Do you guys use scales?


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Do you guys use scales?

Postby mageta » Oct 8th, '12, 12:11

I guess a scale could be considered teaware so I'm posting this here...

I hear all this talk about how teaspoonfuls isn't a good measurement to go by, seems like everyone's using grams instead, so do you guys just use little kitchen scales or something?
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby wyardley » Oct 8th, '12, 12:22

Drug dealer ones (ok, jeweler scales, if you like) are probably the best size / precision. You should be able to get something for $15 or $20. Lots of threads about this on here already.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby Chip » Oct 8th, '12, 13:02

:roll: drug dealer scale? Jewelry scale? (jewelry scales have much higher resolution than what most of us need to weigh tea) ... neither ... why not simply refer to them as digital or electronic (pocket) scales which would facilitate searches?

Feel free to post a new topic as needed. This is what helps keep the forum current and not just a search result of antiquity. Most of us are happy to discuss rehashed topics. Of course you can always search via google or the forum's search feature as well.

Electronic or digital scales are readily available on amazon and ebay ... or google search. You will want one with resolution to .1 gram. And one that tares, though they all likely do. I have not looked lately at what is hot. I think a lot of members purchased My Weigh versions.

Some offer an optional weight for calibration. I was tempted to get one when I purchased mine 8ish years ago ... but it has never needed calibrating. You can always test your scale with a new dime which weighs around 2.3 grams.

My original batteries just gave out around a month ago, and I use it a LOT!
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby spinmail » Oct 8th, '12, 13:19

I went the eBay route. I paid under $5 for a digital scale - and I still haven't changed the AA batteries yet.

Is it fast? Uh, no...but it's fast enough for tea. Use it every day.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby debunix » Oct 8th, '12, 13:21

I use the scale when trying a new tea, when writing a formal review, and nearly every time I prepare sencha. I bought pocket scales on Amazon that were cheap enough ($8-12) to keep one in each of the places I regularly brew tea (home and offices). I wouldn't be without them. But >90% of my daily brewing, I don't use the scales.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby mageta » Oct 8th, '12, 14:58

wyardley wrote:Drug dealer ones (ok, jeweler scales, if you like) are probably the best size / precision. You should be able to get something for $15 or $20. Lots of threads about this on here already.


Haha, I was actually going to head down to the local smoke shop to grab one of those drug scales "I swear it's only for tea!"
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby wyardley » Oct 8th, '12, 15:05

mageta wrote:Haha, I was actually going to head down to the local smoke shop to grab one of those drug scales "I swear it's only for tea!"

Well you know what "tea" is slang for, right?

Anyway, I was kind of joking, but the model I have is the My Weigh model that's a hemp / plastic composite, so I think the target demographic is kind of clear, especially from the description on their site.

A kitchen scale is very useful too, so if you think you'd use one for cooking, just get one with enough precision, and use that. Personally, I like having the really small size for measuring tea.

As far as the more general question here (whether or not I use a scale), most of the time, I do not use a scale (though I own one). You can eyeball most teas pretty well once you get a little practice, and get a sense of what kind of taste you prefer. A scale is good for consistency, or for brewing a rare tea that you don't have a lot of. Also useful when dealing with teas which have small / broken up leaves, or which are tightly compressed. I used to be completely against using scales for tea brewing, but I have gotten to appreciate some of the benefits, so now I'll measure once in a while. Just don't rely on it as too much a crutch, or you'll never develop a more intuitive sense of how much tea to use.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby Lerxst2112 » Oct 8th, '12, 16:30

debunix wrote:I use the scale when trying a new tea, when writing a formal review, and nearly every time I prepare sencha. I bought pocket scales on Amazon that were cheap enough ($8-12) to keep one in each of the places I regularly brew tea (home and offices). I wouldn't be without them. But >90% of my daily brewing, I don't use the scales.


^^ what they said. Brand new tea and reviews especially. After that, it's kind of a shake some into the gaiwan and go type of thing. Eventually you get to where you can eyeball it, and go "that's good".
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby Herb_Master » Oct 8th, '12, 17:44

I tend to cycle round my teapots of different shapes and sizes - I have a tendency to drink yan cha or dan cong with long twisty leaves which try hard not to sit in the pot evenly - so I use my scale quite a lot.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby Herb_Master » Oct 8th, '12, 17:50

I like a high ratio of leaf to water - 5gm or more to 100ml, so I dont want to be left with less than 3gm of a good tea - if a 50gm bag is looking like there may be only a couple of sessions renaining I will weigh the contents and halve the amount for my penultimate brew :D Or choose a larger pot. :roll:
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby edkrueger » Oct 8th, '12, 20:17

Of course the herb master uses a scale. :D
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 8th, '12, 20:47

I never use a scale unless there's a good reason to - sending things to others, mainly. I find scales to be very distracting.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby Chip » Oct 8th, '12, 21:18

MarshalN wrote:I never use a scale unless there's a good reason to - sending things to others, mainly. I find scales to be very distracting.

I can certainly understand this.

I am this way with timers (having to hit them repeatedly, the beeps, etc. but I can be ADD and forget what I am doing) ... I found the perfect solution (for me anyway). I hit the count-up function once and then no beeps, no having to re hit the start/stop, etc.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 8th, '12, 21:19

mageta wrote:I guess a scale could be considered teaware so I'm posting this here...

I hear all this talk about how teaspoonfuls isn't a good measurement to go by, seems like everyone's using grams instead, so do you guys just use little kitchen scales or something?



I never use scales. Actually, the first time i have actually heard of using scales for drinking tea is here on the internet.
I know my tea pots, and my tea, and measure the tea according to each pot. I believe that developing ones intuition is integral part of studying tea, and feel that scales, thermometers, etc are in that sense counterproductive.
Each tea is different, and needs its own adjustments, which cannot be measured, but have to be done according to taste.
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Re: Do you guys use scales?

Postby debunix » Oct 8th, '12, 23:05

theredbaron wrote:Each tea is different, and needs its own adjustments, which cannot be measured, but have to be done according to taste.


Yes, always to taste. But to make things more reproducible for sharing with other people, I like to give some starting parameter, and weight is the simplest, easiest way to let people know my starting conditions for a brewing session. Unless I'm doing a comparative tasting, I always adjust to taste, infusion by infusion, going longer or shorter or even diluting a completed infusion to get tea I like. But your 'scales get in the way' is my 'scales help me to calibrate my eyeballs'.
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