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.
According 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.
The 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.
The brewer has all the most basic features I like in a coffee pot and not a lot of extra gadgetry:
The 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.
Absolutely! 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.