November 26, 2012
When we first reviewed their Anniversary Blend K-Cups a few months ago, we were cautiously optimistic that those would be the first in a line-up of seasonal K-Cups and it turns out that we were correct. We really liked that previous K-Cup, so we couldn't wait to see what Starbucks Christmas Blend K-Cups (the 2nd flavor in the series) would be like. Once again, Starbucks have gone all-out by creating nicely decorated packaging with festive artwork as well as a bright red reflective foil K-Cup lid (Ooh, shiny!) which proved quite the difficult item to photograph.
We also liked the addition of the year on the foil lid. They did this with their Anniversary Blend as well and we think it adds a certain collector's appeal much like you'd get when collecting wine vintages. We can already foresee asking guests if they'd like a 2012 vintage Christmas Blend K-Cup a few years from now (providing we have any left by then).
Continue reading: "Review: Starbucks Christmas Blend Single Serve Coffee K-Cups"
October 8, 2012
We kick things off today by reviewing a recent K-Cup addition to the Café Escapes line-up... Café Escapes Café Vanilla K-Cups. We’ve come to expect pretty decent results from Café Escapes over the years and their hot cocoas remain some of our favorites to date. We were intrigued when we noticed some new flavors pop up on Green Mountain’s site as web-exclusives, so we decided to give this one a try.
Brewing these K-Cups resulted in delicate notes of sweet vanilla filling the room with hints of coffee in the background. The main notes were vanilla with coffee aromas being pushed to the back, something you might see in a vanilla latte. Flavor was pretty much the same with sweet notes of vanilla flowing through at first sip with faint notes of coffee in the background. We were wondering why we weren’t getting more of a coffee flavor until we remembered that Café Escapes use instant coffee in their K-Cups/Vue Packs. While we’re not exactly fans of instant coffee, we can put up with it in this case since it didn’t seem to be impacting the main flavor of vanilla. Instead, things seemed a bit lighter than what we were expecting.
Continue reading: "Review: Café Escapes Café Vanilla K-Cups"
October 1, 2012
It’s been a while since Dunkin Donuts released a new K-Cup and since some of their flavored varieties have been hit or miss in the past, we were cautiously optimistic when we heard they’d be coming out with a limited edition flavor during the summer months. Today we take a look at Dunkin Donuts Mocha K-Cups.
Brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong blasts of chocolate aromas which quickly filled the room and quashed any doubt we had about these K-Cups being able to produce anything chocolaty. The weirdest thing though? We could have sworn we even detected faint notes of raisins hiding underneath. Yes, raisins! That has GOT to be a Single Serve Coffee first. Flavor was thankfully not raisin-like but moreso on-par with the aroma as we got the acidity’s sour notes which brought the coffee flavor to the foreground and then as we neared the end, we got a decent hit of chocolate flavor in the background.
Continue reading: "Review: Dunkin Donuts Mocha K-Cups for Keurig Brewers"
September 17, 2012
Starbucks created their Anniversary Blend back in 1996 to celebrate their 25th anniversary and it was so popular that it remained a seasonal favorite which would be reintroduced each Fall. Starbucks claims the secret to the distinctive taste of this coffee is due to the use of aged Sumatran beans from Indonesia, but to the honest, the thing that had us jumping for joy was the recent introduction of what we're reviewing today: Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups. We would like to note that we liked the artwork on the packaging & how the foil lid on the K-Cup gave a light gold appearance to the artwork as well. Since most K-Cups have pretty standardized artwork, this made for a nice difference.
Billed as one of the first seasonal Starbucks K-Cups (Hmm... could we be seeing Christmas Blend K-Cups in a few months?), brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong, almost wine-like aromas with smoky hickory tinged by mild notes of caramel in the background. Flavor was nicely presented with a huge amount of complex tastes swirling around in the cup. You start off with some of the smoky notes, but surprisingly, they're a lot smoother and not as intense as your typical Starbucks dark roast. You then notice some molasses flavors mingling around with more notes of sweet caramel and things are topped off by some dark chocolate flavors near the end with a light spicy kick in the finish. Outstanding & unlike anything we've seen before from Starbucks.
