December 28, 2005

Best of Single Serve Coffee 2005 - Part II

Bestof2005What a year 2005 has been for Single Serve The shear amount of new single serve coffee products introduced in the past 12 months has been nothing short of jaw dropping. We've seen more coffee pod brewers, more coffee pods, more Keurig brewers, more Nespresso machines, more k-cup flavors - well just more of everything.

In the past year we can count up to 15 different single serve coffee machines that were brand new or getting a refresh including: Senseo Shorter Spout Edition, Mr. Coffee Home Cafe, Bunn My Cafe, Krups Home Cafe, Black & Decker Home Cafe, simplehuman Pod Brewer, too many Nespresso models to count, Tassimo, Gourmet Coffee Cafe (terrible coffee), Francis Francis! (ESE Pod), the Keurig B60 and B40, and others.

2005 was also the year of the single serve coffee pod brewer getting really nice big juicy pods - like the 12 gram Baronet Monster pods. We've also seen most coffee pod etailers move to a large 9.5-11 gram coffee pod which ensures a rich cup of single serve coffee.

On the K-Cup front, we saw the introduction of the larger extra-bold K-Cups - like the WiWili from Timothy's and the Sumatran Extra Dark from Green Mountain. These k-cups really have that extra 25% of coffee needed for a really nice dark cup of coffee. We love the extra bold/extra dark k-cups - they're simply some of our favorite coffees.

Here's our picks for the best of Single Serve 2005!

Best Single Serve Coffee Machine - Coffee Pod Brewer

Mcp-Tm-1Bunn My Cafe - we love this machine. It's simply the best pod brewer out there and it makes a great cup of single serve coffee every time. We strongly recommend the Bunn if you have the $$$ to spend on it.

Runner Up: Senseo - what's not to love about the Senseo? Not much. We adore the shorter spout and if you're just starting out this is the brewer to get. We use our Senseo about 50% of the time and always take any new coffee pod out for a test drive in the Senseo. We've had ours for nearly 1.5 years and it's still going strong.

Best Single Serve Coffee Machine - Other

B60-Sm-TmKeurig B60 - from the amazing design with the features you need on a higher end machine - the Keurig B60 delivers the best cup of K-Cup coffee out there with the most dazzle. The Auto-On feature and the ability to use your own coffee if you buy the Williams Sonoma model with reuseable K-Cup makes this one a winner. We also love the travel mug setting and with the extra bold K-Cups the coffee is stellar.

Runner Up: Nespresso C90 - this little wonder makes such a nice cup of espresso it's like having a espresso food replicator from Star Trek. The espresso is very rich and thick and has what you'd expect from a Nespresso model in the $179.99 range. A great compliment to any single serve coffee maker - we believe we may make this our secondary maker of choice.

Best Newcomer Single Serve Coffee Machines

P-Coffee-Pod-Brewer-TmWe love the simplehuman pod brewer. We just love it. You can see how much water is in the tank, you can brew the two cup sizes you need, and it makes a rich interesting cup of coffee. The Molto coffees that ship with the coffee maker are nothing short of YUMMY! We think the darker roasts are exceptional and if you think you need the experience of owning the iPod of single serve coffee makers - then buy this machine.

Best Coffee Pod - Dark Roasts

Library - 7560-TmBaronet Dark Kenya AA - this is simply an amazing cup of coffee. We love the monster pod size of 12 grams and it even inspired us to purchase our own scale to measure the size of all coffee pods for reviews. We also like just about any flavored pod we've tried at Baronet - okay - simply put - Baronet pods are great.

Runner Up: Molto Coffee Pods - what can we say. The new simplehuman roasts are amazing but their dark roasts are truly exceptional. If simplehuman can keep it up - we think the Molto roasts will be hard to beat for a house brand coffee pod.

Best Coffee Pod - Flavored Coffees

Img 0335-TmArcher Farms French Vanilla - we love these flavored pods and best of all you can get them at your local Target. We think you might expect the staff here at Single Serve to pick something from another etailer or 3rd party pod vendor - but we just love this cup of coffee in our Bunn My Cafe or Senseo.

Best K-Cups - Dark Roasts

Library - 6524-TmGreen Mountain Coffee Sumatran Extra Dark - what can we say? We drink this coffee everyday and love it. The 25% extra coffee really kicks up the coffee a notch and provides a chocolate note we love in a Sumatran cup of coffee. We recommend putting a little cream and sugar in your cup and enjoying the sweet notes this cup of coffee provides.

Runner Up: Timothy's WiWili - we also love this extra bold K-Cup from Timothy's. It's just different and has a wonderful finish. We also like a cup of coffee that as it get's colder retains a great taste and flavor. We love you WiWili (WEE!!! Willy!!!!)

Best K-Cups Flavored Coffees

T4016 LargeGreen Mountain Coffee Holiday Blend - get it while you can or next year but the holiday blend cup of coffee is simply amazing. We put this in the flavored coffees because of the blend and the caramel like taste the coffee produces. We love the taste and this was our second cup of the day until our 25 K-Cups ran out.

Runner Up: Green Mountain Mocha Nut Fudge - we love this coffee and think it smells just like you've mixed some butter rum lifesavers into your cup. The coffee has an amazing chocolate taste and people come from all over the office to see what's brewing.

Best Single Serve Coffee Mugs

Web Pictlarge 4558-10-1-1Pavina Double Walled Coffee Cups - a late entry but the best coffee mug we've ever had, we love the double walled glass within glass feel of the Pavina mug. The coffee stays hot but your hands do not thanks to the air trapped within. Simply amazing.

Runner Up: The Balance Coffee Cup - we love the look and having tried them we can say - great stuff and these will impress anyone drinking a cup of coffee at your house.

Best ESE Pods for Espresso Machines

Hausbrandt Logo-TmHausbrandt USA Espresso Pods for ESE Machines - simply stunning coffee. We got to sample these ESE pods over the Fall and the espresso created from them was soooo good we stopped drinking regular coffee during the testing. If you have an ESE machine - get Hausbrandt ESE pods.

Runner Up: illy ESE Pods - while testing the Francis Francis! espresso machine we never thought the standard illy ese espresso pods would be so good - but let us tell you - they are. For a quick fix pick up some illy ESE pods and you'll be a very happy espresso drinker.

Biggest Single Serve Coffee Disappointments

Img 1633-Tm-2Senseo Forbidden Fruit Flavored Coffee Pods - just simply gross. We couldn't imagine how you could even drink the stuff. The fruit blended coffee pods are well - awful and we don't want these European only coffee pods to make the Atlantic crossing over to the US.

Lily Pod Single Serve Coffee Microwaveable Mug - we just couldn't get a great cup of Melitta coffee out of this mug. We've tried just about everything including lending them to friends for testing and - no great coffee here. We thought the convenience of single serve coffee and a cool mug would make a great pair - we were wrong.

Starbucks Coffee Pods - this was just downright sad. We thought it was too good to be true and we were right. It was non-sanctioned repacked Starbucks coffee in pod form and was only available for a few short weeks. We really want Starbucks to get into the single serve coffee game - perhaps the knock offs will make them realize they really need to get going.

Wrapping Up

That wraps it up for the Best of Single Serve Coffee 2005. We'll have more thoughts about 2005 over the next few weeks as we tally up our best stories, best reviews, and also the best of the Singe Serve Coffee forums.

Read More in: General News | Monthly Round-Up

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Posted by Jay Brewer at December 28, 2005 10:39 AM
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