Product Review: iCoffee

In general, I am not a fan of the single-serve, Keurig-type coffee makers. I had a lot of experience using one when I used to schlep it out in a more corporate environment and I discovered that I would likely never purchase one for myself. 

That being said, when a representative at iCoffee contacted me, asking if I’d be willing to try out their version, I felt the need to give it a go. Usually, I buy concentrate from New Orleans Cool Brew, but from time to time, I will spoil myself with a fresh pound of French Truck. Only problem was that my French press shattered in a million pieces after a devastating drying incident (I so LOVED my French press!) and my last coffee maker recently kicked the bucket.  
To get on with it, I have to say that overall, iCoffee is pretty damn cool, especially in comparison to other Keurig-type coffee makers. Here is a list of pros and cons so that you can make your own decision about the iCoffee, starting with cons because everyone likes a happy ending! Don’t you?
Cons:
1. It’s humongous! Living in a tiny, one bedroom apartment in New Orleans means I do NOT have a ton of counter space and this puppy is a foot deep and almost a foot wide. If you have a lot of space, then by all means, use it! But for me, the iCoffee’s home is currently in my parlor because I have no room for it in the kitchen.
2. The cord is too short. I might have been able to fit this monster next to my microwave if the cord would have reached, but no go. It’s approximately 28 inches long, but unfortunately, that was still not enough.
Pros:
1. You can use your own coffee! With their reusable iCup, you can grind your own coffee for this machine, a feature I didn’t see available on the first wave of Keurig machines several years ago.
2. You can select how big (or small) you want your cup of coffee to be. iCoffee has this “Dial-A-Brew” feature that allows you to choose from 4 to 12 ounces. Since I like to drink a big cup of cafe au lait (made with CDM, of course), I’ll bust out my 12 ounce mug, fill half with hot, whole milk and set the iCoffee for 6.5 ounces and voila! This feature really impressed my boyfriend who deals with a not-so-versatile Keurig machine at work.
All in all, I think if I had a normal kitchen, I wouldn’t have the above two “cons” to contend with. Plus, at anywhere from $20 to $60 less than a Keurig at Bed, Bath & Beyond, it seems well worth it. 

A question of need: Zyliss EasiCan Electric Can Opener

Remember how I said I don’t do product reviews? Yeah, well. I needed a can opener.

Not to whine about what’s lost, but I used to have strong hands. I had no difficulty opening jars or beer bottles, and I gave a righteous shoulder massage, just ask anyone in my family or my old bunch of friends back in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, typing excessively over the past twenty years has made my hands and wrists unusually weak. I have found workarounds for difficulties like opening jars (thank you rubber grip!), and beer bottles (thank you shirt!), but I still have trouble using a damn can opener.

Ever since the mid-70s, I have used a manual can opener. My mom had an old General Electric can opener for a brief period, but the only person in the house that had the patience to get it to work properly was my dad and we couldn’t mount him under the cupboard. Suffice it to say, I have never used an electric can opener (correctly) until now.

When the representative from Zerliss emailed asking if I would review their EasiCan Electric Can Opener, I had just finished failing to open two cans of black beans. John opened them properly after much teasing of yours truly. Naturally, I said yes I would do the review, especially after realizing that I would get the can opener and another product of my choosing for free. As my buddy Shalom always says “If it’s free, it’s for me!”

I got both the EasiCan Electric Can Opener and “door prize” in the mail a couple of days ago and its arrival was timed so perfectly, that I have used the opener quite a few times since then. Since reviewing products really isn’t my strong point, I thought it would be simpler to list likes and don’t likes.

Likes

  1. The can pretty much opens by itself.

Don’t likes

  1. I have to babysit the can opener while it’s opening or the whole thing will flip off spraying contents on the can lid everywhere (picture red enchilada sauce in a white kitchen). You also have to stop it in time or it will leave sharp edges, unlike the infomercial’s claims.
  2. If you don’t rip off the label on the can, there are little shreds of label paper left on the counter.
  3. Draining becomes more difficult, and you can forget actions like squeezing water out of tuna. It’s impossible because this can opener cuts off the whole lid, not just the inner circle.
  4. It’s bit pricey at $20.00. We’ll see how long it lasts.. 

So how would you grade it? It seems like it weighs out pretty evenly considering there is literally no effort expended on your part to actually open the can. If I graded it like a paper, I’d probably give it a B.

Although I’m a bit sad about the can opener, I’m sure I’ll use it until it stops working or I do, whichever comes first. Plus, the door prize was totally awesome, I love my new Coated Santoku 7-inch Knife and not only because it’s purple.