A well-caffeinated studio is a well-run studio. The same goes for any creative workplace, where a freshly made pot of coffee can be just the thing to set a good mood for the day or keep you going as the hour gets late. Want to avoid quibbles over who forgot to brew the java? Pick up a smart coffee maker, which simplifies the process through automation. Many can be programmed to turn on at a certain time or be controlled by voice or through an app. Say goodbye to lost time spent waiting impatiently in the communal kitchen for a perfect pot, and browse our favorite options for smart coffee makers below.
1. Hamilton Beach Smart Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach’s machine is smart without being overly complicated. It’s easy to load, with a swing-open brew basket and generous water tank, and it can be operated remotely through the Alexa app, which is controlled via your phone or your voice. The maker connects seamlessly to Alexa and can be instructed to turn on and off and synchronized to a daily routine. You can also set the brew strength (bold or regular) and ask Alexa about the machine’s brew status. Capable of brewing 1 to 12 cups, this machine also keeps coffee warm for two hours, after which it turns off automatically.
2. Smarter SMC01 iCoffee Remote Brew
This coffee machine is the only one on our list that comes with a grinder. This means you can drink coffee made from freshly ground beans every time, but remember that the grinder will require precise packing and regular cleaning. Designed to connect with Alexa devices, Google Assistant, and Google Nest, the machine can be controlled by your voice or through the Smarter app, and you can create alarms to trigger auto-brew times. Simply set your coffee strength (mild, medium, or strong), choose the serving size, and the machine will automatically grind the beans to yield the best pot. It can make up to 12 cups of coffee but no less than 4, so this is ideal for studio spaces occupied by at least two java lovers. The hot plate keeps the coffee warm for 40 minutes.
3. Breville Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
If you are looking for even more convenience and choice, consider getting a machine that takes pods. Nespresso produces 16 flavors of coffee and 10 flavors of espresso, and this machine can produce drinks in five sizes—from a 1.35-ounce shot to a 14-ounce tumbler. It’s engineered to make drinks with the push of a button. After you load your preferred pod, the machine will read the pod’s barcode and blend the grounds with just the right amount of water to create the chosen drink. The pods are recyclable, and Nespresso provides recycling bags with prepaid postage so you can send them back for proper disposal.
4. Kasa Smart Plug
Here’s a great work-around if you can’t find a smart coffee maker that you like: Pick up a smart plug instead. These can be fitted into a regular outlet and integrated with your home assistant so any electronic device plugged into it can be voice controlled. Kasa’s plug is compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT, and it comes in an economical two-pack. Note that compatible coffee makers must have a mechanical on/off switch; once connected, you can control them with an app or your voice. (We recommend searching for coffee makers that are advertised as smart plug-compatible; our top pick would be the Technivorm Moccamaster, a gorgeous, high-end brewer that you can have custom colored.) Once connected, a coffee maker can be programmed to run on a custom schedule or according to timers, and it can be turned on and off in an instant.
5. Atomi Smart Wi-Fi Coffee Maker
Similar in design to the Hamilton Beach, Atomi’s product is easy to clean, load, and use. Where it differs is in its interface. You can operate it manually, sync it with either Alexa or Google Assistant so you can turn it on and off and check brew strength by voice command, or download Atomi’s app for smartphones, which is simple and easy to use. This coffee maker is an especially good pick for studios whose members go through coffee slowly, as the hotplate keeps coffee warm for three to four hours—much longer than other our picks.