A method for precise and reproducible initial contact force measurements is introduced utilizing an apparatus fabricated with a microbalance and z-axis stage to study the interaction behavior between cyclopentane (CP) hydrate and water in a temperature controlled hydrocarbon environment. CP hydrate probes are prepared using hydrate slurries composed of 5 wt % CP and Wilhelmy rods. The CP hydrate probe is slowly brought into contact with water to determine the initial contact force. The effect of substrate morphology on the initial contact force is reported through employing aluminum substrates prepared using physical vapor deposition (PVD) and milling. Accurate and facile measurements are performed by applying a high-resolution microbalance with 0.1 mu N resolution to provide repeatable and consistent results of initial contact force between hydrate and water.