iCoffee DaVinci Review: Worth Taking a Chance On?
Rated by Jennifer – 3.5 Stars
(This review has been updated for 2018)
Well guys…this is as unique a single-serve brewer as they come. It’s got a unique “triple threat” technology that produces a ,ore full-bodied flavor without the bitterness. Not to mention the attractive design.
When I first published this review a year ago, it looked like a real winner. However like a lot of things in life, change invariably happens. There are some things I’d like to point out that have happened since I first started work on this review. It looks like the blush is off the rose….If you’ve been interested in the iCoffee for some time now, please keep reading as the information I’m presenting may spare you a lot of unnecessary headaches. Possibly with the brewer itself, but mainly, seeking assistance if you do run into problems.
What's on this page?
The measurements listed on the Amazon sales page read as “10 by 11.89 by 13” and the “product page” read a similar quote, but just to be sure, I checked with the manufacturer’s site in which the given dimensions are not too far off but are more precise, listing the iCoffee DaVinci as “11 7/8″ L, 10″ W, 13 1/8″ H” and 9.8 lbs.
With regard to under the chamber – drip tray clearance, it comes out to about 8″. Suffice it to say you can easily insert a travel cup up to 7.5″ in height with no problems if you’re seeking a coffeemaker with tumbler and mug functionality.
With the iCoffee DaVinci you get in addition to the unit, a start guide, and a refillable iCup. Also included is a 1 year warranty.
- Option to brew 5 different brew sizes, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
- Attractive outer design
- Can use any brand of K-Cups and most refillable K-Cups (see “customer reviews” section in which I elaborate further)
- Backlit water reservoir and illuminated buttons
- “SpinBrew” technology that allows for better extraction
- Auto-Shutoff energy saving mode
iCoffee’s claim to fame is the “SpinBrew” technology – I know what you are probably thinking:” You’ve mentioned it 3 times; just tell us already!” In a nutshell, it is a more innovative way to extract and saturate coffee grounds more thoroughly. Now I sometimes do take things with a grain of salt when someone says “best __ever” but the explanation of how this works does hold water.
It’s not always easy to get all the ingredients of coffee just right, and single cups are no exception. The equation of hot water hitting the grounds can make or break the beverage. Too quick a hit and a weak brew could result, too long and over-extraction could result. So how to get it just right?
Most single cup brewers have within the chambers the piercing needle that has a diagonal slant at the sharp point. The iCoffee’s piercing needle is a different animal. While the other guys’ needles remain “stationary”, it actually rotates 360 degrees whilst brewing. There are also a few openings in the middle with which spray jets further saturate the grounds. Ergo, producing better extraction and better taste overall.
Buttons and Controls
The front control panel has the different brew size buttons going vertically to the left. The brew sizes with their respective amounts are present in ascending order and the “Power” and “Energy Saver” are to the left; below them are three indicator lights: “Ready” “Heating” and “Add Water”. The brew size buttons are an attractive backlit blue when punched, and the indicator lights go from red to green signaling in-progress to completion.
The iCoffee DaVinci has a 55 oz water reservoir which is a nice mid-range size and will last through a few sessions. It is rectangle shaped with side grooves for easy grip on both sides and the “max Fill” line is visible on the inside part that attaches to the unit – making it a little obscure at first but there looks to be an inch from the top of the line. The reservoir has a nice blue backlight illumination as well.
Ease of Use
The brew size buttons light up in blue as well as the brew button and the power button illuminates in green. But that’s not all, not only do the buttons illuminate but the reservoir does as well and the space behind the chosen mug too – making it pretty easy in a poorly lit environment to make yourself a cup of joe.
To open up the K-Cup chamber, it’s easy just push the button in the middle that looks like a coffee cup and it’ll pop open, and do likewise to remove the used K-Cup. Don’t forget to get a glimpse of the spinning action in place from a small round window view atop the Kcup chamber – it’s pretty cool! You definitely want to be sure you remove the used K-Cup (within reason) fairly promptly to minimize grounds getting caught into the needle.
