I love coffee. Not only the flavors it brings to my mouth, but I’m also interested in the brewing process. It didn’t take long before I decided to get Goat Story‘s Smart Coffee maker: Gina.
The first time I learned about Gina was through an advertisement on Instagram. It looked interesting but it did not look like something I urgently needed as I already have a French press and an espresso machine at home.
After a while, my French press started to be annoying (the screw that keeps your filter in its place) did not really hold it together quite well. So I decided to find out more about Gina, and I got easily convinced.
It seems like a very big step: going from a French press in the lower price range to a 3-in-1 coffee maker with a built-in scale. Sounds high-tech and fancy, and in fact, it is. But let me tell you this: if you are looking for a solution to elevate your home brewing to a new level, then this is the right device for you.
Gina came home, and I couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately, the glass pitcher came with a crack in it. After informing Goat Story about it, they sent me a new one right away via Express carrier. Excellent service!
All of this happened in April. Before writing this review, I thought to use it for a bit to get an accurate feel of how Gina works, and how I like it (or not). And so far, I am happy with my purchase. I mainly use it for pour-over coffee, so let me walk you through the process to get an impression of how it works, just in case the start of this article caught your interest as well.
Heat water and grind your coffee
Heat water in your kettle up until about 90-05 degrees Celsius, and grind your coffee beans. Of course, you can use pre-ground coffee, but keep in mind that the longer you wait using it, the more your coffee loses its flavor.
Choose your brewing method
You can use Gina to make pour-over, immersion and cold brew coffee. Immersion is similar to using a French press. For this review, as mentioned before, we will go for pour-over coffee. Select it in the app to continue.
Rinse your filter
For pour-over coffee, you need your glass pitcher and a V-shape paper filter. Gina comes with 50 paper coffee filters, so you can get started right away. Add a paper filter to your ceramic funnel (you don’t need the lid as you will pour the water over your ground coffee later), open the valve and rinse your paper filter with water that is hot, but not boiling. The ideal temperature should be between 90-95 degrees Celsius. By doing this you make sure to get rid of dust from your paper filter, as well as warming up your brewer. It makes a difference in the process.
Select the ratio you prefer. The ratio determines the amount of water you need to add to your coffee. For a stronger cup, you would want to go for a smaller ratio. I usually go for 1:10. This means that to every measure (grams) of coffee, I need to add 10 measures (milliliter) of water. The Gina app on your smartphone automatically calculates the amount of water you need to add based on the amount of coffee and the ratio you select.
Bloom the coffee
When you hit the Next button in the previous step, you have to select your blooming time. By blooming the coffee you get rid of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide prevents proper extraction of your coffee, and that is not high on our wishlist, is it?
The recommended time for blooming is about 20-30 seconds. This time, I chose 20 seconds. Ensure that your valve is closed when you hit the Start button. A timer will count down from 3 to 1 and then it’s time to pour your first batch of water in the center. Then, let it sit for the time you have selected.
Open the valve, and pour more water over your coffee. There are several ways to do it and, as Goat Story suggests on their website, it’s common to start in the center and make a circular or spiral motion to the edges. You can pour all your water at once, make two bigger pours, or even pour little by little.
Let it drip until your time is up. Hit the Done button the app, take your glass pitcher away and pour it into a cup or cups. The app will now show a page where you can name your brew, add and modify brewing data (your grind, ratio, temperature, etc.). You can even add a picture if you wish!
At the bottom, you can adjust the attributes to rate your coffee, give it an overall rating and set the privacy (if you set it to Public, other Gina users are able to see your brew). Hit Save in the bottom right corner in the app and let your coffee cool down a bit. Cheers!
Overall, Gina has definitely made a great contribution to my coffee brewing experience. The built-in scale with smartphone app really makes a difference in how I experience coffee. I am more aware of how I brew my coffee, and what different temperatures can do for the flavor of your coffee.
The design is really attractive, which makes Gina an eye-catcher. And even though Gina might be a bit pricy, especially if you go for the built-in scale, you will not regret your decision if you can afford it.
What I’m saying is basically: if you love coffee and you are in search of a coffee brewer that is both fun and interesting to use, you have to go for Gina!