February 28, 2013

Review: Martinson Donut Shop Blend Real Cups

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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.

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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.

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February 12, 2013

Review: Wal-Mart Our Finest Canadian Blend T-Discs

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Once in a while, something which can only be described as an oddity comes along and makes you do a double-take while your brain tries to comprehend what your eyes are seeing. It can be something slightly normal that just doesn't seem quite right... like a lime green Lamborghini sporting pink alloy wheels or it can be something completely absurd and off the wall which defies reality... like Gary Busey.

Well folks, we introduce to you today the Gary Busey of T-Discs, something which appears to be a Canadian exclusive sold only in Canadian Wal-Marts under the in-store brand known simply as Our Finest. It's also the most recent officially-licensed Tassimo product to hit Canadian shelves. Today we check out Wal-Mart's Our Finest Canadian Blend T-Discs.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in very mild dark chocolate aromas with a faint note of smoke, but once the coffee sat in our mug for a few minutes, the aroma virtually disappeared with only the faintest hint of cocoa. Not exactly the strongest or most unique aroma we've ever experienced out of a T-Disc, so things weren't getting off to a good start.

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February 4, 2013

Review: Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cups

Review Single Serve Coffee12 k cup swiss miss hot cocoa

For about as long as we can recall, Swiss Miss hot cocoas have been a staple in many American homes over the years and up until now, the most common format it came in was powder packets. Known for its smooth Swiss milk chocolate taste (think Milka), this has been one of our favorites for ages. A few months ago, Green Mountain decided they’d take a crack at things and introduced what we’re reviewing today: Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in the distinct aroma of Swiss milk chocolate with sweet cocoa notes filling the room. Flavor was a bit more hit or miss though. When we tried our first K-Cup, about half the powder remained stuck in the bottom of the K-Cup after brewing (despite having shaken the K-Cup beforehand) which resulted in a horrible-tasting “hint of cocoa” flavored water. We had to dump the cup since it tasted so watery.

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January 29, 2013

Review: Carte Noire Caramel Latte Macchiato T-Discs for Tassimo

Review Single Serve CoffeeCn latte macchiato reg pack 4

Today we decided to review a recent (well, recent on this side of the pond) new flavor from one of our favorite Tassimo brands, namely the Carte Noire Caramel Latte Macchiato T-Discs. Carte Noire has produced some superb products in the past and their espresso was always one of our favorites for quite a while.

Brewing these T-Discs unfortunately did not result in any caramel notes whatsoever which left us a bit perplexed since we were certain the word caramel was surely on the label. When the espresso T-Disc was popped in, we noted the characteristic smoky notes of the espresso along with some earthy notes in the background, but that was it. Odd... where the heck did the caramel go?

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January 22, 2013

Review: Starbucks Guatemala Casi Cielo K-Cups

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When Starbucks started releasing some of their seasonal coffees in K-Cup format last year, it got our hopes up that they’d eventually release ALL of their seasonal coffees as K-Cups. First came the excellent Anniversary Blend K-Cups quickly followed a few months later by the equally magnificent Christmas Blend K-Cups and our recent discovery during an in-shop visit proves that Starbucks Seasonals are going to be a common occurrence in the land of Keurig. This past week (Jan 14-18, 2013) saw the release of what we’re reviewing today: Starbucks Guatemala Casi Cielo K-Cups.

This is great news for Starbucks K-Cups fans and we couldn’t be happier. With a total of 3 seasonals within the past 4 or 5 months, it truly appears that Starbucks have decided to make their entire seasonal series in K-Cup format which means we’re in for some cups of awesome in the coming months ahead. Spanish for almost heaven, Casi Cielo has remained a favorite amongst fans and is a premium coffee harvested from the Antigua region of Guatemala. Billed by Starbucks as a medium roast & having hints of lemon with satisfying dark cocoa notes, we couldn’t wait to give this one a try. Lemon & dark cocoa? Not exactly 2 flavors you’d expect would pair well together, but Starbucks claims it’ll work for virtually any dish from the main meal to desserts.

