The dreaded day finally came. I paddled downstairs at 6:00 a.m. and pressed the brew buttons on my 5 year old Capresso coffee maker. I walked over, turned on the computer and checked back after 5 minutes. Nothing, not a gurgle, not a sound, the buttons were no longer illuminated. Given I frequently question my sanity at that hour, I pressed the buttons again. Returned to my computer, started pouring through my email. Again, no sounds, no aroma of coffee, and then I knew, Capresso was a goner.
History Of The iCoffee SteamBrew
I first discovered the
coffee maker in an issue of Housewares Magazine, a trade rag. The
coffee maker sounded interesting. I went to the web and found the
announcement at the Housewares show in Chicago and a few reviews from
people who did a tasting at the show. I learned the product was not yet
available but was estimated to be on store shelves in July 2013. I
did an occasional search but as of July, the product was still not to be
found. It wasn't until September 26th, the date my Capresso went to
that coffee-shop in the sky, that I started my search again.
Coffee Perfection In The Making
to the iCoffee.com website, it took 7 years and 1257 prototypes before
the coffee maker was put into production. Mr. Bruce Burrows, the
inventor, started tinkering around with the idea of steam brewing back
in 2005. His goal was to produce a full-bodied, smooth cup of coffee
without any of the bitterness produced by many (most) coffee makers. He
teamed up with Remington to produce the ultimate coffee brewer.
process simplified, is that the grounds are steamed until evenly
moistened. A series of rotating jets then continue to stir the coffee
to extract maximum flavor from the grounds. The resulting coffee is
deep, dark, rich and smooth. If you want to read more about the
technology you can visit the iCoffee website.
- Makes great coffee
- Simple display, intuitive to use
- Easy to program
- Not inexpensive $169.95 (but in line with comparable featured brewers)
- Aesthetic is a little bulky
The brewer has all the most basic features I like in a coffee pot and not a lot of extra gadgetry:
- A glass carafe
- my old brewer had a stainless steel thermos carafe and I have to say,
personally, it drove me nuts. I never could tell how much coffee was
still in the darn thing. I prefer the glass with the easy to read
measuring lines on the front.
- Clock - not that I needed yet-another appliance with a clock but this is necessary for programmable timer.
- Programmable timer -
I don't always use this but I do like to set a time if I have to leave
very early in the morning and want my coffee pot to act as my alarm
- Gold Filter - built into the brew basket. No separate filter, no filter paper required.
- On-off button with chime - The chime is clever but I suspect I'll be shutting that feature off within a week or so.
The Overall Design
iCoffee is just about 1/4" taller than my old coffee maker. The design
is a simple look but a little "bulbous" due to the large water
receptacle area used for steaming and stirring the grounds. I'm a fan
of good industrial design but when it comes to my morning cup of coffee,
function leads form.
It still fits under a standard counter top
with cabinets above. The brew basket (shown here) has a "window" where
you can watch the grounds swirling around. Again, entertaining for the
first few pots but otherwise unnecessary.
Would I Recommend This Coffee Maker?
The coffee tastes so much better (to my preference) than the Capresso,
or any other drip maker I've had in the past (Braun, Krups). Even if
you don't like very bold coffee, just reduce the amount of grounds you
use and it will lighten it up. You'll still have a very flavorful,
smooth cup of coffee.
Bloomingdale's does demo the coffee maker sometimes so you may want a visit a store and taste test before you buy.