Flor De Apia Coffee

flor-de-apia-k-cups-coffeeFlor de Apia Coffee comes from Colombia. Have you ever imagined how great the coffee must be in other regions of the world where conditions like climate and altitude are ideal for growing the perfect coffee bean? While American roasters do import green coffee beans from all over the world, how do we know we’re getting the real thing – the way coffee would really taste if we were sitting at a cafe somewhere in a place like, say, Colombia? I have to believe that drinking a cup of coffee from one of these ideal coffee-been growing regions of the world would be a vastly improved experience. Very recently, I was treated to two, authentic samples of the real thing: FLOR de APIA comes from Colombia, where the most perfect cup is made possible from altitudes of around 5,900 feet upon the most perfect, volcanic soil, climate and growing conditions.
Ironically, it was my never-ending search for finding a better, more convenient K-Cup that led me to the good fortune of trying FLOR de APIA for the first time. I was very fortunate to have stumbled upon a Colombian coffee distributor who sympathized with my desire to find better K-Cups coffee here in America. He understood my desire to find coffee with the true character of the land and atmosphere. The Keurig brewer is a great invention and for the most part, the coffee is reasonably fresh, tasty and very convenient. Unfortunately, I have yet to try a K-Cup flavor that is truly intense, unique and memorable. I’ve listed my favorite K-Cup brands here many times and while there are some good ones, none of them are truly special or unique.

Upon hearing about my dilemma with ordinary Keurig coffees, a distributor of the Colombian, Flor de APIA Coffee contacted me at once, insisting that I try the Colombian made coffee, FLOR de APIA. I was happy to oblige and received two bags in the mail. The two flavors were Cafe “Sybarite” and Cafe “Premium”. These are sealed, ground coffee beans which meant that I would have to break-out the Cuisinart Drip Coffee maker in my basement which, of course, I was more than happy to do.

Flor de Apia Coffee Samples

I started with the Premium which was the darker of the two. Before I describe the taste, I need to remind everyone about my displeasure with the drip-coffee makers I currently own, which eventually led me to buying a Tassimo and then a couple of Keurigs. There was no question about how incredibly fresh this coffee was from the moment I first opened the bag. After brewing the first cup and tasting my first sip, the overall freshness and smoothness of the Premium FLOR de APIA was unmistakable. There is an unusual and pleasant sweetness of chocolate and floral tones that compliment the overall smoothness of the flavor. Despite the fact I usually prefer darker roasted coffees, the Sybarite might be my favorite. The flavor is a bit more complex with some hints of citrus and floral overtones. I believe both of these coffees are excellent and could well become my favorite if they were brewed with the right coffee brewer at the right temperature. Most of the Colombian imported coffees I have tried in the past tend to be lighter and more acidic than I like. This is not true with FLOR de APIA which leads me to believe that the coffee really is better when you drink it in Colombia … or get it from an authentic supplier who really knows how to deliver the true experience.

So, where do you get a better cup of genuine, Colombian coffee and is it possible to find it in the K-Cup version for your Keurig? There is good news on both fronts.

Flor De Apia Coffee Sold in K-Cups

Now, for the best news of all – rumor has it that this truly great, Colombian coffee will be available in K-Cups.

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Caza Trail K-Cups Coffee

Caza Trail CoffeeCaza Trail was the result of my latest quest to find a better cup of K-Cup coffee. It is great that the price of K-Cups have come down over the last 5 years, I have become bored with the selection of coffee that’s available. I am not sure if it is the design of the Keurig coffee maker or the actual K-Cups, but I find the taste of the coffee, overall, to be inconsistent. It doesn’t matter what brand I buy, sometimes the coffee just doesn’t come out the same. It often tastes more weak and watery than usual. Probably, the most consistently good brand and flavor I’ve tried is, Barista Prima Columbian. This is probably the best coffee there is for the Keurig, but who can afford to drink it every day? With Newman’s, Tully’s and Pacific Bold being sold in 80 and 100 pack cartons for $37.99 at Costco, it is hard to justify paying more than 50 cents per cup. Besides consistency, there is another problem with these 80 and 100-pack cartons of K-Cups coffee and this is why I decided to try Caza Trail:
In a nutshell, drinking the same coffee becomes boring after a while.  I would gladly pay a little more to try new and interesting brands. Caza Trail fit the bill perfectly when I spotted an 24-pack carton at Target for $11.99. Not the cheapest by any means, but it’s a good price for a small quantity.

