Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
We love coffee gadgets — those nifty little toys that aren’t necessary for brewing fine coffee, but boy, are they fun! Every time we turn around, there’s a new collection of coffee gadgets to play with. Here’s the latest collection of the niftiest new coffee gadgets we’ve seen this year.
It’s an age-old problem. If you sip your coffee too soon after brewing it, you walk around with scalded taste buds all day. If you wait too long, it’s hit that lukewarm temp that’s barely worth drinking. Why doesn’t someone invent a way to keep coffee at the perfect drinking temperature AFTER you pour it?
Well, somebody has. Dave Petrillo and Dave Jackson are childhood buddies who started “inventing” stuff when they were still in grade school. Their latest invention is Coffee Joulies, very cool little stainless steel coffee beans that cool your coffee to the right temperature quickly — then keep it there until you’re done drinking it. They’re about the size of a large ice cube, and hold a secret non-toxic phase changing material that’s designed to regulate the temperature of hot beverages at about 140 F.
What’s even cooler about Coffee Joulies is the way they were funded — they’re one of the star products arising out of Kickstarters, a web-based social funding mechanism for inventors and ideas. Once they had their idea working, the two Daves posted their coffee gadgets idea on Kickstarters, hoping to raise $9,000 for an initial run of manufacturing. They raised so much that they currently have 7 people working full time with Oneida, makers of silverware, to tool up for a sustainable manufacturing run. You can’t get Coffee Joulies just yet, but they should be available soon.
ExtractMoJo and MoJoToGo
Wouldn’t you love to know how good your coffee tastes before you taste it? Well, thanks to Vince Fedele, inventor of the original FireWire hard drive for MacBooks, now you don’t ever have to taste lousy coffee again. His two coffee gadgets, ExtractMoJo and MoJoToGo, use hi-tech science to determine whether you’ve managed to extract exactly the right percentage of flavor components from the coffee beans — it’s 19% just in case you were wondering.
Fedele’s device is a refractometer — a device that measures the refraction index of a substance by measuring how quickly light moves through it — paired with a universal brewing control chart. According to Gizmodo, which profiled the nifty little coffee gadgets, you just plug in the number you get from the refractometer along with the amount of coffee and water you used, it will tell you the brew strength and extraction yield for your coffee. ExtractMoJo is the original. MoJoToGo is the ExtractMoJo software in an iPhone app. Next time someone asks you how the coffee tastes — yep, there’s an app for that.
I’m not sure how we missed this very pretty low tech coffee gadget over the last few years because it’s positively brilliant. The Java Wand is a glass straw with a French press coffee filter attached to the end. It fits into a neat little carrying case that also has room for you to store a little packet of ground coffee to take with you. A few reviewers point out that it looks a bit like drug paraphernalia, which is reasonable, when you think about it. Coffee is, after all, our favorite mood altering drug.
To use it, you simply fill your cup with hot water and ground coffee, let it brew, then insert the straw and drink. The filter filters out all the coffee grounds so that all you get is heavenly French press style coffee. As a special added extra, the coffee doesn’t touch your teeth, which means much less coffee staining. It takes up a lot less room than most portable French press travel cups and is just as easy — if not easier — to use.