We live in world with rugged smartphones and laptops, so why don't we also have ultra-tough coffee makers? That's the question behind the creation of the $299 Coffeeboxx by startup Oxx. Built to withstand exposure to the brutal elements, harsh knocks, drops, dirt, water, and debris, the portable Coffeeboxx is made to belt out single-serve K-cup brew from just about anywhere.
Targeted squarely at the sort of gritty individuals who toil from deep within dangerous construction sites or drink java sitting high atop unfinished skyscrapers, it's clear the Coffeebox is not meant for everyone. Instead it's intended for those who build big things, not merely commute daily to and from them.
If you had any doubt about the durability of the Coffeeboxx, taking a gander at the company's website will likely dispel these fears. It's filled with glossy images of the square gadget sitting pretty behind brick walls, in the laps of burly construction workers, even propping up the weight of trucks (specifically a 3,700-pound Jeep). The Coffeeboxx's industrial design also conveys the aura of strength, survivability, and dare I say masculinity. This isn't by accident, either; Oxx itself describes the Coffeeboxx's buttons as large and, "designed for man-sized hands -- with or without gloves."
Indeed, according to Oxx all the surfaces, controls, and ports of the Coffeeboxx are sealed and buttoned up tight enough to meet the IP55 (International Protection) code for ruggedness. Essentially that means the coffee maker supposedly will survive the entry of dust particles into its innards without skipping a beat. The same goes for jets of water hitting the Coffeeboxx from any direction for up to 3 minutes at a time.
Additionally Oxx claims that the boxy machine, which measures 11 inches tall by 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches long (11 pounds), can withstand drops of 3 feet onto cold, unforgiving concrete.
At its heart the Coffeeboxx's primary purpose in life will be to whip up hot coffee one cup at a time. It does this by accepting standard K-cup style coffee pods sold by numerous purveyors. The machine offers joe in three sizes, too: 8, 10 and 12 ounces. Unfortunately, though the device does feature a removable drip tray to accommodate bigger mugs, the Coffeeboxx can't brew full pot-sized carafes at once. That said, the product comes equipped with a massive water reservoir with a huge 84.5-ounce (2.5L) capacity. The tank is designed to be removable and spillproof, too.
With that much water on hand, Oxx also touts the Coffeeboxx's ability to serve as a hot H2O station. As a matter of fact, the company says the device has the muscle to heat water to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it perfect for preparing instant meals such as soup, oatmeal, even steaming bowls of ramen in the field. You have the option, explains Oxx, to brew with reusable K-cup containers from ekobrew (and your own grounds) as well.
Of course despite the Coffeeboxx's macho image, its rated brew temp isn't exactly scalding enough to conjure java of the gourmet variety. Be sure to read my deep dive intoto see how that happens. Now if the Coffeeboxx had the chops to pump out piping-hot brew with the speed and quality of the , well, that would be a sight to see. If there ever was a no-frills coffee maker with the spartan charm to woo truck drivers and construction workers alike, it's the Velocity Brew for sure.
Be advised, however, that the Coffeeboxx isn't completely self-sufficient. Since it lacks an internal battery, you must use the product's three-pronged AC power cord (retractable) to power its brewing cycle and water heater. Oxx does plan to sell a companion 1,600-watt power inverter ($250) built to plug directly into vehicle lighter ports.
Outlook and availability
Feel the urge to get your hands on a Coffeeboxx right away? Sadly you'll have to wait just a bit longer. Oxx expects its coffee contraption to ship sometime in March 2015. Of course while the firm is currently accepting preorders for the Coffeeboxx via its website, Oxx is also running a companion Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. In my experience these sort of crowd-funded initiatives tend to take longer than its owners anticipate, if they succeed at all. We'll just have to see what transpires by the time March rolls around, or at least when the Coffeeboxx Kickstarter effort wraps up on December 29 of this year.