Acaia Lunar Scale Overview
The Acaia Lunar has long been our favorite espresso scale, and popular opinion suggests we’re not alone. At a glance, it’s easy to get an idea of why. But there’s a lot more beneath the sleek aluminum frame that puts the Lunar head and shoulders above the competition. Check out our overview video below!
Let’s start with the simple stuff. The Lunar is super fast and accurate. This is a huge part of what makes Acaia’s product so popular among coffee hobbyists and professionals. When you’re making coffee multiple times a day, or hundreds, you want something that feels responsive and precise. It’s like the difference between using a phone that’s snappy and responsive versus one that lags through menus — the objective difference in time may be a second but the difference in feeling is massive.
Acaia also spends a lot of time ensuring their scales are extremely precise. While they display weight down to the tenth of a gram, they’re built to be accurate down to the thousandth. Even better, Acaia includes a calibration weight with every Lunar so that you can keep it perfectly calibrated in perpetuity.
The sleek aluminum shell is meant to last, too. To put it in good light, we’ve “stress-tested” the numerous Lunars in our office over the years and even when dropped from counter-height they’ve only suffered superficial damage. They’re also water-resistant. Acaia stops short of saying “waterproof” but speaking from our experience, we’ve used these heavily for years and have yet to have one suffer from water damage. An impressive feat for something that spends most of its time beneath what is essentially a boiling water faucet.
All that aside it’s time to start digging into the software. While design helps set Acaia apart, it’s the features that they’ve programmed into their scales that really seal the deal. First is the timer mode. The timer on the left is started with a single tap of the power button and weight is displayed on the right. Handy, functional, but let’s be honest: a bit pedestrian.
Cycling to the next setting by holding the power button, we see a new symbol appear. The water droplet. This is the auto-timer mode and it’s something you won’t find on most other scales. When the scale detects the slow increase in weight associated with the first drops of espresso, it will automatically start the timer. Likewise, when you stop your shot it’ll automatically stop the timer. While we generally recommend starting the timer the moment water touches coffee you can account for that difference in timing after a few shots. That makes this an incredibly useful feature for those in a cafe or coffee cart that produce high volumes of drinks by significantly reducing the number of actions required.
Moving on, we’ll hold the power button once again to cycle to the next mode, which happens to be my favorite. It has a less than catchy name – “auto-tare auto-start timer mode” – but it’s super useful and reliable. Essentially, when the scale detects a stable weight - like a cup - it will automatically tare the weight and start the timer. With this on your drip tray all you have to do is set your cup down and start your shot at about the same time and the Lunar handles the rest. I prefer this mode because it counts the time before your first drops of espresso while still keeping the process streamlined.
Lastly, we have our auto-tare mode. This does exactly what you’d expect: it simply tares any stable weight placed atop the scale. It’s best used with the scale on your drip tray where it’ll automatically tare the weight of a cup but not that steady flow of espresso.
Between these six modes, you have your pick between dead-simple standard scale functionality and smart software designed to make your espresso experience feel effortless. Combined with the Lunar’s durability and good looks, we think it’s easy to see why this is our favorite coffee scale.