Just came back from the store with a new K Cup and Brand. I picked up Chock Full O’ Nuts Midtown Manhattan blend. These K Cups are different from any I have seen before. Gone is the plastic cone on the bottom like most K Cups. Instead it is a little screen that saves tons of plastic. There is just a little plastic ring around the top and thats it.
At first I was skeptical if this would work as they are much shorter than regular k cups. Using these cups eliminates the use of the bottom needle to puncture the bottom of the K Cup. The water just pours naturally through the screen and it works just fine. I don’t know how long these have been out there but it was the first time I have seen them. The coffee is really good also. We just bought a new K Cup brewer that makes larger cups and my Green Mountain Breakfast Blend has become a little too weak for me. I am looking for a replacement and this medium roast blend may be just what I am looking for.
A few years ago before I knew how to clean a needle in the Keurig B40 that we owned it started acting up and only brewed a half of cup of coffee if we were lucky. I went out and bought a new brewer and when I mentioned to my handy neighbor that we were throwing away the old B40 he asked if he could have it.
We gave it to him and he never had a problem with it. I am guessing that as he cleaned it and transported it the problem fixed itself.
Fast forward at least two years, I get a phone call from him yesterday telling me the brewer stopped working. He took the brewer from his house in NYC and brought it to his sisters in upstate New York since he was going there for a week.
The night before he was to come home he cleaned out the brewer and put it in the car. The temperature went down to 7 degrees overnight and the line inside the brewer froze and broke. Even though he cleaned out he machine there was still some water inside the machine.
He is in the process now to find out exactly if it is a metal line or just a plastic tube that can be replaced. Either way it is a weird way to break a Keurig brewer.
Now that I am a single cup convert for my hot coffee at home, I think about the issue of waste a lot. We’ve covered the issue here before. Still, this is a great article that I found in one of my local papers. It’s worth the read.
Single-cup brewing is the hottest and most lucrative sector of the coffee market nationwide, but it’s also producing massive amounts of trash.
One of the biggest concerns that I had when moving to a single cup brewer about 10 months ago was the amount of waste generated by the K Cups. I am a big recycler and it bothered me for our household to be tossing out about 6 to 8 of these little plastic pods each day – even more when we have guests.
I’ve seen some data that claims the more than 5 billion K Cups were sold, used and then discarded by US customers last year. Yikes.
For a while I tried the reusable filters filled with my favorite roast from Peet’s Coffee, but washing it out multiple times a day got to be a drag. I also felt that washing it out somewhat defeated the ease of use and convenience of having the single cup brewer. Still, I constantly felt a twinge of guilt over my contribution to the Earth’s ever-growing trash pile.
On a recent trip to Costco I noticed a brand of K Cups that I hadn’t seen before that claimed to have less plastic and be more eco-friendly. San Francisco Bay is now making a variety of roasts that come in individual mesh-like pouches that work in my Cuisinart/Keurig brewer. The company calls them One-Cups. While these are not technically “K Cups” I believe that is a registered trademark of Keurig, I’m using the term as a generic in the same way people often say Kleenex when referring to the other brands of facial tissues.
The price was in-line with the other K Cups available at Costco, so I bought the ones from San Francisco Bay coffee. The coffee was good (I purchased the French Roast), but not as good as the Tully’s Kona, which is my favorite. However, I’m willing to do a little (just a little) compromising until other companies get on board with more environmentally friendly packaging.
It appears that Keurig acknowledges the issue ad is working on a solution. According to Keurig’s website, “reducing the environmental impact of our packaging materials and brewing systems is a top priority for Keurig. It is a challenge to create a portion pack that is recyclable and delivers an extraordinary cup of coffee; however, Keurig is actively working to meet this challenge head on.”
The K-Cup package is made up of three main elements — the cup itself, a filter and an aluminum foil top. The polyethylene coating of the foil – as well as the process of heat-sealing the various elements – makes recycling difficult. The portion pack composition prevents oxygen, light and moisture from degrading the coffee. Without the barrier the packaging materials provide, we could not maintain quality or freshness,” according to Keurig.
But at least the company continues to work on the problem. I hope others are following suit as the number of K Cups sold is sure to continue to rise.
If you know about any other roasters that provide more-eco-friendly single cups, let me know.
I have mentioned I am a coffee fanatic and really only drink water, coffee, ice tea and an occasional glass of wine or two. Yes, my beverage roster is pretty limited.
I use my Cuisinart/Keurig every day (all day) to brew coffee but I also brew iced tea with it and I love it.
On a recent trip to Costco my hubby was mesmerized by a demonstration of the Soda Stream, a machine that lets you make your own soda and carbonated beverages. I don’t drink soda or carbonated beverages, so I wasn’t interested. All I could think is, “Do we really need yet another contraption that makes something specific that I don’t really don’t want and will end up at our next yard sale?” Not really.
But the hubby is highly-susceptible to those damn samples and demos and really thought this was a great idea – maybe because he is a big soda drinker. But, I was also remembering the 50 freezer-burned burritos he had to have from Costco after sampling them. I had to throw about 47 of them out. I was not interested in going down that wasteful path again.
But playing to my personal interests, part of his fast-talking pitch was that there were also several iced tea flavors available from Soda Stream. So after listening to his lengthy pitch (saves money, better for the environment, less recycling of cans and plastic bottles, less lugging of heavy soda up three flights from the store, etc.) and finally making through the huge 25-minute checkout line and to the cashier I pleaded, “Just run and get it if you want it.” I think I just wanted to get out of that overly-crowded warehouse store.
As soon as we got home, the hubby set up his new toy. He made some diet root beer and really enjoyed it. I decided to try some making some peach iced tea that was included in the sample pack of flavors. Honestly, it just wasn’t for me. Maybe it was the carbonation. Maybe it was the syrupy flavor. I like my iced tea with no sugar. But in any case, I haven’t touched that machine since. Although, it seems to be getting a work out from my other half.
