Reviews

May 12, 2015

Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Ethiopian Coffee K-Cups Review

Joey kramer rockin roastin kcups ethiopia

If you like music and you like Rock and Roll you’ve perhaps heard of Aerosmith. One of the founding and current members of Aerosmith is Joey Kramer. We all know there are celebrity chefs in the coffee K-Cup game, but did you know that Joey Kramer has his own line of whole bean and single serve coffee K-Cups?

We received a set of the Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Ethiopian Coffee K-Cups along with two other flavors - Guatemala and Sumatra. We decided on the Ethiopian K-Cups to review but would like to say - all of the roasts were quite good.

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April 30, 2015

Van Houtte Mocaccino Specialty Collection K-Cups Review

VH Mocaccino Boxreviewvanhouttemocaccinospecialtycollectionkcups

While it’s no secret that Canadians have had an ok but rather, shall we say… limited selection of K-Cup brands and flavors when compared to USA over the past several years and that we’ve seen some rather bizarre attempts at making Canadianized versions of existing American flavors such as:

  • Kraft’s option to use UpShot Single Cups for their Gevalia Single Cups vs. using their own custom expanding corrugated plastic Single Cups
  • McDonalds Canada remaining an unlicensed Single Cup and using UpShot Single Cups instead of being a licensed Keurig K-Cup
  • Keurig Canada renaming some Coffee People flavors when the coffees were introduced to Canada (i.e. Jet Fuel became Turbo Caffeine)
  • Many more odd changes we won’t get into (trust us, the list goes on and on)

It’s still nowhere as bad as competing single serve coffee choices for machines such as the Tassimo or the now all but dead Nescafe Dolce Gusto (dwindling capsule retail supplies have all but vanished off store shelves and the machines aren’t even sold in most retail stores anymore). Out of all the different single serve coffee machines, Keurig is the only one which regularly releases more than 1 new flavor every few months and when flavors are released, they tend to arrive in batches where you’ll get upwards of 3 or 6 choices at times. The update frequency is also much greater than competing machines (every 3-5 months vs. every 6-10 months or longer).

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April 21, 2015

Gourmesso Bolivia Pura Mezzo Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules Review

Gourmesso box shot

Gourmesso is a fairly recent player to the Nespresso compatible coffee capsule market. Gourmet recently sent us a wide range of their Nespresso compatible Lungo and Espresso capsules. Most of their coffees are Fair Trade, and we decided to start with the Bolivia Pure Mezzo Gourmesso capsules. Each of their capsules come packed in boxes with 10 capsules with 2 capsules to each pouch. The pouches are not resealable, but we didn’t seem to have a problem pulling a few shots of each and not letting the coffee get stale.

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April 14, 2015

Stash Mango Passionfruit Herbal Tea Single Cups Review

Stash singlecup mango cupshot

We continue our look at some recent Stash tea single cups by checking out the Stash Mango Passionfruit Herbal Tea Single Cups. We rather enjoyed their Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups and are hoping that this flavor will be on par with that experience. Let’s find out.

Brewing these Single Cups resulted in tropical aromas of sweet mangos and exotic passionfruit filling the room with a rather pleasant, almost floral scent which reminded us (oddly enough) of a Glade Hawaiian Breeze Plug-In. Flavor was pretty much identical as we detected some mildly tart passionfruit notes up front quickly followed by sweeter mango notes on the back end. We suspect that since this is billed as an herbal tea that it’s likely a tisane of the primary ingredients mixed into a brew without the inclusion of any actual teas since we didn’t detect any green or black tea notes whatsoever. If we had to declare a primary flavor in the mix, we’d give the upper hand to the passionfruit notes as they emerge as the stronger of the 2 compared to the mango. Again, much like last time, there’s no mistaking the primary ingredients as you get a strong flavor vs. something weak or watery. 

