You'd think the humble coffee maker would be among the first small appliances to get a "smart" upgrade, right? I thought the same thing. Surprisingly, there are only a couple smart coffee makers on the market that — at the moment — are worth your time and money. If I had to guess why there are so few app-connected coffee makers, here's what I'm thinking: We've had "smart" coffee makers for years now, they just go by a different name: programmable coffee maker. Any time you wanted to wake up to the smell of a hot cup of joe, you just filled the coffee maker with water, dropped in your coffee grounds, and set it to start brewing your java in the morning.
Still, if you're after a more advanced programmable coffee maker, here are the best options available.
Up first we have the Behmor Connected coffee maker. This $170 coffee maker combines smart coffee making with smart technology, resulting in what they claim is barista-style coffee. It also works with Alexa and Amazon's Dash service.
Let's talk about the coffee features before we dig into the smarts. Up first, the Behmor brewer heats your water in a reservoir right above your coffee grounds, resulting in more accurate and steady temperatures. Traditional coffee makers heat the water in a tank at the back of the machine — as the water travels through the coffee maker, it cools slightly, producing subpar coffee. Secondly, this coffee maker has a pre-soak option (so your coffee can bloom before brewing), a showerhead saturater that properly soaks your coffee grounds, and a pulsed water flow, similar to the pour-over method of brewing.
So where do the smarts come in? Using the mobile app, you can dial in all sorts of settings to produce your ideal cup of coffee:
- current altitude
- brewing temperature
- pre-soak time
- custom brew options
The Behmor brewer also works with Amazon Alexa and Amazon's Dash replenishment service so you can ask Alexa to brew your favorite cup of coffee and have the Behmor brewer automatically reorder coffee beans when it senses that they're running low. If you want to step up your coffee game and add some smarts to your setup, the Behmor Connected coffee maker may be the perfect choice for you!
The $250 Smarter Coffee Maker (yeah, we're skipping the long model number) is a 12-cup brewer with a few cool tricks up its sleeve … or should it be bean hopper? Either way, it works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant meaning you can pretend you're a Star Trek character asking the computer for a cup of coffee, hot.
Anyway, this app-controlled smart brewer can help you start your day with a cup of coffee by programming a morning brewing schedule via the app. It can also use your location to make sure there's a fresh, hot cup of java when you walk through the door. Other features include personalization options — brew strength, pre-heating time, number of cups — and a handy water meter that can let you know when it's time to refill the reservoir.
If you want a smart coffee maker that grinds your beans for you, the Smarter Coffee Maker is a great choice.
I've got good news for you, folks: There's a simpler way to get that sweet, sweet smart coffee maker you've always wanted! If all you're after is a coffee pot that brews coffee when you issue a command, you might consider buying a non-smart coffee maker and a smart plug for just over $20. It's simple, it's elegant, and it's likely to cost a lot less than the other options available to you.
You'll need to start with a coffee maker that functions via a simple on/off switch. Mr. Coffee sells a 12-cup coffee maker with an on/off switch for just over $20. Pair that with a smart plug — I recommend the $30 iDevices Switch — and you've got what amounts to a smart coffee maker without all the extra fuss. Here's a quick guide on getting things set up how you'd want them:
- Set up your smart plug.
- Plug your coffee maker into the smart plug.
- Make sure your smart plug is turned off.
- Turn the switch on your coffee maker to the on position.
- If your coffee maker turns on, you need to repeat Step 3.
- Fill your coffee maker with the desired amount of water and coffee grounds.
- Walk away.
- Ask Siri, Alexa, the Google Assistant, your hand, etc. to turn on the smart plug.
- Listen and smell while your coffee maker starts cooking up a batch o' brew.
Are you thinking about buying one of the smart coffee makers I mentioned in this piece? Thinking about trying your hand at the non-smart coffee maker and smart plug duo? Planning on sticking with a regular ol' programmable coffee maker? Be sure to share your thoughts, comments, and concerns here or over on Twitter!
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