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
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Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Member Name: grahamt
Smartcafe Hot Cafetiere Mug
Date: 03/07/12, updated on 03/07/12 (268 review reads)
Advantages: Simple and effective
Disadvantages: Perhaps a tad expensive
It has been said that the best solutions are the simplest ones. Where the Smartcafe Cafetiere Mug is concerned, this couldn't be more true: it has just two parts but it does the job to perfection.
Over the years we have used any number of devices to brew a cup of coffee from grounds. Most recently this has consisted of a simple filter holder and paper filters, fitted on top of a mug and into which are poured the loose grounds and hot water. However, not all coffees work well in paper filters, even some of those that state that they have been milled for this method. Often you will find that the flow has slowed to drips or even stopped completely, before even half has drained through to the mug.
Then we spotted the Smartcafe mug. It was only around £7 in Robert Dyas so we bought one to try. It's made out of a hard plastic, grey outside, black inside in our case although other colours are available, and has a slot on the inside by the handle, into which slides the filter. The filter is simply a fine mesh screen fitted in a circular horizontal frame, attached to a vertical handle that fits into the slot. The outer edge of the filter frame has a soft washer that fills the gap between the frame and the inner surface of the mug, to stop coffee grounds from leaking past. The mug itself is double walled so that no matter how hot the coffee is, it won't burn your hands.
In use you simply spoon a measure of coffee grounds into the mug, pour on hot water and then rest the filter on the surface of the brew. When you are happy that the coffee has been brewing long enough you simply press down on the filter handle and the filter slides down the slot to the bottom of the mug, pushing the coffee grounds before it. There they stay whilst you drink your coffee.
When you've finished you simply pull up the filter and either wash the coffee grounds down the drain or if, as we do, you have a council that collects kitchen food waste to recycle, knock the grounds out into the food waste bucket.
This has been a great purchase and other methods of making coffee have, in our house, large fallen by the wayside. Smartcafe also makes a travel mug that is similar in design but uses a standard cafetiere type plunge filter, fitted into a non-leak lid, with a small seal-able drinking hole so that the lid doesn't have to be removed.
Summary: Just about the simplest, most effective solution for a single cup of fresh-brewed coffee
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