iCoffee Steam Brew
The Liquid Lab Team gave the iCoffee an overall average rating of 8 out of 9 planets. There is little doubt to the iCoffee claim that it creates an incredibly bold, rich and impossibly smooth™ brew. The team had to dig deep to come up with some shortcomings - but outside of a misleading name and brew time it was a bit of a stretch. Bottom Line: The iCoffee takes 'drip coffee' to another dimension. Read each individual review below:
Mike (aka drip-all-day): My experience with the Remington iCoffee was a sensory pleasure. This thing just looks like it is a serious coffee making machine. Going through it, everything seems high quality including the stainless-steel filters which followed suit with the rest of the high-quality nature of this coffee maker. The name is a little misleading. In an age of “i” this and that, and everything we own connected to the web, the iCoffee does not have any interconnectivity. This is not a deal breaker in my book considering the results. From the second you press the start button you know that there is something special afoot. I found myself staring through the small window into the steeping area. With crema clearly visible through the window it was hands down the most entertaining pot of coffee I have ever made. There was a little bit of a learning curve. Because of the efficiency of the brewing process, the iCoffee needs only a fraction of grounds compared to a traditional coffee maker. My first pot was WAY too strong. After a little bit of proportion adjustments, I hit the sweet spot.
Stella (aka the Sipper): If drip is your dealio and you actually like coffee (in that Folgers isn't your cup-0-choice), this is the machine for you. This Jetson-esque inspired machine actually 'steams' the coffee versus just letting gravity soak and pull water through static grounds like most drip makers. The result will have you doing Astro-like tail wags in your kitchen, singing "I didn't know drip could taste like this!" The iCoffee makes a robust, flavorful brew that lets you actually taste was the grower and roaster intended out of those fancy beans. An equally exciting side-note (that they don't really mention in the instructions) is that because of the steaming process more flavor is extracted so you can use literally half the amount of grounds you normally would. If you're a mathmagician, you realize that it won't take very many mornings to recoup the cost of the machine.Two incredibly small issues i have with iCoffee. First, don't call it the iCoffee if I can't lay in bed and start this baby from my iPhone. Second, it takes a solid 14 minutes to brew, this is really nitpicking - AND there is a timer if you really need the aroma to wake you in the morning. One final tip, use the secondary filter basket to make your brew even smoother and DON'T use paper filters, the Gold Tone filter is enough and paper filters may cause a fire... really, that's what the directions say so i didn't try. I'm going 8.5 out of 9 planets - instructions are great, coffee is incredible and not even just for drip, instructions are clear and concise and plastic pieces of the machine are BPA-Free - they call this marvel the "Astro" and it may have been my first perfect review.
Paul (aka Pour-Over Paul): The iCoffee brewer is a fantastic example of innovation going in the right direction for a change. Ground coffee gets steamed and agitated while mixing with hot water to release amazing oils and flavors in the brewing process. I am not sure the science behind it, but it seems that the coffee is less bitter than the drip coffee maker I have used for so long. It is fun to watch the coffee swirl around in the hot water and steam, almost like watching laundry get clean in a front loading washing machine.
Scott (aka Chief Beverage Maven): It’s rare to come across revolutionary innovation in the coffee world, but I would have to say that the iCoffee maker is just that. I’ve always thought that the ultimate coffee maker would grind the coffee fresh into the brewing process – almost like a hot blender. (I’ve tried this by the way – placing coffee into a blender with hot water and then filtering it for a super fresh cup of coffee. Not good. I don’t know if it over-extracted or what, but from my very few attempts, it did not turn out well). With the iCoffee, it stirs and steams the coffee as it’s brewing and seemingly extracts the maximal amount of coffee compounds and essential oils. With most drip coffee makers, the hot water just drips straight through the coffee grinds with very little actual extraction. They tend to extract from the surface of the grinds which usually leads to a more acidic brew. Of course the coffee you use matters immensely, but assuming that you are using quality coffee, the iCoffee will brew an extremely robust, fatty brew that’s easier on your stomach (less acidity) and easier on your wallet as well. To my surprise, I was able to use approximately half the normal amount of coffee and still yield a full-bodied cup of coffee. The first few times I used it, the coffee was just too strong! If you want to get the most out of your coffee – potentially even more than a French Press – then give the iCoffee a try. I’m not a coffee maker kind of guy. I’m more into espresso, French Press, AeroPress, etc. But as far as coffee makers go, I think the iCoffee is the cream of the crop. 9 Planets.
TR (aka Sud Bud): What was out of this world: The flavor. There is no question that the steam-swirl-of-happiness going on during the brewing process works. I have never tasted a more full-bodied cup of joe from an automatic machine in all my trips around the sun. The flat, limited profile that drip machines typically give to even the best beans are nowhere to be found with this beauty. The fact that I can pre-program this flavor bomb to rock my socks first thing in the a.m. is also a big added bonus. I'm sure the affect will wear off over time, but actually watching the coffee swirl and brew through the window was fun. The pleasant tune that indicates both the start and ends the brewing process was both pleasant and unique in an "R2-D2 is happy" kind of way. The additional filter in the glass carafe worked incredibly well. No matter how you like to brew your joe, there are always going to be a few grounds at the bottom of your receptacle of choice. The additional filter noticeably minimized the particulate level at the end of my drinking experience. So much so over a standard drip machine that it was very noticeable. Under $100 for a home machine that pumps out this kind of flavor profile is well worth the price. There are plenty more expensive auto-home machines that do far less out there on the market.
Crashing back into the atmosphere: 12 cups is not 12 cups. As with most auto-drip machines, when you fill the glass kettle to the 12 cup line you get a bit less than 12 cups in return. In the case of the iCoffee, it was a full cup and a half below the mark I was attempting to brew to. Don't use a traditional drip grind in the machine, it seems to be a bit too fine. You'll want to have a more course grind along the lines of French Press to ensure the filters don't slow down the brewing process too much. 7 out of 9 wishes on a shooting star!
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