Strongest K Cup Coffee

What is the Strongest K Cup Coffee you can Buy?

strongest k cup coffeeWhat is the strongest K Cup coffee you can buy? I’m not certain, but I can definitely tell you that the Barista Prima Columbia is the strongest one I’ve tried to date. Barista Prima is not only the strongest k cup coffee I’ve tried, but competes with Starbucks as among the most expensive. I found an 18 pack of Barista Prima for $14.99 at my local Target store. The other brands; Newman’s Organic, Caribou are $11.99 for an 18 Pack. The Starbucks sells for $13.99 for a 16 pack. Roughly, there is a 20% premium for Barista Prima over all of the non Starbucks Coffee K Cups. It is probably no coincidence that it also seems to be about 20% stronger than any of these other brands, including Starbucks. Perhaps, there is 20% more coffee inside the Barista Prima. Still, the Barista Prima brand is a little cheaper than Starbucks despite tasting like a stronger coffee. Target had the Starbucks on sale for $11.99 along with a $5.00 card for buying any selection of 2 Boxes of K Cups. Finally, I had a good excuse to try this peculiar, more expensive brand of coffee and compare it to Starbucks and the others.  I bought one box of the Barista Prima Columbia and one box of Starbucks Pike Place Roast. If you’re curious as to how these different k cups price out per cup on a regular basis at Target, here is a quick break down:

Target K Cup Pricing

  • Starbucks: 87 Cents
  • Barista Prima: 83 Cents
  • Other Quality Brands: 67 Cents
  • (Newmans, Caribou, Donut Shop, Van Houtten, Van Houtte, Emeril’s, etc..

Barista Prima Columbia Tasting Notes

The Barista Prima Columbia comes off very strong and rich right from the very first sip. The box advertises this as a medium-dark roast. I cannot argue too much with that description, though I will add that it tastes and looks much darker than your typical Columbian Coffee. It is exceptionally strong – and I could tell that not only from its taste, but from the jolt of caffeine I got after finishing the cup. There is not much advertising on the box about this coffee. What makes it so special? Why is it so expensive? Is there more coffee in each k cup to make it stronger? The Barista Prima Coffeehouse website might offer some clues about this good, strong coffee. I would rate certainly rate this one as the strongest k cup coffee I’ve had, but maybe not the best. I think I prefer the Pikes Place Roast ever so slightly for its balance and overall smoothness of taste and flavor. But if you’re looking for the strongest k cup coffee and Starbucks doesn’t do it for you, give Barista Prima Columbia a try!

Strongest K Cup Rated from 1-5

  1. Barista Prima Columbia
  2. Starbucks Pikes Place Roast
  3. Newman’s Organic Extra Bold
  4. Caribou Obsidian
  5. Emeril’s Big Easy Bold

Starbucks K Cup Coffee Review

Were Starbucks K Cup Coffee worth the Wait?

…and the extra money?

Starbucks K Cups ReviewOkay, now that the wait for Starbucks K Cups is over, are they worth all of the hootin’, hollerin’ and mouth-watering anticipation? More, importantly, are Starbucks K Cups worth the extra cost? On average, Starbucks K Cups are 15% more expensive. From Walmart for example, you can expect to pay $13.88 for an 18-Pack of Starbucks vs $11.88 for the other top brands; Emeril’s, Caribou, Newman, etc. I gave Caribou Obsidian, Newman’s Extra Bold and Emeril’s Big Easy Bold all very high marks in previous K Cups Reviews. Since Starbucks is no longer being made in T-Discs, just about anything available in K Cups for the Keurig is superior to the weak and inferior Gevalia which is about all you can find for Tassimo brewers at the store these days. The Tassimo K-Cups, however, were so superior to anything else I’ve tried for the Tassimo brewer that it became my standard for which all other K Cups are measured. Starbucks Columbian in T-Discs remains my very favorite single-brewed cup of coffee. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do an exact comparison of Starbucks T-Discs vs. Starbucks K Cups because they do not make them in Columbian. They do make Verona, however, which was a close second in my opinion, to their Columbian T-Discs. I also think that the Newmans, Emeril’s Big Easy Bold and Caribou Obsidian Black were pretty close runner-ups to my Starbucks Tassimo favorites. Starbucks offers six different blends of coffee for the Keurig Brewer, ranging in light to very dark: Breakfast Blend, House Blend,Verona, Pike Place Roast,Sumatraand French Roast.  As to whether or not any of these Starbucks K Cups are worth the extra cost, it is impossible for me to answer until I’ve had the more time to enjoy them all. There is a couple on the list that I won’t buy because they are either too dark and smoky or too light and acidic. First, I will give you my run down on how all of these K Cups Taste and below that a table which describes their tasting notes and a preliminary rating from 1-100.

