Café Timer iPhone App


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.

Café Timer App for iPhone

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  • Reply Gio 04/16/2011 at 2:10 am

    Interesting app but what other features does it have to justify a 1.99 price?

    • Reply bwj 04/18/2011 at 10:51 am

      As I mentioned in the post, it’s a really simple app. There’s not much else too it. It provides a convenient and better looking way to time your coffee. I think the developer’s time is enough to justify the $1.99 price tag. I spent more than that on less useful things in life. So I don’t think it’s really asking much.

  • Reply Nicolas 04/18/2011 at 11:56 am

    Indeed I agree with the developer. I don’t think $1.99 is too much to ask. People tend to think iPhone applications require less development/work than desktop ones…
    It seems well done and offers a nice UI. It deserves that price. Going to start drinking coffee just for that one!

  • Reply Ash 04/18/2011 at 12:23 pm

    I use my Bodum french press every day, and I’m awful at checking my time. More often than not I get distracted and end up with slightly bitter coffee. This would be fantastic.

    My father, on the other hand, has been using a French press for so long that his internal body clock is pretty much set to 4-min intervals!

  • Reply Eliot 04/19/2011 at 12:38 pm

    Lovely, thank you for the link. As a price reference, the Bodum clip-on 4 minute timer that has no beautiful graphics or pocket convenience and was $10 from Amazon.

    I love that the app starts timing as soon as it is launched. That is a really excellent low-friction design.

    Bought and installed! Now where’s my coffee…

  • Reply Winston 05/23/2011 at 10:02 pm

    While this is certainly a nice app that gets the job up, we at Appsules would also encourage you to check out our more generic timer app – Elapsed ( – which lets you save presets for all the different steep times you want and gives you one tap access to each of them. You can even make two separate batches of coffee concurrently. Oh, and one last thing – it’s free!

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