Product Type: Smartcafe gadgets
Newest Review: ... per mug, it comes to about the same price as most novelty mugs these days. However this Smartcafe mug has the added benefit of keeping d... more
For coffee lovers who hate washing up
Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Member Name: koshkha
Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Date: 26/09/06, updated on 12/08/10 (1154 review reads)
Advantages: Makes coffee direct in the cup, keeps the coffee warm
Disadvantages: Not the most elegant
I drink coffee, my husband drinks tea. It's our only really significant incompatibility. At work I suffer disgusting coffee machine slop but at home, I drink cafetiere coffee. I have a number of small and mid sized cafetieres but I'm always a bit annoyed that they're too big for a single cup and I hate waste. As I make a cup every few hours, I seem to spend my life washing them out.
My other problem is that I get distracted really easily and my coffee often gets cold before I get round to drinking so this new mug solves all my problems in one go.
What is it?
It's a thermal cafetiere mug! You make the coffee in the mug - so no dirty cafetiere - and the dual wall construction keeps the coffee warmer, longer. It will stay warm enough for me for about half an hour.
How do you use it?
The plunger slides into the side of the mug. Take out the plunger and rinse the cup with boiling water - this is recommended in the instructions, I guess it's like warming the tea pot. I don't bother with the pre-warming step but it's up to you. Add a scoop of ground coffee to the cup and pour on boiling water to the 'max' line.
The instructions say stir well and leave for 3-4 mins but I'm too impatient for that - it generally gets a quick stir at most. Then I insert the plunger into its channel and press down. It's important to hold the mug with one hand when you do this as the side-plunge action can be a bit unstable and I have been known to attempt a 'one-handed-plunge' and spent ten minutes mopping up as the mug slides across the kitchen counter. Once it's fully plunged, just add milk and sugar or sweeteners (however you like it) and away you go.
After you've drunk your coffee, pull out the plunger, rinse out the mug and start all over again with the next cup.
After six months, mine still looks like new.
Where can I get it? How much?
I got mine - a lavender pink one in the bottom row centre of the picture on the listing - in the household department of Debenhams in Salisbury for £5. The makers have a website www.smartcafe.co.uk where you can order direct or just plug the name into google and there are lots of suppliers to choose from
Who else might want one?
* People on the move - My parents have a camper van - we call it the Minibago because it's smaller than a Winnebago - and my mother had been looking for months for a plastic cafetiere that she could take on her travels. She doesn't like to have glass and other breakables in the van - and if you saw how she drives you'd understand why. She loved this product on sight and now has one for the van and one for the house. It's also light enough to put in your camping kit.
* Students - just because you are living on the cheap doesn't mean you have to drink crap coffee. You can have one of these for the price of a couple of trips to Starbucks.
* Anyone who has access to a kettle and has had enough of their company's coffee machine.
The instructions say it's not microwave safe (that seems wise) or dishwasher safe (I've been putting mine in for nearly 6 months and it hasn't exploded yet). But then if your dishwasher is as excitable as mine, a glass cafetiere isn't dishwasher safe either so it's not such a big deal.
Ladies, gentleman - it's only a fiver! Go on, give it a try.
* cuts down on washing up
* keeps your coffee hot for longer
* seems to be pretty much unbreakable
* Quite funky looking but it might look out of place if you are serving afternoon tea in your best china cups.
Three years after first writing about these, I now have five hot mugs - three at home and two at the flat I use during the week. They're all holding up well and are still effective despite years of dishwasher cleaning.
Summary: A great little buy that you'll use again and again.
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