K Cup Reviews
December 23, 2016
As some of you may know, there's a fairly interesting story about the creation of Laughing Man coffee. The company was founded in 2011 by Hugh Jackman (yes, Wolverine himself) after he travelled to Ethiopia and met a young coffee farmer named Dukale. He learned about the struggles that Dukale was facing towards earning a living harvesting coffee and decided to help the young man by creating a coffee company that sources & distributes Fair Trade Certified coffee from struggling coffee farmers so that they can lead better, sustainable lifestyles which might not have been available to them otherwise.
Wolver... uh... Mr. Jackman even helped further the cause by creating Laughing Man Cafe in NYC to sell the farmers' coffees, releasing a documentary film in 2015 (Dukale's Dream) about Dukale's & other farmers' struggles and he often promotes the coffee & cafe during talk show appearances. Hugh even donates 100% of the proceeds towards his Laughing Man Foundation which supports education programs, community development and fostering of social entrepreneurs around the world.
Continue reading: "Laughing Man Colombia Huila K-Cups Review"
December 6, 2016
You knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, with Starbucks focusing on introducing new flavored K-Cups it was only a matter of time before they’d introduce the drink style they’re known for and they spared no expense. From the new larger cube-style packaging to a new Starbucks At Home website, the siren’s song is announcing Starbucks is getting into the at home latte game. If you’re going to create Starbucks Latte K-Cups, you can’t forget to include their famous signature latte and that’s what’s we’re checking out today… Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups.
Known by Starbucks fans simply as the PSL and what can arguably be noted as the impetus for all things pumpkin spice which flood our lives each Fall, Starbucks have decided to make this at home PSL a 2 step process by including a creamer/flavoring packet along with a coffee K-Cup. Billed as a smooth & balanced Caffè Blend, the coffee K-Cup is 3/4 full of ground coffee instead of half full like some espresso blends we’ve seen before. The flavoring packet is comprised of real pumpkin flavoring & spices along with creamer comprised of both powdered milk & cream. Unlike some of the Gevalia Latte K-Cups we’ve seen in the past, the packet does NOTcontain any foaming/frothing agents so don’t expect a foamy froth on the top of the final cup as there is most definitely none to be found. You don’t even get the dark orange hue typically found in a real PSL, just a typical beige of a normal latte.
Continue reading: "Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups Review"
November 14, 2016
Ah, Fall... that time of year where everything edible bows down to our pumpkin overlords as stores and coffee shops quickly fill with everything from pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin cream muffins and just about every form of pumpkin-flavored drink/food you could imagine in between. We're half expecting Burger King to come out with pumpkin spice hotdogs soon given their weird current obsession with everything Cheetos. One thing we weren't expecting, however, was the fusion of pumpkin spice with another popular flavor... chai. Today we check out the brilliant British combination which has resulted in Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai K-Cups.
Brewing these K-Cups result in a rather odd aroma that almost smelled like a cider (Gasp! Hey GMCR, Pumpkin Spice Cider. Y'all get on it, for reals... do it NOW). You could definitely tell there was the typical pumpkin spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves but the chai notes seemed buried underneath as we only got the faintest note of cardamon but damn... no kidding, this seriously smells like an apple cider! Checking the box now... hmm... nope, no apple ingredients.
Continue reading: "Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai K-Cups Review"
October 17, 2016
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Starbucks come out with a new flavored coffee, so we were surprised to find these new Starbucks Crème Brulée K-Cups a few weeks ago (we’ll ignore the glaring spelling error on the packaging). We also noticed a new line-up of Starbucks Lattes using K-Cups plus powdered creamer packets while we were shopping but more on those in future reviews. For now, lets see if Starbucks has succeeded in creating a new flavored coffee that actually tastes like the namesake or if we’ll be getting another weak-flavored miss.
Brewing these K-Cups result in an aroma which was spot-on with the real deal. The smoky notes of the coffee helped create subtle burnt sugar notes of the caramelized sugar crackle on top while the vanilla custard aroma was the primary focus and quickly filled the room. Aroma-wise, this is one of the best smelling coffees we’ve seen Starbucks produce to date. Upon first sip, you get the strong burnt sugar flavor up front which gives a caramelized tone and this quickly gives way to subtle vanilla custard flavors hiding underneath. As you work your way through the cup, these 2 flavors blend together to form a fairly close representation of the real thing.
