Coffee Gadgets - a new series

March 08, 2016

Coffee Gadgets - a new series

As the owner of Outpost Coffee Roasters, I like to chat with our customers. Sometimes I chat too much… or so I’m told. But some of my more ‘productive’ chats are about equipment. Many customers ask my opinion on such and such grinder, or if I have ever used this or that espresso machine. Coming from an engineering background, I love getting all technical and talking about the features of coffee equipment. Unfortunately while I’m working the bar, I am not afforded as much time to get into the details as I would like.

So I intend to use this blog as a means of sharing some of my ideas and opinions on coffee equipment. I also hope to help you find some interesting new brewing methods or ways to make your home coffee even better.

A note about this blog: You’ll have to excuse my writing style as most of my writing has been for technical purposes in which personality and opinion is best left out. So this process will be challenging for me, and hopefully not too painful for you.

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The MoJoe

This portable coffee brewer popped up in my feed this morning. It has received some attention from some major media players (Mashable, Huff Post, etc...). From what I gather, it is the logical progression of the french press travel mug. Basically, it is a tiny water heater and temperature control tube (i.e. the brewer), a coffee basket, and a thermos in one portable package. Take a look at this video to see how it works:

As of this morning (08 Mar 16), it is listed at $89.99 US as a special pre-order sale that expires at the end of February. I don't know if they will still honour the price since they haven't updated the site for March yet (launching a new product is a heck of a lot of work). They are forecasting a summer 2016 ship date.

 

The MoJoe makes 8 ounces (240 ml) of brewed coffee, is currently offered in 9 different grip colours, and comes with a 12 volt car adapter. The also offer a separate Wall Adapter for $19.99, and are working on a rechargeable battery.

The one larger concern I have with this product is how hot the coffee will be once it is brewed. Before I get into this I want to be clear that I have not tested the MoJoe. So I don't know if the folks at Mojoe Brewing Co solved this problem already. Ok, that said, here is my concern: If the heater is in the thermos, then the whole mug will be heated to their desired brewing temp of 200°F (93.3°C). This means that the finished (brewed) coffee will remain at or close to that temperature for a good amount of time. The question is: how long will it take to cool to a drinking temperature of 185 -160 °F (85 - 71.1°C)? And how patient will you be while commuting to work to wait that amount of time? How many times will you burn your tongue because you just can't wait? Like I said, this is all conjecture, and I hope they figured this out.

Mojoe Brewing Co is positioning this portable brewer for the professional on the go. It stands 11 inches tall (28 cm) and fits in your standard car cup holder. If you have a long commute in your car, and don't want to be stuck at home waiting for the coffee pot to finish, then this brewer may be just your thing. 

The Verdict

Pros

  • Freshly brewed coffee on the go (in a car)
  • Good and simple design (i.e no moving parts to break)
  • Ease of use
  • Can make tea

Cons

  • More than double the price of a standard travel mug
  • Large size though only holds 8 ounces of coffee
  • Difficult if not impossible to repair (though unlikely needed)

Concerns

  • Will it brew on a bumpy or twisty road?
  • How long do you have to wait for the coffee to cool to a drinkable temperature?





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