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Smarter Coffee review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £180

Make coffee from your phone with the Wi-Fi enabled Smarter Coffee machine

Our smartphones and the internet have made many tasks so much easier and more convenient, so why not use this tech to make a coffee machine easier to use and better? That’s the rationale behind the Smart Coffee, a filter coffee machine which has built-in Wi-Fi so that you can control it entirely from your smartphone, letting you make hot coffee without having to stand up. With its integrated grinder, you can also ensure that your coffee is only ever made from fresh ground beans.

Build quality

From the outside, the Smarter Coffee machine looks like a regular coffee machine. It’s relatively compact, being taller than it’s deep or wide, so it’ll fit neatly on most kitchen counters. I like the brushed metal sides and it’s fair to say that this is a well built and attractive machine. A neat trick is that you can replace the plastic panels at the front and surround the screen with alternative colours: black (fitted as standard), red and beige panels are all included in the box. This gives you a lot of flexibility and means that you don’t have to decide on a colour up front. 

The water tank is filled by using a carafe, which has handy cup markings on it, to pour water into the tank at the bottom of the machine. Its 1.5L tank gives you enough water for around 12 cups of coffee, which is pretty sizeable. You’ll also want to fill the bean hopper on top, which takes up to 250g of coffee (a regular sized bag). You can use pre-ground coffee by pouring it straight into the filter, but coffee direct from beans always tastes better and beans will last longer than ground coffee. This machine uses a washable filter, which I don’t find as good as paper filters: with paper, you get a fresh filter every time and, by changing the type of filter you use, you can adjust taste. In addition, washable filters tend to get tainted over time. 

Set up

With most normal machines, you’re ready to go straight away, but the Smarter Coffee machine needs a bit of setup first, getting it connected to your Wi-Fi and, as with every smart device, updating the firmware. All of this is done through the smartphone app (iOS and Android) and the setup is similar to that of a Chromecast: you connect to the coffee machine’s own Wi-Fi network first, then you pick which network it should join.

When I set up the machine for the first time, it was a little picky and kept telling me to plug and unplug the coffee machine. However, when I left the app alone for a few minutes, it automatically moved onto the next stage: choosing the home network to join. At this point, you can control your coffee machine from your app.

Smarter Coffee error message

Making coffee

If you just want to make coffee, you’ve got two options: use the simple buttons on the front of the machine to choose the settings or use the smartphone app. The app’s a little simpler in some ways, but I had to look up what the icons meant, as there’s no accompanying text to tell you which option you’ve selected; the front panel just has simple text descriptions, such as ‘beans’ to use the grinder and ‘filter’ to use pre-ground coffee.

Smarter Coffee choose coffee settings

Unlike most filter machines, which simply run until they’re out of water, the Smarter Coffee machine lets you choose how many cups of coffee you want, between one and 12. Assuming that you’ve chosen to use the grinder, the machine will grind the right amount of coffee for your choice, heat the machine up and then run the correct amount of water through the machine into the glass carafe. It’s pretty quick to heat up and run through, so you don’t have to wait too long for your coffee to come through. Usefully, you can monitor how much water is in your coffee machine from the app, too.

An anti-drip device means that you can remove the carafe without any remaining coffee spilling out, while a hot plate can be turned on to keep your coffee warm for up to 35 minutes: EU law prohibits hot plates staying on for longer; not that you’d want to, as constantly heating coffee breaks down the oils and makes it more and more bitter.

Coffee quality

Coffee was just over 60C in the cup, which is a little on the cool side: mid to high 60s are better for coffee. My first carafe also had too many bits of ground coffee in it for my liking, showing that the grind was too fine and could slip through the holes in the filter. I used the grind adjust filter on top for a courser grind and, as the coffee had looked a little thin previously, upped the strength from Medium to Strong (there’s a Weak setting, too).

This time around, the coffee was better looking, with a darker appearance, and didn’t have too many coffee grounds in it. The taste was pretty good, with the final coffee tasting rich and smooth, although still not quite as strong and as full bodied as I’ve found on other machines that take paper filters.

Smart options

As this is a smart coffee machine, it’s not just about using the app to make simple coffee. You can also set the app to have alarms, prompting it to ask you at set times if you want it to make you a coffee. The message is a little strange and not that well personalised. At 5pm, it said, ‘Good morning’. Still, it’s a neat little addition if you want the option to have coffee when you wake up, but retain the option to say no: manual timers on other machines can’t be overridden so easily and you can end up with a pot of coffee that you didn’t want.

Smarter Coffee good morning

The Home mode can do something similar, although it uses your location to prompt you if you want to make a coffee as you get home, sending the signal over the internet, so you’ve got coffee waiting for you when you get in. It can be timed to only go off at certain times, so you don’t get bombarded every time you pop round the corner.


Perhaps the best use of the app is that it makes some maintenance options easier. So, instead of trying to work out where the descale mode is, you just open the app and tap Descaling mode. This gives you clear on-screen instructions as to what you’re supposed to do, so you can quickly clean up your machine.

Other than that, you’ll need to clean the filter and filter holder after every use. Neither’s dishwasher safe, so you’ll need to clean up the old fashioned way. Likewise, you’ll want to clean the carafe every time you use it. Finally, you should wipe the grinder shoot regularly with a soft, damp cloth, otherwise coffee grounds will stick to the underside.


There’s no doubting that this coffee machine is clever and the app makes descaling a lot easier than on other machines. I also like the built-in grinder, so you always ensure that you get fresh coffee. All that said and done, there are some issues with the machine. For starters, I was prompted to update the firmware, which interrupted the current brew cycle, effectively ruining a couple of cups’ worth of coffee. Next, this coffee machine is extremely expensive, even considering that it has a built-in grinder.

Ultimately, I’d take quality over any minor convenience that Wi-Fi and an app can give. For £50 less you can buy the Melitta Elegance Therm Deluxe, which keeps your coffee warm using a thermal carafe and uses paper filters. Yes, you’ll need a grinder, but one suitable for a drip filter machine shouldn’t be that expensive; you could also just buy pre-ground coffee, provided you drink it quickly enough (within a week ideally, but two weeks maximum). Alternatively, you can find something a lot cheaper in my best coffee machine guide.

Dimensions (HxWxD)478x366x264mm
Water capacity (cups)1.5L (12 cups)
Machine typeDrip (includes grinder)
Tea makerNo
Filter typeMetal
Stay warmYes (35 minutes)
Buying information
WarrantyTwo years RTB
Part CodeSMC10UK

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