The Best Refractometer For Coffee

This is not a question that many casual coffee lovers ask, but for coffee enthusiasts, knowing the best coffee refractometer is important information.

To cut to the chase, and after extensive research and testing, the conclusion of our coffee stirring experts is that the best refractometer for coffee is the atago pocket coffee densitometer.

Reading: Best coffee refractometer

Keep reading for the details and why we chose this as the best coffee refractometer and also some brief reviews of other great coffee refractometers on the market.

last updated on 2022-10-18/affiliate links/amazon product advertising api images

pocket coffee densitometer ago

last updated on 2022-10-18/affiliate links/amazon product advertising api images

specs and features

atago pocket coffee densitometer specifications include:

1. +/-0.20% accuracy and +/- 1 degree c temperature accuracy.

2. a range of 0-22% coffee solids is measured

3. a resolution of 0.01% tds coffee

4. automatic temperature compensation

5. 20 mm diameter prism

6. minimum coffee sample size of 4 drops in a flat bottom test cuvette or 2 ml of coffee

7. length: 55mm

8. width: 31mm

9. weight: 100 grams (0.22 pounds)

10. has an automatic shutdown after 5 minutes of inactivity

in use

We found the Atago Pocket Coffee Densitometer to be the easiest instrument to use with extracted coffee.

Coffee samples can be measured directly into the clean and primed prism and then simply press the button and get your tds coffee reading.

Coffee readings were consistent and easy to record after several coffee samples. We also liked this refractometer because it didn’t require complicated coffee concentration math, meaning we could actually focus on the coffee instead of trying to figure out our coffee measurements.


In conclusion, we liked the ease of use and accuracy of the atago and the only slight drawback is its price.

It’s the most expensive instrument on this list, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about coffee.

amtast digital coffee densitometer

last updated on 2022-10-18/affiliate links/amazon product advertising api images

specs and features

1. accuracy of +/-0.20% coffee

2. a coffee range of 0-25% tds coffee solids is measured

3. resolution of 0.01% tds coffee

See also: Coffee-Lovers Guide to the Best Coffee Shops on the Big Island

4. automatic temperature compensation (atc)

5. diameter of the coffee prism of 20 mm

6. minimum coffee sample size of 2 ml coffee

7. length: 170mm

8. width: 105mm

9. weight: 350 grams (7.04 ounces)

10. It has an automatic shutdown after 5 minutes of inactivity.

in use

the amtast has brix and tds scales to measure the sugar and dissolved solids content in your beer.

We found that the coffee reading taken on coffee samples was inconsistent and required some coffee concentration and math to get an accurate tds coffee reading.


The main disadvantage is the inconsistencies of coffee measurements and coffee concentration math that are required with this coffee refractometer. requires careful calibration to get consistently accurate results.

The price of this refractometer is reasonable compared to other instruments on the market, which if you are willing and able to calibrate this refractometer correctly then it is a decent buy.

fvryca digital coffee refractometer

last updated on 2022-10-18/affiliate links/amazon product advertising api images

specs and features

1. accuracy of +/-0.20% coffee

2. 0.01 coffee resolution

3. automatic temperature compensation (atc) coffee

4. coffee range tds solids is 0-25% coffee

5. 20 mm diameter coffee prism

6. minimum coffee sample size of 2 ml coffee

in use

the fvryca digital coffee refractometer can be used to measure brix and tds and its results are reasonably consistent. however, like most coffee refractometers, the fvryca is not without its problems when it comes to coffee calibration.

many coffee experts suggest using distilled coffee water instead of coffee brewed water to calibrate the fvryca first and we found this actually gave better results.


In conclusion, the fvryca is a coffee refractometer with good digital coffee readings, but coffee calibration is still an issue. as such, it is not a simple plug-and-play refractometer.

however, it’s reasonably priced for what you get and we found that coffee’s tds levels can be read accurately after careful calibration.

what is a refractometer used for in coffee?

Before we talk about how the coffee refractometer works, let’s take a look at why coffee lovers should care.

