For me, it’s very rare that I don’t start my day with coffee. I’ve tried a number of different methods, and most commonly use either a French Press or my Aeropress. Then I came across the GoSun Brew, and it seemed like it was wrapping up my electric kettle and French Press approach all in one, in a package that was ready to hit the road.
You see, the GoSun Brew relies on DC power connection, like you see in your car (or even on some larger generators or power banks). For me, it’s just my commuter car that I had for the test, so I waited until it wasn’t quite so cold outside. On a day with air temps in the mid-40s, it was time to fire up the car and make some coffee. Sure, you could run it off of the battery solely, but I wasn’t going to test if I’d end up with a dead car. Which was good, because while their product page claims a 10-minute run to get the water boiling, I went past 20 minutes to get things up to temp.
First thing was figuring out where to setup the GoSun Brew. I ended up placing it on the floor, because it would not fit into a cup holder with how the power connection comes out of the base of the mug. You’ll want it to be a sturdy, relatively flat spot, as once this starts boiling, it does rock a little bit. Now, a note on that. Once the brewer gets your water up to temperature, the red light at the base (next to the plug) is supposed to turn green, letting you know it’s ready. I saw it was boiling out of the top (you leave it open so pressure doesn’t build) and tested it with my thermometer, and saw a temp of 210 F. Since you really only need 203 F to make coffee, it was time to unplug things.
I took the GoSun Brew into the house, and got my grounds in. Which, if you have your water filled to the top, you’ve got a challenge. Those dry grounds want to float, so you need some sort of stirrer (I used a chopstick) to start blending it in. Then, when you screw on the top, if you’ve filled to the top, you’re really at danger of overflowing, with the space the grounds take plus the press plunger/filter. So, my recommendation here is to not get anywhere near the top fill line, to leave yourself some room.
After that, I waited my four minutes, pressed the plunger down, and voila, I had my coffee, about a half hour after I started. Now, aside from portable brewing, the GoSun Brew also wants to let you just go ahead and drink right from it. And yes, you most certainly can, along with the flap you can close down over the drinking spot. But is it water tight? No, it’s not – you cannot throw this in a bag and go.
This is due to how a French Press works. You push that plunger down, and the grounds are trapped at the bottom of the vessel, which means the top of the plunger (which does have a silicone ring to seal) cannot settle securely into the top of the lid. This is a solvable issue (just shorten the step a bit), and it’s really surprising that it was not caught in prototyping.
So, is the GoSun Brew worth it, particularly if you want fresh coffee on the road? For me, that answer is no. Between how long it took, that it didn’t shut off when it hit temperature, and that I can’t make a water-tight seal on the top once the coffee is brewed, that was just too many strikes. Now, as a last resort backup in case of a power outage, sure, then it can work in a pinch (but I could also use my camping stove to get it going). So, while the GoSun Brew definitely had a lot of promise, this is one I would wait to see what a second generation looks like. If you want to pick up a GoSun Brew, you’ll find it for $99 directly from gosun.co
Details from GoSun
- Width: 5 in
- Height: 9 in
- Weight: 4 lb
- Dimensions: 8.75″ x 2.75″
- Capacity: 16 oz
- Cable length: 8 ft
- 304 Stainless Steel
- BPA Free Plastic
- Power Output: 130W
- Power Input: 9-15V DC, DB-14 Connector