How to Semi Automate French Press Coffee Using a Wemo Smart Plug

How to Semi Automate French Press Coffee Using a Wemo Smart Plug

We used to only have French Press Coffee as a treat on the weekends. It takes a bit longer to make and requires a little more attention when you make it.

Semi Automate French Press Coffee with Wemo

Is Your Coffee Maker Toxic?

Striving to live healthier lifestyles in my house, we’ve begun eliminating as much plastic touching our foods as possible. I began to worry about possible BPA toxins from our plastic coffee maker(Read: Is Your Coffee Maker Toxic?). I didn’t like the idea of hot water running through all that plastic everyday, but,  there have been several studies that have showed people who drink coffee live longer(assuming they live generally healthy lifestyles) such as this 2012 new England Medicine Study.

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French Press Full Time

We were not about to give up coffee and I started making French Press Coffee every morning. We had Bodum Glass French Press which worked ok. except it wouldn’t keep the coffee warm long at all. I solved this problem by ordering an X-Chef Stainless Steel French Press, Double Wall Thermal Coffee Server from Amazon for about $21USD. I got the 34 Ounce, but if if you drink a lot of coffee you might want to get the 50oz version which is still reasonable at $33. The X-Chef Stainless isn’t Yeti Tumbler thick, but it sufficient and the double-wall construction does a much better job keeping the coffee warm vs. a glass carafe. I wrap the French Press with a kitchen towel to keep it warmer even longer.

We have a Hamilton Beach 1.7L Stainless Steel Electric Kettle to boil the water which cost about $25. It takes a little over 6.5 minutes to get 1.5 liters of water to boil(we like to have a little left over for Oatmeal or Tea). 6.5 minutes might not seem that long, but at 6am in the morning it feels like an eternity when you are craving caffeine! On top of that time, I like to steep the coffee for 4 – 5 minutes before pouring.

Smart Coffee

It take over 6 minutes Wemo Automate French Press Coffee Electric Tea Kettle

How do I speed up or Automate some of this process?

Solution: Wemo Mini Smart Plug! These run about $35 on Amazon and only take up 1 outlet vs the older version(shown above on right) which covered both outlets.

I downloaded the Wemo Android App, plugged the Wemo Smart Plug Mini in and followed the setup on the app. On Android Nougat, I had to shut off “Scanning Always Available” as instructed by the app.

Screenshot Wemo Wifi Access Point

Then I connected to the Wemo Access Point, which in my case was called Wemo.Mini.49F.

If you get the Android message “This network has no Internet Access. Stay Connected.” Make sure you click on “yes”.

Screenshot Wemo Wifi Android Internet Access

After this you can follow the setup on the app and get your Wemo device on your Wifi.Once it was set up, the app notified me of a firmware update which I applied. I tested turning the Wemo on & off from the app, and then continued to setup a schedule for weekdays.

With that done, I wanted to went in my Alexa app and the Wemo was already showing up as a smarthome device! “Alexa, turn the Coffee Machine On” or “Alexa, turn the Coffee Machine Off” work really fast.

(Check Other Cool Things You Can Do with Alexa)

Screenshot Wemo Wifi Android Alexa App

Having just received the new Google Assistant update, I went to see if I could add it their with my Nest thermostats. The Google Assistant app walked through a quick process of manually turning the Wemo on and then off to add it. It works very quick , just like Alexa.

Screenshot Wemo Wifi Android Google Assistant Turn Coffee Machine On Off

 

One last Home Automation stop for me, openHab! I installed the openHab Wemo Binding and shortly after the Wemo ‘Thing’ showed up in my openHab Paper Inbox. I added an ‘item’ for the Wemo devices as a Coffee Maker and added it my HABPanel.

Screenshot of openhab HABPanel with wemo coffee machine widget

Wemo also works Google Home, Nest and IFTTT and I think there may be unofficial support in SmartThings.

In a few months, Wemo is releasing WiFi Dimmer switches and I may hold off on installing Z-Wave Dimmer Switches until then.

 

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Disclaimer: Most, if not all, the product links on this page will be Affiliate Links. Purchasing through these links doesn’t cost you any more money but it does help us pay for things like website hosting along with more bits & gadgets to write about.