Keurig & K-Cups
February 7, 2017
As we continue to explore new flavors we found during a recent visit to the Keurig Retail Store, we decided to take a look at another new single origin coffee with Peet's Coffee Brazil Minas Naturais K-Cups. Billed as a medium roast that has natural flavors of fresh roasted hazelnuts, this coffee was harvested from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. Naturally sun-dried on patios and even on the branch, the cherries are dried by the Brazilian sun all the way through the pulp to the beans inside. Peet's claims this imparts a sweet, smooth and full-bodied characteristic to the final cup.
Brewing this coffee resulted in rich, earthy notes which yielded hints of dark cocoa, some faint nuances of cherries along with very subtle spicy notes hiding underneath much akin to gingerbread. Upon first sip, you get a strong hit of sour acidity which quickly gives way to more chocolate notes mixed with some faint tinges of hazelnut with a mild earthy aftertaste. We wouldn't exactly call it sweet, but it did seem full-bodied.
Continue reading: "Peet's Coffee Brazil Minas Naturais K-Cups Review"
January 15, 2017
During a recent trip to shop for single K-Cups at the Keurig Retail Store, we noticed some new offerings from Laughing Man and today we’re checking out another one of their new single origin coffees… Laughing Man Ethiopia Sidama K-Cups. Billed as a mix of heirloom variety beans found on various coffee farms from the land known as “the birthplace of coffee”, this light roast promises to yield a delicate floral aroma with citrus flavors of bergamot and lime. The lid topper claims this coffee is aromatic, complex & elegant. Let’s have at it and find out.
Continue reading: "Laughing Man Ethiopia Sidama K-Cups Review"
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"
September 2, 2016
We’re introducing something a little new today at Single Serve Coffee, it’s a new format of quick reviews we’re calling Quickviews. These mini reviews of sorts will be considerably shorter than our usual reviews and are more for the TLDR crowd and for those who just want to know What’s the coffee taste like? Is it any good?Is it worth buying?
There won’t be any scores, just a Worth It! or Leave It! recommendation at the end of the review. So without further delay, let’s get started shall we?
Continue reading: "New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler K-Cups Review"
Today we decided to check out New England Coffee’s Blueberry Cobbler K-Cups. New England Coffee is one of GMCR’s most recent acquisitions and they converted NEC’s older One Cups into licensed K-Cups as a result. We appreciate this change since we don’t have to worry about a bunch of One Cups going stale after we open the foil bag anymore.
August 12, 2016
We’ve always wondered what we could make out of the 50+ single serve coffee makers we’ve received over the 12+ years Single Serve Coffee has been on the web. Evan Booth recently MacGyvered the crap out of a Keurig K350 Coffee Maker and transformed it into a bionic hand named Hedberg. It took him over 200+ hours and minus the adhesives the bionic hand is made entirely from the Keurig K350. You can watch the 5 minute time lapse video after the jump.
Continue reading: "Turn a Keurig K350 Coffee Maker into a Bionic Hand"
July 31, 2016
SH has uncovered that Keurig Canada is ahead of the rest of the K-Cup world in offering a recyclable K-Cup.
From SH: The first 100% recyclable K-Cup is now available, albeit via an online exclusive 24-pack, in Canada. The flavor for those wondering is Van Houtte's Original House Blend. While this is great news for those who were miffed about the ecological concerns of the old K-Cups, the method in which KGM went about it leaves me wondering what's so different than how people used to "recycle" their K-Cups in the past.
According to the info page on the Canadian website (http://www.keurig.ca/recyclable-kcup), you have to wait for the pod to cool off, then you need to push your finger through the lid where the brewing needle previously pierced it and then tear away the foil lid bit by bit, empty the coffee grinds, and I'm guessing rinse the cup and discard of the foil in the garbage and the filter + pod in the recycling bin.
Continue reading: "Keurig 100% Recyclable K-Cup Pods Are Available Now"
July 5, 2016
Our intrepid contact from the north SH has noticed Keurig is not including carafes with it’s 2.0 brewers now renamed the Keurig Plus line.
Take a look at the 'new' 2.0 machines which have had nothing more than a model # change. Notice something missing in the 'what's included' section? Well, the carafes are now no longer included on the Canadian site and the US site.
Guess they want people buying the $25 CAD stainless steel carafe separately instead of leaving the plastic freebie version in the box. Ironically, they are selling the 'new' carafe-less K525 for $199 CAD... $10 more than the original K500 (which comes w/carafe) used to sell for back in the day.
I guess there's even a supreme K575 model which allows you to now change temperature levels in the menu and that one doesn't even come with a carafe.
Find it very odd that one of the key selling points when the 2.0 was first released has now been totally ignored for this new round of brewer rehashings.
From key selling point to no selling point. Keurig 2.0 key selling feature is going the way of the DODO.
June 22, 2016
Europe appears to be winning the variety/selection war against North America
Do you speak a foreign language and can easily read foreign text? Have you ever taken the time to browse the different global sites which a manufacturer might have in place? If so, chances are you’ve discovered an ugly truth when it comes to what is being offered over there compared to here… the truth that some countries have a MUCH better selection of drinks and an even nicer selection of machines vs. what is offered this side of the pond here in the US and Canada.
Why is this? Is it because a manufacturer has one of those countries as its home base of operations? Is it because sales are more robust in those countries than elsewhere in the world? Is it due to regional preferences? Quite possibly, yes to all of the above but there are likely other factors at play of which we’re unaware.
While it can seem unfair and is quite infuriating at times, especially when you have a very minuscule selection in your country and another country has a selection which would take months to try out, we have a feeling most of our readers probably aren’t even aware of just how crazy of a difference there can be from one country to the next. As a result, consider this a form of PSA if you will… just don’t blame us when you feel like going all Office Space on your single serve machine with a baseball bat after reading this.
Let’s have a look at some of the more common manufacturers who offer their machines/pods in North America, the difference in drinks & machines in some countries and what tactics they are using in such regards (be they positive or negative). For brands that aren’t widely sold in Europe, we’ll compare the selection between USA & Canada instead.
Continue reading: "Geographical Differences Amongst Single Serve Coffee Manufacturers - What are we missing?"