Product Type: Smartcafe gadgets
Newest Review: ... It is such a simple yet innovative device, you insert your coffee into the bottom of the mug then after you have let it sit for the de... more
When they say smart they really mean it!
Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Member Name: edinburgher
Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Advantages: Well made, innovative, economical and intuitive
Disadvantages: Not the prettiest thing ever
I have to confess to being something of an Amazon addict. The fantastic range of products, the predictive searching and free delivery when you spend a fiver or more means that it's very easy to make a small purchase for either a gift, or yourself if you're feeling naughty. I've managed to pick up a few small items for my girlfriend this way and was very pleasantly surprised when she reciprocated by ordering me a red Smartcafe mug from my wishlist.
I should add that Amazon is currently one of the cheapest places to pick up the mug, at less than £5. That's less than the cost of three lattes from Pret (my coffee shop of choice). If you drink one mug of brewed coffee a day this mug will pay for itself in no time, even when compared to the subsidised coffee cart that sits outside my office:
*I'm the Smartcafe mug and I pay for myself*
Smartcafe mug + really good bag of organic Fairtrade coffee (perhaps 15 mugs) = ~£8/£0.54 a mug. Subsequent mugs are even cheaper, at solely the cost of the coffee involved, ~£0.20 a mug!
Coffee cart (subsidised brewed coffee, also organic and Fairtrade) for 15 mugs = £1.25*15/£18.75
So, my mug paid for itself on the seventh day of use and subsequent mugs of coffee have been costing me £0.20 each, which means you're getting brewed coffee for less than vending machine coffee.
*The world is full of failed gadgets?*
Despite the positively glowing reviews for this product already on Dooyoo, I had to admit that I was a little cynical that anything 'gadgety' would live up to the hype. A quick search of the gadget websites will illuminate a chequered history of easy coffee makers that claim to be as good as coffee shop coffee, with none of the fuss. Unfortunately for the caffeine addicted populous, most of them are rubbish!
The Smartcafe mug, I'm pleased to report, is the exception to this trend and going into work has never been so minimally hateful :D
*Thoughts on the design*
As others have stated, it's not the prettiest of containers: a thick plastic beaker is fixed within an outer shell of plastic and there would appear to be a slight gap between the layers to aid insulation. While it's a little on the chunky side it's actually considerably lighter than a typical china mug and appears to be very robust. The plastic is smooth and well machined and a minimal seam around the handle and the middle of the mug is all that reveals the fact that it's a manufactured item.
Perhaps a small gripe, but the handle is a little bit cramped for those of us with hands which aren't tiny and it may not be suitable for those with arthritis, limited mobility, or who prefer a larger handle for safety reasons.
The sliding press that transforms the mug from a large plastic beaker to a cafetiere fits neatly into the moulded groove provided and has a well fitted bottom of narrow grade plastic mesh that filters the coffee very well. Contrary to other reviews, I do find a small amount of grains in my coffee, but that's probably due to the fact that I use a lot of coffee and can be a little impatient about plunging my morning brew. It's certainly far superior to traditional cafetieres as the parts fit together much better and a welcome bonus is the fact that there's less components. Simplification is always good, especially when it means that you have less dishes to do! It's dishwasher safe too, for those of you lucky souls who can justify owning a dishwasher.
There's a computing phrase 'garbage in, garbage out/GIGO' that can be applied quite neatly to coffee. If you buy nasty cheap instant coffee you will end up with a nasty cheap cup of coffee that's a pale ghost of its superior brewed cousin. If, however, you are willing to buy a decent bag of ground coffee you can enjoy a wonderful treat at an affordable price. The Smartcafe mug facilitates a good cup of coffee by keeping it hot (no loss of heat through pouring etc.), minimising waste (the mug is really well made and there's no wasted space) and by allowing you to enjoy a rich mug of the good stuff without getting a mouthful of grounds.
I'm aware that I'm a coffee evangelist, but the drinks made in this mug really are black gold.
Summary: The Smartcafe mug revolutionises the affordability of a top quality mug of brewed coffee
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