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Scream for your morning coffee with this smart tech

Coffee makers that officially support Alexa are coming, but you don't have to wait. You can tell Alexa or Siri to brew your coffee right now.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Last week, Behmor announced an upcoming coffee maker that integrates with Amazon Dash to automatically reorder beans when you're nearly out, but also with Alexa, so you can brew coffee with nothing more than your voice.

This means you could start the coffee maker before ever getting out of bed in the morning. That's even better than linking a coffee maker to your Fitbit. Just prep everything the night before, tell Alexa when to start making the coffee and your morning pick-me-up will be waiting for you on your way out the door.

While the Behmor Connected Brewer may be the first coffee maker that natively integrates with Alexa, it's not the only way you can brew a cup of coffee with your voice. There are several ways to accomplish the same thing with both Amazon's Alexa speakers and Siri, using products that are readily available. Here's how.

A smart switch and dumb coffee maker

The first and more affordable option requires a smart switch -- which is compatible with HomeKit, Alexa or IFTTT -- and any old coffee maker with a rocker switch (as opposed to a power button).

Using a coffee maker with a rocker switch means you can leave the coffee maker set to on while controlling the power from the smart switch. If the coffee maker has a power button, you may need to manually turn the coffee maker on, even after turning on the power with the smart switch.

When setting up your smart switch, give it a name like coffee maker or brew coffee. If your switch isn't natively supported by HomeKit or Alexa, check for an Alexa skill by going to alexa.amazon.com, clicking Skills in the navigation pane to the left and searching for your smart switch brand. Unfortunately, if the switch isn't supported by HomeKit, Siri control is out of luck. However, there is still an alternative for Alexa users.

If there is no native support or a skill for your smart switch brand, you will need to link the switch with your Alexa speaker using an IFTTT recipe, such as this one. This recipe is pretty generic, so you may want to create your own with a custom trigger phrase.

  • At ifttt.com, click on your username in the upper right corner of the page to access the dropdown menu and select Create.
  • Click This to begin.
  • Under Choose Trigger Channel, search for Amazon Alexa. Click the Alexa channel to select it.
  • For the Trigger, select Say a specific phrase. Type in a phrase like "coffee time" or "brew coffee" and click Create Trigger.
  • Click That to continue.
  • Search for the WeMo Insight Switch (£24.99 at Amazon.co.uk) or WeMo Switch channel and select it.
  • For the Action select Brew coffee.
  • Click Create Action followed by Create Recipe to finalize the recipe.

Plug the coffee maker into the smart switch, fill the water reservoir with water and add a filter and coffee grounds to the brew basket. Then any time you want coffee, just say "Alexa, turn on the coffee maker" or "Hey Siri, turn on the coffee maker." If you used an IFTTT recipe, you'll have to say something more like "Alexa, trigger make coffee."

Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew

The slightly more official (and expensive) option is to connect the Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew 10-cup coffee maker with Alexa using IFTTT.

After you've set up the coffee maker, connect the IFTTT channel by going to ifttt.com and logging in or signing up. Click Channels in the upper right corner of the site and search for the WeMo Coffeemaker channel, click to select it and click Connect. This will take you through an authentication process which will link your WeMo and IFTTT accounts.

Next, add this IFTTT recipe to your account. Using the same instructions from the smart switch section above, you can create your own IFTTT recipe with a custom trigger phrase by swapping out WeMo Insight Switch or WeMo Switch with WeMo Coffeemaker for the Action Channel. Then select Brew coffee for the Action.

With this recipe active, make sure there is water in the reservoir and a filter and grounds in the basket. Then, just say "Alexa, trigger brew coffee" to start making coffee from bed, the shower or anywhere Alexa can hear you.