Continue reading: "Review: Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups for Keurig"
September 5, 2012
We kick things off with what has to be the most ridiculously long name for a K-Cup we've seen in ages... wow... lots of words to try & cram into a title there, so we'll simply refer to them as "Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee K-Cups" for the remainder of this review. Most Brew Over Ice K-Cups recommend 6oz or 8oz settings but after noticing that this flavor used actual real ground coffee beans, we figured we'd go full tilt and use the larger 8oz setting to fill our iced beverage tumbler.
Brewing these K-Cups resulted in light smoky notes of hickory during brewing which quickly faded away afterwards & we even noticed a few tiny flecks of coffee grounds in the cup which proved there was indeed real ground coffee present here instead of instant coffee. Chalk that up as a bonus for this flavor as we love getting the real deal vs. instant whenever possible.
Continue reading: "Review: The Original Donut Shop Coffee Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee K-Cups"
August 27, 2012
We have seen a virtual explosion of new products coming out of Keurig’s HQ lately and it looks like they have no intention of slowing down anytime soon (which is a good thing for our taste buds, but a painful thing for our wallets). Today we take a look at the first-ever single serve fruit drink for Keurig machines with the new Vitamin Burst Acai Berry K-Cups.
Much like the Green Mountain Naturals brand, Vitamin Burst is a new brand that Keurig created in-house and marks the first time a vitamin-enriched fruit drink has been made available for a mainstream single serve coffee machine (ok, there are probably competitors out there, but they’re not necessarily mainstream or commonly known yet). We like the concept & think it’s a category that’s long overdue for Keurig. Let’s find out how well this flavor stacks up.
Continue reading: "Review: Vitamin Burst Acai Berry K-Cups"
June 5, 2012
We continue our series of San Francisco Bay OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs (a.k.a. “OneCups”) today with their San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs.
Brewing these OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs resulted in mild notes of cocoa which seemed to be the only scent we could determine in the final cup. We had been getting used to the smoky aromas in the previous OneCup offerings and were a bit disappointed that the aroma here wasn’t more complex. Billed as a medium to dark roast, flavor revealed more cocoa/milk chocolate taste throughout and an almost woodsy character overall which yielded faint oily flavors on the finish. Very mild nutty notes were also hiding underneath.
Continue reading: "Review: San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs"
May 24, 2012
We continue our series of San Francisco Bay K-Cup Pods (a.k.a. "OneCups") today with their San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs
Brewing these K-Cup Pods resulted in some faint smoky aromas during brewing, but once we inspected the final cup, we honestly couldn’t smell anything discernible. It’s like the aroma completely disappeared. Billed as a dark roast on the box (yet a light roast on their website… huh?), flavor was thankfully more robust than the scent with mostly notes of dark chocolate, some smoke & very faint nutty notes hiding underneath as well as some bread notes lurking near the finish.
Continue reading: "Review: San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs"
May 18, 2012
We continue our series of San Francisco Bay K-Cup Pods (a.k.a. "OneCups") today with their San Francisco Bay French Roast K-Cup Pods. Much like their decaf version, brewing these K-Cup Pods resulted in rich smoky aromas with notes of milk chocolate… yes, MILK chocolate. We were a bit surprised to see a deviation from the norm of dark chocolate aromas which seemed predominant in most dark roasts, so this was a nice & pleasant alternative. Billed as a dark roast, flavor was earthy & smoky with predominant dark chocolate notes up front with faint notes of molasses in the background. We also detected a slight oily taste near the finish, but it wasn’t distracting at all. We found it was kind of an odd pairing between aroma & flavor since we got scents of milk chocolate while having flavors of dark chocolate. Regardless, we liked this subtle nuance & found it make for an interesting cup.
Continue reading: "Review: San Francisco Bay French Roast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs"
April 27, 2012
We continue our series of San Francisco Bay K-Cup Pods (a.k.a. "OneCups") today with their San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast K-Cup Pods.
Ok, first things first… this is a decaf coffee. It says so right on the box, yet we were hit by a blast of smoky aromas the moment we tore open the bag that these things came packaged in. Um… what the heck… this is a decaf? We checked the box again… yep, decaf. Wow… if they smell this good right out of the box, then this could be epic.
Continue reading: "Review: San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs"