October 22, 2012

Review: Café Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Vue Packs

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Today we decided to take a look at an addition to the Vue Pack lineup from earlier this year... Café Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Vue Packs. We've already tried their K-Cup version, so we were interested to see how this version would stack-up in comparison.

Brewing these Vue Packs resulted in medium aromas of dark chocolate but it wasn't as strong as what we were expecting. At first we thought that maybe some of the powder got stuck inside the Vue Pack but we made sure to shake it and tilt it backwards (to free up any remaining powder from the outlet spout) prior to brewing and sure enough... when we checked the Vue Pack afterwards, it was clean as could be... no left-over powder whatsoever. Odd... you'd think for a dark chocolate, it would have had a richer scent.

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Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2012

Review: Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Vanilla Latte T-Discs for Tassimo

Review Single Serve Coffee

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As we've been seeing with the recent Tea Bar & King of Joe T-Discs, Kraft decided it would be best to develop new in-house brands vs. trying to continue importing foreign T-Discs from other countries. While we wish they would have concentrated more on the latter, we're still glad that they're cranking out new products instead of sitting around doing nothing. Today we take a look at another new in-house brand with their Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Vanilla Latte T-Discs.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in mild sweet vanilla notes during brewing along with some of the characteristic buttermilk notes from the creamer. We were hoping for a stronger aroma, but since it was being concentrated into a 2oz espresso shot, it's no wonder it didn't have time to fill the room. Flavor fared a bit better as we detected light tinges of vanilla quickly followed by some of the espresso notes, then a bit more vanilla flavors and a sweet buttermilk finish with the creamer at the bottom. As we neared the end of the cup, the sweet buttermilk flavor of the creamer became more intense as the vanilla flavors started disappearing.

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Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2012

Review: Café Escapes Café Vanilla K-Cups

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We kick things off today by reviewing a recent K-Cup addition to the Café Escapes line-up... Café Escapes Café Vanilla K-Cups. We’ve come to expect pretty decent results from Café Escapes over the years and their hot cocoas remain some of our favorites to date. We were intrigued when we noticed some new flavors pop up on Green Mountain’s site as web-exclusives, so we decided to give this one a try.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in delicate notes of sweet vanilla filling the room with hints of coffee in the background. The main notes were vanilla with coffee aromas being pushed to the back, something you might see in a vanilla latte. Flavor was pretty much the same with sweet notes of vanilla flowing through at first sip with faint notes of coffee in the background. We were wondering why we weren’t getting more of a coffee flavor until we remembered that Café Escapes use instant coffee in their K-Cups/Vue Packs. While we’re not exactly fans of instant coffee, we can put up with it in this case since it didn’t seem to be impacting the main flavor of vanilla. Instead, things seemed a bit lighter than what we were expecting.

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October 1, 2012

Review: Dunkin Donuts Mocha K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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It’s been a while since Dunkin Donuts released a new K-Cup and since some of their flavored varieties have been hit or miss in the past, we were cautiously optimistic when we heard they’d be coming out with a limited edition flavor during the summer months. Today we take a look at Dunkin Donuts Mocha K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong blasts of chocolate aromas which quickly filled the room and quashed any doubt we had about these K-Cups being able to produce anything chocolaty. The weirdest thing though? We could have sworn we even detected faint notes of raisins hiding underneath. Yes, raisins! That has GOT to be a Single Serve Coffee first. Flavor was thankfully not raisin-like but moreso on-par with the aroma as we got the acidity’s sour notes which brought the coffee flavor to the foreground and then as we neared the end, we got a decent hit of chocolate flavor in the background.

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September 17, 2012

Review: Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups for Keurig

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Starbucks created their Anniversary Blend back in 1996 to celebrate their 25th anniversary and it was so popular that it remained a seasonal favorite which would be reintroduced each Fall. Starbucks claims the secret to the distinctive taste of this coffee is due to the use of aged Sumatran beans from Indonesia, but to the honest, the thing that had us jumping for joy was the recent introduction of what we're reviewing today: Starbucks Anniversary Blend K-Cups. We would like to note that we liked the artwork on the packaging & how the foil lid on the K-Cup gave a light gold appearance to the artwork as well. Since most K-Cups have pretty standardized artwork, this made for a nice difference.

