Toward the end of last year we were happy to see a few new retailers enter the pod market. Most recognizable among them was Dunkin’ Donuts with a limited release of 5 pod varieties in select parts of the country (check our forums for all the details). Shortly thereafter, Florida-based Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. introduced its own line of pods with comparatively little fanfare. However, Bunn has since chosen them as a featured pod brand in the promotion of their new pod brewer, the Bunn My Cafe Home. So what kind of cup can we extract from these Barnie’s pods? Let’s start by focusing on one in particular, the Global Blend.
Barnie’s describes its Global Blend as a combination of South and Central American beans grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers and roasted medium. We like the fact that this coffee is organic and Fair Trade-certified. Tastewise, there’s even more to like here.
The latest batch of Fratello pods arrived from Calgary recently, and they don't disappoint! Quite the contrary. You'll find a great new micro-lot from Guatemala, the Guatemala Montecristo, as well as their superb Tanzania Songea Peaberry, which recently became the highest-rated coffee ever to be offered in pod form when Kenneth Davids gave its whole-bean equivalent a 94, and this coffee in whole bean form a 90. And you'd certainly be missing out if you overlooked Fratello's Nicaraguan Los Placeres, perhaps our favorite of them all and our focus in today's review.
With this pod Fratello continues its tradition of offering fantastic single-serve Nicaraguan coffees. Part of their secret seems to be keeping it in the family, so to speak. The Los Placeres Estate is run by the award-winning Mierisch family, who own other estates such as Limoncillo, Mama Mina, and Los Milagros from which coffee for highly regarded pods has been harvested in the past. If you favor a more direct connection to where your morning cup has come from than the big chain roasters can offer, i.e. coffee with a story, look no further.
In August the Coffee Artisan launched its own house brand of premium 10-gram coffee pods, and we have to say we're impressed. Owner Chad Elliott has gone to great lengths to use high-quality beans roasted in small batches so as to showcase the unique character of each variety. The full line-up includes an Italian Roast blend, the Dark Side, along with excellent and affordably priced 100% Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain light roasts, but we'll save those for future posts. To begin with, we'd like to focus on the more exotic single-origin coffees that Chad has brought to market, in particular the Coffee Artisan's Indian Mysore pod.
Indian coffee is not well-known in the U.S. Nevertheless, coffee has been grown in India since the 17th century, when it was imported from Yemen. The beans used in the Coffee Artisan's Indian Mysore pods are 100% Arabica, harvested in the Mysore district of Karnataka state in southern India, and almost certainly wet-processed. Generally speaking, Indian coffees are often described as having "pronounced body, low acidity, and subtle spicy notes" (e.g.). The official description of this pod hits similar notes: "Exceptionally well balanced with moderate acidity, full body, and a fruity-nutty flavor."
Senseo was kind enough to send over a sample bag of their new 10% Kona Coffee Blend coffee pods to review, and we're glad they did. We've been anticipating how good these coffee pods would and could be, and are pleased to say up front - pretty darn good (think Larry David saying that). Kona Coffee tends to be milder and easier on the stomach and palette, and the 10% Kona Coffee blend coffee pods are no exception.
Aloha Island Coffee has something no other coffee pod maker has - Certified Organic Coffee Pods. So if you're looking to make sure there is only natural goodness in your cup of single serve coffee, you're probably going to want to go organic. We've been drinking the Surf's Up Breakfast Blend for the past two weeks each morning, and without cutting to the chase - this is excellent coffee.
The coffee pod weighs in at 8 grams.
The Paradise Blend Surf's Up Breakfast Blend Certified Organic Coffee Pods come packed in a 18 count box for $17.99. So expect to pay a little more for your cup of single serve coffee, but the results are worth it. That puts each 8 gram coffee pod at about $1.00 a cup, but as we all know - organic products typically cost a bit more. How does the Surf's Up Breakfast Blend hold up?
We received a sleeve of the Baronet's latest coffee pod - Fair Trade Organic French, and we've been drinking this coffee over the past "hot" weekend, both iced and hot. This blend of specialty Fair Trade Organic coffees is dark roasted, and has a smoky flavor with a rich finish. It's also Fair Trade which makes this coffee both sustainable and environmentally friendly.
We fired up our Bunn My Cafe, and found the coffee produced from these coffee pods surprisingly good.
We're always looking for a very interesting and rich cup of single serve coffee. Recently we've started to go through many of the coffees offered by Black Mountain Gold Coffee. They have some very distinctive flavors - and one we've found is their Black Mountain Gold Moka Java Gourmet Coffee Pods. This coffee uses a mix of peaberry coffee from the island of Java blended with Ethiopian moka beans. The result is a very balanced, and richly flavored cup of single serve coffee.
