iCoffee DaVinci Review: Worth Taking a Chance On?

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.


Dimensions

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.

What’s Included?

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.

Features

  • 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

The “spinning window” on top of the K-cup chamber

SpinBrew Technology

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.

    

Reservoir

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…)

icoffee davinci reviewOn 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?

Important Note: The manufacturer website has been inactive for the past six months and at the time of this update (6/26/18) the site remains inactive. If you do encounter problems you will not have access to an iCoffee representative around to help you out 🙁

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • “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

Price

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.

But one bright spot is that this vendor is including a 60-day warranty as opposed to 30 which could…maybe…buy you a little time.

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.

Comments

  1. Harveyshot says:

    I bought mine in Dec. 2016. I first had trouble about 7-8 months ago with water leaking. Found a fix for it by using this food grade silicone stuff in the water inlet hole. Now, 08/14/18 it stopped putting out coffee. Everything seems to be working just no coffee coming out. Tried unclogging needle but no help.

  2. Janis VanWyhe says:

    I have had an older Remington ICoffee for a number of years. Carafe broke, and the ICoffee by Reminton company is out of business You may as well remove your review as it is irrelevant. I am really angry at them because it was great coffee, and they are not being honest in their help number. Their message says (and who KNOWS WHEN they recorded it) that they are out of current model, and a new one will be released in mid year next year. ok, when is that? They should just have a message that says they no longer exist. OR kill the number.

    • jennifer says:

      Thank you for your comments! Yes, I have been in the process of updating this review to represent market and product changes. At this point I strongly encourage visitors to consider other models – there are plenty that are more reliable and you can get in touch with someone from the company so you don’t feel like you’re rowing with one oar. I am amazed at how something can go downhill like that in less than a year. It’s a hard decision whether or not to delete reviews of unsatisfactory models, as I feel that they do have a little bit of a purpose as to be precautionary. I really hate this for everybody – I thought the brewing concept of the iCoffee was great like everyone else – but it is what it is, and it’s a shame.

  3. Esther says:

    Bought coffee maker around Dec. and have been trying to get in touch with company since. machine is fine but would like a couple of the reusable k cups. cannot find one to fit theciffee majker

    • jennifer says:

      Hi Esther! One quirk about the iCoffee is that even though this is an open platform brewer it’s not that way with the reusuables. I believe this is the one you need.

      iCoffee Refillable Cup

      Hope this helps,
      Jennifer

  4. bill b says:

    my icoffee davici stop working after 3 mouth and no help from icoffee at all.. I am telling every one I know to stay away.buy any thing but a icoffee maker.

    • jennifer says:

      yeah, I know how frustrating all this is! Especially when you can’t get a hold of customer support. As a nice girl who doesn’t like to smear people, a website that remains inactive for months at a time, that doesn’t bode well.

      I have heard some people talking about using canned air whenever there is a blockage with the pump. It did the trick for some people…If and when I find a video I will share it as that’s something much easier shown than described.

      So sorry you guys are having problems!

  5. Jeff Boril says:

    My Davinci crapped out after about 6 months

    • Lois Ryan says:

      I opened the box the day after it was delivered. Guess what…it doesn’t work. The store I bought it from is taking it back and admitted there have been problems. Maybe they should stop selling them.

    • bill b says:

      mine only lasted 3 mouth

  6. Dan B says:

    Not sure if this site is still active but found when attempting to find out if the company, (Remington will re-release the icoffee again. I’ve had mine for four years without a glitch. I wanted to purchase another as a gift however, the company is out of business. What I have heard is they had major pump issues and could not recover.

  7. Richard says:

    Received Mine today Am having problem getting on site to register.

    • jennifer says:

      Terribly sorry…that site is still down (wonder why there isn’t an “under construction, we’ll be back soon” message?)

      I believe the manual that was included should have a phone number that you can call if you want to register your brewer. I was able to locate a pdf version and found the number in two places…hopefully you can get ahold of a CSR and get that squared away 🙂

      Jennifer

  8. Robin says:

    Just a note that to your con of using a different refillable kcup – it does say not to use another brand with the machine. Though I don’t have my full manual.
    I do have to say I love mine so far! Only got it about 3 weeks ago so we’ll see how it goes.
    The lights were a nice surprise. And my ready light does not blink continually. The full water tank light does until it’s filled though.
    Great review 🙂

  9. Mariann says:

    Have one. Have liked it until 2 days ago pump went out. It’s 1year and 4 days old. Tried to call company. Says to leave a message. Says voice mailbox is full and hangs up. Went on website. Comes up but nothing to click on for help. BOGUS!! Phone message said if this is a warranty issue they are out of stock and won’t have any until middle of next year. BOGUS!!

    • jennifer says:

      Dang…you must have landed on that one page site too huh? Their site was fully functional this past summer when I was doing my research.

      I know how frustrating that must be because I have heard nothing but good things about the iCoffee inventor, Bruce Burrows. One person was in a similar situation to yours and got a personal call from Bruce along with an apology and a replacement…(Which tells me he is a class act)

      It’s unfortunate that the warranty is only for one year…I did manage to find the inventor’s profile on LinkedIn (and he may be on other social media platforms)

      It may be a long shot but you just might get a response there if the story from earlier is any indication. Sorry you had to go through that!

      Jennifer

      • Jennifer I think your completely right this company has found out it has a defective product and what better to do than put in an answering machines that tells us it’s up to us to return them to sellers and then have the nerve to say they will have a new model out late this year!! Like I would want to do business with them again!! Really?!
        I feel bad for anybody the purchased one of these lame units!

        • jennifer says:

          Yep it is a bummer! I lately have found out that the DaVinci’s successor, the Opus, is a hit-or-miss too unfortunately, according to Consumer Reports website. Still no sign of the iCoffee website’s reconstruction either ..*sigh*

          As I said in my bio, I always provide the good and the bad here without bias!

          • Michelle says:

            You sure the OPUS is a “successor?” I see reviews on the Opus from 2014.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7Rt2kA3e9M

            Do you know what the latest model is?

          • jennifer says:

            Whoops…I meant to say predecessor :0

            I kind of think the Mozart came out after the DaVinci. I’m glad the Coffee Detective is enjoying his Opus. I did not see as many favorable reviews for that one as I would have liked!

    • carolyn arnold says:

      I have the same complaint. Very frustrating. My problem: Started making a grinding noise and quit working. If water is in the reservoir, it just runs through without pushing any buttons. This was a gift so did not purchase it myself. What can I do?

  10. Why does the water in the reserve get a little moldy at the bottom ? I have tried to clean it but nothing fits down to the bottom

    • jennifer says:

      Tammi it’s possible that your brewer might need to be “purged” – this procedure is important to do away with the issue of water backup that can result in potential for mold -You can find the directions for doing so in this manual on pg 7:

      http://tinyurl.com/yadt9rqt

      This is a procedure that has to be done with the Keurigs as well…Good luck and hope your reservoir is good as new again!

      Jennifer

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