Can Your Fridge Make Hot Water? The GE Café Fridge Does

Image courtesy GE
Image courtesy GE

That settles it. I definitely need a new fridge. Not because my old fridge is broken, but because there are now way too many cool fridges out there. Remember when I told you about Samsung’s new soda making fridge? Well, GE wrote me to tell me that their Café fridge makes hot water. I now have a fantasy of Patrick Stewart standing in front of one demanding some tea. Earl Grey, hot. 

Just how much power is it going to suck out of your kitchen to have a fridge dispensing hot water where it also dispenses ice? Well, they managed to solve the engineering problem well enough to earn the fridge Energy Star status.

This is a French door style fridge with separate evaporators to keep your frozen foods frozen and your chilled foods chilled. (If  you don’t have separate evaporators, opening the fridge door actually lowers the temp in the whole fridge just a bit, leading to freezer burn and melty ice cream.) It’s also got a multi-purpose drawer, with color coded LED indicators to let you know if you’ve got it set to store meat, soda, citrus, or cheese.

I asked them to walk me through the hot water process. I can’t get my Earl Grey as fast as Jean-Luc Picard, but I can get it within a few minutes. I could also get oatmeal or hot cocoa that isn’t scalding.

First step is to tell the fridge dispenser that you want hot water and just how hot you want it. You can pick any temp from 90-185 degrees Fahrenheit.  (It does not make boiling water.) Or, you can choose from one of four pre-set temp settings, so you can have hot tea or warm baby formula. Sadly, you have to use buttons instead of your voice.

Once your water is the correct temperature, you’ll hear an alert. You then have to turn a knob and then push to dispense (so nobody gets a hot water surprise when they wanted ice water), and you’ll get up to 10 ounces of heated water (about a mug’s worth). I’m told that the process should take somewhere between one and six minutes, depending on the temperature setting and how cold your source water is, and that most of the time it would be in the one-two minute range.

If you’re ready to get out your Bodum cups and replicate yourself a cup of Earl Grey, the GE Café fridge will sell for a suggested retail of $3,199 sometime this spring.

Does Your Fridge Make Soda? Samsung’s Does.

Image Courtesy Samsung
Image Courtesy Samsung

I have enough Android tablets in my house that I could probably glue them to every appliance I own. I’m also a seltzer addict. Those two seemingly unrelated sentences are why I thought the refrigerator that Samsung didn’t announce at CES was far more impressive than the one it did.

During CES, Samsung announced the code-named T9000 fridge that ran on Android and totally wasn’t designed by Skynet. Meanwhile, they let me take a glimpse behind the scenes at the more impressive but less memorably named RF31FMESBSR. Instead of just giving you cold filtered water, this fridge takes SodaStream 60L cartridges and turns that cold water into seltzer with three different concentrations of fizz. Ok, sure, there’s also a freezer on the bottom, multipurpose drawer in the middle, and ice maker inside. Sure, it’s got LED lights that do better at lighting things up than the dinky light on the front of my fridge, and it’s better at preventing freezer burn on the frozen stuff, but… soda!

Ok, I love seltzer water because it tastes good but doesn’t have to have any calories. I go through cases of La Croix. I’d been curious about a SodaStream, but I figured it’s expensive and would be yet another thing I’d have to store in my kitchen. Well, bundle it into my fridge, and that solves the storage issue. Not the expense issue, though. This beauty of a fridge – and it is a total beauty – will set you back a suggested retail of $3899. If you’ve still got your heart (or your tax return) set on it, you can get a new soda making fridge from Samsung in April.