Published on August 24th, 2009 | by Greg0
CafÃ© Invento: Good Coffee, Good Looking
We love single-cup coffee makers- we’ve reviewed ones from Keurig to SimpleHuman to Melitta. Now we’ve had a chance to take a look at the sexiest one so far, the My Invento. As with other “ready on demand” home brewing systems, it can handle tea and coffee pods and makes a darn good cup of espresso as well.
We’ve been trying out both the included pods, from their line of coffees, and like the variety of styles and flavors. They include Sumatra and Columbia, but also offer Donut Shoppe, and even have a bold roast named after a mythical Canadian lake monster, the Ogopogo. Their pods are extra-large, allowing you to get two decently-sized cups of coffee at the same time, a particular strength of the My Invento machine. It also provides a richer frothy layer (crema) than other pod brewers.
We liked the large water reservoir and the reasonably fast turn-on-to-brew time (about 45 seconds). It’s a bit noisy, as are most of these types of machines, but not too bad. The machine is available in metallic silver or pearl white, and either way has a slim and futuristic design that doesn’t take up much space and looks great on your counter. At about 13 × 13 inches, and only 8 inches deep, it’s easy to fit into fairly small kitchens, like those in Frisco. You can choose your brew strength, though we found it to not make as much of a difference as on some other machines we’ve tried. Separate holders for tea and coffee help prevent flavor contamination, but you might not mind enough to make it worth changing them. The machine is quite easy to clean and maintain, though it doesn’t have some of the features present on other models (a clock for instance, or even a view of water level from the front).
Unfortunately, the build quality wasn’t so great and the unit, especially the buttons, felt a bit cheap. The drip tray is a bit cramped, making it hard to use larger mugs. And the Invento pods are much better than others- you can use Senseo ones, for example, but their custom pods have twice the coffee and generally work better. For those who would like to brew two cups at a time though, this is an especially great machine- and those with limited counter space and a flair for design should take a close look at the Invento. At $165, it’s competitively priced as well.