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K- Cups

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okay, not the very best coffe but very practical and a reasonably good trade-off for convenience.

There are soamy choices....any recommendations?

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  1. We've been buying CoffeePeople's Donut Shop consistently over the last year. Very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret

      Yes that is my fav currently. It has a good full flavored for a light roast (and light roast means more caffeine, which for me is part of the point :) )

    2. I like strong coffee--full flavor.

      If price is no object, I think hands down that 'Obsidian' by Caribou Coffee(which is a Green Mountain subsidiary?) is the best. It's sometimes hard to find on Amazon at a good price. I see it for less at Target & Wmart.

      Others I like are Emeril's 'Big Easy Intense' , Wolfgang Puck's 'French Roast-dark, extra bold',
      and Green Mountain Coffee's 'Dark Magic'.

      Best prices are with Amazon's "subscribe and save" program, but some of the coffees on this program are not very good. Be sure to check Amazon's reviews on any you order, no matter what kind.

      3 Replies
      1. re: columa

        Caribou is not a subsidary of Green Mtn. Coffee Roasters. By the way, check with your stock broker on GMCR stock----one of the best performers of the past year and still within a point of an all time high.

        1. re: steakman55

          Thanks steakman for the info on GMCR--I'm starting my research on it. I need something that's not falling like coffee through a torn filter :).

          1. re: columa

            Just be aware that GMCW's cash cow is Keurig machines and K-Cups. Two K-Cup patents expire on Sept. 16, 2012. This is an interesting article on the subject:
            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11...

      2. >>> not the very best coffee <<<
        So true.
        >>> but very practical <<<
        Really?
        >>> and a reasonably good trade-off for convenience <<<
        Debatable.

        I'm just curious, but I have a serious question: how long does it take to make a cup of coffee?

        I grant you that K-Cups are (in one form or another) probably here to stay, but I find the coffee stale and mediocre. Better than instant, but -- for me -- it's worth the (very little) effort in the morning to grind freshly roasted beans and actually make coffee/espresso . . . .

        Cheers,
        Jason

        5 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Perhaps your palate is more sensitive than mine, but I've found the K-cups that I've purchased to be satisfactory, if not pretty darn good. As for "how long it would take?", we simply don't drink enough coffee at home to justify making a full - or partial - pot. I leave the house coffee-less and consume copious amounts at work. My wife grabs a cup to go every morning on her way out (she would otherwise stop for a cup somewhere). On weekends we'll grab a cup here and there.

          The Keurig is a far better option for us than drinking a cup that's been warming in a pot for hours or wasting coffee.

          I also have a burr grinder and espresso machine for when I want to get a little more serious.

          1. re: ferret

            >>> Perhaps your palate is more sensitive than mine <<<
            Perhaps. I just have never tasted one that I found -- I don't know -- "satisfying." Lord knows I have not tried them all, but all the ones I *have* tried have left me . . . flat. (?)

            >>> As for "how long it would take?", we simply don't drink enough coffee at home to justify making a full - or partial - pot. <<<
            I rarely brew a full pot at home, but I *do* use a "Clever Coffee Dripper" -- see http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmaria... -- to brew a single cup. Well, mug -- anything up to a 16-ounce thermal insulated cup.

            Think of it as the illegitimate offspring of the mating of a Melita/Chemex filter cone and a French press. Grind, pour hot water over the grounds, let sit for 3-3.5 minutes, place the dripper on top of the cup to drain the coffee through the filter, and off you go! The coffee has the richness and mouthfeel of a French press, but is clean and without sediment, like drip.

            Just a thought/suggestion . . . and, no, I have no financial interest in the company -- just a satisfied user.

            >>> The Keurig is a far better option for us than drinking a cup that's been warming in a pot for hours or wasting coffee. <<<
            No, I absolutely agree with you here!

            Cheers,
            Jason

            1. re: zin1953

              I used an Aeropress with my own freshly-ground beans for a time before we bought the Keurig. It was better (and a little messier/longer) but not so much so that I would give up the Keurig. I'm not a newcomer to the coffee world. I've tried any number of options over the last 30+ years (a large range of drip machines and French presses, among other options), so I know what's out there.

              The trend in most coffeeshops around me nowadays is to do single-cup brews like the Clever Coffee Dripper, so I've seen the concept in use regularly. Call me a Philistine, but I'm happy with the Keurig.

          2. re: zin1953

            I'm with you. We recently got a Keurig at work. Seems more like a coffee flavored beverage than the real thing to me, but most of the folks here are thrilled with it.

