Soon all the devices in your house will be connected and remotely controlled, and Mr. Coffee is wasting no time in making the coffee pot one of them. The new Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker with WeMo is an easy-to-use, wirelessly activated coffee pot that gives you back some extra time in the mornings by letting you brew with the tap of your finger.
The maker works like your everyday drip: You have to grind coffee, add it to the machine, and fill the reservoir with water. The pot itself is insulated well and cleans in a dishwasher. Then there’s the WeMo interface, which lets you set and change brew timers from your phone. You can make different ones for each day of the week: Skip Saturday and Sunday, or brew later on a hard Monday. That’s enough of an improvement over the analog toggle settings your parents were using 10 years ago, but you also don’t even have to be near the pot to do it.
So is this gimmick actually useful? We’re not so sure. First of all, coffee goes stale if you’re not going to brew it right after you’re grinding it. So that cup brewing for your red-eye return from a three-day weekend isn’t going to taste all that pleasing. And you still have to clean and fill the machine after every pot.
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What the Optimal Brew does give you is a few hours of wiggle room, and a kill switch. Last-minute business trip? Kill the scheduled brew so you don’t come home to a moldy pot of room temperature coffee in three days. Forget to set your coffee for the next morning, but you’re already in bed? Simply grab your phone and do it with the app.
The bottom line: This high-tech coffee pot isn’t convenient enough to justify the price tag. While the idea is promising, without a built-in grinder and disposal unit, this still doesn’t beat a fresh brew from a French press or your other manual systems — yet.