June 6, 2013

Review: Second Cup Paradiso Dark Coffee T-Discs for Tassimo

Review Single Serve CoffeeParadiso Dark

Second Cup may not be as well-known in America as Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, but in Canada, they're much like Timothy's & Van Houtte as they've created a Canada-wide franchise chain of coffee shops & cafés which spans from coast to coast and are one of Tim Horton's & Starbucks' primary competitors. The company has had a rather storied past complete with its fair share of controversy. Founded in Ontario in 1975, the company quickly expanded to 150 locations by 1988.

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May 30, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Colombian Real Cups

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We continue our Brown Gold Real Cup review series today by checking out the 3rd flavor in their line-up... Brown Gold 100% Colombian Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in a pleasing aroma overall, comprised by lightly smoked notes of caramel with very faint hints of spices & raisin hiding underneath. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed more balanced overall compared to the previous flavors in the Brown Gold line-up as we noticed some slight sour notes at first which quickly gave way to notes of caramel, molasses, chocolate & more faint notes of spices in the background blended by a touch of smoke on the finish.

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May 29, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Real Cups

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We continue our Brown Gold Real Cup review series today by checking out the 2nd flavor in their line-up... Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in mild smoky notes appearing with subtle notes of chocolate throughout with some faint earthiness in the background. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed on the sour side as the first thing you notice is a strong sour bite which seems to linger for a bit, but it eventually gives way to more smoky & chocolaty notes buried underneath.

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May 28, 2013

Review: Brown Gold 100% Costa Rican Real Cups

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We couldn't find much info on Brown Gold's website to describe the company's history or beginnings, but the site does go on to mention that the goal of their Single Origin coffees is to allow tasters to experience the pure, untouched and unmodified flavor of the namesake region's coffee beans so that you get an idea of what that particular country/region has to offer since you're getting only coffee from that specific region... it's not blended with anything else. Today we check out the first flavor in Brown Gold's Real Cup line-up... Brown Gold 100% Costa Rican Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in light smoky notes blending with some very mild hints of cocoa & molasses buried underneath. Billed as a medium roast, flavor seemed more like a light roast as it was very mild & light tasting. We detected some light sour citrusy notes of oranges paired with some slight smoky flavors which had chocolate & molasses in the background. Acidity was more on the lighter side of things and was mostly noticed shortly after each sip then quickly dissipated to reveal the main flavors.

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May 17, 2013

Review: President's Choice Gourmet Medium Roast T-Discs

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We continue our review of President's Choice Tassimo products today with their Gourmet Medium Roast T-Discs. Unlike their Great Canadian T-Discs, these aren't supposed to be clones or knock-offs of anything, but rather just a regular everyday store-brand coffee.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in a mix of chocolate & smoky aromas with some faint raisin notes hiding underneath. Flavor was substantially better than their Great Canadian as this time we got stronger notes of smoke & dark chocolate which gave way to stronger sour notes in the acidity while things finished off with some oily notes and hints of mild smoke buried at the bottom end of the cup. Acidity was as we just mentioned, notably stronger with more pronounced sour notes at first sip which lingered around for a while before giving way to the spicier notes in the finish. We're starting to think that President's Choice should have named this roast as their Great Canadian since things were turning out considerably better this time around.

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May 10, 2013

Review: President’s Choice Great Canadian T-Discs

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President’s Choice is an in-store brand created by Loblaws grocery stores in Canada and they regularly release seasonal products which they’ve developed via their test kitchens, market research/focus groups as well as their team of chefs who travel the world to find source ingredients. They most recently rose to national fame when they introduced a new TV series/content via Food Network Canada called “Recipe To Riches” (currently within its 2nd season) where contestants from anywhere in Canada can submit their recipe to a panel of judges and compete to have their recipe/product featured on store shelves each week.

We expected President’s Choice to come out with a new kind of marinade sauce or snack product but they completely shocked the Canadian single serve world and took us by surprise this past Summer when they announced a partnership with Kraft’s Tassimo system and agreed to release their line of in-house coffees in T-Disc format. This would mark the beginning of Kraft branching-out more often and licensing T-Discs with many outside companies since their split with Starbucks. Unfortunately, Loblaws don’t have any stores in USA, so these T-Discs are uniquely a Canada-only product.

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May 9, 2013

Review: Club Coffee Venetian Reserve Single Cup Capsules

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We finish off our review series of Club Coffee Single Cup Capsules today with their Club Coffee Venetian Reserve Single Cup Capsules.

Brewing these Single Cup Capsules resulted in mild oily notes with hints of chocolate underneath. We also detected faint woodsy characteristics as well. Not as strong or complex as we were hoping for but better than nothing. Body was very dark brown in color with deep shades of red when held in front of a light source. Acidity had a good balance and hit us with mild sour bite at first which leveled out afterwards.

Billed as a dark roast, flavor was made up mostly of bittersweet dark chocolate with very faint hickory notes in the background & a strong oily taste underneath if we let things sit too long. Mouth feel took on more of an oily feel but wasn't too overbearing. Aftertaste was sharp & slightly bitter at first with predominant notes of dark chocolate throughout and more oily notes on the finish.

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April 29, 2013

Review: Tully’s Hawaiian Blend Vue Packs for the Keurig Vue

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen Hawaiian coffee appear in K-Cup, let alone Vue Pack format. So we were a bit surprised to see Tully’s taking a stab at making such a product. As you’ve obviously noticed, they didn’t call this a Kona Blend likely because there’s no Kona coffee in it. We tried finding the exact blend used and the best we can guess is that Kauai coffee is what’s included here. Most companies decided to start selling Kauai coffee as a cheaper alternative to Kona once they realized how badly decimated Kona crops were after the borer beetle infestation a few years ago.

As farms struggle to recover crops and plant new ones, Kauai remains the only island with enough crops to sustain demand for Hawaiian coffee production. Similar in nature to Kona, Kauai coffee is slightly more acidic in nature yet still maintains the characteristic smoothness of Kona to a certain degree. We’ve never seen it blended with other varietals before, so it’ll be interesting to see the final results. Today we check out Tully’s Hawaiian Blend Vue Packs.

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April 22, 2013

Review: Green Mountain Island Coconut Vue Packs

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When we first started reviewing Vue Packs and noticed how the strong button could affect (both positively and negatively) the flavor of a coffee, the first flavor we wish GMCR would have released was Island Coconut. Out of all the seasonal flavors, it's our #1 favorite and when we first tasted it, we immediately wanted MORE coconuttiness (is that even a word?) in our cup. The intoxicating tropical coconut aromas paired with the intense coconut flavor had us... well... going nuts. We just couldn't help but wonder how the strong button would affect such a superb coffee. Would it blow the dial past 11 in coconut flavor or would it turn things so bitter & sour that we'd be rushing to rebuild the S.S. Minnow and get the heck off Gilligan's Island?

We called it during our GMCR Caramel Vanilla Cream Vue Pack review as we suspected back then that this flavor wouldn't be too far behind on the Vue Pack line-up's release schedule, so let's see if these new seasonal Vue Packs can recreate the same euphoric sensation as their K-Cup counterparts and possibly improve upon it. Today we check out the long awaited & highly anticipated Green Mountain Island Coconut Vue Packs.

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April 15, 2013

Review: Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Caramel Latte T-Discs

Review Single Serve Coffee71jI7TJDO L SL1500

Today we take a look at the 2nd flavor in the Corner Coffeehouse series with their Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Caramel Latte T-Discs.

Brewing these T-Discs resulted in mild caramel notes during brewing along with some of the usual buttermilk notes from the creamer. Again, we were hoping for a stronger aroma, but since it was being concentrated into a 2oz espresso shot, we suppose we were probably expecting for too much. Flavor was a bit better as we detected light notes of caramel up top quickly followed by some of the espresso flavors, then a bit more tinges of caramel followed by sweet buttermilk flavors of the creamer at the bottom. As we neared the end of the cup, the buttermilk flavors & overall sweetness of the drink became more pronounced.

If something has SWEET in its name, you can damn well bet the final results will taste sweet and that is once more the case with these T-Discs. Unlike what we've been seeing lately, we didn't detect any chemical notes in the sweetness and things just seemed like natural sugar overall. At least that's something that Kraft took the time get right. Acidity was pretty much washed-out by the creamer but did yield some bite from the espresso at various points throughout the drink. It helped let the mild caramel flavors come through & would have just washed them out had it been any stronger.

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