Billed as one of the first seasonal Starbucks K-Cups (Hmm... could we be seeing Christmas Blend K-Cups in a few months?), brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong, almost wine-like aromas with smoky hickory tinged by mild notes of caramel in the background. Flavor was nicely presented with a huge amount of complex tastes swirling around in the cup. You start off with some of the smoky notes, but surprisingly, they're a lot smoother and not as intense as your typical Starbucks dark roast. You then notice some molasses flavors mingling around with more notes of sweet caramel and things are topped off by some dark chocolate flavors near the end with a light spicy kick in the finish. Outstanding & unlike anything we've seen before from Starbucks.

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Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 10, 2012

Review: King of Joe Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo

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Over the past several years, we've been known to complain about the lack of new T-Disc flavors in retail stores, online or elsewhere and were just about ready to think that Kraft had all but given up on the Tassimo since Starbucks left and decided to partner with the competing Keurig machines instead. Ah, but then something strange happened... Kraft & Bosch decided enough was enough and started listening to fans. New machines were being introduced, a major safety recall was handled somewhat efficiently (for the most part) and best of all, after what seemed like ages of inactivity, new flavors were being released.

A few at first, then more, and eventually the levee broke and we were flooded with a tidal wave of amazing new flavors to the point where we almost couldn't keep track of all the new things that were coming out left and right. Could it be? Have Kraft FINALLY listened to our complaints & concerns? It would seem so.

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September 5, 2012

Review: The Original Donut Shop Coffee Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee K-Cups

Review Single Serve Coffee

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We kick things off with what has to be the most ridiculously long name for a K-Cup we've seen in ages... wow... lots of words to try & cram into a title there, so we'll simply refer to them as "Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee K-Cups" for the remainder of this review. Most Brew Over Ice K-Cups recommend 6oz or 8oz settings but after noticing that this flavor used actual real ground coffee beans, we figured we'd go full tilt and use the larger 8oz setting to fill our iced beverage tumbler.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in light smoky notes of hickory during brewing which quickly faded away afterwards & we even noticed a few tiny flecks of coffee grounds in the cup which proved there was indeed real ground coffee present here instead of instant coffee. Chalk that up as a bonus for this flavor as we love getting the real deal vs. instant whenever possible.

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August 27, 2012

Review: Vitamin Burst Acai Berry K-Cups

Review Single Serve Coffee

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We have seen a virtual explosion of new products coming out of Keurig’s HQ lately and it looks like they have no intention of slowing down anytime soon (which is a good thing for our taste buds, but a painful thing for our wallets). Today we take a look at the first-ever single serve fruit drink for Keurig machines with the new Vitamin Burst Acai Berry K-Cups.

Much like the Green Mountain Naturals brand, Vitamin Burst is a new brand that Keurig created in-house and marks the first time a vitamin-enriched fruit drink has been made available for a mainstream single serve coffee machine (ok, there are probably competitors out there, but they’re not necessarily mainstream or commonly known yet). We like the concept & think it’s a category that’s long overdue for Keurig. Let’s find out how well this flavor stacks up.

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Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 23, 2012

Review: Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs

Review Single Serve Coffee

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We decided it was time to review something which has long been missing for the Tassimo machine... iced teas. Today we check out the new Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs. Much like the King of Joe series, Tassimo Tea Bar appears to be a new in-house brand that Kraft created for the Tassimo. Since this is the first time the Tassimo has seen iced teas, we were interested to see how things would play out.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in sweet, rich peach aromas quickly filling the room and there was no mistaking that you were brewing a peach flavored drink, plus you could also smell some of the black tea aromas in the background as well. Spot on so far. Flavor is where things went a bit sideways. The first thing you notice is the artificial sweetener taste which is almost to the point of being chemical-tasting. Then, once that dissipates, you finally get the peach flavoring and then the black tea notes buried underneath. We were a bit taken aback by the chemical taste which we were NOT expecting, so we checked out the packaging and found the culprit... sucralose, which is more commonly known as Splenda. Things improved a bit once the ice melted and diluted the drink, but we could still taste remnants of the sucralose anyway.

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Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

August 16, 2012

Review: Club Coffee Swiss Water Decaf Single Cup Capsules

Review Single Serve Coffee

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We continue our review series of Club Coffee Single Cup Capsules today with their Club Coffee Swiss Water Decaf Single Cup Capsules.

Brewing these Single Cup Capsules resulted in very mild smoky notes with hints of chocolate underneath. We’re still holding out hope that Club Coffee’s darker roasts will have more pronounced aromas, but man… so far, we’re rather disappointed with what we’ve seen in the lineup’s lighter roasts. It’s almost as if you need to be standing directly over your Keurig during brewing in order to get any aromas. This shouldn’t need to be the case.

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