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April 7, 2015

Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups Review

 

IMGP6249 stash tea single cups

Stash is a brand of tea we’ve seen slowly yet steadily expand with its retail presence over the past few years. It seems that every few weeks when we do a grocery run, we notice a new Stash flavor or packaging redesign. A quick look on their website shows that Stash got their start in Tigard, Oregon (a suburb of Portland) back in 1972 and were even operated out of a Portland Victorian style house supplying loose herbals teas and bulk herbs to local natural food stores in their early years. 

This privately-held company then broadened their offerings in 1975 to include bagged teas as well as a full offering of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to restaurants and through mail order catalogues to consumers. We’ll allow anyone 20 or younger to Google the term mail order catalog for a minute. Stash tea products can now be found in many countries around the world and they’ve entered the single serve market recently with the introduction of Keurig-compatible (1.0 only, not 2.0) single cups.  Today we take a look at 1 of their newer flavors to pop up on store shelves… Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups.

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March 30, 2015

Robin’s Coffee Real Cups Review

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Robin’s Donuts may not be a brand many of you are familiar with and given the fact that the brand is a privately-owned corporation which is sparsely located throughout Canada, many of our readers up north may not be too familiar with them either. Despite this fact, a quick look on their website shows that Robin’s got their start in Thunder Bay, Ontario back in 1975 and have since expanded to over 130 locations across Canada. The chain is in direct competition with Canada’s coffee juggernaut, Tim Hortons and to a lesser extent, Starbucks. Their locations offer a variety of breakfast/lunch sandwich items and the obvious fare such as donuts and regular/iced coffee drinks as well as a variety of other menu items. They recently entered the single serve market and today we’re checking out their Robin’s Coffee Real Cups. 

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March 17, 2015

Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups Review

IMGP6229 williams kcups

We hadn’t heard of Williams Fresh Cafe before and that’s because it’s a Canadian cafe chain which appears to be operating solely out of Ontario. A big of digging around on the company’s website revealed that Williams got its start in 1993 when the company opened their first location in Stratford, Ontario and named it Williams Coffee Pub. After several years of growth, they decided to rebrand in 2009 as Williams Fresh Cafe and started offering freshly made menu items & coffee in a warm & inviting fast casual cafeatmosphere. The chain now has 35 locations across Ontario and recently decided to enter the single serve market by introducing their coffee in Real Cup format in their cafes and having it distributed throughout the rest of Canada by ECS Coffee. As a result, today we’re checking out their Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups. 

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March 10, 2015

Numi Rooibos Chai Real Cups Review

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We continue our review of the Numi Organic Teas Real Cups today by checking out the 2nd flavor in the line-up… Numi Rooibos Chai Real Cups. Normally we associate chai tea as having a traditional black tea base, so to have one with a rooibos base was an interesting change of pace. We always found that taking a chai tea black rendered the spices way too potent and created an intoxicatingly over-spiced cup which was to the point of being sickening, hence why most chai teas are usually transformed into chai lattes via the addition of milk. Would the lighter bodied rooibos tea make any difference this time around? Would it allow us to finally drink a chai tea au natural (i.e. sans milk)? Read on to find out. 

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January 20, 2015

Barrie House Spicy Mistletoe Single Cups Review

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While we realize we’re about a month overdue with this review now that the holiday season has come and gone, we still had quite a few seasonal holiday items we didn’t get a chance to check out until now. We figured it was better late than never to start digging through some of these items and we’re reviewing one of the most recent single serve products which was introduced last year… Barrie House Spicy Mistletoe Single Cups.

As we may have noted in earlier reviews, Barrie House recently changed the design of their Single Cups so that they appear to be made out of a solid plastic shell vs. the old design which had a plastic shell but a foil bottom. We were a bit concerned that the plastic would be too thick for the Keurig’s piercing needle but this wasn’t the case. Other items such as their intensity scale and peel-away lid appear to have remained intact from the old designs. Let’s give these a try and see if they’re a worthwhile addition to our holiday coffee line-up.

