We tend to be beverage snobs in my household. While I’m the resident tea drinker and occasional coffee drinker, my husband loves his French Pressed coffee.
We own 3 different French presses for our varying coffee needs. Two different sizes for home use and a sturdier one for camping or off road coffee drinking. Yes, this is a thing.
The press causes a bit of an issue with us if I want coffee in the morning because I rarely drink more than one cup and if I’m lucky enough to get a cup from my husbands morning pressing, its usually cold and bitter by the time I get to it.
I was intrigued when the opportunity came up for me to review a product called the Smart Cup which is a single serving, French Press for hot beverages. This seemed like a wonderful idea! Now I could have my own pressed coffee, should I so choose and not have to worry about getting cold, bitter leftovers. Smart Cup is also advertised for tea brewing! Even better!!
So, here is what I received: The Café Box retails for $21.99 and contains 24 - 16oz cups, 24 French press lids, 24 press rods and a coffee scoop. The lid is a rather ingenious design that conceals a plastic mesh pressing mechanism that will contain all of your coffee grounds or loose leaf tea at the bottom of the cup after pressing with the supplied rod. The instructions are very clear and the product is easy to use.
Simply take your cup and add a scoop of your favorite coarsely ground coffee or loose leaf tea. Pour hot water over it and set it steep for about 3 minutes (or according to your preference or tea variety). Add your condiments and give it a stir. Place the lid on the cup. Insert the press rod into the hole in the middle of the lid and press firmly down until you hear a click. Easy Peasy.
Form and function are great with this product, but I do have a few issues. First off, I was disappointed that none of the components were “reusable”. There seems to be an awful lot of waste with these cups. Its not just a cup and a lid, you also have the mesh strainer inside and the press rod. Not very “Green”.
The cup is made of paper and is coated on the inside to prevent seepage. I assume that it is recyclable, but getting the mesh strainer out of the cup once you’ve pressed it is difficult. I normally compost our coffee grounds, but I can’t really do that with this item as its not easy to get to the grounds once they've been pressed.
The other issue I had with this product is, HOLY SNAP THAT’S HOT!!! The cup is too hot to hold for a good 5 to 10 minutes. There are no insulated sleeves provided so I had to makeshift my own by placing an extra cup on the outside.
Also, the liquid inside takes forever to become cool enough to drink unless you remove the lid to let it cool. I'm sure this was user error because we always use boiled water to make our coffee in our standard French Press.
They do offer a Compostable Hot Cup as a separate item and that may take care of some of the problems I experienced.
Their company motto is “Single Serve. . . Wherever Life Takes You!” Smart Cups are advertised as being great for the office, dorm room, camping, fishing, tailgating, business travel, gifts or promotions. I can see this being a great product for use in a office or cafeteria and for occasional use when you are somewhere without access to a coffee pot and don't want to haul a reusable French Press.
For personal home use? To me it seems wasteful as a day to day product, but good in a pinch. If they come out with a reusable, washable, home use cup I would be thrilled!!
To order Smart Cup products you can visit their website, where you can buy a set like the one I tried, the individual parts as separate items, or a kit of 5 cups that include pre-measured coffee. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.
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