February 4, 2011

Review: Barnie's Global Blend Coffee Pods

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Toward the end of last year we were happy to see a few new retailers enter the pod market. Most recognizable among them was Dunkin’ Donuts with a limited release of 5 pod varieties in select parts of the country (check our forums for all the details). Shortly thereafter, Florida-based Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. introduced its own line of pods with comparatively little fanfare. However, Bunn has since chosen them as a featured pod brand in the promotion of their new pod brewer, the Bunn My Cafe Home. So what kind of cup can we extract from these Barnie’s pods? Let’s start by focusing on one in particular, the Global Blend.

Barnie’s describes its Global Blend as a combination of South and Central American beans grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers and roasted medium. We like the fact that this coffee is organic and Fair Trade-certified. Tastewise, there’s even more to like here.

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January 28, 2011

Review: Wolfgang Puck Vanilla Francaise K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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Up next in our series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews is their Wolfgang Puck Vanilla Francaise K-Cups. Seeing as how French vanilla seems to be a fairly standard staple flavor in the K-Cup market (just about every roaster, including Van Houtte, have their own version), we were interested to see Chef Puck's interpretation of this classic flavor.

A strong aroma of sweet vanilla & hints of caramel emerge upon brewing. Out of all the French Vanilla K-Cups we've had over the years, we'd have to say the scent was a bit more pronounced than what we were expecting at first glance.

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January 14, 2011

Review: Wolfgang Puck Hawaiian Hazelnut K-Cups for Keurig

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Our Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews continue with their Wolfgang Puck Hawaiian Hazelnut K-Cups. A hazelnut-flavored Kona blend? We’ve got to give props to Chef Puck… he’s got some truly unique coffee flavors to date and we’re really liking what we’re seeing lately.

Light aromas of hazelnut appeared upon brewing with faint notes of vanilla hiding underneath. We were expecting a bit stronger of an aroma but were glad to see the tropical theme was present with the vanilla notes.

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December 31, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

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We forge onwards in our Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews with a flavor that had been piquing our curiosity ever since it was first announced...Wolfgang Puck Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups. With a name like that, how couldn't one be curious?

Surprising aromas of vanilla & coconut quickly filled the room upon brewing and had the staff quite excited since it brought back fond memories from one of our all-time favorite K-Cups (GMCR's Island Coconut). This was spot-on with the packaging's description, however, we also detected notes of what you'd usually associate with Jamaican beverages... rum!

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December 10, 2010

Review: Solofill Cup Refillable Single Serve Coffee Filter for Keurig Brewers

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The Solofill Cup Refillable Single Serve Coffee Filter for Keurig Brewers is like the My K-Cup reusable filter or EZ Cup that allows you to use your own coffee instead of using just K-Cups. Using the Solofill is really easy, because unlike the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter, you do not have to take out the brew sleeve in your Keurig brewer. Like a K-Cup the Solofill Cup Refillable Single Serve Coffee Filter for Keurig Brewers fits in the brew slot where you'd normally put a K-Cup.

Key Features of the Solofill Cup:

  • No need to remove or swap out the filter holder.
  • No filter to replace!
  • Reusable - Environmentally friendly.
  • Save money while reducing our environmental impact!
  • Use your own favorite gourmet coffee.
  • Easy to use - Simple 2 steps process.
  • Innovative Octaflo-Plus hot water distribution system for a superior tasting cup of gourmet coffee.
  • Easy clean up - Unique one piece design with integrated hinged lid and stainless steel micro mesh filter for easy clean-up.
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December 8, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House K-Cups for Keurig

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Our ongoing series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews continues today with their Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House K-Cups. While billed as a blend that had Chef Wolfgang going back to his Austrian roots, a quick gander at the Wiki article for Vienna coffee reveals that it’s a “traditional cream based coffee beverage made by preparing two shots of strong black espresso in a standard sized coffee cup and infusing the coffee with whipped cream (as a replacement for milk and sugar) until the cup is full. Then the cream is twirled and optionally topped off with chocolate sprinklings”. Hmm… ok, so this K-Cup should possibly taste like an extra bold with hints of cream & chocolate? Let’s find out.

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December 3, 2010

Review: Bunn My Cafe MC Model Pour Over Single Serve Coffee Pod Brewer

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The BUNN MC My Cafe Home Pod Brewer is a modified single cup pour over brewer with a reservoir refreshed with each cup you brew by adding from 4 to 14 ozs of water each time you brew. The Bunn My Cafe MC Model coffee pod brewer uses coffee pods and tea pods and features both a standard brew mode and a pulse brew mode for tea and darker coffees. The BUNN MC My Cafe Home Pod Brewer is also very compact and has a stainless steel exterior. Unlike the older Bunn My Cafe this brewer comes with one pod drawer for brewing that can be used for tea and coffee.

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November 24, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Sorrento Fair Trade K-Cups

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Today we continue reviewing the Wolfgang Puck K-Cup series with the Wolfgang Puck Sorrento Fair Trade K-Cups. Sorrento is a small town in the Campania region of Southern Italy, so does this coffee offer a bold Italian roast flavor associative of its namesake? Let's find out.

Brewing these K-Cups result in earthy notes of (yep, you guessed it) smoky molasses and is quite similar to the Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House & Sumatra Kopi Raya K-Cups we recently reviewed.

Billed as an extra bold, flavor had faint hints of dark chocolate and smoky notes, but to be honest, this tasted quite similar to the Vienna Coffee House K-Cups and we were having quite the difficulty in determining any differences between the two. We suppose there was more of an earthy flavor overall yet they still seemed pretty similar.

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November 16, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Chef's Reserve Colombian Decaf K-Cups for Keurig

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We continue our series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews with the Wolfgang Puck Chef's Reserve Colombian Decaf K-Cups in today's review. It should be noted that there's actually one major difference between the regular & decaf versions of the Chef Reserve Colombian flavor (no, it's not the obvious lack of caffeine)... the decaf is a medium roast while the regular is a dark roast. We can't recall the last time we saw a K-Cup manufacturer use a different roast for their decaf version, so this should make for some interesting nuances.

Upon brewing, we got a small waft of your typical medium roasts but then it quickly disappeared. We had to stop and check that our Keurig hadn't crapped-out half way through the brew... that's how bizarre it was. Once the brewing was over, we took our time to try and discern any outstanding scents but couldn't really smell anything other than a rather weak standard Arabica scent. There were no dark chocolate notes of the regular Colombian version here, nor any of the earthiness. A really weak & lacking aroma overall.

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November 4, 2010

Review: Starbucks VIA Caramel and Mocha Instant Coffee

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Upon a recent stop at our local Starbucks, we decided to try-out 2 of the new flavored VIA varieties which had piqued our interest the most... their Caramel & Mocha flavors. Here's a quick review of both touching on a few key points.

First impressions

By now, anyone who's tried previous incarnations of VIA realize what it's "known for"... the residual microgrit of the undiluted coffee grounds left at the bottom of your cup. We were expecting more of the same and yes, such was the case but not as bad as before. We think Starbucks might be listening to customer complaints and are likely working on reducing the amount of undiluted solids in their mixes since we experienced far less than with their previous unflavored varieties.

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