Kitchen 528

    Published on August 24th, 2009 | by Greg


    Café 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.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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