Cosori Automatic Coffee Warmer: a Product Review

by Kelly R. Smith

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Cosori automatic coffee/tea warmer
Cosori automatic coffee/tea warmer

If there’s one thing I have to have first thing in the morning is a hot, steaming cup of Black Rifle coffee. The problem I used to have is that it quickly cools off. Then I remembered back to when I was a software engineer for NASA. We were putting in some long hours (requirement drift) on the IMARS project that definitely called for copious quantities of caffeine.

My co-worker Mike had a coffee warmer on his desk. I thought, why not? So I bought the one pictured above. Problem solved. I’m sure that I will really appreciate it when winter rolls around.

Features of the Cosori Coffee/Tea Warmer

  • Simple button control. All you need is the on/off, raise temperature, and lower temperature buttons.
  • The digital temperature read-out is large and easy to see (I take my glasses off at my desk in my home office).
  • It’s available in two models — the one with only the warmer and another one that comes with a stainless steel mug. I opted for just the warmer because many of the Amazon reviews mentioned that metal conveys too much heat to the lips.
  • It’s easy to switch between centigrade and Fahrenheit.
  • The heating surface is 3 1/2 inches across, enough real estate to accommodate most mugs.
  • It is called automatic because of a button, called a gravity induction switch, on the bottom. When the weight of the mug is on the surface and the warmer surface remains active. Pick up the mug and the read-out will flash. The temperature will be maintained for 60 seconds.
  • It automatically turns off after 8 hours as a safety feature. Surprisingly, many other brands do not have this feature. Yes, I did my homework; I’m one of those poor souls that can easily get side-tracked.
  • It is made of brushed stainless steel rather than plastic so it won’t eventually warp and discolor from the heat.

The verdict? I’ve been using this Cosori automatic coffee warmer every morning for a week now. No troubles and it works as advertised. Thumbs up. Yes, I could have saved a few bucks but the features listed above swayed me. And my after-lunch caffeine fix? I have a mug of cold brew coffee. The cooled-off Cosori makes a nice coaster.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

ACI 80W LED Garage Light, 3 Adjustable Wings: A Product Review

by Kelly R. Smith

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ACI 80W LED garage light with 3 adjustable wings
ACI 80W LED garage light with 3 adjustable wings

Effective lighting in the garage has always been an issue for me. The garage is not only home to the washer and dryer, but it is also my woodshop. I saw one of these 3-wing LED lights advertised on the news one morning and thought I’d check on Amazon Prime (if you’ve got the Prime, use it). Sure enough, I got a better deal.

I should mention in passing that that soffit vent I installed that you see on the left hand side of the image above is something that most homeowners don’t think of doing. The garage can get very hot (and in my case, humid). So these vents, in conjunction with the ones I installed on the outside of my garage doors, help to circulate the air when the roof ridge vents draw. This is especially important when you are running a clothes dryer. Just a tip for you.

Features of this Garage Light

  • Screws into a regular light socket: Easy install in minutes, just have the switch off when you do because this light is bright.
  • Adjustable design: The 3 aluminum adjustable LED panels incorporating LED garage ceiling lights can be folded up to a 90 degree angle Point them where they are most effective.
  • Very bright: The 80W, 8000 lumen 6000K white light bulbs really perform wherever they are directed.

Conclusion

I have been using this light fixture for a month now and have no complaints. My work in the shop is much easier than when I was using the fluorescent tube fixtures. And added benefit with this ACI 80W LED garage light fixture is that I was able to eliminate the multi-plug adapter. I recommend this product.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Zulay Cold Brew Coffee Maker – Product Review

by Kelly R. Smith

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Zulay Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Zulay Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If you’re anything like me, you like your coffee. I typically enjoy a brobdingnagian mug or two in the morning and another in the afternoon. Sure, a lot of people favor Starbucks, and there are 2 very close to me, but that’s not my style. My wife is the same way and we are going through quite a bit of coffee since we are both working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes I prefer my afternoon cuppa from the Zulay cold Brew coffee maker.

