I have new love in single-serve coffee machines, and his name is Opus. iCoffee Opus, to be precise. I received a complimentary machine in exchange for this honest review.
Coffee and I have been in a committed relationship since I was about 15 years old. For those who have done the math in the past, you know that’s close to a quarter of a century. While my flavor and overall tastes may have changed throughout the years, I’ve never broken up with my morning cup. Or my mid-morning, late-morning, early afternoon, early evening…you get the point. I drink a lot of coffee. Enough to know whether or not a single-serve coffee machine is living up to its promises.
What does iCoffee Opus promise?
In exchange for a spot on your counter, iCoffee Opus promises quite a few wonderful things for coffee lovers. Let’s take a look at them in bullet-points because I know you love lists as much as I do!
- Works with all types of K-type coffee, including OneCup, RealCup and the interactive K-Cups. It also has its own refillable cup so you can use any ground coffee you want.
- SteamBrew™ technology for an amazing cup of coffee every time, with virtually no bitter or acidic aftertaste. This is the biggest claim, so it’s one I put through many tests. More on that below. Basically, the technology both steams and stirs right inside the K-Cup to really unlock flavor.
- Dial-a-Brew™- Lets you to brew any amount between 4 and 12 ounces in .5 oz increments. Now, I was kind of ticked when I read other reviews and saw another reviewer knock this feature. They said it was little more than a rotary dial with an LED output (I’m paraphrasing). Well, duh! That’s kind of the point. You DIAL A BREW! It’s SO MUCH EASIER than jamming a button up and up and up, or down and down and down. Spin to select and go. It’s the easiest way to select the exact amount of coffee you want in your cup. By the way, that 8 ounces up there was a refill on a half-full cup. I never go lower than 12 oz!
- Energy Saver-If you’re not planning to have another cup for a few hours, you can engage the Energy Saver. This turns down the heat of the water without completely shutting it off. This feature leaves me with mixed feelings. Sure, it’s great because it saves on electricity and it’s better for the environment. The problem occurs when I’m the first person to wake up in the morning. The few minutes that I have to wait for the water to heat all the way back up may as well be an eternity. I NEED my coffee immediately! This is the ONLY downside to Opus in my opinion.
- Automatic Shut Off- If for some reason you decide not to drink coffee for an entire day, Opus will sadly turn himself off. Maybe not sadly. I added that part. I imagine he would be in shock though and worry about me. I think he should be programmed to dial 9-1-1 if I skip coffee for a whole day.
- Removable Drip Tray lets you use your favorite travel mug. In my case, it lets me use my very tall cups that start my morning coffee ritual.
iCoffee Opus: Let’s Talk Taste
Okay, so now you know some of the basic features of the iCoffee Opus, let’s get down to what really matters: taste. Honestly, I don’t care if my coffee maker dances the jig while writing poetry. If it doesn’t give me a decent cup of coffee, it’s going to join the ranks of “maybe I’ll use it someday” gadgets delegated to a shelf in my garage.
I’m so happy (I may have danced a jig myself) that the iCoffee Opus provides the taste it promises. I put it through several tests, included: crappy store-brand K-Cups that I bought on sale because I was broke, delicious Marley RealCups that came with the iCoffee Opus, the best flavored ground coffee in the world from my favorite local coffee shop (Got Beans), Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Donut bagged coffee and, finally, San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser OneCup coffee (aside from the coffee that came with Opus, I bought all of those myself). Hold on while I get a cup of coffee now!
Sorry, all that talk of coffee had me craving a cup. Okay, so I tried it with pretty much my entire stock of coffee. Obviously, the taste is going to change based on the quality of coffee. One thing was consistent, though: the flavor WAS always smooth and as full-bodied as it would taste if I brewed an entire pot. I’m happy to say the Opus even took the sting out of the low-end emergency back-up coffee. Did it make it taste like, say, $90 coffee from volcanic fields? No, but even Opus can’t create miracles.
What else can you make in Opus?
- Tea: either in k-style cups or by making hot water and adding your own tea bags
- Hot chocolate- again, either get it already made in the cups or add your own
- Iced-Coffee and Tea- Change the strength to brew it stronger (like 4oz of coffee instead of 8), then put it over ice.
- Hot water for oatmeal, soup, etc.
The great thing about Opus: your liquid comes out HOT. Not tepid, not lukewarm, but HOT every time.
One more thing worth mentioning about Opus: he’s pretty darn festive! Blue LED lights illuminate your coffee cup as it brews. Those same lights flash when your 75-oz water reservoir is getting low. While these don’t really do much to enhance the flavor, I find the flashing lights handy when I’m across the room in the morning. It lets me know I need to grab a jug of water to refill the chamber. Considering my comprehension of life in general is nil before my first cup of coffee, any little extra like that really helps.
iCoffee Opus is made by Remington, so you know it has to be good. It retails for $139 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Worth every penny.
What is your favorite feature of iCoffee Opus? While we’re talking coffee, got any good recommendations that I should try out?