March 18, 2013
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Starbucks Tribute Blend K-Cups"
March 14, 2013
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Martinson House Blend Real Cups"
March 13, 2013
Starbucks Tribute Blend is back and in K-Cup form. Created to celebrate Starbucks 40th anniversary, this coffee combines four of our all-time favorite coffees: Ethiopian sun-dried beans with an exotic flourish of dark cherry; Aged Sumatra, loved for its syrupy body and cedary spice notes; juicy herbal and complex coffees from Papua New Guinea; and our Colombia coffee, bright, balanced and nutty. It's one of our favorites here at Single Serve Coffee. Starbucks Tribute Blend K-Cups will work in all K-Cup Brewers.
March 11, 2013
The Cuisinart SS-300 Compact Single Serve K-Cup Brewer looks just like a mini-me version of the SS-700 single serve K-Cup brewer. Priced at $129.00 ($119 if you look around a bit) this brewer does come with a charcoal water filter and a My K-Cup reusable filter just like it's bigger sibling.
- 10oz. Water Reservoir with cup markings at 6, 8, and 10 ounces.
- Hot Water Button lets consumers enjoy instant coffee, soup, tea and hot cocoa.
- Brews in under 2 minutes
- Removable Drip Tray provides extra space for travel mugs
- Auto Shutoff turns unit off after 90 seconds of non-use.
- BPA Free (all parts that come in contact with water or coffee).
- My K-Cup® Reusable Coffee Filter can be filled with gourmet ground coffee to suit personal tastes; conveniently stores right in the unit.
- Charcoal Water Filter removes impurities that could interfere with taste.
- Limited 3-Year Warranty
Here's a picture of the SS-300 at Macy's in Bangor, Maine. Thanks to AB for sending it in.
At Cuisinart SS-300 Compact Single Serve K-Cup Brewer
March 6, 2013
Back when Keurig first introduced their K-Cup brewers, one of the first accessories to get introduced was the My K-Cup filter. It consisted of a steel mesh filter housed inside a plastic assembly that fit inside the brew chamber once you had removed the lower assembly that contained the bottom piercing needle and was created with the sole purpose of letting users use their own ground coffee instead of having to buy pre-packaged K-Cups should their favorite flavor not be available in K-Cup format. There were many issues that most users encountered with the first generation models which ranged from poor extraction to clogged filters and leaking coffee grinds being dumped into the bottom of their mugs.
We're not sure if the latest generation of My K-Cup filters have solved those issues since we were among the majority who decided to wait things out and see what the competition had to offer. Many 3rd-party companies tried various attempts and creating their own filters over the years but the one which stood out as being the best designed with best overall performance was the Solofill K-Cup filter. It was an all-in-one filter that had a rubber gasket around the lid which solved the coffee grind overflow problem (or so we thought) and the mesh filter was molded right into the outer plastic. The size was similar to a K-Cup which meant you didn't need to go through the extra hassle of taking apart your brewer's brew chamber... just fill the Solofill and pop it in like any other K-Cup. We've included a photo of this 1st-generation model for comparison.
Continue reading: "Review: Solofill Cup K3 Chrome K-Cup Filter"
March 4, 2013
We continue our Martinson Real Cup review series today with their first flavored variety... Martinson Hazelnut Real Cups. It would appear that hazelnut is a staple flavor in the single serve coffee world as just about every company that gets into the market usually goes with either that particular flavor or vanilla as one of their initial flavored coffee varieties. It remains to be seen if this will be like most hazelnut coffees or if anything in particular will set it apart from the masses.
Brewing these Real Cups resulted in light hazelnut aromas with hints of vanilla floating around underneath. We also detected very faint smoky notes buried below as well. They were barely noticeable, but still present nonetheless. Flavor was a bit on the sour side as you first notice the acidity's sour bite then a mild blend of hazelnut & vanilla appears underneath. The main flavor was a lot weaker than what we were expecting. We also noticed some smoky notes that appeared near the finish, while you'd think smoky hazelnut would be a unique flavor, we didn't really care for it all that much.
Continue reading: "Review: Martinson Hazelnut Real Cups"
March 1, 2013
When we first heard of the Martinson Coffee brand, we were left scratching our heads since we hadn't even been aware of the brand to begin with. You can only imagine our surprise once we did our research and found out that the brand has been around since 1898. According to their company history page on their website, Martinson Coffee was the brainchild of Joe Martinson who came to New York City in the late 1800s. He would apparently select beans right from the docking ships and roast them himself in his mother's kitchen.
He would sell fresh roasted whole beans from a pushcart in his neighborhood and as news grew, his coffee became more and more popular amongst the locals to the point where people from all areas started seeking what he had to offer. As time went on, Joe eventually bought a small factory and sold his premium coffee to hotels and restaurants. What shocked us even more was that the term Cup of Joe is rumored to have evolved from Joe's reputation and popularity of his coffee (although we've also heard stories about how it evolved from military officers' consumption of coffee since they were often referred to as G.I. Joes back in the 50s & 60s).
Continue reading: "Review: Martinson Breakfast Blend Real Cups"
February 28, 2013
First there were One Cups, the soft-bottomed open filter style K-Cup knock-offs and now the latest trend that seems to be picking-up steam is yet another K-Cup knock-off which goes by the name of Real Cups. What are Real Cups you ask? Simple... they're similar to a One Cup that has the plastic K-Cup shell re-attached to the bottom. If you cut one open, you'll notice it uses the same filter style as a One Cup. As a result, you get a fusion of both a One Cup's soft-bottomed filter and a K-Cup's plastic shell all into one. We actually like this approach since this ensures the coffee won't go stale and can be stored for long periods of time in carousels or storage racks without any worries.
When our friends at ECS Coffee told us they'd be sending us samples of the Martinson Real Cups for review after they toured the manufacturing facilities, we thought ok... we'll just get the single Real Cups in a Ziploc bag when we open the shipping box. Well, color us pleasantly surprised when we got the shipment. Nothing could have prepared us for what we received once we opened everything.
Continue reading: "Review: Martinson Donut Shop Blend Real Cups"
February 25, 2013
The Marley Coffee Talkin Blues Coffee, 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain, Single Serve RealCup for Keurig K-cup Brewers is made from 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. If you've never had Jamaican Blue Coffee before - well you've been missing out on some of the smoothest coffee around. Marley coffee only sources small batches of coffee, so expect the best when you have these in your single serve coffee brewer. The Marley Coffee Talkin Blues Coffee Single Serve RealCups will work in any K-Cup Brewer.
Thanks to JB for the tip.
February 22, 2013
There's even more coffee now for your Keurig brewer and it's from the same people who make T-Disc coffees - Gevalia. Coffee for Keurig by Gevalia will work in any K-Cup Brewer, and there's a good selection to start.
- Single Serve Variety Basket $29.99
- Signature Blend 12CT $8.49
- Colombia 12CT $8.49
- Dark Royal Roast 12CT $8.49
- Signature Blend 18CT $11.99
- Colombia 18CT $11.99
- Dark Royal Roast 18CT $11.99
Thanks to William for sending in this tip.