January 7, 2009
Distributed by Timothy's World Coffees, Emeril's Vanilla Bean BAM! is one of 2 new Emeril's K-Cup flavors recently introduced to the single serve coffee market (we'll be reviewing Emeril's Organic French Quarter Roast in the coming weeks). Known mostly for his cooking shows on the Food Network and various food products available at most grocery stores, the coffee scene is a relatively new one for Emeril and his goal was to introduce a coffee which stood out among the rest as having a richer, heartier taste & character. This new vanilla flavor marks the first time he's gone with a medium roast vs. his usually darker varieties.
We chose the 5.25oz brew size on our Keurig one cup coffee maker to extract the full flavors, and were greeted with a strong French vanilla scent which seemed stronger than any other vanilla K-Cup we'd tried before. As a result, we were expecting a stronger vanilla flavor from this smaller brew size but were surprised at how subdued & mild it was. The sweet taste of vanilla was present but was struggling to balance the sour nature of the acidity. We thought there would have been more "BAM!" (so to speak) in the flavoring overall and it left us wanting to throw in a few dashes of vanilla extract. We understand some people will likely prefer less flavorings in their coffee, but when a product is marketed as "having enough BAM! for Emeril himself", the final result is rather disappointing.
Continue reading: "Review: Emeril's Vanilla Bean BAM! K-Cups for Keurig"
January 5, 2009
Up until recently the only other automatic milk frothers were from Nespresso - the Aeroccino and Aeroccino Plus. We love our Aeroccino, but we're also ready to have some more alternatives to milk frothing companions for our single serve coffee. The Keurig Milk Frother is another stand alone frother that you can use with any single serve coffee system, but will make an amazing companion for your Keurig Mini B30, Keurig Elite B40 Brewer, Keurig B50, Keurig Special Edition Ultra Elite B60, Keurig B70 Brewer, Breville BKC600XL Gourmet Single Cup Brewer, and any other Keurig brewer.
We've been using the Keurig Milk Frother over the past two weeks, and have to say it's easy to use, clean up, and makes great frothed milk. You'll need only one essential ingredient - great skim milk for frothing. If you want to use other milk fat levels - you won't get great froth, but you will get whipped hot milk. There are two levels as well 150 ml for froth using skim milk, and 250 ml for hot milk. Both of these measure levels are marked inside the frother.
Continue reading: "Review: Keurig Milk Frother for Single Serve and One Cup Coffee Makers"
December 18, 2008
Mastro Lorenzo embraces the Italian culture where fine espressos and crema coffees were born and are part of daily life. Unfortunately, a quick search on their French website did not yield any further information regarding the company's history. We've tried a few of their different T-Disc varieties over the past several months and have found that their aroma and flavor always seem superior to their competitors. Such is the case once again with their espresso T-Disc.
From the moment you first start brewing your first cup, you'll notice the intense scent of fine Italian espresso will soon fill the room. Close your eyes and you might think you're sitting at café instead of your kitchen. Give the cup a light swirl and let the nose develop… you'll smell the initial burst of acidic bitterness but you'll also notice slight notes of chocolate hiding underneath. Not surprising, these hints of chocolate are also present in the taste and the acid lends an almost citrus-like quality. Kraft describes this coffee as being 100% pure Arabica, but we can't help but wonder if they mixed-in a few Robusta beans without telling anyone.
Continue reading: "Review: Mastro Lorenzo Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo"
December 4, 2008
A quick Google translation of the official company website will reveal that Jacobs coffee first got its start in 1895 when it was introduced by Johann Jacobs in the town of Bremen, Germany. Johann later opened his first Coffee House in 1907 and created his own roasting facility in its backyard since he knew that each coffee variety, based on the nature & structure of the bean, could impart its own special flavor when roasted. He was also much ahead of his time by offering pre-roasted coffees since until then; it was customary for people to roast green coffee beans at home on a stove top. The Jacobs company suffered many setbacks while weathering both World Wars but managed to pull through. By 1982, they had acquired the Suchard Chocolate company in their portfolio and in 1993, they merged with Kraft General Foods to become the company we know today.
Jacobs uses a combination of their espresso T-Disc and the European shelf-stable latte milk creamer T-Disc (which is common among most latte varieties overseas) to create their latte macchiato. A "macchiato" made with a Tassimo machine is basically a "reverse-latte" where you insert the creamer disc before the espresso disc. This results in a layering of creamer on the bottom, coffee in the middle and creamer froth on the top. The only way you can truly appreciate this effect is by using a clear mug or double-wall glass. You can also stir the contents together to create a regular latte which has a slightly better taste, but for the purpose of this review, we wanted to prepare the drink "as intended" by the manufacturer.
Continue reading: "Review: Jacobs Latte Macchiato T-Discs for Tassimo"
November 13, 2008
We know some of you may not consider powdered mix pouches to be something fitting of the single-serve coffee market, but as was proven in the past by Keurig with Ghirardelli pouches, the fact that you can get pre-measured cups of hot water instantly from any of their machines allowed them to sell such items amongst their usual K-Cup varieties.
Timothy's also offers their own varieties of powdered mixes and have decided to further improve these offerings by making them 100% trans fat free. In today's health-conscious World, it's nice to see we can now enjoy Timothy's Creamy Hot Chocolate, White Hot Chocolate and Chai Latte without any of the guilt.
As noted above, you can use your Keurig machine to mix the contents of these pouches with hot water, but Timothy's recommends using hot milk (or any similar substitute) for better results. Trust us, go with the milk... more on that in a bit.
