If there’s a time and a place for everything, mornings are definitely the time to feel crummy, complain about how sleepy you are, half-glare at the people around you in a groggy haze, and otherwise try and drag yourself out of the wonderful sleep you were having just minutes ago. But being the geek that I am, I’ve discovered that little technological advances can make some morning steps at least marginally more pleasurable. I’m not saying that technology is the answer to everything, but I’ve found a peculiar sort of delight in streamlining some activities. I’d like to take a minute to explain what I mean.
A few weeks ago, I made my way to Best Buy to buy two small appliances, with the hope of making my mornings better. Yes, the retailer sells more than laptops and PCs, and while browsing their aisles, I settled on a Keurig Elite SingleServe Brewer (B48), and a Philips Sonicare – DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush. I think you see where I’m going with this. Who wants to brew a fresh pot of coffee every morning, or fuss around with instant powder, when there’s an alternative at the ready? And what self-respecting geek wouldn’t look forward to cleaning his teeth with a brush that vibrates at 31,500 “rpm” and charges through electromagnetic induction? Yeah, that was my thinking and here’s how these two machines performed.
The Keurig Elite SingleServe Brewer
The main selling point of single serve coffee brewers is that they present just about the simplest, easiest way of getting a hot cup of coffee prepared. There’s very little maintenance and cleaning involved, and you can go from nothing to steaming cup’o'Joe in less than a minute.
The B48 is solidly constructed in black, with elegant lines and a streamlined design; it looks good on a counter top. Its water tank holds 48 ounces of water, which is enough for almost 5 large coffees between refills. Operation is dead simple: open the K-cup receptacle, insert coffee pod, close, and press one of three buttons to make 6-oz., 8-oz. and 10-oz brews. There’s even an auto-shutoff that turns the machine off after a preset time, to save you on energy costs.
The coffee that comes out is as tasty as any you could make with a traditional pot, and there are K-cups of an almost endless variety. My favorite is Chocolate Raspberry, though there are over 200 to satisfy any taste. These include not just coffee, but tea as well, and can be purchased online or at just about any grocery store.
After my coffee is ready, I don’t have to clean the machine, nor even remove the spent K-cup. I wait until I need a second dose, and just remove the used pod before inserting the new one. Yes, costs end up a little higher than the traditional method, but I don’t mind paying extra for the convenience. And just like that, getting my dose of caffeine in the morning became a little more interesting, a little easier and somewhat less of a pain.
The Philips Sonicare – DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush
After I’m done with breakfast, I like to brush my teeth and spare others my morning breath. It turns out that I tend to head on over to the restroom a little more willingly now that I get to use the Cadillac of electric toothbrushes. If your only experience with this type of brush so far has been the $8 vibrating trinkets you get at CVS, you aren’t even in the same ballpark as this machine. This brush, my friends, vibrates back and forth 31,500 times per minute, and that right there is at least a couple more than I’m able to crank out even on my most enthusiastic mornings.
Its brushed plastic handle hides backlit operation mode indicators that look incredible when they turn on (the device did receive a “best of the best” Red Dot Design Award in 2012). The charging base has a chrome finish, and the travel case is covered in a grey fabric that gives it an upscale look. This is a good looking brush. But more importantly, it’s one that cleans my teeth like nothing has before.
A cleaning session lasts 2 minutes and the vibrating motion is briefly interrupted every 30 seconds to tell you to move on to a different section of your mouth. And unlike regular brushes, you are encouraged not to engage in a traditional back and forth (or up and down) motion, but rather to press the bristles at an angle on your teeth with a slight pressure in order to reach in the crevices. And let me say this: after 2 minutes of brushing, my teeth. Feel. Clean. I don’t mean clean, I mean clean. Running my tongue over them feels like I’m fresh out of a dentist visit. No roughness, no film, nothing. Philips promises improved gum health and whiter teeth, and I don’t doubt for a second that the Sonicare DiamondClean delivers on this.
Another cool feature is that charging is done through induction. This means that you just have to place the brush in the rinsing glass that comes with it (made from actual glass, by the way) and it’ll charge without you having to plug a single cable in. Granted the glass sits atop a charging base that plugs into an outlet, but you get the idea. Using the Sonicare becomes a very natural activity, no harder than regular brushing, because you don’t have to think about recharging. You just put it back in the glass like most people do with their regular brushes anyway.
Rounding up the features is 3 weeks worth of use on a single charge, which makes the travel case a very viable option for your vacations. There’s even a USB port on the outside, should you be away for longer.
So there you have it. Mornings still are tough, my eyelids still stick and my body still feels kind of sore. But as soon as I’m conscious enough, I remember that I have two new toys to play with and that makes the corners of my lips twitch upwards. It’s not a smile, but it’s halfway there.