Your Favorite Source For News and Reviews of Kitchen Tools and Gadgets!

iCoffee A New Way to Brew

Share Button

At every show there are a couple of products that stick out to me and at the International Home & Housewares Show (IHHS) of 2013, one of those highlights was iCoffee by Remington.

iCoffee logo

iCoffee

 

iCoffee by Remington

Before I continue, let me clear up the obvious mistake we all make upon hearing or reading the product name for the first time. iCoffee has nothing to do with Apple, mobile devices, pads or smartphones. The “i” stands for innovation, yes a bit corny, but as you will see this really is an innovative way to brew coffee at home.

History

Another misconception that I have in relation to this product is the association of coffee machines and the name Remington. I have, like you may, always associated Remington with either personal care products or firearms.

The company is now a brand partner with Spectrum Brands Holdings and is indeed mostly associated with personal care products, though this Remington is not associated with the firearm manufacturer.

However, Remington has been a maker of coffee brewing devices since 1843 when John Remington first filed a patent for his coffee percolator. Over the years, several models of Remington branded stainless percolators and drip brewers have been marketed. In fact as late as the 1960s, print ads found online show the Remington brand percolators for sale.

In 2005 this division of Remington was formed to develop patented technologies in coffee brewing and water purification.

The first challenge their engineers faced was to tackle what they called a 40-year-old dilemma of over extraction of what coffee aficionados say are bitter and acidic oils produced by brewing methods that exchange convenience for flavor.

——————————-


——————————-

Remington Coffee Reborn

Remington’s R & D consistently showed that coffee drinkers are not happy with the bitter and acidic flavor produced by their coffee makers and set out to determine the cause of the unwanted aftertaste. They determined that drip brewers unevenly rain hot water down on only a portion of the coffee grounds. The evidence of the partial saturation of coffee grounds is found by looking at the crater left in the basket after the brew cycle. This results in the over-extraction of unwanted acidic and bitter coffee oils, making perfect coffee extraction through the drip method impossible.

Their goal, therefore, was to design a machine that allows the user to create coffee with superior extraction while not sacrificing ease of operation. Remington has spent many years and millions of dollars researching the science of coffee brewing, and as a result has created what they feel is the perfect brewing system.

One of the challenges that an engineer encounters in designing the next great product is to ensure that the new method feels comfortable to the user.

The shape, design and means of filling the water and coffee basket on the iCoffee will seem very familiar to anyone who has ever used a drip coffee machine. Remington wanted the user to feel comfortable using the machine for the first time. In fact, it looks so familiar that I assumed it was “just another” coffee machine as I skeptically approached their display booth at IHHS.

iCoffee Coffee Brewer

iCoffee Coffee Brewer

 

The iCoffee technology focuses on how the coffee is handled inside the brewer, choosing to forego the shower head drip used by most coffee brewers instead seeking a more finessed result with a rich coffee crèma.

First, the coffee is steamed to evenly apply proper moisture and heat. Secondly, their six patented SteamBrew rotational hot water jets further steam, tumble and stir the coffee, releasing the flavors without the acidic and bitter aftertaste.

Because they created a new way of extracting the coffee, iCoffee created a viewing window to allow the coffee lover to observe the SteamBrew process through the BrewView window. This back lit visual aid reinforces the new method within the framework of the familiar.

iCoffee science of brewing

Press the iCoffee image to learn about features and process

 

The process continues in cycles of steaming and saturating until it begins to drip through the fine mesh gold tone filter into the carafe. The resulting coffee is free from any sediment, a feat not often accomplished outside of a vacuum process brewer.

The company states that a full flavor pot of coffee can be achieved using 15% less coffee than you normally use. Due to the sophisticated extraction method and fine mesh of the gold tone filter, they also state that the machine is less dependent on the fineness of the grind.

While I can neither defend nor refute these latter claims, I can say that the resulting cups of coffee that I tasted were incredibly full flavored and smooth. Again, it reminded me of coffee made with a vacuum press but without the scientific laboratory feel of those machines.

Like a standard drip coffee maker, the iCoffee is programmable, has a 12 cup capacity carafe with settings to allow smaller amounts to be brewed. The plastics used are all high quality BPA-free and iCoffee comes with interchangeable colored drip baskets.

Summary

Since they state that millions of dollars and many years were spent developing this machine, my first impression seems to be that this was money well spent.

iCoffee by Remington was one of the most popular destinations at the 2013 IHHS and created quite a buzz which wasn’t necessarily related to all the caffeine.

I look forward to getting my hands on one of these brewers and putting it through its paces, testing the claims. One thing I don’t need to find out is whether it makes excellent coffee, it does.

