Product Reviews: Remington iCoffee steams a smooth cup of Joe

The Remington iCoffee adds a new twist to coffee making by using a brewing process akin to a French press in a coffeemaker designed to appeal to all five senses.

The coffeemaker operates on the premise that steaming coffee, like steaming rice or vegetables, will enhance flavor. The coffeemaker has six steam jets that pre-steam the coffee grinds, then swirl them throughout the brewing process before filling the carafe. The company claims that this allows a “rich coffee crema to form, eliminating the bitter and acidic aftertaste” of coffee.

iCoffeeBrewer-high-resThe entire coffee stirring and brewing process can be viewed through a backlit brewing window and smell the aroma of coffee in the making. This brewing window adds height to the coffee machine but the coffeemaker will still fit under kitchen cabinets for storage although it must be moved outward for use. The entire brewing process begins with “Mozart tones” when the on/off button is pressed and an animation is displayed when brewing is in progress. The Mozart tones, which sound at the start and end of the brew cycle, are pleasant but more akin to computerized tones, and can be turned off if desired.

The unique shape of the brewbasket makes it difficult to judge how much coffee to add for those who are used to eyeballing standard-size coffee baskets and filling it up to a predetermined level, so some experimentation will be necessary. The manufacturer suggests that it “all comes down to personal choice.” Consumers are advised to use their typical amount of coffee for their first pot and then adjust the amount by adding more or less coffee. According to the manufacturer, many consumers have been able to cut back on the about of coffee used due to the efficiency of the steaming process. The steaming process may tend to produce a more concentrated cup of coffee. Although the coffee machine was filled to the 12-cup capacity at the beginning of the cycle, the end result was typically 10 to 11 cups of coffee.

The company notes that a finely extracted coffee essence, or sediment, may be observed in the cup and carafe as a normal result of the steaming and brewing process. For those who prefer less coffee essence, a second reusable mesh filter is provided which clips onto the rim of the coffee pot to catch any sediment which may escape the brewing process, providing an experience similar to paper coffee filters.

The result is a rich, smooth and uniquely different cup of coffee that serves up a great taste every time. The iCoffee by Remington lives up to its promise of delivering an “impossibly smooth” cup of coffee.

iCoffee-by-Remington-604x700The Remington iCoffee is not just another coffee making gimmick. While Consumer Reports branded the coffeemaker as a “Hot Look” in its Hot Lists 2014 issue, the coffeemaker not only has good looks but also excellent functionality and practicality which make it a great everyday coffee machine. The operating manual is a slim 15 pages, with clear diagrams and easy-to-follow instructions to get the coffeemaker up and running quickly. The buttons on the coffeemaker are intuitive and easy to program. Best of all, the coffee filters and carafe are easy to clean for daily reuse.

The practicality and ease of use were a huge benefit given the mysterious disappearing nature of the coffee. In a house with three coffee drinkers, the coffee disappeared just as soon as it was done brewing. And then it was time to enjoy another pot of fresh, smooth coffee.

Competition: At $170, the coffeemaker may be a bit spendy, but it was less expensive than two other competitor coffeemakers listed by Consumer Reports that are also designed to automate the French press coffee experience.

  • Capresso Coffee a la Carte is $180 and may more closely simulate the French press coffee preparation process in a machine that is also easy to use and clean—and has a tea option. However, the carafe holds just 42 ounces and a cup placed in the machine must be less than 3.5 inches tall, according to Consumer Reports.
  • Bunn Trifecta is $550 for those who prefer a truly upscale coffee experience with numerous brewing options. According to Consumer Reports, the coffeemaker has five turbulence levels and five brew-time choices, but one can only brew 12 oz. at a time.

Remington iCoffee features:

  • The coffeemaker can be programmed to start brewing at a preselected time to save time in the morning
  • Warming plate remains on and then turns off after 2 hours
  • Display panel prompts users if they have forgotten to perform critical steps such as putting the brew basket lid on and add water
  • The Mozart tones can be turned off, if desired
  • Pause and serve

Visit iCoffee for more information.