As a blogger, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer and a cup of coffee is always helpful to get me going in the morning. I typically have to head to the kitchen to pour myself a cup, since I don’t have a coffee machine set up on my desk. One creative computer-lover decided that there was a better way to get coffee while at work without having to get up and leave the room. He designed the Caffeine Machine, a hybrid of a computer (yes, a fully functioning computer) and a 4-cup coffee maker to do two jobs in one. The hack was achieved through careful selection of a roomy computer tower and a compact coffee maker, and a little bit of tweaking. The creator is already thinking ahead to version 2.0, which might include an espresso machine instead of just drip coffee.
I’m not sure that I would be brave enough to attempt this kind of mod myself, but I’m pretty sure there is a market for such a thing if he ever decides to build on a bigger scale!
via Oh Gizmo
Coffee that comes from a vending machine is rarely good. If it is tasty, it’s because it is so loaded up with sweeteners (Cookies n’ Cream “Latte” from 7-11, anyone?) that you could never actually determine if there was coffee in it or not. But there is a lot of potential for a machine to actually make great coffee as long as it can be calibrated to properly pull shots, steam milk and put them together in just the right way. In fact, there should actually be less room for error with a machine-made latte than a man made one – so why don’t we have great vending machine coffee yet?
We might soon, since the Briggo Coffee Haus is planning to expand. Briggo is a company that is setting out to mechanize the coffee-making process by getting timing, temperatures, ingredients and recipes all down to a fine science. The result is that their Coffee Haus can pour a latte like a champion barista. The mechanized coffee kiosk takes orders via a touch scree or iphone app and prepares each drink fresh to order. It has the feel of a “real” coffee shop, right down to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, so it doesn’t feel as cold or sterile (or outdated) as a regular vending machine.
The Coffee Haus is not aiming to replace traditional coffee shops. It is actually aimed at places where quality coffee and quality coffee shop experiences are difficult to come by, such as airports, college and corporate campuses and hospitals. They might replace poor quality coffee vending machines and little kiosks that might only serve off brand black coffee alongside their muffin and granola bar selection (you know you’ve seen them, they’re outside almost every hospital), meaning that you might actually be able to look forward to a good cup of coffee the next time you have some time to kill in what would normally be a coffee desert.
A french press is one of my favorite tools to make a great cup of coffee. You can brew any type of bean or roast in there and get good results, and they’re easy to use. The only problem with a french press is that they’re typically designed to brew a whole pot. Now some are smaller than others, but if you only want one cup of coffee you might find yourself looking for an alternative. The Minibru Coffee Mug is one possible solution: a single-serving french press inside of a mug that promises to let you brew a great cup of coffee and drink it, too.
I recently got a Minibru and couldn’t wait to try it out. The instructions are simple: add coarsely ground coffee to the coffee line, add water to the water line, brew for 3 minutes, press and drink. I tried it exactly as written and my first few cups were terrible and incredibly weak. I watched a video on how to use the Minibru and noticed that they were using a lot more coffee than I was, so I decided to deviate from the directions and see if I could encourage a better performance out of the mug.
What features do you look for when you are shopping for a new coffee machine? Do you look for form, function – or both? If form is high on your list and you like a little sparkle in your kitchen, than the Cuisinart Crystal Limited Edition Coffeemaker might be just the right machine for you. The coffeemaker is studded with dozens of tiny, sparkling Swarovski crystals that give it a very unique, blingy look. It comes in black and white, and should look good in just about any kitchen.
All talk of bling aside, this coffeemaker isn’t just about the window-dressing (although that does up the pricetag a big). It actually won ShopSmart (a division of Consumer Reports) magazine’s pick for top coffee maker, thanks to some great features. The coffeemaker has a large carafe that can brew up to 14 cups at a time, but is adjustable enough that you can also use it to brew a single cup. It lets you choose regular or bold brew strength and has “an advanced heater design” that brews hotter coffee than its competitors. The machine also happens to be extremely easy to use, so you won’t be reaching for a manual every morning just to work it.
You’re still paying a premium for the crystals here, but you’ll probably get your money’s worth out of a blingy coffeemaker because it will be such a conversation starter. If you want to get the features without the sparkle, you can opt for a plainer version of this coffeemaker instead.