Despite having a funny name for a kitchen appliance, the $180 Goat Story Gina coffee maker (£146, AU$235 equivalent) promises to brew seriously good java, and in multiple ways too. Whether it's pour over, cold brew, or full immersion coffee that floats you boat, Gina claims to have you covered.
Gina's creators say the brewer will be easy to use, too. Thanks to a built-in scale, Bluetooth wireless radio, and phone connectivity, even coffee novices shouldn't have trouble following the machine's brewing directions in real time.
Design and features
Judging by the premium materials Goat Story expects to employ in the product's construction, this will be one well-appointed coffee maker. For example, a ceramic funnel sits at the top of the appliance and accepts standard cone paper filters. At the bottom of the funnel you'll find a manual valve to control either water or coffee flow, manipulated by a large copper knob.
The Gina's dual-arm steel frame holds the funnel in place above a borosilicate glass pitcher (25 ounces, 0.75 liters). Closing the valve completely allows the appliance to steep its grounds in hot water, aka immersion brewing. Subsequently swiveling the valve open drains your brew into the glass carafe below.
Alternately, you can attach a glass cold drip module (also borosilicate) to the steel frame, in between the funnel and the pitcher. Cold water dripping from the funnel into coffee grounds inside this module eventually lands within the pitcher as cold brew.
The most interesting of the Gina's features though is its Bluetooth-enabled scale which is built into the appliance's circular base. So equipped, the machine can sense exactly how much of the grounds you've added, along with the volume of your brewing water. This data in conjunction with the Gina's mobile application (Android and iOS), allows the coffee maker to walk its users through the brewing process step by step.
Availability and outlook
If you're excited about the prospect of owning a Gina coffee maker, you will have to wait until Spring 2017. There is a chance you'll get your hands on one a little earlier (and for less money) by backing the Goat Story Gina through its Kickstarter product launch to the tune of $145.
Before purchasing please be aware that the Gina is not the first in a long line of coffee makers (crowd-sourced or otherwise) to promise both app-connected smarts and the ability to brew excellent coffee. Only a few have actually come to market, with just one, the, mostly succeeding at its mission.
The rest have failed or even imploded spectacularly as in the case of the Arist, a smart coffee machine that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter in 2014, but now faces backlash from bitter backers who still haven't received their product. So, as in all things --- caveat emptor applies.