Fellow Tally vs. Acaia Pearl: Which Coffee Scale Is Best?
Back in the Dark Ages, when folks brewed pour-over coffee by the seat of their pants, it took a lot of work to gain any kind of consistency and quality control. Instinct is well and good until each brew is wildly over or under-extracted. How would you even know what adjustments you needed to make? Especially if you’re still developing your palate. It’s difficult to imagine a time when we so carelessly poured water over haphazardly ground coffee without paying attention to important variables such as brew ratios. The coffee scale to the barista is a sharp knife to the professional chef, a tool that is both functional and helps elevate your craft.
For coffee enthusiasts, professional baristas, and home baristas, the coffee scale is 100% essential in improving the quality of your coffee and, if you can afford it, skip the cheap options in the market. Below we will look at some of the top coffee scales in the industry. Why spend this much money on a scale? Of course, you don’t have to; however, all three offer a premium and pleasant experience with tactile feedback and precision that less expensive scales simply do not have.
The Acaia Pearl ($150) & Acaia Pearl S ($220)
A Pearl in the cafe becomes a gem for the home bar
The original Pearl scale began as a premium pour-over scale with laboratory build-quality for the cafè environment, similar in ethos to its sibling for espresso—the Acaia Lunar. These scales were meant for heavy-duty use and could stand up to punishment. People quickly realized that the Pearl could be utilized for many different applications, most notably as a dedicated scale to tare your portafilter, but also a high-end scale for home use, specifically for pour-over and baking.
The Pearl is beloved for its crisp and simple interface and easy-to-read 8-digit LED display, but what makes it stand out from the pack is its superior stability and weighing accuracy during brewing, which allows for a real-time flow-rate indicator. This hallmark feature allows the barista to visualize your real-time pouring speed and, based on that information, suggests thresholds for ideal flow rates, thus helping you improve your technique. Yes, it’s true that the best automatic drip machine agitates the grounds for you and even has bloom phases, but what they don’t have is your personal touch. Making pour-over is not one size fits all, so making coffee manually is special.
The Pearl S expands the capabilities of the Pearl
The Pearl S scale takes everything from the Pearl scale but integrates app connectivity with their brew guide mode. Brewguide helps you brew your favorite style pour-over step-by-step from V60 to Chemex. The Pearl S adds a sophisticated dot matrix LED display and incorporates customizable sound or voice notification settings to hear the weight and time on the scale’s many personalized brew modes. You can also track your flow rate more easily on the triple display scale, showing time, weight, and flow rate as you make your real pour-over.
The Pearl & Pearl S side-by-side
Like the Pearl S by Acaia, Fellow refers to their premium line of products as “Pro” or “Studio,” indicating, like in the case with the Fellow Tally case, that it’s a robust scale built from the best materials. We’re impressed with the Tally in that it’s a high-quality scale geared towards beginners and coffee enthusiasts alike. The Tally’s unique Brew Assist™Mode does the math for you. Choose a brew ratio, say 1:16; the scale will guide you as you pour in real-time, with stunning accuracy, until you reach your target. We are thrilled to say that no app is required to use their Brew Assist™ Mode, and the two buttons on the scale are intuitive and easy to use.
The tally is simple and well-built. Its three modes are very easy to access.
Three Thoughtful Modes:
- Brew Assist™ Mode: A first of its kind feature for perfect pour over. Choose your coffee-to-water ratio and Brew Assist™ Mode guides you to your target brew weight.
- Timer Mode: For experience brewers, Timer Mode shows a side-by-side timer and weight in grams so you can perfect your pour over with minimal distractions.
- Weight Mode: To weight small goods beyond coffee, use the versatile Weight Mode to easily measure in grams, ounces, pounds, and milliliters.
Let’s face it, folks—if you’re making pour-over at home, you need to use a scale, so do yourself a favor and get one that feels good and one that will last a long time.