I like this slow brewer. I’ve been using it for about 8 months now so I’ve got it down. Joking there; you can’t make a coffee brewing mistake because it’s very easy to use. It only has the 3 components as you can see in the photo above. The carafe, the stainless steel filter, and the lid.

Key Features of the Zulay Cold Coffee Maker

  • BPA-free
  • FDA-cleared
  • Shock-proof glass, brews cold or hot coffee
  • Dual silicone seals
  • Stainless steel filter, the mesh perforations are tiny enough for fine grinds
  • Doesn’t take up too much room in the refrigerator
  • Easy to clean
  • Anti-slip silicone base

Preparing the Cold Brew Coffee

  • This is a fairly simple process. For best results, start with whole coffee beans and grind them right before using. I use Black Rifle Coffee. It’s made in small batches and isn’t roasted until you order it.
  • Stick the filter into the mouth of the carafe. Fill the filter about 3/4 of the way with the grounds. I typically layer mine — coffee, fresh mint leaves from my herb garden, crumbled cinnamon stick, more coffee.
  • Pour filtered water into the filter. I usually go above the top mark on the carafe.
  • Stick on the cap.
  • Put the carafe into your refrigerator and wait at least 12 hours.

There you have it. I highly recommend the Zulay cold brew coffee maker. It is sturdy, has high-quality components and is reasonably priced. If you are curious and want to learn more about coffee and how it has shaped culture and society, check out Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World. Here is my book review.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Tips

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Typical tankless water heater anatomy
Typical tankless water heater anatomy

Tankless water heaters have long been a staple in Europe and are becoming more prevalent in the US. There are good reasons for this; the primary one is economical. Unlike a typical tank water heater, it only delivers hot water upon demand. Why store it when you don’t have to? It’s one more way to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

It’s not a complete panacea though. Like any other appliance it requires periodic maintenance to operate effectively. Here are the top tankless water heater maintenance tips that the homeowner can do; make it a periodic DIY project. These generic instructions will work for most units but be sure to check your manual for any proprietary details.

Clean the Air Filter

  • Turn off and unplug the heater or isolate power by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Find the air filter; remove it.
  • Inspect it carefully; a dirty filter will reduce performance.
  • Clean it with a soft-bristled brush using a mild solution of dish soap and warm water.
  • Rinse it well with clean water and dry it using a lint-free towel, and reinstall.

Clean the In-Line Water Filter

  • Find the in-line water filter at the cold-water inlet.
  • Close the cold-water supply valve to turn off the water supply to the unit.
  • Remove the filter.
  • Clean the filter by tapping it to dislodge sediment, run it under clean, clear water, and wipe it with a cotton swab.
  • Reinstall the filter.
  • Reopen the cold-water supply valve.
  • Check for leaks; tighten as needed.

Flush the Heater

  • Close the shutoff valves on both the hot and cold water lines.
  • Connect a hose from the outlet of a circulation pump to the cold-water service valve. Connect a drain hose to the hot-water service valve.
  • Pour 4 gallons of undiluted food-grade white vinegar into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place both the drain hose from the hot water service valve and the pump supply hose (connected to the pump’s inlet) into the vinegar bucket.
  • Open the service valves on the hot and cold-water lines.
  • Turn on your pump allowing the vinegar to circulate throughout the heater at a rate of 4 gallons per minute.
  • Let it run an hour and then flush the system with clean, cold water to remove the vinegar and any loose minerals. To do this step, first remove the free end of your drain hose from your bucket, and then run it either to a convenient drain or to the outside. Next, close the cold-water service valve, open the cold-water supply valve, and then let the water flow through your heater for a minimum of five minutes. Next, close the cold-water supply valve, and clean the in-line water filter at the cold-water inlet on the heater to remove any loose deposits the filter picked up during the above process. Again, clean the filter by tapping it, running it under clean water and wiping it with a cotton swab. Finally, replace the filter.
  • Close your hot-water service valve, and then open both the cold and hot-water supply valves.
  • Disconnect all of the hoses, restore power to the heater, and turn it on.

These steps for tankless water heater maintenance should help you to keep your unit running efficiently and save you money by not having to hire a contractor. If you agree, please share with your friends and social media.

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Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.


About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.