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Motif Mentor review: The Mentor's coffee advice comes at a high price

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The Good The Motif Mentor scale walks you through making pour-over coffee and other manual brewing methods. Its scale works with the Perfect Bake, Perfect Drink and Perfect Blend apps. It's compact and attractive.

The Bad It's expensive. It doesn't have a display so you need to use it with a phone or tablet. At the moment there's only an iOS version of its app.

The Bottom Line The Motif Mentor scale helps coffee newbies duplicate the pour-over coffee experience but for a steep price.

7.1 Overall
  • Performance 7.0
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 6.5
  • Maintenance 7.0

So, you dream of being a home barista but haven't a clue where to begin. The $100 Motif Mentor is one option. It's a wireless scale that talks to phones and tablets using Bluetooth. It also links to a mobile app that walks you through many manual brewing methods step by step. It's a compact and stylish kitchen gadget that won't eat up much counter space either.

The Motif Mentor is pricey though, considering you can make fancy pour-over joe with the aid of a simple $20 kitchen scale. In fact you don't really need a scale at all. It's easy to brew fantastic coffee with the $16 Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over, for example. No scale required, just provide coffee grounds and hot water. That makes the Motif a tough sell unless you're a well-heeled coffee newbie who needs lots of handholding.

The Motif Mentor smart scale has a handsome, compact design but no screen.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Brew with a mentor

Using the Motif Mentor app and scale is straightforward enough. First download the iOS mobile to your iPhone ($500 at Cricket Wireless) or iPad ($295 at Amazon.com). Next you'll have to run through the setup process. This means charging the scale's battery (with a USB cable), then the app finding it over Bluetooth. If your iOS device is old you might be out of luck, since Mentor supports only Bluetooth 4.0 or higher.

Motif offers the app solely for iOS, at least for now. The company says an Android version of its software is due in December.

When you're ready to kick things off just tap the button labelled "brew" in the app. There you can choose from four different coffee brewing styles, "Pour-Over," "Immersion," "Hourglass" (think Chemex) and "French Press." From there you're guided through the process of turning beans, water and time into coffee ready to drink.

The app takes you through brewing step by step.

Brian Bennett/CNET

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