The reason coffee lovers are interested in a more scientific approach to measuring their coffee is because they are trying to find the best cup of coffee. To do that, it makes sense to measure what you can about coffee extraction yields.

Coffee extraction yield refers to the amount of dissolved solids in coffee you should expect from your espresso compared to water. this has a huge impact on the flavor of the coffee.

There are a few things you need to know to determine extraction performance. this formula is how the extraction yield is calculated.

See also: Best Krups Espresso Machine: Top Picks and Reviews

tds refers to total dissolved solids and dosage refers to the weight of the coffee sample in your brewed coffee.

Coffee refractometers are an instrument that measures the density of a liquid. It turns out that ground coffee beans contain a lot of solids, the main ones being sugars, proteins, and salts.

By measuring these intensive properties during the brewing process with a refractometer, you will be able to more accurately determine the flavor profile of your coffee.

you’ll be able to get more consistent coffee flavor and results every time you brew your beloved cup of brewed coffee.

so now you know why we like to use a coffee refractometer, how exactly a digital refractometer works in regards to making espresso like the coffee professionals do.

the ideal tds for coffee

Of course, we all enjoy different flavors of coffee and that includes types of coffee beans. our quest as hobby baristas is to emulate the specialty coffee we enjoy at our favorite coffee shops.

The search is to know how much coffee we should use compared to water. for this we need to know the total dissolved solids or tds.

the ideal tds is between 90 and 150 ppm. ppm or parts per million refers to how much coffee there is per million particles. So, 150 ppm is 150 solid coffee particles per million water particles.

This is the range of coffee refractometers to aim for if you want your coffee to taste great. this range of total dissolved solids is best because diluted coffee grounds are full of optimal coffee oils and coffee solubles.

This is also the coffee refractometer reading you’ll get when brewing espresso like the coffee professionals do.

how to use the coffee refractometer?

Using a coffee refractometer is a fairly easy process, especially with a digital coffee refractometer that takes the guesswork out of using an optical coffee refractometer.

The process of using coffee refractometers is presented in the following steps:

1. measure coffee sample

2. place a few drops of your coffee on the prism surface of the coffee refractometer

3. view the coffee refractometer reading in the selected unit, either brix (sugar) or tds (total dissolved solids) units

4. convert coffee refractometer reading to tds

5. calculate the extraction yield ratio and select the size of the coffee dose according to the percentage of coffee yield, the ideal coffee extraction is between 18% and 22%.

This Coffee Refractometer Guide to Measuring TDS of Coffee will walk you through each of the five steps in detail to help you get the most out of your coffee refractometer, especially when brewing coffee at professional coffee shops where espresso is available.

how coffee strength is measured

Once the yield of the coffee is known, the strength of the coffee can be calculated. Coffee strength is measured by ratio and ppt (parts per thousand).

There are different coffee strength ratios and coffee strengths available on the market today. Most coffee refractometers measure between 0 and 32 total dissolved solids or percent brix readings, but you will find coffee refractometers available that display coffee concentration in brix, %tds, and ppm coffee.

To calculate coffee ppt/strength, you simply need to divide the coffee reading by 28.4 (ppt).

let’s say your coffee refractometer reads 15% tds or 30 brix; then the ppt of coffee would be 15 divided by 28.4, which is equal to 0.522 ppt of coffee or a coffee concentration of 52%.

once the strength of the coffee is known, proper dosing can be done to obtain the coffee flavor profile desired by professionals and coffee lovers alike.

how do you use a brix refractometer for coffee?

brix is ​​a coffee refractometer scale used to measure the amount of sugar in a liquid. Just like you can use a coffee refractometer to measure the ppt/strength of coffee, you can also use coffee brix refractometers which are less expensive than coffee specific coffee refractometers.

A typical coffee refractometer’s brix reading ranges from 0% to 32%; coffee dosed at 18-22% has a coffee brix reading of 20-25%. if the ppt of the coffee is 52%, then the yield of the coffee is 18.5%.

This means that coffee dosed by weight should have between 18 and 22 percent coffee solids for optimal flavor.

See also: The Best Coffee At Target


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