So, I’ll just stick with my Cuisinart/Keurig one cup brewer for all my coffee and ice tea needs. Truthfully, it really wasn’t even a fair fight.
This past week I have been trying some Timothy’s K Cups that I bought on Amazon last week. I ordered 2 boxes off 50 k cups because I was out of my normal breakfast blend and these were on sale so I made the leap. Although I was a bit skeptical to switch my morning coffee it was only for a short time while I tried these out.
I am quite happy with Timothy’s breakfast blend as they are very close to my normal Green Mountain breakfast blend that I usually drink. The flavor is a little different and if I had to say there was a difference, I would say that the Timothy’s brand is a little weaker and has a bit of an after taste. I am not complaining at all as the flavor is great.
Will I make the switch to these once I run out? I am not sure but if I can’t find my breakfast blend on sale I will get these instead. I don’t see much of a difference at all. If you like Green Mountain’s breakfast blend you will like these also.
Like I said above I found them on Amazon and they were almost 3/4 of what I normally pay for my coffee so if you want to save some money on your coffee I would order these.
My Cuisinart/Keurig gets a pretty rigorous workout on a daily basis, but Thanksgiving Day was a new test for the machine as we had a house full of guests that all are big coffee drinkers.
The single K Cups made it so easy for me to keep up with the rapid coffee consumption. In the past when we’ve hosted a gathering I am brewing, washing, refilling, and grinding beans. It’s a non-stop job. It’s also one task that due to my overly neat (some might say OCD ways) I’d rather not have others handling. God forbid if someone screwed up my old coffee machine. I’d by pissed. And of course, I’d have to buy another one immediately.
But not this time around. The single cup brewer stood up to the challenge. The coffee flowed with ease (thanks to the 84 oz tank) and my only job was adding water every now and again. Because making the coffee was as simple as pushing a button everyone was able to make their own beverage at their convenience and I was not on coffee duty all day. One less thing to worry about when hosting is always a very good thing.
However, I did take a little different tact on one aspect of the coffee serving. Normally, I’m all about choice. I love to provide guests with options and make sure that everyone feels accommodated in all aspects of their time over at our place.
But this time, I didn’t put out all of our coffee K Cup options. Not because I was being stingy with my favorites, but I find that sometimes when faced with a choice people often feel like they picked the wrong thing. So I just offered one type of K Cup (Tully’s Kona Blend) and a decaf option (which went completely untouched).
Only providing a single choice meant people enjoyed what they drank without feeling like they made a bad choice and almost everyone who had coffee made a point of mentioning that they had no idea these single cup brewers made such a tasty cup.
Because things went so smoothly on the coffee front, I’m thinking of having a Christmas gathering that only involves only serving coffee, tea, hot cider and a variety of desserts. Prior to the Thanksgiving test run on the Cuisinart/Keurig I was sure that in order to pull off a holiday party I would need to rent one of those huge coffee urns just to keep up with the guest’s consumption. Now I have no worries. The only thing I have to worry about is baking holiday cookies and this time providing some festive K Cup choices that do justice to the spirit of the season.
Dunkin Donuts K-Cups Are Not Very Good
This past weekend I noticed I was getting low on K-Cups so I decided to take a bike ride over to the next town and stop in Dunkin Donuts and get a box of their K-Cups. It was aa good excuse to get in some exercise and get coffee at the same time. I noticed that they were getting in the K-Cup business last week when I stopped in their store for coffee since it was next to the Verizon store I went to.
I have always liked Dunkin Donuts coffee so I figured how bad could it be. Well as I am a fan of Dunkin Donuts coffee except for the fact that they fill up the cup too much I figured I would get a box and try it out.
Since I am not really a fan of flavored coffee I settled on getting one box of their original blend. The first cup of coffee I made tasted totally like burnt coffee. I instantly thought to myself that this is not going to be a good box of coffee.
I tossed out the first cup as maybe it was a bad K-Cup as that has been known to happen from time to time. I poured that out and made a new cup and although it wasn’t as bad as the first cup it was still burnt. It also leaves a burnt film taste in your mouth after you sip it. I have since exhausted the box and every single one of the K-Cups tasted burnt. To me it was a waste of money. I so much wanted to like this flavor but I think I will be done after this box and won’t be getting any more. I will stick with my Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-Cups from now on.
Have you tried this yet and what do you think? If you want to try it for yourself you can get Dunkin Donuts K Cups on EBay.
Why, oh why have none of you wonderful coffee people never bothered to clue me in about brewing iced tea with the single cups brewer systems?
Had I known more about the ease of brewing iced tea, I would have not spent the last two years actively avoiding the purchase of single cup brewing machine. I was just so hyper-focused on the coffee aspect of the brewer that I never even thought about iced tea. Maybe it never occurred to me because I love iced tea but not hot tea and I guess I was just thinking about coffee and hot drinks.
This new discovery is a game changer for me. I don’t drink soda or fruit juices. I only have milk in a latte. So, that pretty much leaves me with water as my cold drink of choice. Don’t get me wrong I love water and it’s good for me, but every now and again I want something flavored. But most drinks are too sugary for my taste.
Sometimes I’ll brew a pot of tea and ice it, but after several days in the fridge it just tastes old. Now I can have a fresh (and refreshing) glass of iced tea anytime. I just change the brewing size to 6oz. and place a 16 oz. glass filled with ice under the spigot.
Of course, now I have to do some research on teas that are available. The fun part will be the taste testing.
And it’s all perfect timing since today is the hottest day of the year so far here in San Francisco and I could use some cool refreshment.