July 14, 2005

Review: BetterPods Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Pods

Sumatramandheling LgReview from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod ReviewsDavid Thiel from BetterPods sent us one of their sampler packs of coffee pods to review at Single Serve Coffee.com. We first got wind of BetterPods from a reader write in who found BetterPods selling their coffee pods on Ebay. However now, BetterPods has an online store with their full range of coffee pods available for purchase.

InternaltopbannerBetterPods are packaged in sleeves of individually packed pods of 14 or in large sampler packs of 20 pods per box. BetterPods weigh in at ~10grams each and will fit Senseo, Home Cafe, and Bunn My Cafe single serve coffee machines. A full list of BetterPods compatible brewers can be found on their web site. Also - these are the first coffee pods to list themselves as KSA Kosher certified.

A Little History of Sumatra "Mandheling"

We poke around to find out the origin of just about every roast of coffee we try here at Single Serve Coffee.com. One of the interesting finds about Sumatra Mandheling was the following:

"Mandailing, spelled here "correctly," is technically an ethnic group in Indonesia, not a region. The coffee is called Mandheling from tradition, based on a perhaps mythical encounter between occupying Japanese soldiers and Mandailing coffee shop owners. When asking what the excellent coffee the were being served was, the owner misunderstood and thought they were asking what HE was. His reply was, of course "Mandailing". Later a former Japanese soldier contacted a businessperson in Sumatra after the war, and asked if the excellent coffee "Mandheling" was commercially available. The broker was the famed Pwani, and they shipped 15 tons of coffee to Japan that year. But can you see the great irony here? The person that desired the great "Mandheling" coffee actually created it in the act of asking for it. " from Sweet Maria's Coffee


Okay - now that's a cool tale. I bet lots of coffee during different wars made it around the globe as soldiers wanted the coffees they had during war time. Okay - now onto tasting.

Tasting BetterPods Sumatra Mandheling

Library - 6794Library - 6795We fired up our Bunn My Cafe this week to test the BetterPods sampler pack. One of the roasts really caught our taste buds - The Sumatra Mandheling. We recently reviewed the Sumatran Extra Dark Bold K-Cups from Green Mountain and the JaVaNa One Sumatra Coffee Pods have really taken to the sweet taste of a good cup of Sumatra coffee with a chocolate finish.

Library - 6801Library - 6798One thing to note is the BetterPods Sumatra Mandheling is listed as a more medium roast coffee and though it definitely fits the medium roast bill, it's a very bold yummy medium roast coffee. Some Sumatra coffee we taste from time to time has a very "acid like taste to it" and these roasts are not smooth and sweet. You'll be happy to know the BetterPods Sumatra Mandheling does not suffer from such a fate. It's quite smooth and has a sweet chocolate finish to it.

Library - 6802We would also recommend when playing around to get the best extraction from a 10 gram pod like the ones from BetterPods - go less on water. We often try a 4 oz cup of coffee from one just to see how strong we can get the coffee and then up the ounces to around 6-7 ounces for the best flavor. However, you can safely brew an 8oz cup of coffee from any of BetterPods coffee pods and expect a good tasting coffee.

Pricing & Availiblity

The sampler packs and regular packed coffee pods are available at BetterPods.com and you can also find auctions on Ebay of their pods as well. A $5.99 sleeve of 14 individually wrapped pods will put each pod in the $.42 price range. However, if you order the $9.99 sampler pack - the pods are packed in quantities of 20 and priced at $.50 per pod. We would recommend starting with the sampler pack to find the roasts you want and we wish more coffee pod makers would provide a sampler pack option.

Conclusion

BetterPods are indeed better coffee pods. The BetterPods Sumatra Mandheling is quite yummy and we also really enjoyed the french roast as well. We recommend you trying some BetterPods for yourself and we think you'll like what you try.

We are going to give BetterPods a 4 out of 5 pods.

Betterpods Sumatran

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Posted by Jay Brewer at July 14, 2005 12:58 PM

Recent Comments

I had the explosion problem in the senseo also. I treid wetting the pod. I found I could only use the betterpods 10g pods in the 2 cup holder but there isn't a good seal (wet or dry) so the coffee is pretty week tasting. I'd be interested in other peoples findings


Posted by: James at January 2, 2006 10:17 AM

I liked the flavor of both the French Roast and Sumatra Mandheling. Nice crema as well! Unfortunately, I have had three Senseo explosions so far, despite the fact that I make sure to wet the pod before placing it in the holder. (I use one pod in the single pod holder.)


Posted by: tanster at December 29, 2005 7:12 PM

I read the review and had to try this out. Your right, it is good. However, when I was looking at the box, I found my self thinking...I seen this before. Indeed, I suspect, this is really a Java One rebrand. If you look at betterpods list of coffee, it is the same as Jave One (javaonecoffee.com).

It would be great to see you guys try a taste off contest to prove they are the same.

By the way, Java One is cheaper by 2 dollars a box....


Posted by: Vin at November 1, 2005 10:24 AM

I read the review and had to try this out. Your right, it is good. However, when I was looking at the box, I found my self thinking...I seen this before. Indeed, I suspect, this is really a Java One rebrand. If you look at betterpods list of coffee, it is the same as Jave One (javaonecoffee.com).

It would be great to see you guys try a taste off contest to prove they are the same.

By the way, Java One is cheaper by 2 dollars a box....


Posted by: Vin at November 1, 2005 10:23 AM

I read the review and had to try this out. Your right, it is good. However, when I was looking at the box, I found my self thinking...I seen this before. Indeed, I suspect, this is really a Java One rebrand. If you look at betterpods list of coffee, it is the same as Jave One (javaonecoffee.com).

It would be great to see you guys try a taste off contest to prove they are the same.

By the way, Java One is cheaper by 2 dollars a box....


Posted by: Vin at November 1, 2005 10:23 AM

We will be trying the Melitta One:One soon. My friend Russ who reviews the melitta pods will be testing them and has a set.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at July 15, 2005 3:25 PM

Jay... thanks for your kind words about our coffee! :-) Did you get a chance to try our pods in the Melitta? They work great as long as you make sure no part of the pod sticks over the edge of the pod holder... --David


Posted by: David Thiel (Betterpods :-) at July 15, 2005 1:00 PM
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