On Monday, my Acaia Pearl scale arrived, the latest addition to my home brew bar. I decided to purchase this scale because my previous scales were not as accurate or responsive as I would like. The Acaia Pearl scale has a reputation for being the best scale for professionals and home brewers so I decided it was worth a look. After further research, I found the scale met my needs: the Pearl was advertised as fast and accurate.
When I first got my Acaia Pearl scale, I was a bit confused by the controls. I wrote in my last blog post on the scale a guide on how to navigate around the scale but I knew that writing the controls was not enough. I would need practice. I now feel like I am getting better at using the controls but I had quite a rocky start. I am somewhat concerned that I make a mistake and I fail to start my timer correctly, potentially derailing my brew. I sometimes get confused at how to change modes. But I quickly figure out what to do. The controls are now easier to navigate because I have had some practice.
In terms of weighing, the scales meet my specifications. Whereas my last scales would usually sway between different measurements, the Pearl has not suffered this issue. Sometimes the weight changes by 0.1 grams or so but the scale quickly gives me a final reading that I feel confident in, unlike my last scale. I now no longer have to keep taking beans out of my ramekin and put them back in again in order to get a reliable measurement of the weight of coffee on the scale. While this has a small impact on the time it takes me to prepare a brew, it is notable. I can do something else, like prepare my grinder, in that time.
The timer feature works well, too. I was somewhat concerned when the scale arrived because the timer does not weigh down to 0.1 grams. But I soon realised weighing down to the single gram is fine. While I do have to change to the weighing mode to get 0.1 gram accuracy, this is not too much of a burden. I somewhat prefer to have the weight accurate to a gram on the timer because any number after the decimal point is irrelevant; I do not need to see if my brew weight is 250.2 grams or 250.4 grams. If I did, I could just switch modes.
Interestingly, the timer continues even if you switch modes. I found this out when I was making an Aeropress brew. I was trying to turn the scale off—which I should not have done because the scale was my timer—and I accidentally changed modes instead. I changed back to the timer mode and noticed my timer was still going. If the timer had stopped, I would have had to go with my gut on the timing, which would have made my brew very hard to replicate.
The Acaia Pearl feels like a premium product and the overall user experience is in line with that feeling. When I use the scale to brew coffee, I feel more like a professional, even though nothing has changed other than the scale I am using. There are more modes for me to explore, although I am happy with the weight and the timer and weight modes at the moment. There is the app, too, although after some initial experimentation I do not foresee myself using the application.
Although the Pearl is often referred to as a "smart scale," I feel the features of the scale itself are enough. The scale is speedy, accurate, and looks great. I would recommend downloading the Brewmaster app. This app makes it easy for you to disable the beeping sound that is on by default when you get the scale. You can also monitor the battery percentage from the app. I have not had an urge to check the battery level because the scale came almost fully charged but I know that I can check the battery life if I want to do so.
I am pleased with my purchase of the Acaia Pearl scale. I have gotten used to the controls on the scale and I now feel more confident using the Pearl. While the scale is pricey, the features offered by the Pearl out of the box, not to mention the application, are just what I needed as a home brewer. Because I'm brewing about three cups every day at the moment, I am getting a lot of use out of the scale. I expect this scale will be part of my brew bar for a long time yet.