Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker review: Can WeMo help brew a better cup o' Joe?

Michael Brown | Nov. 21, 2014
Can you have a smart home without smart appliances? Belkin thinks not, and it's convinced Jarden--the company that markets home appliances under the Mr. Coffee, Crock-Pot, and Holmes brands--that people who live in smart homes agree. Well, I live in a smart home, and a coffee maker would need to be more than intelligent to impress me. It would need wheels and a robot arm, too.

Smart. Clever, too

This Mr. Coffee has a couple of clever features that have nothing to do with its electronics. First, you can remove its water reservoir and take it to the faucet (the filtered water dispenser on the fridge in my case) and fill it directly.That's a heckuva lot more convenient than filling the carafe and then pouring the water from the carafe into the reservoir.

Second, the carafe is a stainless-steel vacuum flask (aka a Thermos). So not only will it never break, but there's no heating element to inexorably burn the rest of the coffee while you're savoring that first cup.

On the downside, Mr. Coffee persists in using a basket instead of a cone to brew its coffee. A cone evenly exposes the grounds to water to extract more flavor. A basket has much more surface area, so even those with shower-head emitters can't wet the grounds as evenly.

This Mr. Coffee made a flavorful cup, but its coffee wasn't as robust as I prefer, even when I loaded the basket with fresh-ground French roast.

Mr. Coffee connects to your Wi-Fi router, but it can't interact with anything else in the WeMo ecosystem (light switches, smart plugs, light bulbs, and so on). You could have Mr. Coffee start its brewing cycle and your WeMo-compatible LED light bulbs gradually brighten when your alarm goes off, but you'd need to program the three events independently.

Mr. Coffee doesn't support IFTTT integration, either; so if you were thinking of having it start its brew cycle when a WeMo motion sensor detects your entrance to the kitchen in the morning, forget about it.

If Mr. Coffee made a better cup of coffee, the ability to program it from my smartphone and have it send text messages about its status would be good enough for me. If you don't like your coffee strong enough to strip paint, it might be good enough for you, too.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.