July 17, 2013

Snapple Peach Iced Tea K-Cups Review

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We continue our Snapple K-Cup reviews today with their Snapple Peach Iced Tea K-Cups. We quite enjoyed the results from their lemon flavor and thought it was a pretty good substitute for the bottled ready to drink version, so we're anxious to see if this peach flavor will be more of the same.

The ingredients show that again, green & black tea leaves/extracts are being used here along with natural flavors plus the combination of sugar & aspartame. As we noted in our last Snapple K-Cup review, these are the first K-Cups we've seen that use aspartame as an artificial sweetener and thus it brings about a warning for people who are sensitive tophenylalanine (one of aspartame's ingredients) and more importantly, we'd like to warn people who have a genetic condition known as PKU since consuming phenylalanine can cause severe side effects for them. This essential amino acid doesn't pose any risk to people who don't have this condition or who aren't allergic to phenylalanine. We know there's only a small percentage of people who have this condition, but we owe it to them to post some form of advisory anyway just in case they happen to miss the warnings on the labeling/packaging.

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July 16, 2013

Snapple Lemon Iced Tea K-Cups Review

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We’ve seen dozens of coffee brands fall under Keurig & GMCR’s ownership before and that’s nothing new, however, for an already-established ready to drink beverage manufacturer to enter into a partnership to produce their own licensed K-Cups? THAT is most definitely something new! We were shocked when Dr. Pepper Snapple Group announced several months ago that they would be releasing, in partnership with Keurig, new Snapple Iced Tea K-Cups during spring/summer 2013. The time has come and indeed, we’re seeing Snapple K-Cups popping up everywhere. We decided to kick things off today by checking out a classic iced tea flavor with their Snapple Lemon Iced Tea K-Cups.

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June 26, 2013

GMCR Naturals Lemonade K-Cups Review

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GMCR Naturals is a line-up of K-Cups that take 1 thing in mind: Using 100% all-natural ingredients & derivatives. Their Apple Cider was outstanding as a hot drink and over the past several months, the folks at Green Mountain decided they'd try their hand at making an iced drink which was every bit as good. So what could be easily made as an iced drink with natural ingredients? Lemonade, of course! That (plus the recent warm weather) brings us to today's long overdue review of GMCR Naturals Lemonade K-Cups.

A quick look at the ingredients list reveals that they are indeed all-natural as we find Sugar, Lemon Juice Powder, Citric Acid, Reb A (Stevia Extract), Natural Flavor, Lemon Peel Powder & Lemon Fruit Powder. While we're wondering why BOTH sugar & stevia are being used here, we suppose the added sweetness of the stevia was used as a form of natural additive to offset the sour notes of the lemon ingredients while the sugar is what provides the natural background sweetness to the final drink and probably makes up the bulk of the sweetener ingredients.

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June 20, 2013

Peet's Single Serve Coffee K-Cups Review

Peets kcup sampler pack

Peet's Coffee & Tea sent us over a sampler pack to try out of their new Peet's Single Cups that will work in any Keurig K-Cup Brewers. We only had one single cup of each to try out over the past few days and tried to savor each one to make sure we got our thoughts and impressions right. Overall these single cups taste like Peet's from whole ground coffee. The resulting coffee in your single serve coffee cup is rich, intense, and delicious. It's nice to see Peet's join the single serve coffee craze, and these are a welcome addition to the the single serve coffee world.

  • Major Dickason's Blend - this is an everyday medium roast coffee for just about anyone. Yum.
  • Cafe Domingo - Medium roast blend with subtle richer notes. We love the aftertaste that lingers with a little bite on this one.
  • House Blend - Lighter and really good for mornings. 
  • Decaf House Blend - Lighter and for a decaf - yes please.
  • French Roast - their darkest roast and our favorite. It's on par with Tully's French roast coffee.
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May 30, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Colombian Real Cups

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We continue our Brown Gold Real Cup review series today by checking out the 3rd flavor in their line-up... Brown Gold 100% Colombian Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in a pleasing aroma overall, comprised by lightly smoked notes of caramel with very faint hints of spices & raisin hiding underneath. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed more balanced overall compared to the previous flavors in the Brown Gold line-up as we noticed some slight sour notes at first which quickly gave way to notes of caramel, molasses, chocolate & more faint notes of spices in the background blended by a touch of smoke on the finish.

