Smart or Dumb Coffee Maker

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(Jake Seaton) #1

My coffee maker broke this morning, which means I’m in the market for a new one.

I know Mr. Coffee has a smart coffee maker with WeMo built in, however, I believe any integration with SmartThings has to be via IFTTT.

I’ve also read of folks purchasing a dumb coffee maker with a switch, and connecting it to SmartThings via a connected outlet.

I like that the connected coffee maker has water level detection that alerts me when I need to refill the reservoir. Again, this could be routed through IFTTT.

But then again, I like that the connected outlet option gives me better control with SmartThings. I know so folks have used water detection meters in these dumb coffee pots, but I’m not really up for such a project.

So … Who has experience with either of these options? Which do you prefer? Are there other options?

I’d love to connect a Bonavita, but that rocker switch sort of kills it …


#2

The prota push microbot is scheduled to start shipping in two or three weeks. So you might want to wait and see if they actually bring it to market and how well it works.

This is from the Korean company Naran which has a lot of engineering credentials. It’s just a very small actuator that can push a button and that has a Bluetooth phone app. They also sell a Wi-Fi bridge called the prota, and once you have that you have a lot more integration options. The bridge piece has been out for a few months and it seems to be working OK.

I haven’t pre-ordered one, but as soon as it’s available on Amazon I’m definitely going to give it a try.

Anyway, if the push microbot does work, it’s going to give retrofit options without requiring wiring for a lot of home devices, including coffee makers with rocker switches. :sunglasses:

https://prota.info/microbot/push/index.html


(John Crighton) #3

You can go way overboard with coffee machine automation. I have a Jura Z6. You can buy a Bluetooth add on which allows you to (via an app) configure your coffee, latte, cappuccino, espresso, macchiato, etc and start the machine from your tablet or phone.

It sounds tempting, but you can do all of this when standing in front of the machine, and you need to have a cup on the drip tray to collect the coffee (which you need to put there). When it switches on it does a rinse cycle, so no point in leaving a cup there overnight, and you need to be within a few meters of it to use it via Bluetooth.

Pretty useless imo. However I can see the point of an on/off switch on a drip system. This can easily be achieved with a smart socket though.

So I would concentrate on the performance of the coffee maker over automation.


(Dave) #4

I have a dumb coffee maker connected to a Pocket Socket. Works great when we have guests over and I need to have coffee ready in the morning, usually well before I wake up! I re-enable a CoRE piston I created for turning on the outlet for my coffee drinking visitors.

my 2 cents… :slight_smile:


#5

Cool, I have not seen that microbot before… depending on how difficult it is to attach to things, so many possibilities.


#6

Lots of possibilities, and it should be easy to attach. The real question is what kind of interface is going to be available to other systems. That’s not quite clear yet. :sunglasses:


#7

Will attach one to the wife :wink: lol

Edit: this is cheaper than the remote switch I use for the router, hmm


#8

Remember you’ll also need to buy the Prota bridge to connect to the Internet. Or download their bridge software to a raspberry pi with Internet connection. When they first did their Indiegogo campaign they said you’d be able to use web hooks to get to IFTTT from the bridge. I just don’t know if that actually happened.


(Christopher Masiello) #9

I’d personally go with the best “non smart” coffee maker you can get, then just use an automated plug. I haven’t done it yet because I just don’t like the idea of the coffee and water sitting out all night. It feels like it’s not fresh or something. Still good machine + cheap plug is my advice.


(Ben) #10

My wife loves her Clever Pour Over. She boils water in an Ovente Hot Water Kettle. This model is discontinued, but you’ll get the idea.

She uses an iHome ISP5 pocket socket to automate the kettle.

If you go this route, make sure that the kettle you pick has an auto-off function.


(Bill) #11

We just acquired a Bunn Speed brew. Pour water into the top of the unit and in less than 4 minutes you have up to a 10 cup pot ready to enjoy. No programming necessary. However it brews excellent coffee quickly because the water poured thru the top forces the same amount of preheated water out of a tank for brewing. Because water is constantly heated in the tank, we’re thinking of a smart outlet for energy savings and safety.
With the smart outlet we can set a schedule to power on the coffee maker for a period to accommodate our regular coffee brewing and drinking time. For added safety, whenever ST determines we are not home, the outlet and coffee maker can be turned off.


(Jake Seaton) #12

Hey everyone. I appreciate all of your responses – a lot of clever folks here.

I wanted to provide an update in hopes that it will help others.

I went the route of the Mr. Coffee WeMo Coffeemaker only because I don’t have the resources or the know-how to “build” something on my own. It would have simply been a switch coffeemaker with a smart outlet.

As I am sure you all know (or maybe not), WeMo does not place too nice with SmartThings, so to accomplish what I wanted, I had to create a number of routines and recipes across various platforms. I can say I am 90% happy with the final result.

To start, here is a glimpse of physical pieces of my smart home setup:
• SmartThings hub
• Amazon Echo
• Sonos
• Harmony Hub
• Cree Connected Bulbs
• GE switches and dimmers
• Nest Cam

On the app side, I use SmartThings, Alexa, IFTTT, Stringify, Harmony and Sonos.

To connect the coffeemaker, I had to add WeMo into the mix. The challenge, then, was to connect the coffeemaker to Echo/Alexa, which I use more almost all interfacing.

The problem was that Echo interfaces with the WeMo coffeemaker via IFTTT. I have never been a fan of the IFTTT-Echo integration is the utterance required to start a recipe: “trigger.” I don’t feel like “Alexa, trigger XYZ” is natural language, and I much prefer the SmartThings-Echo utterance “turn on.”