Starbucks French Roast

starbucks french roast k cupsI’ll confess that I have never tried this coffee because French Roast is simply too burnt, smoky and dark for me. I’ve already tried Starbucks French Roast in the bag and I’m sure this one is no better. The problem with coffees that are this dark is that they taste weak. Too much smoke and not enough coffee flavor.

Starbucks Breakfast Blend

starbucks breakfast blend k cupsThis was the first box of Starbucks K Cups I tried. I found it to be a little too light and acidic for my tastes. This one is similar to Donut Shop Coffee by Coffee People. In fact, it is not distinguished enough that it is worth the extra 15% cost. I’d go with the Donut Shop Coffee if this is the kind of coffee you like: Good, perhaps great for those who like a lighter, more acidic roast, but not my cup of tea – err, Coffee.

Starbucks House Blend

starbucks house blend k cupsThis one is billed by Starbucks as being lively and balanced and I think they couldn’t have described it more accurately. I would describe the taste as being somewhat between the Donut Shop and Newman in boldness. It has some acid to it, still, which is okay if you like a lighter coffee. I can get used to this. Not bad. I think it is much better than Breakfast Blend or French Roast and I may even prefer it to some of my other favorites due to the so-called “liveliness”.

Starbucks Sumatra

Starbucks Sumatra K CupsThe Starbucks Sumatra K Cups might be confused with French Roast to some because it is intensely dark. Starbucks advertises this one as herby and earthy, but I would describe it more as a bit rubbery and a little over-roasted. I’ve bought StarbucksSumatrabagged coffee before and have never been too impressed with it. I’ve had other brands ofSumatrathat are better and more aptly fit the description of herby and earthy. This one needs to be a tad lighter in my opinion.

Starbucks Verona

Starbucks Verona K CupsThis is a very good coffee and easily competes with the best I’ve had. This one could become my favorite or runner up after having some more time to get familiar with it. I believe I still have a Tassimo T-Disc ofVeronaat home. I will do a side by side comparison and let you know how similar it is. Starbucks calls this one dark cocoa and roasty sweet. I kind of think it may be just a tad too sweet and in need of a bit more roasted cocoa, but we’re nitpicking here.Veronais one of my favorites.

Starbucks Pike Roast

Starbucks Pike Roast K CupsThere is a reason that Pike Roast has become the regular coffee choice at Starbucks stores – it is just an all around great coffee – very balanced and non-offensive to a wide variety of tastes. It is described by Starbucks as Smooth and Balanced and both of those adjectives are very accurate descriptions. I think the Pike Roast might be the one I prefer the most out of all 6 Starbucks K Cups choices, but only because it is that I will get the least tired of drinking. If there is a problem with it, it could be that it is just a wee bit boring. There is nothing very distinguished or unique about the taste of Pike Roast, but it is smooth, bold and rich enough to keep you from getting tired of it. That is why it has become the Starbucks favorite.

Summary of K Cups by Starbucks

There is not a bad k cups variety in the bunch – it’s a matter of what you like and are used to drinking. I haven’t decided ifVeronaor Pike Roast is as good as what I can get over the counter of an actual Starbucks store, but it is close enough to keep me wondering for a while. I am also undecided as to whether or not I would continue to pay more for Starbucks K Cups over my other favorite three coffees: Emeril’s Big Easy Bold, Caribou Obsidian Black and Newman’s Extra Bold. I have a hunch that over time, Cafe Verona and Pike Roast will become my two favorites of them all.

Starbucks K Cup Ratings

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Caribou Obsidian K-Cups

caribou obsidianIn the last couple of weeks, I’ve had to continue updating my ratings on the best k cups. When I learned that Starbucks K Cups would be coming out in November, I stopped by my local Walmart and Target at least once every other day to see if they were on the shelves. Each time, I ended up buying 18-pack box of something else to tide me over until the Starbucks is finally here. Last week, I reviewed the worst and the best in Grove Square (yuck) and Emeril Big Easy Bold (excellent). Once again, I need to revise my ratings and put a new one on the very top: Caribou Obsidian. I can describe Carbibou Obsidian in one word:  Delicious. Wait a minute – something’s missing. Let’s add a few adjectives:  bold, complex, smooth and deep. Will there be any reason to buy Starbucks after this? It depends on the price.