Continue reading: "Starbucks Crème Brulée K-Cups Review"
October 7, 2016
After our recent reviews of Christmas/Holiday-themed K-Cups which appeared on store shelves in… um… August… we shook our heads, decided to switch gears and thought it was time to review something more seasonally appropriate. Today we’re looking at a flavor which was introduced last year but we’ve only managed to finally track down this year… the “Autumn Release” seasonal (and ridiculously long named) The Original Donut Shop Sweet & Creamy Maple Cream K-Cups.
As with previous releases in ODS’ Sweet & Creamy series, these are “all-in-one” K-Cups which feature the coffee, creamer & sweetener all included within the same K-Cup. If there is one thing on this planet we love even more than coconut, it’s anything maple and we’re pleased to say that these K-Cups were well worth the hunt. (Note to Keurig: If you want to field test a Maple Candied Coconut K-Cup in the future, we’re more than willing to assist ASAP)
Continue reading: "Original Donut Shop Sweet & Creamy Maple Cream K-Cups Review"
September 26, 2016
We recently reviewed a K-Cup flavor which seemed to have been put on store shelves a few months too early and today, we've found yet another Christmas-themed K-Cup on store shelves... in early August. Seriously, what the heck is going on? We're happy that we get to try things early, but at the same time seeing Christmas items a full MONTH before Halloween has even started just seems... wrong. Anyway, seasonal correctness aside, today we're checking out Swiss Miss Peppermint Hot Cocoa K-Cups. They're billed as a limited edition, so you might want to grab a box while you still can.
Yep... nothing screams Fall like... peppermint? Really? The Single Serve Coffee staff here are facepalming worse than that Captain Picard meme. Huh? What's that? Just get on with the darn review? Alrighty then!
Continue reading: "Swiss Miss Peppermint Hot Cocoa K-Cups Review"
September 19, 2016
When you think of August and September, you think of the last month of Summer-like weather before the Fall season kicks off. As a result, you'd normally expect to see a proliferation of pumpkin-themed drinks flooding the market. What you DON'T expect to see are Christmas-themed drinks appearing on store shelves so early. Today we look at a coffee we think should have only appeared on store shelves around November but instead showed up a few weeks ago in early August. Yep, this is a Christmas-themed flavor... in August.
How do you know for sure that it's a Christmas-themed flavor, you ask? Simple... it's being marketed as the new 2016 Winter seasonal flavor on various online shops and the more obvious reason is that there's a blurred image of a pine tree branch in the background on the packaging. Seriously, the only thing missing is Santa holding the mug. On the plus side, we get to review this several months ahead of time, so... uh... Happy Holidays? That's right, we're checking out the new for 2016 GMCR Cinnamon Sugar Cookie K-Cups.
Continue reading: "GMCR Cinnamon Sugar Cookie K-Cups Review"
May 28, 2015
Coffee Time is any time, and we're pretty excited we got some Coffee Time single serve capsules to review. We recently received a few 12 packs of their medium roast Coffee Time blend, and though these capsules aren't available in the US, they are available in Canada so get driving.
Coffee Time if you are unfamiliar is a chain of coffee shops that feature pretty amazing breakfast sandwiches along with some really decent coffee. They've also recently added single serve coffee capsules to their offerings for anyone with a Keurig K-Cup Brewers but not Keurig 2.0.
Continue reading: "Coffee Time Single Serve Capsules for Keurig Brewers Review"
May 12, 2015
If you like music and you like Rock and Roll you've perhaps heard of Aerosmith. One of the founding and current members of Aerosmith is Joey Kramer. We all know there are celebrity chefs in the coffee single cup game, but did you know that Joey Kramer has his own line of whole bean and single serve coffee single cups?
We received a set of the Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Ethiopian Coffee single cups along with two other flavors - Guatemala and Sumatra. We decided on the Ethiopian single cups to review but would like to say - all of the roasts were quite good.
