In Defence of an Alexa-Enabled Coffee Maker

In Defence of an Alexa-Enabled Coffee Maker
Photo: Catie Keck/Gizmodo
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If you happen to be in the market for a new coffee maker, may I recommend a smart assistant-enabled model?

Let me be clear that this isn’t something that you absolutely need, but it’s something I’ve found has made my morning routine marginally smoother. I typically wake up very, very early — often before my alarm — and the gift of having freshly brewed coffee ready to go the moment I’m ready to kick off the covers and start my day has been wonderful.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a “dumb” coffee maker. And I’m sure that for most folks, the utility of a timer is plenty if you’re getting up at the same time most days. I also realise it’s not that hard to walk into the kitchen and hit the “brew” button. But especially recently, my internal alarm clock goes off as early as 5 a.m. and sometimes as late as 7 a.m. So even with a timer, my coffee maker is potentially brewing my coffee too early or, worst of all, too late, which isn’t the biggest deal in the world but makes getting out of bed on a cold winter morning a little more of a chore.

I already use an Echo Dot as my alarm clock because the chime is the least offensive I’ve managed to find on a device so far on days when I do need one. So when I was shopping for a coffee maker back in January, I ended up buying one from Hamilton Beach for $120 that had Alexa compatibility.

In the Alexa app, I was able to create a routine for Alexa to “make coffee.” Now, when I wake up in the morning before my alarm clock, I’m able to ask my bot assistant to start my brew while I check my email on my phone. And by the time I’m ready to be a person, my coffee is ready to go.

Ultimately, the reason I opted for the Hamilton Beach over others really came down to the front-fill water reservoir since it gets tucked under a cabinet in my kitchen. It’s kind of a no-frills smart device, to be honest. There are plenty of other smart coffee makers with a much better range of features and brew settings, but I’m pretty happy with the one I picked for my own purposes.

Again, I’m not saying you should rush out to swoop up a smart coffee maker to replace the one you have if it does its job just fine. But if you’re a weird early riser like I am and happen to be shopping for one anyway, all I’m saying is that having a smart assistant-enabled coffee maker has been an unexpected delight. And especially in quarantine, I’ll take all the creature comforts I can get.