Goat Story Gina Smart Coffee Brewer Review: Bye Bye Coffee Makers
If you think you’ve seen every pour-over design there is to see – Gina Smart Coffee Brewer is here to make you think again. That could be because this slick glass and metal brewer is not just a pour-over. It’s a three-in-one coffee maker with a built-in scale.
Have we piqued your curiosity? Read this Goat Story Gina Smart Coffee Brewer review to see how it works and if it’s worth the price tag.
The Goat Story Gina ‘In A Nutshell’
This could be the coffee maker to end all coffee makers.– HuffPost
Goat Story Gina Smart Brewer Review
Gina first caught the attention of coffee lovers around the world when Goat Story set up a Kickstarter campaign. The integrated tech on a manual coffee maker, plus the offer of three different brewing methods, made waves in the community. Like everyone, we wanted to know if this is a serious brewing device or just novelty value. Let’s find out.
The company also offers the Gina Basic, which looks much the same but doesn’t feature a scale. This review only covers the smart model.
Aesthetic appeal – 5/5
We’ve seen some good pour over brewer stands before, but this has a minimalist, elegant look we can’t help but love. Even before we knew what Gina was, we wanted it in our kitchen. The beauty here isn’t just skin deep either.
Premium materials make this smart coffee maker a strong option.
The Gina coffee maker comes in black, white, or steel colourways so that you can find the perfect look for your kitchen. There’s no plastic in sight, with a ceramic funnel at the top that drips into a borosilicate glass carafe. The brewer is held together with a quality steel frame with a copper valve to adjust the water flow.
Ease of use – 4/5
Despite the “smart” name tag, this is still manual coffee brewing. The technology here doesn’t make your coffee, but it is designed to guide you through the process and help you nail your technique.
Through the menu on the Gina app, you can select your brewing method and desired coffee to water ratio. The built-in scale communicates directly with your phone to measure as you pour, displaying your current yield against the app’s timer to help you stay on track for your recipe.
Some of the concepts might be tricky for complete newbies to get their heads around. Also, experienced brewers may find the app a little limiting. But if you have used a pour-over before and want to perfect your technique or experiment with different recipes, Gina app will be a useful tool.
Once you finish brewing, you can share your recipe and image of your cup of coffee with other users online through the app.
The biggest downside to Gina’s setup is that there’s no display on the Bluetooth-connected scale. This means you’re forced to use the app every time you brew.
Brew control – 5/5
Versatility with your coffee is one of Gina’s biggest selling points. It all comes down to the unique copper valve that controls the water flow from the funnel. With the valve fully open, Gina is designed to work like any other pour over coffee brewer. However, what we love is that you can close the valve during the first pour to eliminate dripping, giving you complete control over your bloom time (1).
With the valve closed, you can perform immersion brewing by adding coffee grounds and hot water to the funnel. But don’t expect it to turn out exactly as it would with a French press. For this method, you’ll still need to use a paper filter. The filter will clean up natural oils that give the French press its signature rich mouthfeel (2).
To make cold brew coffee, you’re provided with an extra bit of kit. There’s a small glass chamber that sits inside the carafe to hold the ground coffee. Here the valve becomes the most important feature for brewing, as it can be adjusted to provide the precise drip rate for your coffee recipe (3).
Portability – 3/5
If you’re looking for a travel brewer, this is not it. The Gina coffee maker is not only large. It’s also unwieldy and somewhat fragile.
This is a coffee maker designed to stay put on your kitchen counter, so it’s just lucky it looks so good.
The ceramic funnel and steel frame are sturdy, but the glass flask is designed to deal with heat stress rather than a drop to the floor (4).
Value for money – 4/5
Prepare for a bit of price shock. The Goat Story Gina coffee maker is more expensive than any other pour-over brewer out there, even topping the price for the largest Chemex coffee maker.
You will need to factor in the cost of a good grinder if you want to get the most out of the Gina coffee maker.
However, before you write this off as complete extravagance, consider the features you’re getting for the price. Digital scales might be cheap, but a Bluetooth scale is not. And while you can get an entry-level cold drip brewer, these coffee makers can often pass the hundred-dollar mark.
Do Not Buy If…
You’re on a budget: The Goat Story Gina coffee maker does offer a lot, but you can certainly get cheaper options. If money is an issue, opt for a classic pour over like the Hario V60 and save the extra cash to put towards a good grinder.
You only want pour-over coffee: Part of the value of this coffee maker is that it offers three different brewing methods. If pour over is your only plan, skip Gina for a dedicated brewer. The Bee House Dripper has a unique shape that makes it as easy to use as it is stylish.
You don’t want to use an app: The fact that there’s no display on the smart scale means you’re forced to be connected to the app. If you don’t want to be glued to a device in the early hours of the morning, get yourself a regular digital scale and a manual brewer like the Kalita Wave.
There’s no denying it; this is an expensive bit of kit. But Gina also has an appeal that’s hard to resist.
If you want to mix up your coffee brewing without buying extra gear, and you want to be guided through the pour-over process each time. Or, if you can’t pass a work of art, the Goat Story Gina smart coffee brewer would make a lovely addition to your kitchen.
- Gritzer, D. (2020, September 23). The hows and whys of blooming coffee. Serious Eats. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.seriouseats.com/the-hows-and-whys-of-blooming-coffee
- Zhang, C., Linforth, R., & Fisk, I. D. (2012, July 5). Cafestol extraction yield from different coffee brew mechanisms. Food Research International. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996912002360
- Handground. (2018, August 8). How to make iced slow drip coffee . Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://handground.com/grind/how-to-make-slow-ice-drip-cold-brew-coffee
- Sullivan, M. (2020, August 13). Why we’re not worried about Pyrex bakeware “exploding”. The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/tempered-vs-borosilicate-glass/