Limited edition coffee pods come and go, but we will be sorry to see the Fratello El Salavador Limited Edition Coffee Pods leave our pod brewer anytime soon. We've been testing these coffee pods in a variety of coffee pod brewers and the results have been excellent. The Fratello El Salvador coffee pods produce a very medium, but spicey cup of single serve coffee with caramel notes.
We've been drinking quite a bit of Dixie Voodoo coffee pods from Fratello using the Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic single serve coffee maker over the past few weeks. This is our third official review for the Fratello coffee pods, and we think it's well deserved. All of the coffee pods we've had from Fratello have been excellent. We also like the attention to detail in the packaging, quality of coffee pod filter, and the generous 9.5 gram size.
What we like about the Dixie Voodoo coffee pods (besides the killer name) is the smoky/chocolaty flavor. They also have a strong lingering aftertaste which is both sweet and interesting.
Coming packed in an 18 coffee pod box, the Yemen Moka Sanani Single Estate Coffee Pods from Fratello is a very unique coffee pod from a very unique place. The taste is supposed to be both fruity and vibrant, and pair that with a sweet acidity that is not overpowering. There is also supposed to be blueberry notes and other flowery notes in this coffee. What did we think? Is this coffee pod worth your hard earned single serve coffee dollar?
It's always nice to find another source of interesting and unique coffee pods for your Senseo, Bunn My Cafe, Melitta One:One, simplehuman, Krups 1010 , GPOD, Home Cafe and other single serve coffee pod makers. The best thing about coffee pod brewers is the open standard - anyone with some coffee, filter paper, and a coffee pod machine can make quality coffee pods and sell them online. e-CoffeePods sent us over samples of the Kienna line of coffee pods. These coffee pods weigh in at 11 grams, and are made in Alberta, Canada by Kienna Coffees.
We decided to focus on the Backpacker's Brew, as we feel the strong sense of the Canadian outdoors when we think of drinking such a coffee. The Backpacker's Brew is a blend of African, Indian, and Central American coffees. The taste? It's supposed to be dark and smooth. How did it fair?
A new "espresso" coffee pod holder and special espresso coffee pods.
We must get 10+ reader write ins each month asking if you can use espresso pods with your Senseo single serve coffee pod brewer - the answer is - you can't. Espresso pods are much smaller - usually 44 mm compared to a 60mm coffee pod, and just don't fit the Senseo coffee pod holder. What you can do is order the Senseo Espresso Starter on ebay that's only out in Europe, and get a pretty good shot of espresso on the cheap.
The kit has two new items for your Senseo Standard editions. A new espresso coffee pod holder that uses standard sized Senseo coffee pods called "presso", and a new darker blend and finer grind Senseo espresso coffee pod.
Note: This kit will only work in your Senseo Standard editions. So if you have a new Senseo Deluxe or Senseo Supreme here in the US - don't order this kit. The espresso coffee pod holder will not fit in your machine if you don't have a Senseo Standard edition.
We've sampled all of the Fratello coffee pods we received for review over the past week. We picked up a sampler pack by ordering from the Coffee Artisan which comes with five different pods for $2.49. If you don't know that much about Fratello, Fratello has been roasting coffee since 1985, so that gives them a little north of 20 years of experience to put into their coffee pods.
Coffee Pods in Fratello Coffee Pod sampler pack:
French Saigon Dark- This popular blend is a sure fire hit for those who love the smoky taste of a dark roast. Never bitter. 100%
Columbian Supremo - Premium Colombian coffee - full in flavor. A classic cup of coffee.
Columbian Natural Decaf Colombian - Coffee with heady aroma and mellow flavor. - Swiss Water Decaf Process with no chemical aftertaste.
French Vanilla - An exceedingly smooth Bourbon Vanilla - one of the worlds most popular.
Costa Rican Organic Fair Trade - Strictly high-grown coffee that produces a distinctive brew with vibrant flavor & rich undertones.
We have one thing to say - GET THESE COFFEE PODS WHILE YOU CAN! This is simply the best cup of single serve coffee we've had in a long time from a coffee pod. Since receiving the Baronet Estate Costa Rican Coto Brus Coffee Pods just last Thursday, we've done nothing but consume, share, and then defend the remaining coffee pods so no one else can drink the Coto Brus but us.
AO: Any idea if this is a conical or a disc read more betty: we just bought the t47 after returning our 3rd machine read more cas lencheski rn: What a terrible product...I bought this at our local food read more Izepp: Which single serve Nespresso machine can take refillable pods? What read more Rik Crosby: $2/cup is hardly "a few cents more" than other kcups. read more