Review: San Francisco Bay Breakfast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs
Now that Keurig’s K-Cup patents are nearing ever so closer to their expiry date, we’ve been seeing more and more “knock-off” K-Cups hit the market. While we were a bit apprehensive at first due to the horrible quality of the first few products to hit the market (Freeze-dried instant coffee in a K-Cup? Blech!), we’ve been seeing an uptick in decent quality knock-offs over the past several months. One of the most popular knock-off products comes from Rogers Family Company Coffee Roasters.
As the name would imply, this is a 100% family-owned & family-run business that got its start in 1979 in San Francisco and are currently based out of Lincoln, CA (about 2 hours outside of San Francisco). All operations of the company are overseen by various family members & they even operate their own organic coffee farms in Panama & Mexico. Their goal is to produce premium coffee at great prices while ensuring fair direct trade practices & maintaining sustainability.
While the company prefers to call these products “OneCups” (since they’re not affiliated with Keurig in any way), we prefer to call them "K-Cup Pods" since they appear to take the best qualities of a pod (paper fiber filter, maximum saturation, etc) with the size factor & certain features of a K-Cup (no mess process, quick coffee extraction, etc.)
Brewing these K-Cup Pods resulted in primarily chocolate notes with some faint nutty undertones. We also detected mild oily notes on the finish. Billed as a light roast blend of Central & South American coffees, flavor revealed more notes of mild chocolate with some faint notes of molasses & some very faint smoky notes hiding underneath.
Body was medium brown/burnt sienna in color with shades of red when held in front of a light source. Acidity started off with a slightly sharp bite at first but quickly dissipated away into nothing. Mouth feel seemed smooth overall but was bordering on being watery, however, it had a clean finish with no overly discernible aftertaste.
- Aroma – 7 – Chocolate & faint nutty undertones with some mild oily notes on the finish. Nothing too strong here.
- Acidity – 6 – Noticeable at first with a bit of a bite at first sip, but quickly dissipates away into nothing.
- Body – 7 – Medium brown/burnt sienna color with notes of red when held to a light source.
- Flavor – 7 – We detected mild chocolate as in the aroma along with some faint notes of molasses. We also noticed very faint smoky notes hiding underneath.
- Mouth Feel – 7 – Smooth overall yet bordering on being watery. Clean finish with no discernible aftertaste.
- Coffee Drinker – Suited best for casual coffee drinkers or very light roast fans. Medium, Extra Bold & Dark Roast fans should stay away from this one as it’s far too light. Those who don’t like overly strong coffees or are looking for the lightest possible coffee experience they can get will probably enjoy this.
Overall Rating: 84 – Average
While we like the idea of combining “the best of both worlds” in this hybridized K-Cup Pod format, there are some pros & cons to be had. The first & most noticeable problem would be the fact that the coffee is immediately exposed to air the moment you open the bag. This poses a potential for the coffee to start deteriorating in aroma, taste, etc. and can lead to an inferior experience overall. We opted to only open the bag once we were ready for this review, that way we get the freshest experience for the review & remove all chances of degradation in coffee quality. Also, unlike K-Cups which are sealed & shelf stable beyond their expiry dates, you need to pay closer attention to the expiry dates on these K-Cup Pods since the coffee is exposed to the surrounding environment.
On the plus side... you can’t smell a K-Cup before brewing, but with these K-Cup Pods, you actually get a hint of what the coffee aroma will be like as soon as you open the bag. We only wish the final brewed aroma would have been as strong as what it was out of the bag. The aroma was so strong in fact, that we had trouble containing it. We tried everything from Ziploc bags to Ziploc plastic containers without much luck as the aroma kept seeping out. We eventually settled on air-tight coffee canisters in an effort to keep degradation to a minimum.
All those things aside, we still think these are so far the best quality "knock-off" K-Cups on the market that provide the best possible quality, taste & affordability. You’re getting real ground coffee beans, professionally sourced & roasted just the same as GMCR does but for a fraction of the price. We’re frankly surprised at how cheap the pricing is on this product line-up and are amazed that the company was able to maintain the same pricing across North America (same price in America & Canada). Taking the sourcing, processing & manufacturing of the coffee into consideration, we would have expected much higher final pricing. We can’t wait to see what the darker roasts in this line-up will be like & if this is a sign of what the unlicensed K-Cup market has in store, then we’re looking forward to some truly amazing & affordably priced Keurig-compatible products in the future.
San Francisco Bay Breakfast Blend K-Cup Pods will work in all Keurig brewers and are available in 12-packs for $6.99 USD via Gourmet-Coffee.com. Canadians can also order these K-Cup Pods for $6.99 CAD via TweedandHickory.com.
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note we purchased a box of these K-Cup Pods on our own for the purpose of this review.
Read how we review and rate single-serve coffee and other single-serve coffee beverages here
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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 23, 2012 7:55 AM