Just over a month ago, I posted a blog post about my first brew with the Aromaboy coffee brewer, a delightfully retro coffee brewer made by Melitta. The retro appeal was a large factor in my decision to purchase the brewer but I was also fascinated by making coffee with a machine. I only brewed coffee by hand at home before purchasing the Aromaboy so I was curious about what the process of brewing coffee with a machine was like. I wanted to take some time to reflect on my use of this brewer and why I have enjoyed using the Aromaboy so much.
Before I purchased the Aromaboy, I was concerned that brewing coffee with a machine was not a good idea because I can already brew coffee by hand. This was a misnomer. Every method of brewing coffee is different and my interest is in both the process and the end product. Electric coffee brewers are very popular and I can now see why: electric brewers are convenient but they are also fun to use in their own right. Sure, an electric coffee brewer might not seem as exciting on the surface as getting out the gooseneck kettle and pouring myself a Kalita pour over, but in reality brewing with a machine can be fun.
In short, do not dismiss the Aromaboy for being electric. I'm glad I was able to overcome this perspective and take the leap to try out electric coffee brewing.
Let me start with the most important quality of any coffee brewing device: its ability to make coffee. I can without a doubt say the Aromaboy is capable of making a great cup of coffee. Like any coffee brewer, you will likely need to experiment at the start to find a recipe that works for you. However, you do not need to spend too much time experimenting to find a recipe that works. Also, you don't need to know too much about coffee to start brewing with the Aromaboy. As long as you have some ground coffee, some water, filter papers, and a basic recipe, you're ready to go.
The Aromaboy is an engaging coffee brewer. I find myself looking at the bloom, waiting until enough water has been dispensed before I am ready to stir the brew. I like listening to the gurgle of the coffee brewer as more water is dispensed. I am still unsure how water is heated and dispensed but what I do know is the mechanisms for these features must be clever. The brewer looks simple on the outside but is well-built and, thus, sparks my curiosity. Indeed, using the Aromaboy I have a newfound appreciation for brewing coffee with electric brewers, and an interest in tasting coffees from other brewers.
The retro look of the Aromaboy cannot be discounted. I bought the beige version which I believe feels more retro than the other brewers. The brewer features an excellent, simple aesthetic and looks different to all of the other appliances that are in the kitchen. I see the Aromaboy almost as a reminder of how quick things change. Notably, the Aromaboy reminds me that the technology for brewing coffee is not new; indeed, practices for brewing coffee are the culmination of centuries of tradition in many places, and, more recently, the result of sharing knowledge across the globe and detailed research.
Aside from being capable of making excellent coffee, the Aromaboy has one more interesting design feature: the hotplate. After all of the water has been dispensed, the hotplate keeps your coffee warm. I like this feature because sometimes I do leave coffee for a little bit because I often drink coffee while I am working. Have I used this feature much? Not really. But it's nice to know it is there. And I am sure many people will make use of the hotplate. The hotplate for me sort of makes me feel like I am making and drinking diner coffee, something I am yet to do.
The main variable I manipulate with the Aromaboy is agitation. After about 20-30 seconds, I give the coffee and water slurry a stir to make sure that all of the water is evenly distributed across the Aromaboy. However, there are other ways to manipulate your brew. You could swirl your brew head. You could even use a different brewer. I heard that you can swap out the default Melitta brewer with another small brewer, such as the Kalita Wave (in its smallest size). There is clear potential for experimentation, but the rules are different than they are with other brewers because you don't pour the water yourself.
Overall, the Aromaboy has been an excellent purchase. Admittedly, I have not used the Aromaboy in two weeks or so but I intend to use it again soon. At the moment, the Aromaboy is sitting on my desk, to my right, next to my coffee scales (I do not keep these in the kitchen). When I want to brew with it again, I can easily carry the brewer downstairs, plug it in, and prepare a cup of coffee. I now feel more appreciative of the many different approaches one can take to brew a cup of coffee and also excited about having such a retro, yet capable, electric brewer in my home, ready to use whenever I want to make a brew with an electric brewer.