Weighing In on the Pour Over Scale Problem
If you are a fan and practitioner of manual, pour over brewing methods like the V60 or Chemex, you may, like many of us, pour using a scale for precision and profiling. And, if you pour on a scale, perhaps you have experienced the frustration of having the scale auto shut-off on you a minute or two into the brew. This is VERY frustrating, and many in the pour over brewing community have voiced their frustrations and have sought forums for advice about suitable scales.
There have been a few scales out there that have been noted for their precision as well as for remaining on throughout the entire brewing process (2-5 min, including pre-infusion) but there do seem to be some issues with those mentioned. The AWS Scale is a great scale, very precise and does remain on even past five minutes. But in our tests we found that the blue light angled display was unreadable except from eye level, which excludes typical pour over brewing posture. The Salter Digital Scale is a wonderful scale, and has sentimental value for me as it was my first. But I have experienced it cutting off from time to time, which is usually conditioned upon my pour rate. If I am pouring aggressively the scale works fine, but if I am pouring slower than normal, it is more prone to cut off after a minute or so. And more recently, I have been able to play around with the Jennings CJ4000, and while it may not be the most beautiful scale on the block and is slightly bulky, pragmatically it left me with little want.
This timeout issue became a problem for us as we were designing the Contra. We chose the Escali Tabla because of its design to place a pour over stand upon it, and also because initially, we did not encounter any problems with the auto shut-off. But after asking other local baristas to experiment with the Contra, we found the timeout problem was occurring with different pouring styles.
So, we contacted the good folks at Escali, and they agreed to redesign the Tabla and lengthen the auto-off to a post five minutes brew time. They sent one to us that had been modified and we can attest that it does, in fact, stay on for the entire cycle of the pour, regardless of the pour rate or pre-infusion pause. These new and improved Tablas will be available in September. If you do wish to order the Contra before then, there are three options: We would be glad to ship the station now, and ship the new Tablas when they are ready; We can ship all together when ready in a couple of months; We can ship the Contra with the current Tabla, if preferred.
*If you have any experience or reviews of scales that you have used and would either recommend or not, we would love to hear about them!