Making coffee slows you down in the morning? Even in today’s world of drip machines, is there too much dust splashing into the cup during your 6:00 am haze? Here are a few ways you can automate your coffee maker so it’s ready for you in the morning with minimal interaction.
Keep in mind that the process of making coffee cannot be 100% automated, as there are some things that must remain manual even if you simply place a cup of coffee under the dispenser. However, there are a few different things you can add to the experience that will at least partially automate the process.
Use a programmable coffee maker
First, you might already have one of these, but the simplest form of coffee automation is a good old programmable coffee maker.
It’s the least «smart» way to automate your coffee making process, but it’s by far the cheapest solution as you can get a programmable coffee maker for as little as $20.
These coffee makers allow you to set the time when the coffee maker will automatically turn on and start brewing coffee. So if you usually drink coffee around 7:00 am, maybe program it to turn on at 6:50 am or so.
Of course, you can’t control it remotely, and it’s probably not the best solution for those who don’t drink coffee at the same time every morning. However, most people have a consistent morning routine, so a programmable coffee maker would be the best option out there.
Also, if your current coffee maker isn’t programmable and you don’t want to give it up, you can get a basic plug-in timer that will give you basically the same features as the programmable model.
Use Smart Outlet
If you want more control over when your coffee maker turns on and starts brewing coffee, you may want something more than just a programmable coffee maker. If you don’t usually drink coffee at the same time every day, then it might be better to have something that you can call upon at any time. This is where smart plugs come into play.
CONNECTED:How to set up Belkin WeMo Switch
Smart plugs (like the Belkin WeMo Switch) require the coffee maker to have a mechanical on/off switch (rather than a push button), but it will allow you to turn the coffee maker on and off from anywhere at any time using the app. You can even tell Alex to «turn on the coffee maker» when you’re ready for your morning fix.
Plus, smart outlets are pretty cheap at around $30 and you can find them on sale throughout the year for as little as $20 if you’re patient enough. This is a good solution for automating coffee preparation. Of course, you still need to insert the filter, fill it with coffee grounds and add some water, but you could do this the night before to make it easier for you the next morning.
Get a coffee maker with built-in smarts
If you want to make it easier to automatically set up your coffee maker, you can bypass the smart plug and get a coffee maker that already has smarts installed. This machine Mr. Coffee features Belkin WeMo technology built right into the coffee maker so you can control it remotely from your phone without plugging in a bulky smart plug.
The only downside is that while WeMo works with Alexa natively, the coffee maker doesn’t, so you’ll have to go through IFTTT to control it with Amazon Echo.
Of course, buying a smart coffee maker with the technology built into it severely limits the number of coffee makers available. So if you’re partial to your coffee makers or already have someone you’re in love with, it might be best to stick with a smart plug if possible.
Find a system that works for you
After all, coffee making is never fully automated and probably never will be, as there are so many factors involved. Sure, you can buy expensive coffee makers that grind the beans for you and start brewing coffee automatically, but you still need to make sure there’s a cup or mug under the dispenser that you just can’t automate.
No matter what kind of coffee maker you have and what automation method you decide to use, you will need to create a system that works well for you and is as close to «automatic» as possible. If that means making water and coffee grounds the night before, so all you have to do is ask Alexa to start the coffee maker, so be it.