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January 15, 2013

Review: Gevalia Mocha T-Discs for Tassimo

Review Single Serve CoffeeMocha g 1

Tassimo users have been making their own for ages via using Suchards & various espresso T-Discs, but now there’s finally a dedicated mocha flavor in the Tassimo line-up. Today we review the Gevalia Mocha T-Discs. Have they found caffeinated chocolaty bliss or created something similar to soaking a Hershey bar in a glass of instant coffee? Let’s find out.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in mild cocoa aromas when brewing the syrup followed by smoky aromas with hints of molasses when brewing the espresso. The combined aroma of both was mostly light cocoa with very faint oily notes of the espresso. A neat aroma morphing effect occurred as we got to the bottom of the cup as we started with light cocoa, then stronger espresso notes, then stronger cocoa notes again.

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January 9, 2013

Review: Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider Vue Packs

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Let’s step back a few years ago, when there were many K-Cup flavors that fans had been begging for over and over again. As the years passed and as contracts/agreements between manufacturers & brand owners were made, we slowly started seeing fan demand being answered. Several years ago, nobody would have ever dreamed that Dunkin Donuts coffee would be available in K-Cup format, but now not only do we have that, we have limited edition Dunkins flavors that are exclusivelybeing released in K-Cup format (i.e. Dunkins Mocha). Well, another item that was sorely missed & much demanded in K-Cup format was apple cider.

We’ve seen many companies release a multitude of flavors in instant powder mix format, but we had never seen an apple cider K-Cup before. Again, Green Mountain listened and decided “You know what? If we’re going to make an apple cider K-Cup, screw this powdered artificial stuff… let’s make REAL cider with REAL natural ingredients!” and so, thus was born the new Green Mountain Naturals brand and the world’s first single serve apple cider K-Cup. It became a massive hit, selling-out so quickly & regularly that Green Mountain were forced to change it from a seasonal product to a permanent product and it’s remained a fan favorite ever since.

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January 7, 2013

Review: Folgers Gourmet Selections Morning Cafe K-Cups

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Every once in a while, we stumble across something unexpected and discover rarities in the world of Single Serve Coffee like the Folgers Gourmet Selections Morning Cafe K-Cups we found recently at our local Target.

Brewing the Folgers Gourmet Selections Morning Cafe K-Cups  resulted in very mild woodsy notes with faint hints of chocolate throughout. Compared to their Lively Colombian K-Cups, aroma was considerably weaker overall. Flavor yielded more notes of chocolate with slight notes of berries buried underneath. We were expecting some of the usual smoky or hickory notes, but we suppose we shouldn't have looked for them since there weren't any in the aroma. We can't help but feel things seemed rather flat and could have been perked up a bit by slightly stronger acidity.

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January 3, 2013

Review: Club Coffee Inca Trail Single Cup Capsules

Review Single Serve CoffeeInca trail

We continue our review series of Club Coffee Single Cup Capsules today with their Club Coffee Inca Trail Single Cup Capsules.

Brewing these Single Cup Capsules resulted in mild smoky notes at first gave way to mild earthy notes tinged with faint cocoa hiding underneath. Things were starting to slightly deviate from the norm with previous Club Coffee flavors we've tried to date, so we started hoping flavor would yield something slightly different as well.

Despite being billed as a medium roast, body was dark reddish-brown & almost wine-like in color with small hues of yellow & orange which had a hard time piercing through when held in front of a light source. Acidity was pleasantly balanced and was smooth overall with light spikes of sour notes in the middle.

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January 2, 2013

Review: Vitamin Burst Strawberry Pomegranate K-Cups

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We continue our Vitamin Burst review series today with the 2nd flavor in their lineup... Vitamin Burst Strawberry Pomegranate K-Cups. We were absolutely floored with their Acai Berry flavor last time, so we can't wait to see if these K-Cups are just as mind-blowing or not.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in LOADS of strawberry aromas filling the room with hints of pomegranate slightly present in the background, but it was almost buried by the massive strawberry scent. Flavor was thankfully PACKED full of huge strawberry notes up front with a nice mild tartness of the pomegranate underneath. Again, the main notes were strawberries and we had to really search around a bit to find the mild pomegranate notes hiding in the cup. We were also detecting some other berry notes but couldn't quite put our finger on what it was until we checked the packaging and noticed dried black currant puree was listed in the ingredients. If we had to pick between these K-Cups and the Acai K-Cups, we'd say we probably enjoy the strawberry flavors a bit more than the acai, but just barely.

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