Drinks

The Clio Brewer Lets You Make Barista-Worthy Coffee at Home

Who needs Starbucks?

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When the Clio Brewer — a state-of-the-art, single serve coffee maker — arrived on our doorstep last week, some of my fellow quarantiners were skeptical.

Over the past nine(!) weeks, we’ve become somewhat married to our routines. This includes the resident caffeine addict brewing a pot of supermarket grounds in our trusty old four-cup capacity Mr. Coffee machine, pouring himself a cup, and then emptying the rest into a travel mug so he can lovingly prepare a pot of decaf for me, the anxiety-sufferer who can’t handle the real stuff but still savors the ritual (and the aroma!) of my morning coffee.

I was ready for an upgrade to this process. Though I was reluctant to cede more kitchen counter real estate to another appliance, the thought of being able to press a button and make myself a cup of fresh, hot coffee, made from high-quality beans whenever I wanted sounded like the next-best thing to ordering my usual venti decaf Americano from the Starbucks mobile app and finding it waiting for me when I breezed in the door.

As soon as we unwrapped our shiny new coffeemaker (ours is white, but it’s also available in red), my family started to share my excitement. “It’s heavy!” said my daughter, lugging it over to set it next to our Mr. Coffee, which was looking quite sad in comparison. Indeed, this is a sturdy machine with plenty of heft. Once you place it on your counter, it’s not going to easily scoot around or tip over.

Amazon/Canva

“Look — we got a whole box of pods!” said my caffeine-fiend sweetheart, showing me boxes of four different brews: Rise and Shine, a mild roast with hints of citrus; Smooth Sailing, a medium roast with notes of chocolate and hazelnut; Peak Power, a dark roast featuring toasted caramel and dark chocolate; and Evening Delight, a light decaf blend with hazelnut and light chocolate notes. (Clio’s black tea, “English Tea Time,” is currently sold out, so we didn’t get to try that one.)

After a few minutes of confusion over the instructions (which one is the cleaning pod, and what direction does it go?), we quickly had our Clio up and running. I thought it seemed noisier than your typical single serve coffee maker, with a deep vibration ringing through the kitchen as it spat out a frothy, delicous-smelling stream of dark liquid, but my family didn’t think it sounded much different than the Keurig in our Air BnB last summer.

The coffee, though — this coffee! It came out with a perfect top layer of crema, smelled like heaven, and tasted rich and nutty. At least, I thought so. The person in my family who is happy to drink Chock Full o’ Nuts and Folgers, and who puts Sweet & Low in his coffee, thought it was “a little watery.” (I may only drink decaf, but I drink it black.) He also, however, immediately ordered more pods and has not touched our sad Mr. Coffee machine since the Clio arrived.

What do I love most about the Clio? First, the taste. Unlike some more popular single-serve coffee systems, the Clio uses high-pressure brewing, which extracts more flavor from the beans. I love that, at less than $1 per cup, it’s (relatively) affordable. And I love that the Clio collects your used coffee pods in a container underneath the brewing mechanism, so you don’t have to empty out the old one every time. It’s a small thing, but it saves me a step when making multiple cups — and these days, anything that makes life easier, even the littlest bit, is welcome.

My only complaint is that the pods all look the same, so if you accidentally take out a few Rise and Shines and a few Evening Delights and put them on the counter together, there’s no way to tell which is which. Maybe Clio will solve that one soon (before anyone mixes them up and has a sleepless night).

As the weather warms up, I’m looking forward to brewing a cup of espresso with the Clio, pouring it over ice, and adding almond milk for an afternoon treat. In the meantime, if anyone is in the market for a four-cup Mr. Coffee machine, ours will be in a giveaway box on the curb.

Clio Brewer

single serve coffee maker
Amazon

Features:

  • Made in Italy
  • Three brewing modes: coffee, tea, and espresso
  • Warms up in less than one minute
  • Brews a full cup of coffee in about 75 seconds
  • Adjustable cup height lets you brew into mug, travel mug, or espresso cup
  • 30-day, satisfaction-guaranteed, full refund policy

Where to buy: $129, Amazon

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