            1. re: laststandchili

              Really depends on the coffee you buy. Also, the machines for office locations that are plumbed directly to the water supply need to be recalibrated frequently because (I think) they have a tendency to make a very thin "brew."

          3. Come the fall track down the pumpkin spice k cup by Green Mountain. I bought a dozen boxes to have year round (I love it chilled in summer).

            1. I usually end up ordering the Green Mountain Breakfast Blend and Nantucket Blend. I recently wanted to start using caffeine free and ordered the Timothy's Colombian Decaf. All very good. I also like the Gloria Jean's Hazelnut for a flavored coffee. If you order the samplers on their website, it helps in narrowing down what you will like.

              1. My last order included Green Mountain Coffee Island Coconut , Van Houtte Butterscotch, Green Mountain Coffee Wild Mountain Blueberry, Coffee People Wake Up Call, Van Houtte Honduras exrta bold and Green Mountain Coffee Southern Pecan. We are quite pleased with them all. Also we like the Celestial Seasonings brew over ice teas.

                1. DH and I stayed at a B&B recently and they had the Keurig, and I think I've got the bug ;-)
                  I drink decaf and he does caff, so this will be wonderful for us.
                  Can anyone give any DECAF K cup recommendations? I'm not persnickety about my coffee and think that cupping has something to do with athletic protection. By way of reference, I really enjoy Starbucks.
                  I'm looking at the Keurig B60, btw.
                  Also, how does everyone like the reusable K cup? I'm thinking of getting 2.
                  Thanks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: monavano

                    Restating...come the fall track down the pumpkin spice k cup by Green Mountain. I bought a dozen boxes to have year round (I love it chilled in summer).

                    K cups works out really well in recipes calling for a concentrated amount of coffee/tea too.

                    Around here BB& Beyond and Kohl's have the best prices. Costco sells plenty of varieties year round too but not a real bargain price. I also buy the hot chocolate for my son's machine at college. True timesaver with no fuss, no muss.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Thank you. The pumpkin spice sounds too good and the fact that using them in recipes is a bonus. However, upon checking on Amazon, it doesn't come in decaf. Boo!

                  2. Oh so practical! I've had some duds though, some have been too bitter or watery. It can make a fabulous cup of coffee once you find a favorite and determine the best size cup for that pod and whether it's better black or with cream and sugar. The best coffee I've had from it though has been with my own beans in the My K Cup. It's a great machine for the job of making push button coffee.

                    I don't like flavored coffee at all, but I do remember the Gloria Jeans Hazelnut in my sampler being quite tasty.

                    Donut Shop was my favorite when I got the Keurig, and remains a solid option. This is a very tasty one I pick out when I want 'breakfast diner coffee'.

                    Black Magic is good, but I only like it with cream and sugar. Black, it tends to be too bitter for me.

                    Kona Blend is fantastic, but only if it's black. Put cream and sugar in that and suddenly you wonder if you forgot to put the pod in. Bit of a joke at 10% Kona, but still it's in my top three favorites.

                    Diedrich French Roast makes a very tasty cup. I like it black or with cream and sugar.

                    Green Mountain Breakfast Blend is fine for someone who likes a very mild coffee and loves cream and sugar. For me it's more akin to a cup of cocoa than coffee, satisfaction wise. It's just nice.

                    Half-Caff is a terrific one to keep on hand! It's good regular coffee, and has half the caffeine. Perfect for an afternoon cup or second cup. It's not amazing, but it hits the spot.

                    I was sick this past week and really only ate Jello. Guess who made the Jello for me? My Keurig, the sweet thing :) Someone ought to start a thread about what else they do with their Keurig.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mlou72

                      Come again... jello? Dish!

                      1. re: monavano

                        I got out a glass Lock&Lock, stuck it under the Keurig and pushed the 8oz button 4 times, then stirred in the Jello, slapped on the lid, and threw it in the fridge. Not much to dish ;)

                      2. re: mlou72

                        I've used the hot water and made:
                        RiceI
                        nstant mac & cheese
                        Ramen noodles
                        Oatmeal
                        Cornmeal "mush"
                        Hot chocolate (I know - obvious)

                        LOVE it for all of those!

