Press app for iPhone – logging your coffee journey

App IconFirst things first. If ever there were an app icon that encapsulates the predominant themes of this blog — surely this has to be it.

Brilliant. Er…except that I didn’t think of it first.

After coming across Press a few months ago, I have begun to slowly add some coffees into the database for future reference.

As is the case with many great independent apps, Press was borne out of one man’s frustration — from the App developer’s contact page:

I’m Jeff Hatz, the sole developer of Press. I was frustrated with the lack of quality coffee apps on the App Store, so decided to write my own. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Love it? Indeed I do sir — indeed I do.

What is it for?

Press is an app which contains a number of features to assist you in both brewing and logging notes about the coffee you drink:

IMG_4267Log detailed notes about the coffees you drink, and see a world map with pins for each if the coffees you enter. Use the built in brew timers courtesy of Corvus Coffee Roasters, or add your own, to brew a perfect cup every time. Expand your knowledge of coffee in the Resources section.

Features:

IMG_4275In list form, Press has the following features:

  • Coffee Notes
  • Brew timers
  • Map
  • Today Widget (quick brew; last coffee added)
  • Advanced Options
  • Resource page (links to books, blogs etc)
  • Share sheet integration (export and sharing options)

As lovers of all things coffee, I am sure we all have our own methods of brewing with our various devices, so I must admit I have not really used the built-in brew timers.

I would note however these are customisable, and you are able to add your own, featuring the timer name, coffee/water ratio (allowing calculations based on changes in dose), dose, grind, temperature, notes, and brew stages.

IMG_4296IMG_4293

Overall, the app has a really nice UI, which is attractive to look at, yet functional enough to get the job done very smoothly, with a few extras such as Markdown formatting and a custom URL Scheme for users on the geekier side of the spectrum.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning longevity and storage. Although each coffee logged is merely a text file, adding numerous photos I expect would add to the data storage requirements of the app. Were I to use this over a few years, with say, a few hundred coffees and associated photos, I wonder about the storage requirements then, and perhaps cloud support might come in handy. For now, this is not an issue.

In terms of longevity and back up options — exporting to Day One or Evernote works like a dream, with the resulting output reminiscent (minus the associated photo) of some Drafts app templates for coffee logging I have seen around the web.

IMG_4284
Output to Day One

 

My favourite features

There is a lot to love about Press, though my favourite features (and reasons for downloading the app in the first place) are definitely the integrated map and notes sections. Locations of origin appear on the map once the region is added to an entry, allow zooming, and have an info button which changes to a popover noting the particular coffee featured in that location.

IMG_4271

Other great features include the customisable notes fields (through the settings pane), auto-capitalisation throughout the notes input fields, and a next button during text input which avoids the need for scrolling and tapping into the subsequent field.

Beyond the specifics, I’d say it is great to have an attractive, well thought out and extremely functional app which allows me to track coffees I have tasted when out and about, or those I have roasted myself at home.

Photo support was also added in March of this year, and has added a whole new dimension to how I plan to use the app going forward.

As my home roasting involves pencil and paper1 for recording time, temperature and any notes commenting on particular aspects of the roast, linking this IMG_4298data to particular coffees after brewing and tasting involves collating the data together in a spreadsheet — which I admit is not always updated. With the photos feature in Press, I have begun to snap a photo of the roast notes page which I now keep right inside the app with the tasting notes and rating of the particular coffee — perfect!

In conclusion

As you can gather, I do believe this is a great app for logging many aspects of your coffee journey over time.

Yes, I can link in my roast data to the brewing and tasting profiles through the photos feature, but I can also see this used for capturing those moments when sharing a wonderful brew with a partner or group of friends.

Press strikes what I believe is a perfect balance between allowing the recording of “enough” data and the flexibility to add more, in a beautiful and highly efficient way. With ongoing support, the developer has laid the groundwork for perhaps even more features in the future.

Oh and how about that icon?

Press for iPhone is available from the App Store, and is well worth the $AU3.79 you’ll pay.

  1. Currently the Science edition of the Field Notes Arts and Sciences seasonal release, and a Blackwing 602 for those interested. A perfect combination for the purpose I might add.

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