In today’s society, much of the way we navigate our lives is through a smart device, whether it be a phone, tablet, or a computer. Houses are getting smarter, with devices controlling things such as lights, locks, and appliances. Smarter, a company based in the United Kingdom, is looking to get your attention in the kitchen first thing in the morning by releasing their version 2.0 of their Smarter Coffee machine. This coffee machine combines a coffee grinder and coffee maker with a high-tech twist. But do the high-tech features really add a level of convenience, or is the Smarter Coffee, in the end, a regular drip coffee maker with some extra features?
Well, it’s a little bit of both.
The Smarter Coffee comes with the machine itself, as well as two color panels to change the look from the standard black to a red or cream finish. The top of the machine has a burr grinder, which lets you load up with about a quarter pound of beans. The Smarter Coffee comes with a permanent coffee filter as well, which saves you the need to continually buy cone filters. You can still use them if you choose to (I do) but it’s a nice feature to have.
The real standout feature of the Smarter Coffee is the app connectivity, as well as Google Home Assistant and Alexa integration. Nothing feels better than to just tell Google to make you a pot of coffee. The app also allows you to set up exactly how the coffee is made, how much is made, the water level left in your coffee maker, and more. You can set the brew strength, as well as how long you want to pre-heat the coffee pot, how long you want to keep the coffee warm on the hot plate, and more.
However, at the end of the day, the Smarter Coffee is still just a drip machine. The quality of the coffee itself is dependent on the quality of the beans, first and foremost. Brew method does play a role here. And while the Smarter Coffee does make a better cup of coffee than some standard drip machines, the quality doesn’t compare to other methods such as a Chemex brew. The Smarter Coffee is, first and foremost, about making coffee easier for you, so being able to make a fresh pot at the press of a button or by the sound of your voice is nice.
The problem lies in everyday usage. I’ve used the Smarter Coffee now daily for about three weeks and I have to say, some days it’s really cool, others it’s just a normal coffee machine. Sometimes when I forget to change the filter and fill it with water, the Smarter Coffee’s app features are useless, since I have to go to the coffee pot itself to do all that. At that point, it’s just more convenient to just start the coffee machine when you’re right in front of it. The GPS feature is nice, though, and makes coming home to a fresh pot (assuming it’s set up before you leave) incredibly satisfying.
But does all this justify the high cost? At 179.99 GBP, or $249.99, it’s an expensive device. The technology inside does justify it, somewhat. It’s incredibly neat to use your phone or voice to brew coffee. However, the process — and end result — does leave some to be desired.
A coffee maker with an excellent burr grinder built in and the added app functionality does make for a compelling package, especially if your home is already on its way to being an overall smart environment. All in all, the Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation is a fantastic device, with both tremendous upside and some flaws. At the end of the day, the Smarter Coffee is a machine that fits a specific niche in the market — and it does it well.