                      3. We've really liked Green Mountain Coffee's Sumatran Blend, Dark Magic, Double Black Diamond, and Espresso Blend.

                        Disappointments have been the Green Mountain Island Coconut (though I loved the idea), Nantucket Blend, and the Breakfast Blend as they are too "light" or weak for our tastes. Didn't like Caribou Coffee's Daybreak (??) blend or even their medium roast. HATED the Donut People stuff. I enjoyed Emeril's French Quarter Roast and Big Bold Easy K-Cups, but I think only the Big Bold Easy one is still available.

                        My favorite is Wolfgang Puck's Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups. The coffee is supposed to have a coconut cream flavor and I just love it.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Njchicaa

                          Emeril's Big Bold Easy gets good reviews on Amazon.

                          1. re: Njchicaa

                            Since it appears you like the stronger blends, try Coffee People's Jet Fuel, Black Tiger, or Wake-Up Call.

                          2. In my house, K cups are out, and Nespresso is in! Their machine is a dream to use (also uses capsules, but great french and italian coffee is in them). Push one button, put milk in the warmer/frother container if making latte's or cappucino, and done! Perfect every time for coffee, espresso, or any size style of milky coffee drinks.
                            Saved several hundred dollars in skipped Starbucks trips over last two years! Would never go back to drip, messy espresso maker or stopping at the Mermaid every day...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: gingershelley

                              We use these with our Nespresso (and still use the Keurig as well - there are uses for both):

                              http://capsul-in.com/

                              Easy to use and you can grind fresh for each batch. And they come out cheaper, as well.

                              1. re: ferret

                                Thanks Ferret - good to know we could customize our Nespresso experience!

                            2. I love my (fairly) new Keurig machine. I live alone and don't drink a ton of coffee - probably not even a cup a morning on average - and the Keurig machine makes it really simple for me.

                              I'll agree with those that recommend Green Mountain's "Dark Magic." I drink my coffee black and like bold flavors, and it fit's the bill. A box of Kona K-cups I disposed of last week was very good too, but I forget what flavor it was.

                              I need to branch out and try a few different one's, though, and I'm getting plenty of ideas from this thread. I want to try Wolfgang Puck's extra-bold French Roast.

                              Has anyone tried Dunkin' Donuts K-cups? DD brews my favorite of the chain coffee purveyors.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MonMauler

                                I just saw they had Dunkin' Donuts K cups! Used to love it when it started showing up in our Target here (whole beans), but then the quality seemed to go down as they were, I guess, expanding. I hope they're good, I'll keep an eye out for them, would like to give them a try.

                              2. My boyfriend has a Keurig coffeemaker, which makes sense for him since he drinks a lot of coffee and prefers very hot, fresh coffee. I ended up getting one of the smaller models to keep at work, where I used to spend at least a few dollars a day buying coffee that wasn't always that good. It was a big expense up front, but I know it will pay for itself all the time, and the coffee is consistently good and strong.

                                My favorites are the Green Mountains Espresso Roast and Dunkin' Donuts Dunkin' Dark. I don't get the DD too often because you have to go buy it at one of their stores, but it's worth the trip once in awhile. I'm interested to find out what varieties Starbucks will be offering when they start selling K cups next month.

                                At home, I still prefer to grind my own locally roasted beans, but both my boyfriend and I are pretty picky about our coffee and have found that the Keurig is a great option in some circumstances.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: writergeek313

                                  I'm very excited about Starbucks K cups. I've bought the Via packets and can't wait to just load the Keurig and push a button instead of waiting for water to boil.

                                  1. re: writergeek313

                                    I'm kinda stuck with the K-cup experience at work, myself. Our office was getting the Green Mountain Breakfast Blend delivered, which was so bad that it really put me off of that brand (to borrow a phrase from Edmund Blackadder it was like "brown water with grit in it"), so I've been shopping around for something better.

                                    One of the positives thus far was indeed the Dunkin Donuts Dunkin Dark, with a nicely rounded flavor. I'd get that one again in a pinch, but I did enjoy the Newman's Own brand a bit more. It came across as more of a 'real' cup of coffee, for lack of a better term.

                                    1. re: writergeek313

                                      I'm excited to see some fairly favorable reviews for the DD Dunkin' Dark K-cups, writergeek313 and TongoRad.

                                      I have a DD location not more than a two minute walk from my office, and I will have to pick up some to take home soon.

                                    2. Newman's Own in my experience is the best. Sam's Club and Costcos usually have the 80 count boxes for $40, maybe even less. Im not a fan of Green Mountain. Their stuff tastes very questionable. Esp. Nantucket blend, it has a bitter/sour quality to it.

