Smarthome is all the rage these days, and being able to control stuff with your voice is even cooler, but when it comes to Alexa fetching your coffee for you, it’s not all that exciting.
Every morning, when I’m ready for my dose of caffeine, I yell “Alexa, coffee!” like some hot-shot executive with a corner office in a fancy high rise. A few minutes later, I have a full pot of hot coffee waiting for me. Unfortunately, I still have to do 80% of the work manually.
How to Make Coffee Using Your Voice
First, though, before we get into too much detail, I want to talk about how exactly you can tell Alexa to start making your coffee.
It’s pretty simple and only requires a smart plug, which you can buy for as little as $20 (or even less), depending on the brand and model—I like the Kasa smart plugs from TP-Link.
From there, you’ll want a coffee maker that has a physical on/off toggle power switch, rather than one that just comes with a button that you press. The reason for this is that smart plugs simply cut power to devices when you turn them off, and then feeds power back when you turn them on. If your coffee maker just has a button that you press, you can turn it off using the smart plug, but turning it back on won’t do anything until you press the power button on the coffee maker again.
With that said, turning your coffee maker on and off is as simple as turning the smart plug on and off, either from the accompanying app or using your voice with your voice assistant of choice, whether it’d be Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri (although you’ll need a HomeKit-compatible smart plug in order to use Siri with it).
Making Coffee Isn’t a Great Automation Task
This is where the coolness factor takes a nosedive, though. While I can tell Alexa to start up the coffee-making process whenever I want, the preparation for getting up to that point is entirely manual.
I have to insert a coffee filter, fill the tank with water, measure and grind up the coffee beans, dump the beans into the coffee filter, and make sure the coffee pot is under the hopper and ready to receive the concoction that comes out the other end.
And after the coffee gets brewed and is ready for consumption, I have to pour the coffee into a mug and add cream and sugar. Then the process gets repeated the next morning.
So it’s hardly an automated process and more like a cool party trick that doesn’t save you much time. However, it does add a bit of convenience when the time comes to make coffee—you’re not going into the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker and then going in again to get the coffee after it’s made.
What About Just Getting a Programmable Coffee Maker?
There’s always the programmable coffee maker route, and it’s perhaps the route that most coffee drinkers will choose, especially since most modern coffee makers are programmable anyway.
Of course, there is one downside to these compared to using a smart plug with a “dumb” coffee maker, and that is you have to set a specific time for the programmable coffee maker to start brewing the coffee. If you’re a creature of habit and tend to have the same morning routine and drink coffee at the same time every morning, then sure, this will work.
However, if you’re like me and tend to have varying mornings and don’t drink your coffee at the same time every day, going the smart plug route will allow you to quickly turn on your coffee maker whenever you’re ready for it.