The Brewista Ratio Scale: Origins and Function

Stemming from a snarky comment by a non-engineer (and co-owner) of Brewista, the Ratio Scale was born. The project started about two years ago when our co-owner brewed what has to be classified among the worst cups of coffee ever brewed –bitter and over-extracted to the point that Archie Bunker would seem sweet. After taking one sip and spitting it all over the wood tile floor of the Brewista kitchen, he exclaimed, “with all the smart people around me you think someone could come up with a way to make a pour over dummy-proof!” Now don’t get me wrong, Steven is brilliant in his own right. However, when it comes to ratios and engineering, there is much to be desired.

After an exceptionally extracted cup of Ethiopian single origin and countless hours of extensive research with the SCA on everything from brew time to ratio to extraction levels and back again, it was finally decided what qualifies as the “perfect” pour. According to the SCA recommendations, the perfect pour is 2 minutes and 30 seconds brewed at a 17:1 ratio (17 parts water to 1 part coffee). Any less than that, you experience something like coffee-flavored water served at grandma’s house on a Sunday morning (sorry grandma). Anything more and the bitterness starts to overwhelm the cup. However, we realize not everyone is the same and 17:1 may not be your cup of tea, or coffee in this case. Fine, fine – that’s great. For the novices and the know-it-alls alike, the ratio scale is completely programmable from 14:1 to 20:1.

The Brewista Ratio Scale offers unique technology that allows for consistent training across the board. If your baristas have the capacity to follow the “dotted line,” then they have the capability to pour a perfect cup according to SCA guidelines. The ratio scale has 2 sets of dotted lines, the first being a guide that begins when you to start your pour and reaches the end at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and the second representing your actual pour. The scale measures how much water you have poured in reference to where you should be at a certain stage of the pour (you can see this in action in this video. If you pour too quickly, your actual line will be longer than the target line and likely result in under-extracted, watery coffee. If you pour too slowly, your line will be behind the target and likely result in over-extracted, bitter coffee. The objective is simple – keep your actual dotted line in symmetry with the guide dots. Easy enough, right?

It gets better! To start the process, put your brewing vessel complete with filter (pre-wetted if required) on the scale, wait 3 seconds and bam! It auto-tares and literally tells you to add your beans. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, add those sweet, chocolatey, nuggets of caffeinated heaven! From here, just hit the ‘Ratio’ button and the scale calculates (to the tenth of a decimal) exactly how much water you need based off the amount of coffee added at your selected ratio. As soon as the water touches the grounds, the timer starts and so do your dotted lines. Now just keep your actual line even with the guide line until the pour is complete! It’s so simple anyone from coffee aficionados to non-engineering co-owners of product engineering and design companies can do it! Wait… what?

With the Brewista Ratio Scale, there is no more worrying if your customer is getting a consistent cup from barista to barista. This scale also presents itself as the ideal pour over scale for individuals dreaming of brewing that perfect, specialty coffeehouse-quality cup from home. A true scale for those in search of the elusive perfect pour!