There are a number of coffee apps and timers out there, but the Café Timer is about as simple as they get. With one touch of the app icon, an illustration of a French press launches and it immediately begins counting down from 4 minutes. If you remain in the app, you’ll hear a clock begin ticking when there’s 5 seconds left, leading to an ample alarm and vibration when it’s done. If you happen to leave the app, a slightly quieter pop-up will alert you. Tapping the screen flips to a few coffee brewing tips, like using fresh roasted coffee within 2 weeks of roast date, grinding right before you brew with a burr grinder and using water below boiling (however I disagree with suggesting 190°F, it should be closer to 200°F).
While this app is primarily meant for those who use a French press, there are a few options to alter the steep time in the phone’s settings. This allows you to use the timer for other methods, like an AeroPress—sadly the illustration doesn’t change.
For $1.99 it’s more than what most people would expect to pay for such a simple app, especially one that doesn’t really add new functionality to your phone other than convenience. However, when you’re about to pour water on your grounds, it’s much easier to tap once than getting tangled up switching from your morning alarm, back to the timer in the iPhone’s default app (3 taps). You’ve probably spent $1.99 on less useful things, and if a French press is your daily brew method, it’s a nice looking alternative to the standard timer.
As a gift to DCILY readers, the app’s developer Benjamin Cullen-Kerney, has kindly donated a few free versions for me to give away to readers who help spread the word. Everyone who retweets this and/or posts it on Facebook, today through Sunday, will be entered to win a free Café Timer app on Monday. If you can’t wait that long and you’d rather buy Ben a virtual cup of coffee, go purchase the app now.