Keurig & K-Cups
September 29, 2014
We reach the end of a long journey today with Part 3 of our 3-part Keurig 2.0 Mega Review where we discuss our main likes, dislikes & nitpicks about the new 2.0 brewers, our discovery of a hidden port under the machine (do we have your attention now?) & our final conclusion about the new 2.0 brewer series.
What did we like?
- Overall design/look of the new brewers. They seem to have a nicer, more modern look which appears to be a fusion of various design cues from the old Keurig 1.0 Series B70 brewers & the Keurig (1.5 Series?) Vue V700 brewers.
- The designing ingenuity which went into creating the retractable K-Cup piercing needle mechanism. As we noted in Part 2 of our Mega Review, this level of design is something we’d be expecting to see come out of Apple’s Cupertino offices… not Keurig Green Mountain. The fact that Legos inspired it further shows that amazing things can come from the most simple of ideas.
Continue reading: "Keurig 2.0 Likes, Dislikes, Nitpicks, Hidden Port & Conclusion"
September 23, 2014
McDonalds.ca has announced McCafe K-Cups and T-Discs for your K-Cup Brewers (not Keurig 2.0) and Tassimo home brewing systems. You can now take home their Premium Roast coffee and it will be available at McDonald’s restaurants and most major grocery stores in four convenient formats.
- McCafe K-Cup Portion Packs - Works in Keurig 1.0 brewers only
- McCafe Tassimo T-Discs
- McCafe Ground Coffee
- McCafe Whole Bean Coffee
September 22, 2014
We continue today with Part 2 of our 3-part Keurig 2.0 Mega Review (you can read Part I here) by checking out the new menu system, discussing how to brew various packs in the new brewers and we also cover new features which you’ll only find on the new 2.0 brewers. One thing we’d like to tackle before we get started (and something we forgot to mention in Part 1) is how you can determine whether or not K-Cups & Vue Packs are 2.0 compatible before you even open the box.
We’re all familiar with the old Keurig Brewed logo and while most people will think this automatically means they’re getting 2.0 K-Cups or Vue Packs… this is NOT the case. Instead, you now need to look for even NEWER logos on the packaging. The new K-Cup compatibility logo is a colored rectangle with a circled checkmark on top which contains the words “For use in all Keurig K-Cup brewers”. While we’re not entirely 100% certain if boxes featuring this new logo might still contain older 1.0 K-Cups (since the use of the word all can be considered somewhat vague), we can however confirm that all the new boxes with this logo in our latest online orders & in-store purchases DID contain the newer 2.0 K-Cups which feature the Keurig Brewed grey/white ring around the lid.
Continue reading: "Keurig 2.0 Menus, Brewing Various Packs & New Exclusive 2.0 Features"
September 18, 2014
It looks like Starbucks is making good on their promise to expand their current line. AB has found Starbucks Guatemala Antigua Coffee K-Cups while at Starbucks on a recent visit. The Guatemala Antigua K-Cups are refined with layers of unfolding flavor— notes of lemon, chocolate and soft spice.
- Enjoy this with: A caramel-dipped apple and an early start to the weekend.
- Roast: Medium
- Region: Latin America
- $11.95 for a box of 12
Starbucks Guatemala Antigua Coffee K-Cups will work in all K-Cup Brewers including Keurig 2.0.
September 17, 2014
We’ve gotten a bunch of write ins regarding Keurig 2.0, and what K-Cups and packs work with the new brewer. Due to DRM that the brewer uses to tell non-licensed K-Cups not to brew you may have seen the OOPS warning on your Keurig 2.0. Many of your current K-Cups and older VUE Packs will not work with the Keurig 2.0.
Keurig has also noted that many K-Cups have had the Keurig brewed circle on them since earlier in the year but VUE packs are current transitioning so many if not all current VUE packs will not work. According to Keurig Vue packs are currently compatible only with Vue Brewers. Over the next few months, all Vue packs will be transitioned to also be compatible with the Keurig 2.0 Brewing System. You’ll need to check back regularly, and Keurig will let you know when Vue packs can be used in your Keurig 2.0 Brewer on their site.
So this is what we know will and won’t work in Keurig 2.0:
- Doesn’t Work: Non-Keurig Pack with No Outside Brewed By Keurig circle or ring
- Doesn’t Work: VUE Pack with no colored circle on it. Most Vue packs won’t work at all.
- Doesn’t Work: Older K-Cup licensed pack with no Outside Brewed by Keurig circle or ring
- Works: K-Cup pack with outside ring
- Works: K-Carafe pack with colored dot
Let us know if you have any questions or find other K-Cup situations that don’t work with Keurig 2.0.
