Acaia Pearl Model S Coffee Scale Overview
It used to be that the tamper was the symbolic tool of coffee professionals. We’d argue that now, it’s the scale. When a tool feels representative of your commitment to a craft, you want to have something both functional and beautiful. For that, Acaia is the go-to brand and the newly released Pearl Model S is their flagship. Check out our overview video below.
The original Pearl stood for years as the premium coffee scale of choice in the industry. Whether you work with espresso or pour over, its size, speed, and accuracy make it an excellent tool. With the Model S, Acaia expands on its capabilities. The first thing you’ll notice is its new dot matrix LED display. We’re big fans of this new look. More importantly, though, is that a denser display allows the Model S to provide more information at once. And we’re not just talking about the charming startup greeting.
To access all the capabilities of this scale, we recommend downloading Acaia’s Brewguide app. It’ll allow you to quickly turn on new modes and adjust settings on the scale, plus another feature that we’ll talk about in a minute, though the name of the app might’ve spoiled that already. Just like the original Pearl, the Model S can weigh down to the tenth of a gram and display a timer at the same time. On our first use, we noticed that the scale is noticeably faster than the already quick Pearl. The rest of the modes put the new display to work.
First, take a look at the new flow rate mode. It displays time, weight, and flow rate. By taking a rolling average of the number of grams of water added per second, it gives you a live display of how heavy your pour is. A handy tool for keeping your brews truly consistent. There’s also a flow rate practice mode which gives you a visual display, allowing you to practice keeping a steady pour.
The other modes for espresso and portafilters are Acaia staples that can help you streamline your workflow by automatically taring your portafilter and timing your shots accordingly.
Now for the main attraction: Brewguides. In the app, you can create brewguides. These can be simple, with information on the dose of water and coffee, or they can be very detailed. By programming in things like the time and weight of each pour, and wait periods in between, you can create a full map of your favorite pour over recipe. The exciting part happens when you upload that recipe to the scale.
By pressing and holding the tare button for two seconds the scale will jump into Brewguide mode. From there, each step that you programmed will happen in sequence, prompting you to add the proper amount of coffee, pour for the bloom, and everything else between now and that cup of coffee.
The level of detail with which the app allows you to program steps with conditions, details, and messages essentially makes it a simplified, visual programming language for your scale. We think that’s beyond cool. This is particularly handy if a friend wants to make a coffee and is less experienced. We also think this could be invaluable for cafes – guiding baristas through each pour over and cutting down on training time.
All in all, the Pearl Model S is a considerable upgrade on the original. It’s clear that Acaia used their strengths in app development and precise, fast measurements to create the best coffee scale experience we’ve seen.