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January 12, 2015

Barrie House Hot Apple Cider Single Cups Review

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With the cold weather upon us, we decided to try out a cold weather-inspired drink which is usually served throughout fall & winter but especially around this time of year… hot apple cider. Apple cider is the unfiltered version of apple juice made from pressed apples. It can be prepared as-is and served chilled as a form of naturally unfiltered juice, it can be mulled with various seasonings and spices (cinnamon is usually the norm in this instance) and served hot or it can be fermented and and turned into an alcoholic hard cider. 

Apple cider is even the official state beverage of New Hampshire (a fact we were totally clueless about until doing research for this review which seems odd since we visit NH each summer). The fact that Keurig Green Mountain have since made 2 different versions of their apple cider K-Cups meant that competitors couldn’t be too far behind and today we’re checking out the latest addition to the single serve cider realm with Barrie House’s Hot Apple Cider Single Cups.

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January 5, 2015

Lipton Lemon Ginseng Green Tea K-Cups Review

  

Lemon ginsing lipton review kcup

Lipton has been steadily forging ahead with new varieties of teas lately & the same can be said about their single serve offerings as well. 2014 saw a slow but continued growth of new flavors with the latest one being the Lipton Lemon Ginseng Green Tea K-Cups. We were curious to have a go at these but should have paid closer attention to the ingredients list since, for whatever reason, we thought these K-Cups had honey included as part of the initial flavor. We could not have been more wrong. 

While panax ginseng is known as a form of natural energy supplement, it’s not exactly the best tasting ingredient in the world and despite its various health benefits, it has a very unique and somewhat off-putting taste which can only be described as chemical-like. That’s why most teas which feature this ingredient usually add honey as a sweetener to help mask the taste. This time around, Lipton opted not to do that and only left natural lemon flavoring (which is apparently soy-based… wait, what?) & lemon grass as the main flavor ingredients. So, what are the final brewed results like? Let’s have a look & find out. As noted above, there’s soy in this product (and even an allergen warning right on the K-Cup lids), so be forewarned if you’ve got any soy allergies.

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December 16, 2014

Tootsie Roll & Junior Mints Hot Cocoa Single Cups Review

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything that truly piqued our interest in the single serve market and when we noticed the recent appearance of various chocolate candy inspired hot cocoas from brands such as Sugar Babies, Charleston Chew, Tootsie Roll & Junior Mints, we at first thought this was a severely early April Fools joke. That is until we started noticing more and more online retailers starting to carry them. Holy cow… these were actually REAL products! We immediately set about trying to procure various flavors only to find out that they were sold out almost everywhere (argh! why didn’t we believe these were real when they were announced?!?). We did however manage to secure a few samples of the Tootsie Roll & Junior Mint Hot Cocoa Single Cups and that’s what we’ll be checking out today. 

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December 9, 2014

iCoffee Opus Single Serve K-Compatible Cup Brewer Review

Icoffee brewershot

It's been an interesting year for the entire single serve coffee industry, and especially with the introduction of the Keurig 2.0. The problem has been with the Keurig 2.0 - it only brews compatible Keurig 2.0 Keurig brewed K-Cups. If you have an older K-Cup brewer you're in luck, but what if that older brewer has stopped working and you don't want a Keurig 2.0 with the DRM to lock you in to only what Keurig Green Mountain has to offer in K-Cups? We think you're going to be just fine with the iCoffee Opus K-Compatible single serve coffee brewer.

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December 8, 2014

Tim Hortons Dark Roast Real Cups

 

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As anyone North of the border knows, Tim Hortons is to Canada what Dunkin Donuts is to America. It’s the largest coffee chain in Canada started by a hockey player bearing the same name (how à-propos) and throughout the decades, they’ve forced out many competitors from Canada including, much to our Canadian Correspondent’s dismay, Dunkins themselves. While they’re not as popular in America, they’ve rebranded themselves Tim Hortons Bake Shop in USA and have a small presence mostly throughout a few States in New England. Tims (as most Canucks refer to it) is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary in Canada and they’ve decided to do something rather unique.

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