Price of Caribou Obsidian K-Cups

An 18-Pack of Caribou Obsidian K-Cups costs the same at Walmart as most of my other favorite brands: $11.88. I did notice another brand at my local Target store which looked suspiciously like Starbucks: Barista Prima, which sells for $14.95 for an 18-Pack in familiar Starbuck varieties like Breakfast Blend and Columbian. Honestly, I’m glad that I didn’t try the Barista Prima at that high price. The Caribou Obsidian K-Cups will be very difficult, even for Starbucks to beat. If Caribou Obsidian is priced considerably lower, it’s going to be hard for me to justify buying Starbucks. That appears to be the case.

Starbucks K Cups Available Now at Costco

Through answers.com, I found out that Costco is now advertising Starbucks Verona K-Cups at $36.00 for a 54-Pack. That’s 67 cents a cup. There are other brands of K-Cups at Costco in an 80-Pack selling for .45 cents a cup. Even in the small, 18-Pack, Caribou Obsidian is only 66 cents a cup. If I can find Caribou Obsidian in the 80-pack for 45 cents a cup, I’ll forget all about the Starbucks K Cups. So, here are the new K Cups Ratings.

Latest K Cups Coffee Ratings

5-stars is the highest

  1. Caribou Obsidian: 4.90
  2. Emeril’s Big Easy Bold: 4.75
  3. Newman’s Organic Extra Bold: 4.5
  4. Green Mountain Sumatra: 4.45
  5. Donut Shop: 4.40
  6. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend: 4.00
  7. Van Houtte Kenya Kilmandjaro K-Cup: 3.95
  8. Folgers Black Silk K-Cup: 3.00
  9. Grove Square Coffee: 1.00

As of this writing, Caribou Obsidian K-Cups are my favorite.

Grove Square Coffee

K Cups Ratings

grove square coffeeIn the past couple of weeks I’ve tried two new K Cups brands; one really good and one not so good. I am not afraid to try new things especially when the price is really low. Grove Square Coffee K Cups are only $7.98 for an 18-pack. The premium brands that I’m most familiar with cost $11.88 for an 18-Pack at Walmart, including popular ones like Donut Shop Coffee, Newmans Organic Extra Bold, Green Mountain Dark Magic/Breakfast Blend and Van Houtte. Then,  last and least was the Folders Dark Silk which was cheaper, not worth the savings,  and previously ranked in last place in my previous K-Cups Coffee Ratings. Well, step aside Folgers – there is a new kid in town and he just knocked you out of the last place spot in the latest K-Cups Ratings: on Grove Square.

Grove Square Coffee Tasting Notes

Grove Square coffee tastes unlike any other coffee, I’ve ever tried, including k-cups, canned coffee and whole bean bags. I’m not sure how to describe Grove Square except for that it reminds me of instant coffee. When I brewed my first Grove Square K-Cup, I immediately noticed the aroma of coffee was missing. I feared it would be very weak, but it looked dark in my cup. It smelled sweet and tasted sweet, but not very rich and not very tasty. In fact, the smell of the coffee when you bring the cup up to your mouth is a turn-off. Though Grove Square is described on the box as a medium bodied coffee, I don’t know how anyone could tell because it simply doesn’t taste much like any type of coffee. It’s also hard to believe the claim on the box that Grove Square is made with Arabica beans. Another interesting observation: the grounds inside an unopened K-Cup Grove Square have a looser rattle to them as if the grounds are bigger. Sure enough, there were grounds left on the bottom of my cup. If you’re wondering how I could finish a whole cup of it based on my unappetizing description, I needed the caffeine. The Grove Square is not outright horrible – it just doesn’t taste like coffee.

emerils big easy bold k cupsNow that I’ve told you about the new entry in the last place slot, it’s time to tell you about the one that replaces Newman’s Organic Extra Bold in the Best K Cups Coffee category: Emeril’s Big Easy Bold. I was hesitant to try Emeril’s Big Easy Bold because the box described it on the dark side, and as a Parisian Roast. Typically, I don’t care for European Roast coffees which almost always taste over-roasted, smokey and burnt to me. Not so with Emeril’s Big Easy Bold.

Emeril’s Big Easy Bold Tasting Notes

This particular k-cups coffee is very adequately named. It is bold, yet it is easy in that it doesn’t have that over-powering taste of burnt-smokey water of some of the over-roasted European brands. It is full, bold, rich and smooth – everything I like about dark coffee. Emeril’s Big Easy Bold comes is the closest thing I’ve had to the Starbucks Tassimo T Discs which are my favorite. In fact, when the Starbucks K Cups come out, they better be competitively priced, or they may lose my business to Emeril’s Big Easy Bold.