**August 2013 Update: I completed a full review of iCoffee which you can read here http://kitchenboy.net/blog/icoffee-machine-review/

The final step is to see if retail buyers and subsequently consumers will be as taken with this machine in the coming months as people seemed to be in Chicago this March. At $169 retail, it seems a reasonable price for a product that creates such a refined cup of coffee.

September 2013 iCoffee Update

The iCoffee is now available for retail purchase at:

All Bloomingdale’s locations &
Bloomingdale’s on-line : Bloomingdale’s on-line ordering

Frontgate Catalog
Frontgate on-line : Frontgate on-line ordering

Bed Bath & Beyond

Sur La Table

To keep up with the ever growing list of retailers, check the iCoffee Where To Buy page.

Promotional video demonstrating the iCoffee function:

twittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedininstagram

13 Responses to “iCoffee A New Way to Brew”

  1. mikell Ellison

    About a year and a half ago while rummaging through some old boxes, I cam across my Mother’s ole 50’s stainless steel siphon coffee maker. What a find! What a gossamer trip to “Black Gold” heaven…what a cup of coffee!!! Since the article states that is based somewhat on this brewing principle I am on my way to java-jamming without the
    time involved. I’m elated! Will buy and try and make comparisons.

  2. KitchenBoy

    @Joel – I believe that Remington is the backing company, same company who makes home personal care products. As far as I can tell, they are not claiming it as a company product though. There was some crowd funding that happened, but I am not sure the actual relationship.

    The inventor is American and his R&D happened here, but the brewer is made in China.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. joel honigberg

    Thank you Kitchen Boy for the information about Remington’s STEAMBREW.
    I saw their ad in Gourmet Insider and was immediately attracted.
    We are specialists in the export of American made products, and have been exporting coffee percolators under the REGAL and West Bend brands for many years. I think iCoffee is a winner. But where is it made? Is Remington a factory or an importer? Because you speak of the years of R&D which preceded the appearance on the market of iCoffee, I hope that we can boast that it is produced in the USA. Hope to hear from you.
    Thanks,
    Joel Honigberg

  4. KitchenBoy

    I agree with the filter basket issue, it can be awkward to empty out. I usually grab the front and back plastic area – front defined as large plastic view window and the back, the side opposite – and give a good hard shake over the outside compost pile. I get about 90% of the grounds out, but still need to rinse and run the disposal with the clinging remnants. I find it empties more easily if I let it sit a bit before dumping it. It’s probably the only real drawback, given that you can mute the Mozart tone, which I have also done.

    I may send them a note and see what the manufacturer says about emptying the basket, maybe we are missing something.

  5. John Kiger

    Hi Phil – Nice pick with the iCoffee. We decided to get one after Deb’s visit in September. You were spot on, the coffee is quite good and can be brewed with less coffee. Not an easy call, as I have not used any type of automatic brewer in 20+ years. I was using 42 grams for french press and pour over brews, but have settled on 35 grams for iCoffee brews of the same size. I had to turn off the Mozart jingle, though Deb found it cute, but it’s a bit much for 6:30 in the morning. My only grievance is in the removal of spent coffee from the filter basket, which is a bit more work than dumping a french press pot or cone filter (in to the compost bucket). How do you empty yours?

  6. Ty Gaither

    Thanks for the iCoffee review Phil. We have it at the store, but we have very little information about the machine or how it works. I plan to do a coffee tasting in the next couple of weeks, comparing coffee brewed in this machine with others. I will let you know the date and time. Thanks Again, great review.

  7. KitchenBoy

    @Ed W. – thanks for the retail availability update! I have updated the 2 articles about iCoffee with the information.

  8. KitchenBoy

    To everyone interested, the iCoffee is not yet, (August 2013 update #1), available in retail.

    Update #2: Their Indiegogo fundraising campaign has ended short of its goal. I will update this article when the full retail availability is launched so you know where you can purchase this truly innovative machine.

    However, you can go to the IndieGoGo site and buy the iCoffee machine for less than what it will retail for after its full launch. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-world-s-first-coffee-maker-brewer-with-steam-brewing-technology

    The suggested retail is looking like $169, but you can buy it from the Indiegogo site for $122 or $131, which includes free US shipping.

  9. kathryn

    do you know where i can purchase this item?

  10. KitchenBoy

    @Stephen, I just heard back from the folks at iCoffee and they told me that the product will hit retail stores in mid-to-late June. They didn’t give me a list of retailers as I believe the first orders were taken in March when I spoke with them. It can take some time for the details to sort out.

    I will keep the website updated as I know more.

  11. Stephen Shirley

    when will the icoffee be available for purchase and where

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS