Forget Keurig: Meet the Perfect Gadget for Coffee Snobs

Every morning when I get up, I gamble. But instead of cards or dice, the thing I gamble with is coffee beans. Did I grind too many coffee beans? Too few? And don't get me started on whether I got the beans-to-water ratio right.

Goat Story wants to take the guesswork out of my morning routine with Gina, a connected coffee maker that guarantees you'll use the right amount of beans and water every time you brew a pot of coffee. It incorporates a Bluetooth-connected scale into your coffee maker, so that you can measure out the appropriate amount of coffee beans and water via a smartphone app.

You'll pay a pretty price for that kind of accuracy. Goat Story launched a Kickstarter campaign for Gina today (Oct. 18), in which you can buy the connected coffee maker at a preorder price of $145. Orders should ship by March 2017, CEO Anze Miklavec told me during a demo of Gina in San Francisco a few weeks ago.

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If that sounds like a lot to put up for a coffee maker, no matter how smart, this isn't Goat Story's first crowd-funding campaign. The company previously brought its $29.50 cone-shaped coffee mug to market after a successful campaign on Kickstarter. And Miklavec is confident that there are enough passionate coffee drinkers out there to make Gina a success.

The coffee maker allows you to make coffee using one of three methods: pour-over, immersion, and cold drip. Gina includes a stainless steel frame for the connected scale your 700-millileter glass carafe sits on. There's a funnel at the top of the frame and a copper valve for adjusting the flow of water, which can also impact the taste of that finished cup of coffee.

During our demo, Miklavec used the connected scale to measure out the exact amount of coffee grounds dictated by the companion app, then poured the specified amount of water into the funnel. From there, it was a matter of waiting for the timer on the mobile app to tick down before I enjoyed a mighty satisfying cup of coffee.

Gina has a few other things going for it besides its ability to produce a robust pot of coffee. For one, it features a pretty striking design, available in polished stainless steel, black or white. It's the sort of look you'd want front-and-center in a kitchen instead of tucked way in the corner of your counter.

"When designing something you want to make everything perfect," Miklavec said.

Another Gina selling point is the companion app, which promises to be a coffee lover's best friend. Not only will the app guide you in using the proper amount of beans and water, there's also a save functionality planned so that you'll be able to record any satisfying results for posterity, allowing you to recreate that same perfect blend the next morning. (That feature wasn't in place during my demo, but it should be ready by the time Gina ships next year.)

Some would-be users will balk at the price tag, even if they can't imagine starting the day without a cup of coffee. But truly devoted coffee drinkers may find the design and smarts of Gina too tempting to pass up.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.