The Java Wand

You’re looking at the Java Wand.

It’s simple, clever, and definitely a groovy little gizmo.

Invented by Nancy Raimondo and marketed via Wisdom Wands, this is — literally — a tiny coffee maker at the end of a glass straw. And before you scoff, trust me, I had some doubts as well. The first thing I thought was that sucking hot coffee through a straw would lead directly to a seared tongue and a ruined day. So I want to state right up front that this is not the case.

How the Java Wand works is simple. It’s a straw with a French press type filter at the end. You put coffee in your mug, add hot water (and whatever else you’d like), put the straw in and stir for a bit, then let it set a few minutes.

Letting it set does two things. One, it lets the coffee seep, and two, it lets it cool a bit.

Here’s a good place to mention that, even when making coffee the normal way, you don’t want to use boiling water. You want it hot, and perhaps close to boiling, but not actually bubbling. With the Java Wand this is doubly true.

So you let the coffee seep a bit, and then you take a careful, experimental sip from the Java Wand. Keep in mind this is exactly how you’d approach a hot cup of coffee. Sip carefully until it cools. The Java Wand works the same way.

That’s all there is to it. You’re drinking coffee.

Take a moment to think about that. What does a coffee maker do, anyway? It mixes hot water with coffee then filters the grounds.

It’s not complicated. It’s not rocket science. The Java Wand is a wonderful reminder of this fact — a return to the basics. People spend hundreds of dollars for machines that do nothing more, really, than this little filtered straw does.

Like I said, even I was skeptical at first. I thought I’d burn my tongue right up front. But no, this is thick quality glass, and it has the same heat-handling properties as a coffee mug. I made my first cup using Dark Costa Rican (as pictured above — that’s the actual first cup I made) and was able to sip on it without any burning of lips or tongue at all. It was delicious, but I’d ground it too fine. So I had to try again.

Wisdom Wands recommends medium ground coffee, about two tablespoons per cup. For the second try that’s what I used.

The next cup turned out perfect. I was impressed and happy with it, and even though it seemed odd to be drinking hot coffee through a straw it didn’t take long to adjust. Especially after cooling a few minutes, you’ll be sucking coffee down without even thinking about it.

Here’s an unexpected side effect, though. I’m one of those people who can drink two large strong cups of coffee and still go to sleep. I have over the years developed a high caffeine tolerance.

But two cups of coffee sucked through the Java Wand had me so wired I was bouncing around like the Energizer Bunny. It took me by surprise. What I figure is that since you’re drinking the whole cup of coffee through the grounds, you must end up with an extra dose of caffeine. In effect, the Java Wand becomes a coffee supercharger.

The next day I took the Java Wand down to the corporate offices to see if it could be used in the fight against horrible office coffee. It seemed perfect for this because you make your own coffee one cup at a time, and it’s so quick it’s like you’re making instant coffee. Also — and this is the key point — you’re free to make your coffee however you like. Stronger, bolder, with your own coffee or theirs. It puts you in control.

I gave it the ultimate test: could it, in fact, improve the taste of plain old Folgers pre-ground canned coffee?

It did! I can’t say it was good, but it was better than before. It was significantly better than the Folgers made in the old rusty Bunn office machine, especially considering most other office denizens think it only takes two tablespoons to produce 12 cups of coffee.

This morning I’m using it as I write this, having made a delicious cup of’s New York New York. This afternoon I plan on trying it with some loose tea leaves. (Yes, tea lovers can use this too.)

I’m thoroughly charmed with this little gizmo. It’s not going to replace my little one cup filter maker at home, but it will be something I use every day at the office. In its own little way, I can honestly say the Java Wand has improved the quality of my life.

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