Caza Trail Dark Roast Taste-Test

The Caza Trail was limited to a Dark Roast selection at my local target store. It is comparable to Newman’s and Tully’s. Good, not great, and pretty ordinary. It tastes fairly low-acid, which is good – and doesn’t leave any grounds or residue in your cup like some of the other cheap brands. I would buy it again, but only for convenience of not having to buy an 80-pack carton at Costco. Caza Trail also comes in Creamy Hazelnut, Donut Shop Blend and  Kona Blend. If you shop online, you can find Caza in 50-Pack boxes for around $20.00

Update: Caza Trail K-Cups are now hard to Find

I have not seen Caza Trail at my local Target store. It’s too bad more coffee brands are not sold in the 24-pack. It makes sense and the coffee is pretty good. From now on, I’ll be looking for the Caza Trail at other grocers. Hopefully, Caza Trail K-Cups coffee is now available in a medium or medium-dark roast. I will try it if I can find it.

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Costco K-Cups

Costco K-CupsCostco has done it again – they’ve made an expensive habit affordable. Kirkland Pacific Bold comes in a box of 100 K-Cups and sells for just $38.00 at Costco. That’s only 38-cents a cup. When the Keurig brewers first appeared on the market, it was tough to find affordable K-Cups for them. Anything under 75 cents a cup seemed cheap back then. There is the really, really cheap French Roast, San Francisco brand that is only $25.00 for an 80-Pack, but the quality simply isn’t as good. The open-mesh, bottom creates a mucky, mess in the cup. 38 cents a cup for a coffee as good as the Newman’s or Starbucks would have to be considered a break-through.

Costco K-Cups Pacific Bold

pacific bold kcups coffee from costcoIf you like dark, bold coffee that is a little lighter and less ashy-tasting then European roasts, you’ll find the Kirkland Pacific Bold to your liking. In fact, I think I like this is as well or better than either the Starbucks Pike or Newman’s extra bold (My former two favorites).  Pacific Bold tastes strong, bold and has a smooth, roasted finish that doesn’t leave your mouth tasting like you swallowed an ash-tray. I definitely prefer this to the French and Italian Roasts by the San Francisco brands at Costco.  This is really good coffee – one of my favorites if not thee favorite. It takes time to make that judgment. The quality of the k-cups is as good as any of the other brands. The foil on top seems to be packaged well and doesn’t separate, break or clog the spout as some of the cheaper brands have done. The Costco k-cups aren’t perfect, though, there was a little residue left in the bottom of the cup. (not enough to spoil a good product). Kirkland is a very low-acid, well-roasted coffee similar to what I used to buy in the green bag, whole beans at Costco. I recommend Pacific Bold K-Cups from Costco.

Costco Kirkland K-Cups Rating

** 3. 5 Stars

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King of Joe Tassimo Coffee

King of Joe Tassimo CoffeeTassimo T-Discs are hard to come by these days, so I was surprised to see the newly, available, King of Joe Tassimo Coffee brand at my local Target store. Gevalia, without doubt, is the prominent T-Disc brand being offered these days – and unless you buy the one advertised as, if-you-like-Starbucks-try-this, you’ll be very disappointed with their weak flavors. The one advertised as Starbucks really is very good, but their are only two; Dark House Blend and Dark Breakfast Blend. I have trouble distinguishing between the two and while the price is very good, they are often hard to find. Truth be told, the way Tassimo is going, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be around. So, King of Joe coffee was a welcome surprise.  It was more expensive than the Gevalia 12-packs which are $7.49 at Target.  King of Joe Tassimo Coffee t-discs are $10.49 for a 16-pack, though, which is not too unreasonable. I decided to give King of Joe coffee a try.

