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Review: Zoku Iced Coffee Maker

Zoku Iced Coffee Maker

At first glance, the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker is a stroke of brilliance. It promises perfect iced coffee using nothing more than your favorite fresh-brewed coffee and a seemingly cleverly-designed insulated mug. On paper, it's a solution that's elegant and simple. We were skeptical of the results it would deliver.

Let's start with the design: there's an interior cup made of stainless steel that's kept in the freezer 'til you're ready to use it. When you're ready for coffee, the stainless steel cup slides into an insulated sleeve. Add coffee, lid, and reusable plastic straw, and you're done. The whole thing, once assembled, has a pleasantly chunky feel, and the insulation works like a charm -- we didn't experience any condensation when we tried it. So far, so good.

We were also pleasantly surprised that the end result was, in fact, iced after a few minutes. The stainless does a reputable job of cooling the coffee, and the insulation ensures that it stays that way. We used coffee brewed in a French press with just a dash of cream. If you're using a Keurig -- which brews at a cooler temperature -- and if you use more milk or cream than we're in the habit of using, you'd likely notice the coffee cooling even quicker.

A single HiLine capsule for Keurig is just the right size for the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker.

There are a few minor annoyances. First, there's the size. The cup has an advertised 11-ounce capacity, which seems a bit on the high side given the size of the cup. It also isn't much if you're in the habit of drinking multiple cups (or just one enormous mug) of coffee. The mug also has a tendency to sometimes work a bit too well; by the time we got to the end, drinking the remains of our coffee was more than a bit like defrosting a freezer as we tried to get at the coffee that had frozen to the sides of the cup. Cleaning can be a bit of a challenge without using a bottle brush. And at $29.95, we would also likely include the price in the list of annoyances, though it does seem durable enough to take some of the pinch out of the price.

But again, those are minor annoyances. What we thought would be the equivalent of an "As Seen On TV" product where the hype outweighed the results turned out to work better than expected. If you don't drink much coffee in the morning, or if your iced coffee habit is more of a midday pick-me-up or nightcap, the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker is surprisingly competent. Video: Using the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker