July 21, 2014
When we reviewed our first VertuoLine capsules a while back (the hazelnut flavored Hazelino), we noted how the flavoring tasted different and a bit off from what we’re used to seeing in a conventional flavored coffee produced from the likes of a Keurig or Tassimo system. Since we ALWAYS take our coffee black during reviews in order to notice any subtle flavor notes which might be hiding in the cup, we pretty much ignored Nespresso’s recommendations to also try their VertuoLine capsules with added creamer.
That was apparently a big mistake. Once we followed their suggestions, we noticed that the strange almost chemical hazelnut taste was replaced by a more subdued hazelnut flavor and that the harsher oily notes in the coffee became greatly reduced to more normal levels. It completely transformed the entire tasting experience to a degree we weren’t expecting. In hindsight, we’d like to offer an apology of sorts to Nespresso and would like to point out that while our original score of 91 - Exceptional still stands for the Hazelino capsules when taken black, we’d have to give a slightly higher score of 94 - Exceptional once you add creamer into the mix (sorry, we still can’t get used to the odd foreign hazelnut flavor).
Continue reading: "Nespresso VertuoLine Vanizio Capsules Review"
July 7, 2014
When Nespresso first introduced the VertuoLine brewer to North America earlier this year, we were a bit caught by surprise as up until now, Nespresso was known primarily for their premium line of espresso machines which they’ve now dubbed OriginalLine. This marked the first time Nespresso had decided to focus on conventional coffee (while still retaining the ability to produce espressos from the same machine).
An 8oz coffee from Nespresso? Given how superb some of their OriginalLine espresso capsules have been in the past, they certainly had our attention. Seeing as how coffee extraction is different than espresso extraction, Nespresso had to come up with a new way to extract brewed coffee from the capsules and they did so in a way which isn’t that common in the single serve coffee market… centrifugal force. Dubbed Centrifusion, the brewer has a laser which reads a barcode ring around the inner lip of the capsule and this code determines everything from water amounts to spin rate in order to deliver optimized results for each capsule.
Continue reading: "Nespresso VertuoLine Hazelino Capsules Review"
June 9, 2014
In a move that only serves to reinforce the idea that they’re after just about every coffee chain & coffee manufacturer on the market, KGM decided to form a partnership with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) chain of coffee shops to introduce some of their signature coffees into the K-Cup format several months ago. Now that those flavors are starting to trickle through the retail market, we decided to try their first flavored variety: CBTL Toasted Ameretto K-Cups.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (for brevity sake, we’ll just call them CBTL) got their start in 1963 when they opened their first coffee shop/cafe in Brentwood, California. Billing themselves as the oldest & largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States, the company has since opened stores in many different states and internationally as well. While they may not be that well known on the East Coast, they’re popular on the West Coast and have gained quite the fan following over the years.
Continue reading: "The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Toasted Amaretto K-Cups"
June 2, 2014
From time to time, we stumble across K-Cup flavors which either aren’t widely advertised or were never announced on the Keurig or GMCR/KGM websites, flavors which appear out of nowhere or are only retailer exclusives (i.e. Only sold at one specific retailer) and other odd situations similar to the above. Such was the case with a flavor we first discovered about a year ago. It appeared briefly at Target & Wal-Mart stores then disappeared soon after. We eventually managed to track a box down at a local Target several months ago and are only getting around to reviewing things today. What is this elusive flavor? Newman’s Own Organics Cafe Almond Biscotti K-Cups. Let’s have at ‘er and see if this flavor was worth the hunt.
Continue reading: "Newman’s Own Organics Cafe Almond Biscotti K-Cups Review"
May 27, 2014
When Starbucks promised to expand their line-up a few months ago, they opted to go different routes and one of those routes was to introduce 2 new Blonde Roast K-Cup flavors which would be sold only at select retailers & various grocery stores. We already reviewed the first flavor, Starbucks Willow/Aria Blend, and today we managed to finally track down the 2nd… Starbucks Bright Sky Blend K-Cups. Will these be any different than the 1st flavor? Let’s find out.
Continue reading: "Starbucks Bright Sky Blend K-Cups Review"
May 19, 2014
When you think of coffee, you usually associate it with something that keeps you awake, right? What if we were to tell you that there’s coffee which can put you to sleep? Before you think we’ve finally gone off the deep end, hear us out. We recently found out about a new startup company named Counting Sheep Coffee. They’re based out of Vancouver BC in Canada and they’ve created the world’s first sleep aid coffee. You’re familiar with the dozens of sleep aid teas on the market and there’s even Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Herbal Tea K-Cups & Vue Packs which have been out for years. We’ve never seen (until now) a coffee which supposedly does the same trick. The company recently gained fame when they appeared on Dragon’s Den* (the Canadian predecessor to ABC’s Shark Tank). We were a bit surprised to learn that the deal didn’t close* after the show aired, but it doesn’t seem to have hindered sales since our local Bed Bath & Beyond was almost sold-out when we visited.
Continue reading: "Counting Sheep Coffee Lights Out! Single Cups Review"
May 12, 2014
We really love single serve coffee so, when we found out Nespresso was jumping into the dual coffee and espresso wagon we we’re beyond excited. Sure we love a cup of espresso, but we often like a shot of espresso in our single serve cup of coffee. The Nespresso VertuoLine Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Maker is the first Nespresso machine that makes a great cup of coffee or espresso. Each capsule is perfectly measured so that you get a uniformed brew each and every time, and when you put an espresso capsule in the Vertuo it will make espresso. If you use a larger coffee capsule it will make a larger cup of coffee.
Continue reading: "Nespresso VertuoLine Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Maker Review"
May 5, 2014
Canada recently experience something it hadn’t seen for quite a while in the retail scene… a deluge of new T-Disc flavors for the Tassimo system. Today we take a look at the 1st of 2 new flavors that were introduced, namely the Tetley Orange Pekoe Tea T-Discs.
Tetley got its start as a tea merchant business founded in Yorkshire, England back in 1837 by brothers Joseph & Edward Tetley. They later relocated to London and by 1953, the company became the first to sell their tea in tea-bag format in the UK. Fast forward to present day and Tetley is now owned by Tata Global Beverages of India, the 2nd largest tea-producing company world-wide. This has ensured that Tetley has become a household name in many countries.
Continue reading: "Tetley Orange Pekoe Tea T-Discs Review"
April 28, 2014
We all know that folks who enjoy decaf coffees (or those who are required to drink it due to caffeine sensitivity/headaches) are unfortunately a target demographic which has been ignored for far too long. Just because you can drink regular coffee doesn't mean you should have to suffer with bland offerings and unflavored choices. Well, our friends at ECS Coffee Inc. thought so as well and decided to fix the problem with the first specialty flavored DECAF Single Cup on the market. They even created their own cheeky commercial for the flavor (check the video at the bottom of the product page on their site, link at end of review)
Sure, there may be a few flavored decafs on the market, but they're mostly staple flavors like French Vanilla or Hazelnut... they're ok, but... well, kind of meh. Where's the sense of adventure? Where's the innovative combination of various flavors? Why aren't limited edition K-Cups also sold in decaf versions? How about Maple Cinnamon French Toast? Is that adventurous enough of a decaf flavor for ya? Now that we've got your attention, let's put this flavor through its paces and see if ECS have created something worthy of celebration for decaf fans.
Continue reading: "ECS Coffee Maple Cinnamon French Toast Decaf Single Cups Review"
April 22, 2014
It’s been a while since we’ve seen any new K-Cups from Folgers, so we were caught a bit off guard recently when when stumbled across this new flavor on Keurig’s site a few days ago. While it may not be a flavored variety this time around and while it may seem a bit redundant given their Black Silk flavor is already a pretty strong dark roast coffee, we were curious to see what these new Folgers Gourmet Selections French Roast K-Cups would be like. Let’s find out.
Brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong smoky hickory notes with some very mild peppery notes lurking underneath. Oddly enough though, aroma didn’t seem as strong as what we’re used to with typical French Roast coffees. This carried through in the flavor as we also got smoky notes up front blended with dark cocoa and some faint citrus notes as things faded into a peppery finish near the end of each sip. It’s been a while since we had the Black Silk K-Cups but we’re a bit surprised that this flavor is turning out to be a bit lighter than that. Definitely not what we were expecting. Give us a second while we check the packaging again… nope, it says French Roast. Hmmm… strange.
Continue reading: "Folgers Gourmet Selections French Roast K-Cups Review"