The reservoir has a lid atop for easy refilling, which is the more recommended method as opposed to pulling it out altogether as this minimizes potential problems with the reservoir not being seated correctly.
One way I discovered that consumers will need to keep in mind would be to be sure and clean the needle regularly; it’s a different approach as it resembles a needle eye in a way and you have to go through it all the way with a bent paper clip or other tool.
And very importantly – stick to using the “iCup” (it does come with the unit) as the needle is longer than the “typical” design and some other brands could damage the cup.
iCoffee DaVinci Consumer Reviews and Ratings
When looking at the overall score on Amazon and noticing that it was a little bit below what is considered “excellent” (say, at least 4.0) I wanted to delve deeper and find the cause for the negatives – but first, the good news, and the positive consumer reviews (that were in the majority by the way) all demonstrated satisfaction with the following: the resulting coffee taste, minimal operation noise, not having to deal with that DRM nonsense regarding K-Cup brands, and finally “outstanding customer service” -one of the biggest clinchers.
The “good news/bad news” issue is that a few consumers had operation problems early on in the game and ended up having to seek out assistance and in the case of being ineffective, the CSR’s involved were more than happy to issue a replacement-and quickly as well, within 24 hours and including a prepaid shipping label.
To which I found myself thinking “That’s great – this sounds like a stellar company” – but then there was a fly in the ointment – some of the negative reviews mentioned trouble with the pump going out, early on. (I was like, oh no…)
On occasion I saw one negative report to the tune of “coffee not hot enough” (which is subjective and this was an opinion in the slim minority) and another few who didn’t like the continuous blinking “ready” light which they had to unplug the unit altogether to cease it.
That aside, back to the pump problems. Five or six reports of this out of 294 (at the time of writing) reviews altogether which could be just the law of averages. I must admit in my research I was intrigued by the innovative design and almost wanted one of these.
OK, now some more bad news. I’m a fair-minded person which means I want to be sure you get a fair and unbiased opinion. Where oh where is customer support as of late?
I am genuinely surprised here; I have been digging around for whatever tidbit I can find, but not finding a thing. About all you may have to go on is the phone number on the included user handbook ( which I hope is up to date-and if not – you’re SOL) If I had to play Devil’s Advocate I’d say they are straight up out of business.
Read my follow-up post regarding the down website/incommunicado scenario here
- Blue backlit reservoir, space behind cup and operation buttons
- Five different brew size options to choose
- Open-platform with regard to brands of K-Cups – no DRM limitations
- Innovative extraction process that allows for better tasting coffee overall
- Energy Saver mode
- Reasonably priced
- Quiet operation
- “Ready” light blinks continuously unless consumer intervenes and unplugs unit entirely
- No space to use a water filter
- Due to the design of the needle may have to use scrutiny in choosing a refillable cup other than the proprietary brand (iCup)
- A few reports of pump problems
- May have difficulty reaching customer support – with the company website down you will be on your own if you have trouble
At the time of writing (July 2017) I was pleased to announce that the iCoffee DaVinci is under $100 on Amazon. and it beat Wal-Mart by a few dollars. But most recently, the price has exceeded that. It appears to be a third party seller offering the DaVinci.
Final Thoughts on the iCoffee DaVinci
Well truth be told, I really do like this unit’s concept, but… when the manufacturer website has been down since 11/6/17. (Hello – it’s now June and it’s still down?) To be completely honest with you guys, I don’t think I can recommend the iCoffee…not without that safety net of customer support which you would unfortunately be lacking.
That in and of itself is a real head-scratcher and I’ve only found limited information in case of problems. Unfortunately my confidence is a little distressed here and this is why I adjusted my evaluation score a little since I started this review.
I sure do hate that because I loved this design…But my advice is….It would be wise to pass this one on and keep on trucking.