To successfully brew a good cup of coffee, you need to have the right tools, and if you all are aware of my passion for coffee, you know that I have MANY (many, many) tools to brew a cup of coffee.
In an effort to show me that there is a stand out machine in the crowd, iCoffee gave me their new single serve Opus Brewer to try out in my own home coffee bar (yes, I confess I have a built-in barista bar in my home, complete with a pass through window, fridge and sink!).
The iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer combines everything you want in a single serve coffee machine. It looks good, brews fast, allows for multiple cup sizes, let’s you use “unlocked” single serve coffee cups, and most importantly it kicks out a terrific cup of coffee no matter what brand of coffee you’re using.
I’m a bit of a single serve coffee machine hoarder, so I have many to compare the Opus brewer to. I have 3 Keurigs (an original model, the Vue and the new 2.0) and a Tassimo machine as well. I can honestly say that out of the 5 machines…the Opus gives me the best results on the most consistent basis. It’s not that I dislike the other model machines I have, it’s just that comparing them all the Opus gives me the most flexibility for brewing. With full disclosure, only the original Keurig machine that I have was a purchased machine. The rest were part of blog campaigns or gifts, so they’re all on equal footing pretty much with the Opus in terms of how I acquired them.
Let me break it down a bit more on why I think the Opus is worth getting if you’re looking to invest in a single serve coffee machine.
75 oz. Water Reservoir – This is actually 5 oz smaller than the Keurig’s 2.0, but that isn’t even a cup for me, so it really isn’t a big deal. That being said, from the older models or other brands of single serve coffee machines that is a huge step up on the capacity of most. That gives me between 7 and 9 cups of coffee before needing to refill, depending on the brew size I’m using. It also has that neat futuristic LED glow on it, you can’t change the color like on the 2.0, but that doesn’t bother me.
SpinBrew™ Technology – If you’re not sure how a single serve coffee machine works, in simple terms there is a needle that punctures the cup on the top and bottom. Highly pressurized water streams into the coffee grounds in the cup and then filters through the bottom into your mug.
The iCoffee Opus has one up on the competition here, which results in a better brew no matter the kind of coffee you are using. The needle where the pressurized water comes out of actually spins within the cup which allows it to steam and stir the coffee within the cup. The coffee brewed comes out with less bitterness (which is especially noticeable in dark bold roasts) and a smoother finish. You can even watch the needle spin while it’s brewing through the clear casement on the top of the brewer!
If you’re interested in an Ohio State University Sensory Science Group test comparing the results of iCoffee vs Keurig, please visit www.icoffee.com/sensorytest.
Dial-a-Brew™ – While the later versions of most single serve coffee machines let you adjust the cup size, they are predetermined. 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 oz are typically what you might see on a higher end brewer. But what if you want a 5 oz cup or 7.5 oz cup or a 9 oz. beverage? Yep, you’re out of luck. But not with the iCoffee Opus.
With Dial-a-Brew™, you can just rotate the dial and change your brew size between 4 and 12 oz in .5 oz increments. I LOVE that, because I can adjust it for everyone’s tastes (my sister likes weaker coffee, my mom likes stronger), and it works fantastic for when you’re brewing iced beverages.
Use Any Coffee You Like – No Really! – iCoffee Opus SpinBrewer has another leg up on the competition and it’s a big one. If you keep tabs on what’s going on in the single serve coffee world then you’ll know that with the release of the Keurig 2.0 there is now a DRM on K-Cups. If you don’t buy their special technology enabled K-cups for the brewer, the brewer won’t let you make your coffee. Sure there is a lot of brands available for it, and yes you can ‘hack’ your cups or the 2.0 to allow you to brew other kinds of single serve cups…but you shouldn’t have to. I just want to brew coffee in my machine folks…any kind I want.
iCoffee Opus takes ALL kinds of single serving cups from the fancy new K-cups to your store brand variety and everything in between. Oh yeah, and it includes a re-usable cup too (something the new 2.0 no longer supports), so you can take your favorite grind or beans that aren’t available in single serving cups and brew those too.
The footprint of the machine is larger to me it seems than the 2.0, I think it takes up more counter space. On the other hand, when you remove the drip tray (which ‘latches’ in with a magnet) I can get taller travel mugs to fit under the spout that don’t fit under the 2.0.
Like the 2.0, the Opus has an energy saving feature in which it will turn off after 2 hours of non-use when the energy-save button is pressed. One other noted mention about the iCoffee machines is that they have The SafetyLock™ system which locks the brew head during brewing to prevent the escape of hot liquid from the brewer. I’ve not had any problems with that with any of my other machines, but like the idea of that safety feature being there.
Sure the Keurig 2.0 has the carafe packs that let you brew 3 to 4 cups at once in a serving carafe. Honestly I’ve had my 2.0 since August, and have only used the Carafe brew twice.
All in all, if I had to choose just one of my machines to keep, I would choose the iCoffee Opus. The versatility, flexibility and the superior cup of coffee it brews wins out over my other brewers.
iCoffee’s Opus single serve brewer is available at Bed, Bath & Beyond® stores for $139.99, with other major retailers soon to be selling it in 2015. For more information about the company, please visit www.icoffee.com.
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