                                      There are good non-coffee cups as well. I enjoy the Celestial Seasonings breakfast tea. Just like brewing a bag of Liptons, but without waiting for the kettle to boil or the bag to steep. I got a box of spiced apple cider (from BB&B) for my girlfriend and we both like it.

                                      As of the brew-your-own attachment thing, I think it sucks. The resulting coffee is VERY weak and watery, and I think it caused a clogging issue with my machine once, as coffee grainds had sprayed out of the top.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: Dinermite

                                        I find both the tea and hot cocoa cups to be a bit of overkill. Certainly just as easy to run a hot water cycle (no K-cup) and use either a tea bag or a packet of cocoa - not to mention cheaper.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          ferret, you use the machine to just heat water with no K-cups?

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            HillJ, I actually do this at work.

                                            In the galley at my office they have a Keurig machine, with a good selection of Green Mountain K-cups available. They also have Lipton teabags and some bags of hot chocolate there, as well. I often use the Keurig machine to dispense hot water so I can have a cup of tea (in fact, I'm drinking one prepared as such right now).

                                            We also have a water dispenser in the galley that dispenses hot or cold water, but it dispenses the hot water so violently that I generally use the Keurig machine.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              For tea and hot chocolate, yes. We don't have instant hot water at home and it's an effective shortcut.

                                              1. re: ferret

                                                So interesting. I don't own a Keurig machine, my son has one at college. I use an electric kettle but it didn't occur to me that owners of the machine would use it just to dispense hot water.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Well, certainly not exclusively for hot water, but it's there to use. If I was in college, it would make Ramen soup that much more instant.

                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                    I buy the Pumpkin spice K cups when they come out this time of year and bring them w/me when I visit #4 child @ college. The Keurig might in fact be used for a good many purposes that I wasn't aware of.

                                                  2. re: HillJ

                                                    I realize this is a few months old, but since this discussion was bumped...

                                                    We also use our Keurig for single cups of hot water. It's great when you want a cup of tea at night, but don't want to use a K-cup for whatever reason. I've done the same for hot chocolate, although I rarely drink instant hot chocolate. But it's perfect for my neices and nephews!

                                            2. re: Dinermite

                                              I get my NO's at Costco, for $37.99 for 80 cups. BJ's is a little more at $39.99 for 80.

                                            3. Has anyone had any problems with the Keurig getting gummed up due to minerals in the water? I plan on using water filtered with Pur, but I saw this particular complaint a lot with the B70 model.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: monavano

                                                There's a procedure for descaling which should be done with regularity (depending on the quality of the water):

                                                http://www.keurig.com/customer-servic...

                                              2. Most of them I've had are pretty meh, but the Newman's Own is a GREAT cup of dark roast coffee. Better than the "real" coffee you'll have at almost any restaurant, and many coffee houses. Newman's Own anything is usually a good bet.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: MrBook

                                                  Have tried many. The winners: Coffee People Jet Fuel, Timothy's Parisian Blend, Caribou Mahogany. I like a strong cup and the aforementioned are strong and have good flavor.

                                                  1. re: sagetom

                                                    My tastes must be similar .... My favorites are the Coffee People Bold Blends, especially the Jet Fuel, and Timothy's Parisian Blend is tasty. I also hate to admit it, but I recently paid the premium for Starbuck's French Roast and it was good. I also enjoy the Green Mountain Double Black Diamond. Out of the Caribou selections, the Mahogany is the best, but the others remind me too much of the average coffee served at the Caribou Shops.

                                                2. I'm sure some of you K-Cuppers know this already, but you can now buy -- we got ours at Bed Bath & Beyond -- an insert that you can use to make a single cup of any ground coffee in your machine. You just fill this little cup with your own coffee and then make it like you would a regular K-Cup.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                    and then you are not filling the universe with millions of non degradable pieces of junk.

                                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                                      for sure. We are a big recycling household, so I don't feel too bad about the disposable K-cups, but less is definitely more in this case.

                                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                                        My mother repurposes her "used" K-Cups to start her garden seedlings, which I thought was a clever idea.

                                                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                          oh nice -- my kids will like that! Their after-care place has a Keurig machine, so they can suggest that as a way to repurpose their many used K-Cups.

                                                      2. re: Bob W

                                                        ... and if you add a little saran wrap over the top of the re-useable K-Cup, it will keep the grounds out of your coffee cup too ...

                                                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                          LOL thanks for the tip. I am not a big fan of "cowboy coffee."