Remington: ICoffee with SteamBrew Technology Review

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With so many choices of coffee makers in the marketplace, each with their own patented technique for brewing or serving, a simple cup of coffee is not so simple anymore. I find myself asking, “Am I paying for a great cup of coffee or just a great looking machine?” I am chasing after the former because that is what matters most to me. I not only drink coffee but also bake and cook with it, so I don’t want to waste a drop!

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In comes iCoffee by Remington, with a technique that is all it’s own, SteamBrew. I have used a simple French Press, espresso makers, cappuccino makers, and even just the old fashioned simple drip-method from a common coffee maker. Each technique does produce different results even if you were to use the same coffee, so I was eager to try the “steam way” and see if it’s what I call “worthy to sit on my kitchen’s counter”.

iCoffee is very simple, not just from looks, but also operation. It’s simple enough that I did not have to refer back and forth to complex instruction manuals to see how to operate it. I really just looked at the quick-start sheet to make sure I was assembling it correctly. You can’t futz it up, with one place to add your coffee grounds (the reusable coffee filter) then add water in the back to the reservoir, where you add your water starting with a 2 cup measurement up to maximum capacity of 12-cups. The first feature I have to share is the happy tune this little machine chimes out. It makes me smile every time and iCoffee is eager to please so this is a great start. I was testing several brands of coffee, grinds and even brews (from light to extra dark), to get a range of operation and how successful the machine is in delivering a great cup of coffee.

The machine operates at a low level of noise and has the nice feature of being able to monitor the brewing process from a viewing window with LED light. You also have an LCD display that tells you when it’s heating water to when the cycle is complete, plus it signals you with a little music tune when done too. If you are not a morning person, no worries as iCoffee has a “mute” option if music or noise is not…..well, your cup of tea 🙂

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I tested Starbuck’s, Folgers, Gevalia, Green Mountain, CBTL, and Lavazza bagged coffees. I went with brands that are easily found in the marketplace and also reasonably priced.

Starbuck’s: I tested a blonde roast, breakfast blend to two different dark roasts. I noticed by the 4th try, that the steam method usually only loses about 1/4 cup of water (maximum) so you do get the most out of the coffee without losing moisture and this because the steam stirs the grounds. Here I found out what type is a worthy cup because if the blend was not of the best quality, you could taste it.

Folger’s and Gevalia: Even with lower quality coffees, the iCoffee gives you the best cup it can get out of it and significantly reducex the bitter notes, producing a smoother tasting coffee. Again, I was happier with these brands more than I usually am. These brands also produced more “sludge” but with the double filter, none ever made it to my pot or cup.

Green Mountain: Tasted the same as it does with my other machines, where it’s an “okay” coffee but I became less of a fan when I could taste everything it had to give and let me say it was not much. Made me reevaluate the brand!

CBTL and Lavazza: Best performing of the test group and this where I learned that like wine, a better (tasting) product yields better overall end results! These coffee brands do not cost the most but I tested a flavored Creme Brulee from CBTL and a Medium Roast from Lavazza. The inherent richness was immediately apparent. Not my French press, not even my expensive Krups Combo maker, ever produced a better cup than this one. We’re talking about a 25% intensity difference, and I mean it’s intense in taste, not necessarily in brew. It’s almost like iCoffee just gets more out of your grind and into the cup. I lost an immeasurable amount of water via the steam process with these brands, so again less water and the second filter also had less sludge.

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Like any person that plans on a future purchase, I read reviews and found some unfavorable remarks about the “crema”, an essence to what some called sludge at the bottom of the pot when brewing is completed. Some even called it grinds that escape and this results in coffee grinds floating in your coffee. I tried reproducing what was reported by omitting the second filter and I could not. I have in my experience found more bits floating with a French Press and my drip coffee maker than I ever did with iCoffee. When I add the second filter, I had none…..like nothing floating at all, and a very clean carafe when it came to cleaning.

Quick Note on Pros: You will get a better tasting coffee cup and I went into the review thinking that I would not really notice the difference but once I had SteamBrew cup, I put my other machines away. I would say that speaks for itself and even though you do not have an additional espresso feature, a frother, or built-in grinder, the iCoffee is about producing the better tasting cup……period! It convinced me to also reevaluate my coffee selections because it will get the best a grind can offer. It made my not so pricey coffees taste better and my reasonable priced, but better quality coffees taste from great to fantastic.  A smoother coffee also means less sugar to offset the less desired notes and less creams/milk.  I even stopped using creamers because my cup needed no enhancement.  Flavored coffees yield a cup that delivers what you bought, so my Creme Brulee was more…….well, Brulee-ish and this means no syrups. I own everything from seasonal, to trends, to the plain Vanillas but I did not seek them out.  I just wanted to taste the coffee!

Quick Note on Cons: My only con is cleaning the system. It does take me 10 to 15 minutes by hand but please note that there are dish-washer safe components. I merely opted to just clean by hand so things could dry quicker. The 15 minutes is for a complete deep clean, like you can’t smell coffee was in the machine so I am sure a “quick-clean” would do well with a deep one on the weekend for everyday users. I am not a huge fan of shiny plastic and painted chrome parts, because with time it can dull and does not inherently lend itself to longevity, but then again this is personal preferences and has nothing to do with the operation of the machine. I just prefer a bit more metal and a matte (textured) plastic for looks.  Also, like with any coffee machine, the machine sometimes burps steam from the lid in small quantities, so please when brewing keep note of this so you do not cause damage to the underside of your cabinets with long-term use.

My bottom line is this: It makes good coffee great, but won’t make a bad one good. I would buy this machine. And if you want a simple no muss, no fuss great cup of coffee, and don’t need a machine that takes a PhD to operate and occupy half your kitchen counter, you should too. You owe it to yourself to try iCoffee.

Price Point: Retails for $169.95 (or less!) at most places listed on their site.

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To learn more about iCoffee, please visit them at:

I received the above product free of charge from iCoffee.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cdaraghy
    Mar 25, 2015 @ 14:01:30

    Great review. Did iCoffee send you a kcup/single cup Opus to test by chance too?

    Reply

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