some clearance below as well.


#4: Post by jpender »

Espressoman007 wrote:...why are all coffee/jewelry scales made to be used with AA or AAA batteries, and not with button batteries.
Good question. The weight being measured isn't going to be what determines the best choice for the battery. For example, digital bathroom scales use button batteries.

Not all pocket scales use AA or AAA. This one uses 2x CR2032 batteries: ... B002UKXANM


#5: Post by bonjing »

I would also add that AA and AAA are convenient. Most people have those sizes at home for a quick replacement if needed. Or they will cannibalize the battery from another device for a quick fix. Button cells aren't really a household item for most.


#6: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

I got one sorta like this, by this manufacturer, in part, b/c it had rechargeable batteries. I've had it for around two years. I've never calibrated it but it seems accurate enough. No complaints. ... 80&sr=8-13


#7: Post by duffind »

I purchased the Kyerlish and so far it's has worked well both under the group head and to weigh the portafilter.

Espressoman007 (original poster)

#8: Post by Espressoman007 (original poster) »

That's a good find "jpender", that one is with button batteries, but it's still 19 mm thick, I was thinking more about scales that wouldn't be over 10 mm (my kitchen scale is 13 mm).
"BaristaMcBob" indeed, Acaia is thinner, and I was surprised when I found out, because it doesn't look like it is, but it's still 15 mm. That's a lot better, but "not perfect", you still don't have much room left for average cups when using Strietman. It's not that I really need one for Strietman, because I know what the max output is, so it's not difficult to hit almost exact number if I want less, shorter espresso. But I like gadgets, and if it would be in the range of $50, $60, maybe $100, I would definitely buy one for fun. But I wouldn't go for one that costs $200, or use scales that already are on the market (Acaia 15mm) but then squeeze cups or look for the shortest one that exists.

My point is...why someone doesn't make a 10 mm scale for coffee, espresso users, and make money on it! :)
How come there's no thin, cheap coffee scale on the market, or expensive one, but not thicker than 10 mm?

If I knew anything about electronics, I would be the first to make it, lol.

Actually, at the moment, I am not looking for a scale. I am satisfied with those that I have. I have Timemore scale and one that is pretty popular, cheap, 0.01 g. I am using that one when making espresso with Bianca. ... /447273043 and that's the one I am using all the time.

Also I have a scale for packages, it is a bit bigger, actually a lot bigger, lol ... NrPXRydWU=

I am not using this one for measuring coffee in the cup, haha...but I was wondering whether it would be possible to make even thinner platform for weighing in, connected via cable and monitor for readings? Perhaps with this design platform could be even 5 mm?


P.S. My idea with this thread was to encourage, or give an idea to manufacturers, well-known and not so well-known (or enthusiasts here on HB who deal with electronics), to make a thin, espresso scale that wouldn't be thicker than 10 mm. THIS IS MORE LIKE A PETITION, lol!

User avatar
Team HB

#9: Post by Jeff »

10 mm is going to be tough, as the strain gauge is often that thick alone


#10: Post by tennisman03110 »

There's no market for a super thin, rather expensive scale. Most of the interest is probably from this forum (not me).

Amazon is littered with ~20 mm thick scales, about $15. And they work perfectly fine. Sure, the batteries aren't common type, but you change them less than once a year, depending on use.