June 5, 2012

Review: San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs

Review Single Serve Coffee

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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.

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May 24, 2012

Review: San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs

Review Single Serve Coffee

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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.

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May 18, 2012

Review: San Francisco Bay French Roast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs

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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.

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April 27, 2012

Review: San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs

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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.

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April 23, 2012

Review: San Francisco Bay Breakfast OneCup Keurig Compatible Coffee Packs

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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.

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April 19, 2012

Review: Starbucks French Roast K-Cups

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French Roast. The first thing that comes to mind when coffee drinkers hear those words is "intense & smoky" and indeed, some of the coffees we've had over the years which employed this roast style have been quite intense and often smoky in nature. Billed as one of the strongest roasts in Starbucks' line-up, we continue our review series of Starbucks K-Cups today with their Starbucks French Roast K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in rather strong aromas of smoky hickory nuanced by tinges of molasses & dark chocolate. After trying a greater portion of the line-up, we're starting to suspect they all have very similar aromas and just about every one we've tried had the "signature" Starbucks coffee shop aroma (the scent you get when you walk into one of their retail shops). We also detected faint oily aromas hiding underneath but the thing that was the most present was definitely smoky hickory.

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April 18, 2012

Review: Starbucks Sumatra K-Cups

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The Sumatran region of Indonesia is famous for some of the dark roast coffees it produces and depending on how they're blended, the final results can be anywhere from earthy & herbal to sour & intense. We decided to see which route Starbucks decided to take and continue our Starbucks K-Cup reviews today with their Starbucks Sumatra K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in aforementioned earthy notes with subtle hints of herbal and even floral notes in background. Once again, cocoa is present but oddly enough, the smoky hickory notes seem subdued. Seeing as how this is a dark roast, we were expecting the exact opposite. Hmm... strange.

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April 16, 2012

Review: Starbucks Pike Place Roast K-Cups

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Starbucks got their start back in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. Their first store opened on Western Ave. and was later relocated to Pike Place in 1976 where it remains to this day. Despite being the 2nd store to bear the name, many still consider this to be the 1st and longest-operating Starbucks location in the World. Today we continue our Starbucks K-Cups review series with a K-Cup which was named after this historic location: Starbucks Pike Place Roast K-Cups.

Something we've noticed with the Starbucks K-Cups is that the aroma during brewing seems fairly consistent with only intensity & some subtle nuances being the key differences. Such is the same here as brewing these K-Cups resulted in the signature Starbucks aroma filling the room once again. A closer inspection of the final brewed cup revealed smoky notes of hickory in the foreground with scents of cocoa underneath. We also detected a slight oily characteristic present in the aroma at times.

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April 12, 2012

Review: Starbucks House Blend K-Cups

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We continue our Starbucks K-Cup reviews today with their Starbucks House Blend K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted once again in the signature Starbucks aroma filling the room (we've been seriously considering installing a neon Starbucks logo sign in the Single Serve test kitchens lately). A closer look at the final cup reveals woodsy notes with faint hints of cocoa & hickory hiding underneath.

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April 3, 2012

Review: Starbucks Veranda Blend K-Cups

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Long before there were Folgers K-Cups & ages before there were Dunkin Donuts K-Cups, the one coffee brand most people wanted in single serve format was Starbucks. The company went through quite a bit over the past few years. They tried creating pods which were sold primarily in limited quantities within their own stores but that failed to take off as most people weren’t even aware Starbucks pods existed. Then many a wish was answered when they announced they’d be partnering with Kraft to release Starbucks Tassimo T-Discs.

Fans rejoiced as the various T-Discs hit the market, however, not all was perfect… many complained that the coffee was way too strong/intense while others complained that it was more than living up to the Charbucks reputation by tasting extremely “burnt”. Before things could be fixed, both Starbucks & Kraft stopped seeing eye to eye and the partnership was dissolved. Those who loved the T-Discs bemoaned the loss while others panicked at the prospect of not having Starbucks in single serve format anymore. So, fresh off being burned (pun intended) by Kraft, Starbucks decided to give the single serve market another try with the largest entity in the business… GMCR. Starbuck & GMCR announced with typical fanfare that Starbucks K-Cups would be sold not only in their own retail stores but also in various grocery stores & online (something which Dunkins fans are still wishing for to this day). The announcement also revealed that Tazo Teas would also be returning to the K-Cup format with the new addition of their Zen green tea blend.

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