Continue reading: "Review: Timothy's Trans Fat Free Creamy Hot Chocolate, White Hot Chocolate and Chai Latte Pouches"
November 7, 2008
The Aeroccino Plus is a larger version of the Aeroccino that also allows you to override the heating function if you wish to froth milk without heating. The cost for the Aeroccino Plus is $129 versus $99 on the smaller Aeroccino (read our review of the earlier Aeroccino here). The reason any single serve coffee drinker would want to get an Aeroccino is the need for frothed milk for those latte and capuccino drinks you might want to make at home to save a few dollars. We used the Aeroccino Plus in this review with the new Essenza Touch and our Nespresso Essenza C100T.
The Aeroccino won't make the same frothed milk as a high end espresso machine, but it will make a very thick-rich frothed cup of hot or cold milk. The Aeroccino Plus is also larger than the earlier version, and this allows you to make enough milk for 2+ drinks depending on what your making.
How does it work? To produce warm frothed milk, heating the milk to temperatures between 140-149°F/60-65°C, quickly press the button once. To override the heating function, press the button for two full seconds.
Continue reading: "Review: Aeroccino Plus Automatic Home Milk Frother from Nespresso"
October 30, 2008
S.H. continues his quest to find the perfect K Cup. Will he enjoy the pumpkin spice K Cups from Timothy's World Coffee?
With the opening of their first store in 1975, Timothy's World Coffee set out to become one of Canada's premier coffee houses. The company operates over 100 coffee/bakery restaurants across Canada under 3 distinct brands: Timothy's World Coffee, Mmmarvellous Mmmuffins & Michel's Baguette. In addition, the company operates a 35000 sq. ft. coffee roasting facility in the Toronto region and a bakery commissary; these guarantee the superior quality and freshness of all the coffee and bakery products served both in their retail stores and by co-branded partners.
Timothy's source pure origin coffee from countries around the world that grow specialty grade Arabica beans and only the top 5% of any harvest will meet their strict standards for quality. Over the years, the company has developed over 35 blends, various flavored coffees, teas and decaffeinated coffees. To ensure freshness, all coffee beans are brewed or sold in their retail locations within 20 days of roasting. They also service & supply offices, hotels, theatres and hospitals.
With Halloween just around the corner, I decided to review Timothy's Perfectly Pumpkin limited-edition K-Cups. These K-Cups will only be available during the Fall season, so now's the time to grab some if you want to try them out. When brewing, familiar scents of pumpkin pie start to emerge… all-spice, nutmeg & hints of pumpkin are all present. The body is medium with a usual brown/amber color.
Continue reading: "Review: Timothy's Perfectly Pumpkin K-Cups for Keurig"
October 17, 2008
There's a new single serve coffee coffee and hot beverage system in town - the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto. This amazing machine not only makes a perfect cup of single serve coffee, it can also make lattes, cappuccinos, shots of espresso, chococinos (hot chocolate), and even iced cappuccinos. And not only does it make an amazing range of drinks, this is one of the first single serve coffee makers to have a "round water reservoir", and to also look truly different than any other single serve coffee maker we've seen. The unique styling puts it on a path of it's own, and it's no wonder the design is so different.
Nescafe has teamed up with Krups and Nespresso to make this machine. You can see touches of Nespresso innovation, along with truly wonderful design choices from Krups. We also had the opportunity to test both the European and the recently launched US Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto that is now in stores in the US. The differences in the two machines show a revolution in thought on how to make the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto a nearly perfect single serve coffee maker, from an already successful machine designed for Europe.
Continue reading: "Review: Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker"
October 15, 2008
Our K Cup correspondent S.H. of the wild white north has managed to get his hands on Van Houtte's Apple Crumble K Cups. Does he enjoy them? Do they have the taste of apple with all the crumble?
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Van Houtte have been pioneers in European-style coffee since 1919. Today, they're involved in almost every aspect of the coffee industry. They select and buy their own beans, roast and package their coffees, manufacture state-of-the-art single cup vending machines and market a wide range of unique products to retail, office, café and online customers. They even operate the largest coffee services network in North America serving more than 71000 workplaces in most major cities.
When brewing these Apple Crumble K-Cups, you're greeted with the warm aroma of cinnamon & apples plus very subtle undertones of dark chocolate. The body is medium, with a somewhat dark color usually seen in most flavored coffees but if held in front of a light source, hints of crimson red shine through. At first I thought this was the natural color but later learned some K-Cup manufacturers color their coffees to match the flavors (something I hadn't been used to with Tassimo T-Discs).
Continue reading: "Review: Van Houtte Apple Crumble K-Cups for Keurig"
September 25, 2008
We've been using the Nespresso Essenza Touch in black and grey for over two weeks now, and find the texture and finish of this Nespresso to be very special. The Nespresso Essenza Touch is basically a Nespresso C100T (you can read our review of the C100T here), but it has a super smooth coating. This may be the first single serve coffee maker we've every used, where sliding your hand over it seems the thing to do each morning we make a cup of single serve coffee.
So, the big difference really is the coating. The Nespresso Touch features are the same as the C100T (which is an updated C90 - you can read our review of the C90 here).
Overall features are:
- High-pressure pump (19 bars)
- Thermoblock heating element
- Programmable and automatic control of the amount of coffee in the cup
- Functional handle allows for easy coffee preparation
- Automatic ejection of used capsules on lifting the handle
- Collection container for used capsules
- Removable water tank (1L capacity)
- Special Smooth Coating - feels like an iPod case or silicone
It's also good to note you can only use Nespresso coffee capsules with the Nespresso C100T Essenza. This is by design, and you'll also need to sign up for the Nespresso club to do you ordering or stop by a Nespresso boutique to get some new ones.
Continue reading: "Review: Nespresso Essenza Touch Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Maker"