Coffee scales are intricate devices with features that are uniquely found only in them, but they are not all equal. Unfortunately for the whole Acaia Pearl vs Lunar coffee scale debate, however, both are manufactured by Acaia, making it very difficult to call one better than the other! Acaia is a leading brand that caters to coffee lovers and professional baristas around the world with their state-of-the-art coffee scales.
Nevertheless, a comparison between the Acaia Lunar scale and the Acaia Pearl Scale is inevitable if you are in the market to buy a new coffee scale. The good news is that once you get the basics down, choosing between the two Acaia scales is not as difficult as the internet or your local salesperson may make it out to be. Read on as we go about explaining both coffee scales, post a small introduction to the idea behind specialized coffee scales.
What is a Coffee Scale?
The coffee scale is a culinary weighing scale used for noting accurate measurements while brewing specialty, gourmet coffee with perfection. The scales may differ in features and accuracy, but any coffee scale worth buying is expected to be capable of:
- Providing accurate weight measurements every time
- Measuring very light objects such as coffee beans and grounds, without losing that accuracy
- Accommodating cups, mugs, and pots on top of it
If you are reading this post, then it means you already have a pretty good idea about them. Nonetheless, an introduction to coffee scales is still necessary because it helps us stay grounded enough to see past the marketing and remember why we were trying to buy an Acaia scale in the first place. Also, nobody is an expert from day one and without proper guidance, newcomers would not be able to make the right decision while buying their first coffee scale. With that point in mind, let us take a look at the Acaia Lunar first.
Acaia Lunar Scale: Is the Price Worth It?
As soon as you hold and see an Acaia Lunar scale for the first time, you will realize that you are looking at something that no cheap $20 coffee scale can match up to in terms of build quality alone. Keep in mind that this is a good thing given that the Acaia scale costs roughly 10 times as much! What you really need to ask is the question, is the Acaia Lunar scale worth that much money?
The answer is yes if you are a coffee connoisseur who can afford it. It’s also a big yes if you are buying it for your café or restaurant. However, if the Acaia Lunar scale is tugging on your budget, there are other Acaia scales for you to consider as well. They are not all as expensive as the Lunar, which includes the Acaia Pearl Scale as well. Although the Pearl is not exactly cheap either, it is significantly cheaper than the Lunar for sure.
Acaia Lunar: Features to Spend For?
The brushed aluminum in charcoal design of the Acaia Lunar scale has been copied to the moon and back! Nevertheless, none of the cheap replicas look or feel as premium as the original. Of course, that is not the only reason you are paying top dollar for your coffee scale, which leads us to the obvious question: what are the features that make spending money on the premium Acaia scale worth the expense? For your convenience, we have decided to point them out precisely next:
- As should be the standard for all coffee scales (but isn’t), this Acaia scale is completely waterproof.
- One of the only Acaia scales and coffee scales in general to have a 2ms response time.
- Bluetooth v4.0 compatible.
- Glass covered, LED display is bright and remains clearly visible even when there is a lot of steam.
- The ability to simultaneously measure in ounces and milliliters is quite handy.
- Capable of counting your espresso shots, which older coffee machines may not have.
- It lets you manually control when to start measuring the weight, which eliminates the need to subtract solid weight from the total.
- Another automatic mode will only start measuring weight after you have placed the brewer on it.
- The Acaia Lunar scale has a setting which allows it to measure fluid ounces only.
- When you are trying to make espresso with the perfection it needs, the ability to measure liquids only is a priceless feature to have.
- The feet keep the Acaia scale surprisingly sturdy for such a small (4”x 4” approx.) device.
- Incredible accuracy: Almost no unit has ever been reported to show accuracy variance beyond 0.1g.
- Excellent battery life with clear indicators, and twin displays for time and weight.
Keep in mind that this is only a shortened version of the expensive but impressive Acaia Lunar scale’s long list of positive features. However, does that mean it’s the perfect Acaia scale for everyone out there? No, it isn’t, even if you do have the budget. In fact, that is exactly why the comparison between the Acaia Lunar and the Pearl is so important. Next, we will be taking an even closer look at the Acaia Lunar to explain where it falls short as a coffee scale.
Acaia Lunar: is It Lacking?
The premium Acaia scale is in many ways perfect for those that have the budget and the use for it, but it isn’t perfect for everyone. To help readers understand why it might be lacking in some department, we have, once again, listed them in short points next:
- For a coffee scale that costs above $200, not including a fast charger inside feels like something is lacking in the box, quite literally!
- It is surprising to see that the Acaia scale is not big enough for supporting a spouted portafilter, despite being engineered for brewing espressos.
- You will have to spend roughly an additional $25-$30 for buying the propriety magnetic portafilter weighing plate.
- This little plate transforms the Acaia Lunar into a flawless scale for hosting portafilters, but you will be spending more money on a device that’s already expensive.
- The small size makes the Acaia Lunar quite difficult to use with V60 drippers.
Despite several updates, it’s a fact that Acaia still needs to rework their mobile application into something useable. However, this issue at least should not be held against the impressive little coffee scale, because all Acaia scales share this one!
Acaia Pearl Scale S: A Better Option?
What started as a coffee connoisseur’s dream Kickstarter project almost a decade ago (2013) has seen several versions being released since 2014. We will be considering the latest model only in this comparison between the Acaia Lunar scale and the Pearl, which is of course, the Acaia Pearl S. So, is the Pearl S coffee scale a better product from Acaia? Well, the answer is both yes and no, depending on who you are and what you are looking buy your Acaia scale for. Let’s elaborate on that by simply pointing out its advantages over the more premium priced Acaia Lunar scale model first.
- The Pearl S is bigger at 6” x 6” approximately, which makes it the better of the two Acaia scales in many ways
- A 2” x 2” difference in surface area does not make the Pearl S much less portable than the Acaia Lunar
- However, that 2” x 2” difference does make it significantly more accommodating towards portafilters and V65 drippers
- If you have a weakness for hand-brewed pour-over coffee or drip coffee, you will find this Acaia scale to be more suited to your needs
- Although not cheap by any means, the Acaia Pearl S does offer quite similar features at a lower price, in comparison to the Acaia Lunar
- Just like the Lunar, the Pearl also has Bluetooth v4.0 connectivity
- Pearl Acaia scales have an extra display which shows the flowrate in real time
- The flowrate display alone makes it a better buy for gourmet, pour-over coffee lovers
Similar But Not the Same
Despite the similarities and certain clear advantages that the Acaia Pearl scale has over its premium counterpart, the two are not quite the same. For example:
- The Acaia Lunar is a more accurate scale, as there is a greater room for error with the Pearl at 0.2g
- While both are professional-grade coffee scales, the Lunar has more useful and intricate features than the Pearl Acaia scale
- The real time flow-rate display is excellent, but not needed unless you are a drip coffee enthusiast
In conclusion, we would have to admit that the Pearl S can indeed be considered as a better value for money product. In fact, the Pearl S Acaia scale is recommended over the Acaia Lunar scale to those of us who prefer hand-pouring their coffee (v60). However, on account of the several impressive modes which are exclusive to the Acaia Lunar, it is a better fit for espresso lovers. You may still need to get that portafilter plate if you have a medium to large sized espresso machine though!