September 16, 2014
Starbucks in the US has released Starbucks Fall Blend K-Cups for 2014. You can now safely welcome the season with a harvest of flavors all wrapped up in a K-Cup. This coffee is layered and full-bodied. The three-region blend offers the best of all worlds:
- Sumatran beans lend the warmth of fresh spice notes
- Beans from Kenya add citrusy brightness,
- Beans from Peru provide balance and a subtle nuttiness.
$11.99 for a box of 16 K-Cups. Whole bean and ground are available as well.
September 15, 2014
When Keurig first announced earlier this year that it was working on a new brewer which could brew both K-Cups & full carafes of coffee, we were left scratching our head as we thought the whole point of a single serve coffee machine was to… well… serve single servings of coffee. Why would anyone want a single serve coffee machine to make an entire pot (or carafe as Keurig prefers to call it) of coffee? Single serve machines were built specifically to get rid of the old customs of brewing full pots only to have them go stale or burnt (if left on a hot plate) before anyone could finish drinking the entire pot. More often then not, we’d end up dumping more coffee down the sink drain than what would end up in our mugs throughout the course of a day.
When compared to K-Cups or Vue-Packs, the new K-Carafe Packs are considerably larger (think of an oversized Travel Mug Vue-Pack) and appear to contain much more coffee. When you first realize how oversized these things are, it comes as a bit of a surprise and makes sense why you only get 8 in a retail box. That wasn’t the only surprise that the new Keurig 2.0 brewer would hold in store for us. The very controversial decision to implement DRM and make the brewer only brew licensed/coded K-Cups caused much stir and vitriol from consumers & competitors alike. Companies which were already making several unlicensed K-Cups were angry that Keurig was effectively locking them out from being able to brew their products on the new machine. Anti-competitive lawsuits emerged and all sorts of issues arose around the matter.
Continue reading: "Keurig 2.0 Brewer Series Overview & First Impressions"
September 12, 2014
With the recent early introduction of Starbucks PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) this year, the company also decided to bring back and introduce some other fall products.
New this year (in Canada at least) is Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend K-Cups. Long available in whole bean & ground coffee format, this marks the first time we've seen it offered in K-Cup format.
Billed as a dark roast with herbal notes, these K-Cups will work with all K-Cup Brewers including Keurig 2.0. Also back for 2014 are Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups (now 2.0 compatible) & Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Look for them at your local Starbucks shop while supplies last.
September 10, 2014
AB has found a new offering from The Original Donut Shop on a recent trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. The Original Donut Shop has conjured up a devilishly delicious, extra bold brew Don't be afraid of the DARK K-Cups. $11.99 for 18 K-cups, and Don’t Be Afraid of the DARK K-Cups will work in all K-Cup Brewers including Keurig 2.0.
September 9, 2014
Adrian Rivera of Whittier, California (collectively, 'ARM') filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. In less law like terms ARM has patents regarding reusable K-Cups and other patents around brewing with a K-Cup that uses your own coffee. The adaptor assembly of the reusable brewing capsule is also listed in the complaint. If ARM succeeds it looks like there may be a single reusable K-Cup in town.
The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the 'Proposed Respondents') unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,720,320 (the '320 patent):
- Solofill LLC of Houston, Texas
- DonGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd. of China
- Eko Brands, LLC of Woodinville, Washington
- Evermuch Technology Co., Ltd. of Hong Kong
- Ever Much Co. Ltd. of China
- Melitta USA, Inc. of North Clearwater, Florida
- LBP Mfg. Inc. of Cicero, Illinois
- LBP Packaging (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. of China
- Spark Innovators, Corp. of Fairfield, New Jersey
- B. Marlboros International Ltd. (HK) of Hong Kong
- Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, Washington
In the complaint, ARM states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the '320 patent. The complaint specifically refers to various products associated with the Proposed Respondents, including, for example, the Solofill K2 and K3, the EkoBrew Elite and EkoBrew (China), the Melitta E-Filter, and the Sparks Café Cup.
Via ITC Law
September 8, 2014
Nature Valley, one of General Mills’ several brands, is more commonly associated with granola bars & more recently protein cereals. So when they announced they’d be coming out with oatmeal which could be prepared using a Keurig K-Cup brewer, we were totally shocked. This doesn’t mark the first time something other than coffee, tea or iced beverages has been announced for Keurig K-Cup brewers.
A year ago, Keurig & Campbell’s Soup announced a partnership which would see instant soups that could be produced using Keurig K-Cup brewers, however, we have yet to see the products hit either retail store shelves or online retailers and haven’t heard anything from Keurig or Campbell’s since the original press release. As a result, it was only a matter of time before competitors decided to put a spin on the idea and come out with their own products, although we didn’t think Nature Valley would beat Keurig at their own game and release their products first. Today we’re checking out the first of the 2 flavors in the line-up with Nature Valley’s Brown Sugar Pecan Bistro Cups.
