I’ve been known to say that the “Keurig is one of the greatest inventions of the past twenty years,” but as recent history has been showing us, it’s more about the single-serve K-Cup itself, and less about the machine and brand. As a regular coffee drinker (something that runs in the family – my Great Grandfather was a professional coffee taster), and one often on-the-go, the convenience of the K-Cup was what held the most appeal, and in that, our machine was glorious. My wife and I loved our Keurig enough that we gave them as gifts, but for our own machine, its days were numbered. At almost the same time that our new iCoffee Opus arrived here for review from Remington Designs, our Keurig was shot – it’s demise coming after leaking for several months. My wife was not pleased, and was hesitant to pitch it, even though we had a new single-cup brewer here at HQ. The looming question being – could this relatively-unknown brewer take on the ones from the dominating Green Mountain Coffee Empire?
On the surface, the iCoffee Opus has a familiar appearance, and a stance that’s important in reaching out to consumers who are looking for a new single-serve machine. The basic features of the K-Cup-compatible iCoffee Opus are the ones that users expect – water reservoir on the left (a hefty 75 ounces that trumps our old 48 ounce Keurig), the spot for the pods on the top, and of course, the controls on the right. The Opus is a flashier machine, accented with blue LED lighting (I’d love one with red LED’s to fit my KNIGHT RIDER theme) and chrome. The big differences? SpinBrew Technology and Dial-A-Brew. Whereas a Keurig has a needle that just blasts hot water downward into and through the K-Cup, the iCoffee has a spinning head that swirls around the cup, getting some action to all the grounds and creating a flavor said to more closely resemble a French Press. To better illustrate this, the folks at iCoffee put up the following video on Instagram just last week…
https://instagram.com/p/z-U7aqGljY/” style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_top”>Ever wonder what SpinBrew spinning jets technology looks like inside the k-type cup? Now you know! #ihhs2015 #brewbetternotbitter
The Dial-A-Brew function takes the select-a-size feature to a new level, allowing users to choose their size from 4-12 ounces in 1/2-ounce increments. While other machines allowed a small-medium-large assortment of choices, the iCoffee Opus is a little more precise, allowing for easy filling of a morning cup or one of my tall Contigo Travel Mugs.
As far as taste is concerned, the Opus is smooth, though I tend to think that casual coffee drinkers won’t notice much of a difference between the Keurig and the iCoffee. I notice it, and I dig it.
Unlike the new “Keurig 2.0” machines that added DRM (Digital Rights Management) to their K-Cups, the iCoffee Opus is compatible with all K-Cup, OneCup, RealCup and private-label cups. That DRM thing is a real kicker, as it was quite frankly, a real dick move from Green Mountain. Consumers have shown time and time again that they don’t want DRM restrictions, and if they didn’t want it on their music (Apple famously removed it from iTunes), they certainly don’t want it on their coffee. People want a choice, and that means buying whatever coffee they want, and brewing it in whatever machine they want.
The big surprise here at Rock Father HQ? After having our machine for a month or so, it actually won over its toughest critic – my wife. “I actually like it a lot better than the Keurig,” she told me. “It’s just a really nice coffee maker, and it works really well.”
Coming from her, that is all you need to know.
The iCoffee Opus is available now, exclusively at Bed Bath and Beyond.
BONUS: On “Take Your Action Figure to Work Day,” my “Unmasked” 1989 BATMAN figure from Mattel’s DC Multiverse Collection paid a visit to our iCoffee. Yes, that is supposed to be BIRDMAN’s Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
https://instagram.com/p/z5Ad_fR-hl/” style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_top”>#RockFatherHQ: Bruce is just getting into work today and is getting caffeinated at the @icoffee machine. #iCollectatEE #AFWD2015