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May 29, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Real Cups

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We continue our Brown Gold Real Cup review series today by checking out the 2nd flavor in their line-up... Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in mild smoky notes appearing with subtle notes of chocolate throughout with some faint earthiness in the background. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed on the sour side as the first thing you notice is a strong sour bite which seems to linger for a bit, but it eventually gives way to more smoky & chocolaty notes buried underneath.

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May 28, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Costa Rican Real Cups

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We couldn't find much info on Brown Gold's website to describe the company's history or beginnings, but the site does go on to mention that the goal of their Single Origin coffees is to allow tasters to experience the pure, untouched and unmodified flavor of the namesake region's coffee beans so that you get an idea of what that particular country/region has to offer since you're getting only coffee from that specific region... it's not blended with anything else. Today we check out the first flavor in Brown Gold's Real Cup line-up... Brown Gold 100% Costa Rican Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in light smoky notes blending with some very mild hints of cocoa & molasses buried underneath. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed more like a light roast as it was very mild & light tasting. We detected some light sour citrusy notes of oranges paired with some slight smoky flavors which had chocolate & molasses in the background. Acidity was more on the lighter side of things and was mostly noticed shortly after each sip then quickly dissipated to reveal the main flavors.

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March 27, 2013

Review: GMCR Special Reserve Colombia Geisha K-Cups

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Once Marley Coffee decided to release a rare single-origin coffee with their Jamaican Blue Mountain Real Cups, Green Mountain realized they had missed their chance at being the first company/brand to release a rare single-origin coffee in Keurig K-Cup compatible format. It didn't take them long to fix that oversight as they decided to start releasing their Special Reserve series in K-Cup format soon afterwards. The first flavor in the series is what we're reviewing today... GMCR Special Reserve Colombia Geisha K-Cups.

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Hailing from the Cerro Azul region in Valle del Cauca, Colombia Geisha coffee is considered to be amongst the rarest varietals in the World due to it being difficult to grow which makes it produced in specially crafted small batches. It is renowned for its complex flavors which have been described as changing with every sip and it's such a highly-regarded crop that pickers must endure 4 to 12 months of training just to be certified to pick Geisha cherries as such requires a fine touch to preserve all the flavor's subtle notes during the cultivation process. This varietal is also considered to be one of the most sought-after coffees as was evidenced last year by Starbucks when they decided to start selling it in limited runs at an astronomical price of $7 per cup. Thankfully, if you calculate the price per serving of these K-Cups, it works out to a much more reasonable $1.77 instead.

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March 18, 2013

Review: Starbucks Tribute Blend K-Cups

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Each year, one of the fan favorite coffees from Starbucks which most people look forward to would have to be Starbucks Tribute Blend. It was originally released as a limited edition but there was so much demand that Starbucks decided to add it as a regular yearly seasonal coffee much to everyone's delight. Culled from a blend of coffees from several different growing regions, Tribute Blend is a blend of Ethiopian, Sumatran, Colombian & Papua New Guinea coffees which come together to form a balance of fruity, spicy, nutty & herbal notes paired with Starbucks signature smoky taste & aroma. 

Unlike previous seasonal K-Cup flavors, Starbucks decided to move away from flashy foil designs and have gone back to plain painted designs instead. We get the usual silver Starbucks logo paired with this year's angular abstract background design. As with some of their recent seasonal K-Cups, they've also decided to include the "vintage year" of 2013 on the packaging & lid. Something which sort of ads collectability if you're someone who prefers to stockpile your K-Cup stash vs. blowing through them all at once. To be honest, we didn't even think we'd see Tribute Blend K-Cups this year since our local shop only had small half-pound bags of whole beans available for the first week of March and these K-Cups only appeared within the past few days. Needless to say we're glad Starbucks decided to continue releasing their seasonal coffees in K-Cup format and look forward to more releases over the coming month.

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March 14, 2013

Review: Martinson House Blend Real Cups

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We forge ahead in our Martinson Real Cup review series today with a flavor that most coffee companies refer to as their staple flavor, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. Today we take a look at the Martinson House Blend Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in mild aromas of smoke with a faint earthiness touched by hints of chocolate and the very faintest tinges of molasses underneath. Flavor was a mix of dark chocolate with smoky notes throughout followed by hints of molasses and a bit of an oily taste near the end. Acidity was definitely present as we got some sour notes near the middle of each sip and while it was leaning on the stronger side, it wasn’t off the charts like some of the other flavors we’ve tried in the line-up so far. It wasn’t enough to wash-out the flavors but it could have been slightly toned-down a bit for our liking.

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