Smarthome is all the rage right now, and being able to control things with your voice is even cooler, but when it comes to Alexa bringing you coffee, it’s not all that exciting.
Every morning, when I’m ready for my caffeine fix, I yell «Alexa, coffee!» like some hot executive with a corner office in a fancy high-rise building. In a few minutes, a full glass of hot coffee awaits me. Unfortunately, I still have to do 80% of the work manually.
How to make coffee using your voice
However, first, before we get into the details, I want to talk about exactly how you can tell Alexa to start making coffee.
It’s pretty simple and only requires a smart plug, which can be bought for as little as $20 (or even less), depending on the make and model — I like TP-Link’s Kasa smart plugs.
From there, you’ll need a coffee maker with a physical on/off toggle switch, not just a button you press. The reason for this is that smart plugs simply turn off power to devices when you turn them off and then supply power back when you turn them on. If your coffee maker only has a button that you press, you can turn it off with the smart plug, but turning it back on won’t change anything until you press the power button on the coffee maker again.
With that said, turning the coffee maker on and off is as easy as turning the smart plug on and off, either from the included app or by voice with a voice assistant of choice, be it Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri (although in order to use Siri, you you need a HomeKit-compatible smart plug).
Making coffee is not a big automation task
This is where the cool factor, however, swoops down. While I can tell Alexa to start the coffee-making process whenever I want, the preparation for this is completely manual.
I have to insert the coffee filter, fill the tank with water, measure and grind the coffee beans, pour the beans into the coffee filter and make sure the coffee pot is under the hopper and ready to receive the mixture that comes out the other end.
And after the coffee is brewed and ready to drink, I have to pour the coffee into a mug and add cream and sugar. The process is then repeated the next morning.
So it’s hardly an automated process, but more of a cool party trick that doesn’t save a lot of time. However, it does add a bit of convenience when it comes time to make coffee — you don’t have to go into the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker and then come back again to get coffee after it’s been made.
How about just getting a programmable coffee maker?
There is always a programmable coffee maker route, and perhaps this is the route that most coffee drinkers will take, especially since most modern coffee makers are programmable anyway.
Of course, there is one drawback compared to using a smart plug with a dumb coffee maker, and that is that you have to set a specific time for the programmable coffee maker to start brewing coffee. If you are a creature of habit and tend to the same morning routine and drink coffee at the same time every morning, then of course it will work.
However, if you’re like me and tend to change in the morning and don’t drink coffee at the same time every day, switching to the smart plug route will allow you to quickly turn on the coffee maker when you’re ready for it. ,