Because the coffeemaker and SmartThings do not have direct integration, I created various virtual switches in SmartThings for the WeMo trigger – power on coffeemaker, water level low, change water filter, coffee ready, clean coffeemaker.

I then used Echo to turn on those virtual switches. Obviously, though, this had no tangible action, so I created recipes in IFTTT so that when SmartThings virtual switch X, Y or Z turned on, WeMo coffeemaker would perform my desired action.

The problem, then, was SmartThing did not know when the coffeemaker was off. So I used the Power Allowance SmartApp to set an amount of time for the virtual switch to be on. I set this for one minute in the case of all of my virtual switches.

So to turn on the coffeemaker with the commands “Alexa, turn on coffee,” “…coffee maker,” “…coffee pot,” “…java,” this is how I had it set up:

  1. Echo sends SmartThings signal to turn on “Coffee Maker” virtual switch.
  2. “Coffee Maker” virtual switch triggers IFTTT recipe to turn on WeMo coffeemaker.
  3. “Coffee Maker” virtual switch turns off, but coffeemaker stays on and continues to brew.

For the water filter, here is the set up:

  1. If the coffeemaker water filter needs to be changed, an IFTTT recipe is triggered.
  2. IFTTT recipe turns on SmartThings virtual switch “Coffee Maker Water Filter.”
  3. “Coffee Maker Water Filter” triggers SmartApp Speaker Notify with Sound.
  4. Sonos announces that the water filter needs to be changed.
  5. “Coffee Maker Water Filter” virtual switch turns off.

For the alert to clean the coffeemaker, the set up is the same as the water filter: WeMo to IFTTT to SmartThing to Sonos.

Now, one more piece I wanted to figure out was the alert that my coffee is ready. The WeMo app sends a push notification, so I know there was some way to get that information to my set up. To do this, I’m using the Yonomi app.

Here’s how I’m doing that:

  1. When the coffee is ready, Yonomi sets my Sonos volume to 50% (I’m using in-ceiling speaker in my kitchen connected to a Sonos Connect.
  2. Yonomi tells Sonos to “play,” this essentially wakes up the Connect.
  3. Yonomi sends a message to Sonos to announce “Your coffee is ready.”

I really like the British voice from Yonomi :slight_smile:

I also have a Yonomi-Echo interface set up so that “Alexa, turn on morning routine” trigger a routine I have set up in Yonomi. The coffee starts brewing, and over my Sonos speakers in the kitchen, I hear “Good Morning,” followed the day’s weather report.

My only complaints are the water level alerts – I haven’t figured out how to make those work when I truly need them – and having to use the WeMo app to schedule my morning coffee.

Again, thanks to everyone for the input. I’m going to have a cup of smartly brewed coffee now.


#13

I see you bought the wemo enabled coffee pot so this doesn’t pertain to your use.
I use a wemo insight to fire up my Rocket espresso machine (to warm it up, the espresso making is all done by hand)

Word of warning to others, make sure you find out what Wattage is required for things like coffee makers, my espresso machine can pull 1350 Watts. I would not use a samsung smart power outlet (only rated for 480 watts). The belkin wemo insight outlet I purchased is rated for 1800 Watts max so I am ok.


(Jake Seaton) #14

Good tip! I almost bought a Bunn Velocity Brew to connect to a connected outlet, but again, I liked to alerts the Mr. Coffee WeMo Coffeemaker came prepackaged with.


(Nicholas Wilde) #15

Would you mind expanding on how and if the water level is measured? The Community might be able to help if you give us some details.


(Sebastian) #16

@jseaton can you try out the alexa’s yonomi skill ?
In the skill details is mentioned that is working with wemo and yonomi is just an application so no new hardware required.


(Glen King) #17

My coffeemaker is burning out too now… It seems there are no good options here. The pots with a simple on-off switch? They are junk; they don’t get the optimal brew temp, so the coffee coming from them is not good. The Mr.Coffee in particular makes weak coffee.

As for water in the hopper all night? I can live with that. Because it’s either sitting in the water pipes all night, or in a plastic water jug all night, or in the coffee machine all night… not a drastic difference either way. The ground beans are a bigger issue, but the moment you roll with pre-prepared, timed coffee you give up the benefits of fresh ground.

But there is nothing useful from a ‘connected’ standpoint.


(Jake Seaton) #18

Spinn may be the coffee maker you’re looking for if you’re not fond of leaving the ground beans out.

A few months in, I really like my connected Mr. Coffee. I can’t say I use the connected feature too often, but it’s fun when guests are over to surprise them by asking Alexa to start my coffee. And then the voice alert that the coffee is ready is another fun feature.

Like I said, it’s not really a necessity, but it’s fun. Really, I still have the coffee maker on a timer like my old “dumb” coffee maker. One nice feature is the reminder to fill the carafe before going to bed, but you could set up a reminder for “dumb” coffee makers too.


(Ron Talley) #19

5 years with a regular (dumb) Keurig K-Cup with the following features.

a. Clock
b. On/Off Daily Timer
c. Auto Off after so many minutes/hours

I found that I drink coffee roughly at the same time daily and it takes all but 1-1/2 minutes to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

This time the wife was right. Although it’s not (smart), it IS automated so…I had to pass on the $$$ Smart Controlled Coffee Maker.


(Leads Rating) #20

This is as old thread but I’d love to know if Keurig K475 or K575 are ST integration friendly. Also, if you guys would recommend any other coffee makers that have good third-party integrations.