Continue reading: "Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Ethiopian Coffee Single Cups Review"
April 30, 2015
While it’s no secret that Canadians have had an ok but rather, shall we say… limited selection of K-Cup brands and flavors when compared to USA over the past several years and that we’ve seen some rather bizarre attempts at making Canadianized versions of existing American flavors such as:
- Kraft’s option to use UpShot Single Cups for their Gevalia Single Cups vs. using their own custom expanding corrugated plastic Single Cups
- McDonalds Canada remaining an unlicensed Single Cup and using UpShot Single Cups instead of being a licensed Keurig K-Cup
- Keurig Canada renaming some Coffee People flavors when the coffees were introduced to Canada (i.e. Jet Fuel became Turbo Caffeine)
- Many more odd changes we won’t get into (trust us, the list goes on and on)
It’s still nowhere as bad as competing single serve coffee choices for machines such as the Tassimo or the now all but dead Nescafe Dolce Gusto (dwindling capsule retail supplies have all but vanished off store shelves and the machines aren’t even sold in most retail stores anymore). Out of all the different single serve coffee machines, Keurig is the only one which regularly releases more than 1 new flavor every few months and when flavors are released, they tend to arrive in batches where you’ll get upwards of 3 or 6 choices at times. The update frequency is also much greater than competing machines (every 3-5 months vs. every 6-10 months or longer).
Continue reading: "Van Houtte Mocaccino Specialty Collection K-Cups Review"
April 14, 2015
We continue our look at some recent Stash tea single cups by checking out the Stash Mango Passionfruit Herbal Tea Single Cups. We rather enjoyed their Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups and are hoping that this flavor will be on par with that experience. Let’s find out.
Brewing these Single Cups resulted in tropical aromas of sweet mangos and exotic passionfruit filling the room with a rather pleasant, almost floral scent which reminded us (oddly enough) of a Glade Hawaiian Breeze Plug-In. Flavor was pretty much identical as we detected some mildly tart passionfruit notes up front quickly followed by sweeter mango notes on the back end. We suspect that since this is billed as an herbal tea that it’s likely a tisane of the primary ingredients mixed into a brew without the inclusion of any actual teas since we didn’t detect any green or black tea notes whatsoever. If we had to declare a primary flavor in the mix, we’d give the upper hand to the passionfruit notes as they emerge as the stronger of the 2 compared to the mango. Again, much like last time, there’s no mistaking the primary ingredients as you get a strong flavor vs. something weak or watery.
Continue reading: "Stash Mango Passionfruit Herbal Tea Single Cups Review"
April 7, 2015
Stash is a brand of tea we’ve seen slowly yet steadily expand with its retail presence over the past few years. It seems that every few weeks when we do a grocery run, we notice a new Stash flavor or packaging redesign. A quick look on their website shows that Stash got their start in Tigard, Oregon (a suburb of Portland) back in 1972 and were even operated out of a Portland Victorian style house supplying loose herbals teas and bulk herbs to local natural food stores in their early years.
This privately-held company then broadened their offerings in 1975 to include bagged teas as well as a full offering of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to restaurants and through mail order catalogues to consumers. We’ll allow anyone 20 or younger to Google the term mail order catalog for a minute. Stash tea products can now be found in many countries around the world and they’ve entered the single serve market recently with the introduction of Keurig-compatible (1.0 only, not 2.0) single cups. Today we take a look at 1 of their newer flavors to pop up on store shelves… Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups.
Continue reading: "Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups Review"
March 30, 2015
Robin’s Donuts may not be a brand many of you are familiar with and given the fact that the brand is a privately-owned corporation which is sparsely located throughout Canada, many of our readers up north may not be too familiar with them either. Despite this fact, a quick look on their website shows that Robin’s got their start in Thunder Bay, Ontario back in 1975 and have since expanded to over 130 locations across Canada. The chain is in direct competition with Canada’s coffee juggernaut, Tim Hortons and to a lesser extent, Starbucks. Their locations offer a variety of breakfast/lunch sandwich items and the obvious fare such as donuts and regular/iced coffee drinks as well as a variety of other menu items. They recently entered the single serve market and today we’re checking out their Robin’s Coffee Real Cups.
Continue reading: "Robin’s Coffee Real Cups Review"
March 17, 2015
We hadn’t heard of Williams Fresh Cafe before and that’s because it’s a Canadian cafe chain which appears to be operating solely out of Ontario. A big of digging around on the company’s website revealed that Williams got its start in 1993 when the company opened their first location in Stratford, Ontario and named it Williams Coffee Pub. After several years of growth, they decided to rebrand in 2009 as Williams Fresh Cafe and started offering freshly made menu items & coffee in a warm & inviting fast casual cafeatmosphere. The chain now has 35 locations across Ontario and recently decided to enter the single serve market by introducing their coffee in Real Cup format in their cafes and having it distributed throughout the rest of Canada by ECS Coffee. As a result, today we’re checking out their Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups.
Continue reading: "Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups Review"