I’ll be honest, when I first opened the box of 16 T-Discs of King of Joe Tassimo Coffee, I became very suspicious about how small the packaging was which usually means unusually weak coffee. Not so with, King of Joe – the aroma is very good and the coffee tastes only a tad weaker than the Starbucks simulation by Gevalia. The roast is dark, not so much that it has the charcoal burnt flavor of Italian and French Roasts. The other benefit to King of Joe is that the coffee comes out piping hot from the Tassimo Brewer. Obviously, the smaller sized T-Discs keep the water from cooling off as fast. I really like this coffee – mostly because it’s nice to know there is another brand available at the supermarket. King of Joe coffee keeps the Tassimo from growing obsolete.

April 2014 – Update on Tassimo T-Discs

The great buy on Gevalia (like Starbucks) T-Discs is no longer available. The price is a full $2.00 per box higher. At Bed Bath and Beyond, I was able to find a couple of other brands that were pretty good: Carte Noire and Timoth Horton. I think the Timothy Horton is my favorite and I will do a review on that one very soon.

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Safeway Select K-Cups Coffee Review

safeway select coffee k-cups reviewWe Keurig owners love our coffee, but what we don’t like so much is the high price of k-cups. The huge, 80-Pack box of San Fransisco Bay, French Roast K-Cups at Costco for $26.00 is a great deal, but how many times am I going to want to drink French Roast Coffee? How about some variety, in the cheaper, k-cups brands? Safeway Select to the rescue. For $6.99 per box, Safeway Select offers two, new varieties: Costa Rica: medium-roast and Sumatra: dark roast. Concerned that the medium-roast, might be too light and acidic, I opted for the 12-pack of Sumatra. At $6.99 for a 12-pack, the cost is about 58 cents each. Not as cheap or as good a deal as the Newman’s 80-packs from Costco for $38.00 or .48 per cup – and certainly no where close to the outrageously cheap, 80-Pack of French Roast San Fransisco Bay for $26.00 or .33 cents per cup. Sumatra, if done right, is a pretty reasonable roast which is not as dark as the French Roast that I quickly grow tired of. I took home the Safeway Select K-Cups Coffee and decided to give it a try.

The cheap, Safeway-Select K-Cups look exactly like the cheap, San Fransisco Bay coffee. The bottom of the k-cup is a light-mesh filter with no plastic casing around it. I assume this is what accounts for the cheaper price. The one drawback to these cheaper k-cups which I did not allude to in my last review is that they do leave some coffee grounds residue in the bottom of your cup. The advantage, I believe to these k-cups, is that they make the coffee a little hotter. Is this just my imagination? Perhaps, the plastic in most k-cups slows down the brewing process and allows the coffee time to cool before it reaches your cup. At any rate, the residue is not much of an issue with me – it’s no worse than what you’d get from a French-Press or Percolator.

Safeway Select K-Cups Sumatra Brand Rating

The Sumatra is a little bit lighter tasting than the French Roast. It has a nice, smoky flavor and is a little bit earthy like you’d want from Sumatra. I think it tastes just about as good as Starbucks Verona or Starbucks Sumatra and it’s much cheaper. The Safeway Select coffee might have a little bit more of a bitter-bite to it, but the flavor is full, bold and superior to most store brands of coffee. I look forward to trying the Safeway Select K-Cups in the Costa Rica coffee next time I visit Safeway. If you’re looking for affordable, reasonable tasting coffee and you have a Keurig, you owe it to yourself to try Safeway Select K-Cups.


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