I drink a LOT of coffee and probably more than I should. I have used many different coffee makers over the years including everything from automatic drip, single serve brewers, percolators and french presses. There is little in the way of innovation for coffee makers. Usually, any changes, or new features revolve around the user experience and not how the coffee is actually brewed. That is why I became quite intrigued with the iCoffee by Remington. This new coffee machine truly brews coffee in a new way and I was fortunate to get my hands on one to try out.
Founder and inventor, Bruce Burrows, spent 7 years and 1257 prototypes to develop the iCoffee. The main difference between the iCoffee and traditional drip coffee makers is that this machine uses steam to brew the coffee. Instead of using shower heads, the water steamed into the filter basket using 6 rotational hot water jets. This creates a cyclone effect in the filter basket. The flavor is steam extracted out of the coffee grounds.
To try out the iCoffee, I ground up some fresh roasted beans. They were a light-medium roast and I ground them to a medium grind.
The iCoffee uses a special Goldtone filter basket. I added the coffee grounds to the basket.
There is a special lid that fits on top of the basket. It has a seal that keeps the water in while brewing.
The filter basket fits in place on the iCoffee. The one side of the filter basket has a clear window. This allows you to see the coffee brewing – Cool!
Now, add the water to the 12 cup reservoir.
The front control panel allows you to set the clock and turn on the iCoffee. A little melody plays when the machine is turned on and the display shows that the water is being heated.
Before long the water began to be steamed into the filter basket. There is actually an LED light in the basket so that the actual brewing is clearly visible. I recorded a brief video of the iCoffee in action, as seen below.
Soon, the coffee starts to drip into the carafe. During the brewing cycle, a rich crema develops with the coffee. This dissapears once the coffee actually goes into the glass carafe, but the crema helps to reduce any bitterness and provides a rich taste to the coffee.
I like to check the temperature of the coffee because a temperature close to 200F is necessary for ultimate extraction from the coffee grounds. Since the filter basket has a sealed lid, I was unable to check the temperature of the water when it hits the coffee grounds. I did check the temperature of the coffee as it dripped into the carafe and it was at 175F. This was pretty good and would mean that the coffee in the filter basket was probably at, or pretty close to 200F.
The brewing time of the iCoffee clocked in over 10 minutes, so it was on the longer side, compared to other models.
The taste of the coffee was amazing. One of my favorite ways to brew coffee is with a French press. I love the rich full bodied taste and the iCoffee had a very similar taste. There was no bitterness and the coffee was nice and smooth.
One thing I noticed as I finished my first cup of coffee, was that there is more sediment that is produced and settles on the bottom of each cup. Since I have been used to French press brewed coffee, this did not bother me at all, but some people may not like the sediment.
Cleaning the iCoffee is a little bit more indepth than just throwing out a coffee filled paper filter basket. The filter lid needs to be removed and washed. The coffee in the basket needs to be dumped and the filter rinsed.
There is also a secondary housing that the filter basket rests in. After the brewing cycle, there is a little bit of coffee at the bottom near the pause and serve valve.
It can be quickly removed and rinsed.
For the most part, I quiet like the iCoffee. The flavor that it produces is really nice. The coffee is smooth, rich and full bodied. The main issues with the machine are the longer brew times, more in-depth cleaning and the fact that the iCoffee is only available with a glass carafe. I far prefer thermal carafes that keep the coffee hot without a heating element. The glass carafe requires a heating element to keep the coffee hot, and that can result in a bitter tasting coffee, the longer it sits on the element. Those issues aside, I like the innovation that the iCoffee has taken in brewing a cup of coffee. I am sure that this model will be refined over time.
Pick up the iCoffee at Amazon – iCoffee Black & Chrome Coffeemaker RCB100 BC12
Disclaimer: Remington provided me with the iCoffee. They did not pay me for this product review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.