Continue reading: "Nature Valley Brown Sugar Pecan Bistro Cups Review"
September 4, 2014
Both USA & Canada will be getting a Costco exclusive model of the Keurig 2.0 dubbed the K560. From what we can tell, there's no mechanical or physical difference between a K560 and K550 machine. There doesn't appear to be any extra features on the K560 and the K-Carafe is still the same type you'd get with a K550.
What IS different however is that the Keurig 2.0 water filter handle & 2 filter refills are included, plus instead of the "4 K-Carafe Packs and 8 K-Cups" standard sample pack, you get 4 K-Carafe Packs and 48 K-Cups. Final price is $149.99 USD.
Canadian Costco customers may have to pay higher ($169.99 CAD) but they also get a slight bit more as instead of 48 K-Cups, they get 60. Other than the higher price and 12 extra K-Cups, there's no difference between the USA K560 & Canadian K560 models on either Costco site.
Amazon.com also has the same K560 package as Costco USA, yet they're selling it for $199.99 USD instead.
News from early adopters is that there's a few issues with the machines:
- The hot water feature only brews 6oz of hot water at a time and you need to hold the brew button during the entire time it's dispensing the water. Workaround = cut off the top from a Keurig 2.0 K-Cup and you can brew up to 10oz of hot water while only needing to press the brew button once.
- The current maximum brew size for K-Cups is 10oz. Apparently 12oz, 14oz and 16oz brew sizes will be "enabled" in the future once newer K-Cups are released.
- Unlike previous Keurig 1.0 and Keurig Vue machines, you CAN'T adjust the brew temperature. The machine determines what temperature to use based on what kind of K-Cup/K-Carafe pack you use.
At Keurig 2.0 K560 Bonus Bundle
Update: We received some updated pricing and info regarding the Keurig 2.0 Bundle
- The Costco exclusive offer in the U.S. features the K560 brewing system, and also includes a 4-cup starter carafe, a water filter handle, 2 water filters, 4 K-Carafe packs and 48 K-Cup packs
- The Costco exclusive offer in Canada features the K560 brewing system, and also includes a 4-cup starter carafe, a water filter handle, 2 water filers, 4 K-Carafe packs and 60 K-Cup packs
- SRP is $149.99 in the U.S. and $159.99 in Canada
- The K560 brewing system can brew a wide variety of coffees, teas and hot cocoa from an extensive list of brands, such as Green Mountain Coffee, Starbucks, Swiss Miss, Bigelow and more.
September 3, 2014
Founded by Luigi Lavazza in Italy back in 1895, Lavazza coffee got its start as the founder’s culinary passion and evolved over the course of 4 family generations to become what is known today as Italy’s favorite coffee. While some may argue that Illy coffee is the epitome of Italian espresso coffees, we’ve actually come to prefer Lavazza as our espresso brand of choice and found that it always offered consistency in quality, strength and taste time and time again regardless if we prepared it at home using an old manual espresso machine or ordered a shot at a Lavazza counter/kiosk in a road side rest area plaza (we had to double-check our surroundings to make sure we were in a rest area & not an actual cafe given the espresso quality).
We’ve been enjoying Lavazza espresso for years, so we were a bit shocked to see them enter into the ground coffee market recently with 4 different varieties and were further surprised this past week when we stumbled upon the K-Cup versions of these coffees during a visit to the Keurig retail store (each variety is now available to order online directly off of Keurig.com & ShopLavazza.com). We kick things off today by reviewing the lightest of the flavors, Lavazza’s Gran Aroma K-Cups.
Continue reading: "Lavazza Gran Aroma K-Cups Review"
August 26, 2014
Those who adopt the new Keurig 2.0 series of brewers can rest assured that they'll still be able to enjoy the same Real Cup brands on the new brewers. All current Real Cup brands are being upgraded to the Eco Cup format (see through cup with filter you can peel off) and Mother Parkers have figured out a way to make Real Cups compatible with the 2.0 brewer WITHOUT getting them licensed through Keurig.
This should mean the current slightly cheaper pricing format of Real Cups will remain in place once the 2.0 brewers launch this fall. All your favorite brands will work with the 2.0... Marley Coffee, Martinson, Higgins & Burke, etc.
All of the new, K2.0-compatible capsule formats to be launched by Mother Parkers will feature the FlavorMax™ filter. The unique filter allows more of the essential oils into the cup to produce a new level of quality and authentic taste in single-serve capsule brewing, proven in scientific studies to deliver a more flavorful cup of coffee compared to the leading brand.
At Press Release