If you made the same mistake I did buying the Grove Square, just save the remaining k-cups for your boss or other unwanted guests who ask for a cup of coffee next time they visit.

K Cups Coffee Ratings

k cups ratings5-stars is the highest

    1. Emeril’s Big Easy Bold: 4.75
    2. Newman’s Organic Extra Bold: 4.5
    3. Green Mountain Sumatra: 4.45
    4. Donut Shop: 4.40
    5. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend: 4.00
    6. Van Houtte Kenya Kilmandjaro K-Cup: 3.95
    7. Folgers Black Silk K-Cup: 3.00
    8. Grove Square Coffee: 1.00

 

How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker

how to clean a keurig coffee maker

There is nothing worse than the anticipation of a good, strong cup of coffee only to find that your brewer decided to stop working.  I started brewing a cup of coffee in my Mr Coffee Keurig Brewer this morning, then stepped away to my computer desk to give it time to do its job. When I came back to the Keurig machine two minutes later, the brewing process had finished but there was only a dribble of coffee at the bottom of my cup. A full cup of water remained in the Keurig reservoir. I’ve been told how to clean a Kuerig Coffee maker, but didn’t think it was necessary. I normally just run a cup of water through the brewer every day just to keep excess grinds of coffee out of my cup. Apparently, that is not good enough.  I took a look inside of the brewing mechanism and it was pretty gunked up with old coffee grinds and scum.  After some quick online research, I’ve determined there are two of three steps you need to take to get your Keurig brewer clean.  Step 1 is mandatory; steps 2 and 3 are interchangeable.

3 Steps to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker

Clean Keurig Coffee Maker with Vinegar

  1. Use Vinegar:
    Run a full cup of Vinegar through the brewer. Repeat and brew four times by just pouring the same hot vinegar through the machine each time. This will clean the inside of the mechanism and completely descale your unit. Vinegar is a great cleaning tool for any coffee maker and will probably get your machine brewing properly. On the other hand, however,  what can you do about all the gunk and slime that’s on the outside of the mechanism? (See Picture Below)
  2. Wipe Clean:
    Take some q-tips and wet paper towel and wipe the surface clean. Due to the instruments small and sharp nooks and cranny, this is not easy. Press the q-tips into a small section of paper towel and push the paper in and around all of the corners and sides. You can use the vinegar too for moisture.
  3. Take Keurig to Sink
    Unplug the unit and take your Keurig over to the kitchen sink. Just be careful to keep the your cord out of the way as you run warm water through the inside of the mechanism until it is clean. A much better way to clean this would be to remove the brewing mechanism, but this is not an option. Or is it?

Tempting Way to REALLY get your Keurig Brewer Clean

Dirty Keurig Brewer
This might work, but caution: Could end up being an article about How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker: NOT.
On the inside of the mechanism are 3 little screws. See close up of one screw pictured to the left. It appears that the entire inside of the brewer parts can be removed by taking out these little screws. Attempt this at your own risk and with great caution – and use a good screw driver which fits the screws exactly right. When I attempted to remove one of the screws, I could feel the metal of the screw begin to strip from the force of the screw driver. That was all the convincing I needed to give up on this idea. Getting the brewing mechanism half-removed and ending up with a couple of stripped screws could end up a real headache, if not completely ruin the Keurig Coffee Maker. You wonder: Why in the world didn’t they make it so this part can be  removed as it is with the Tassimo Brewer.

Starbucks K Cups will be here Soon

Starbucks K CupsStarbucks K Cups are almost here! The suspense is killing me. How much will they cost? Will they come in 12-Cup, 18-Cup, 24-Cup, 50-Cup boxes? Or will they be available in 80-Cup boxes like the Newman’s Own Organic Coffee that I buy from Costco?  And will the Starbucks K Cups taste as good as the Starbucks Tassimo K Cups which are no longer made? I foolishly bought a Bosch Tassimo brewer a few months ago before reading the disheartening news that Starbucks would no longer be making coffee for it.  Starbucks is the main reason I chose the Tassimo in the first place.  Fortunately, I bought a Mr Coffee Keurig for the office at Costco a few months ago for just $69.00. So, I will have the privilege of buying Starbucks K Cups for it when they arrive at the stores in November.  The one thing I did learn is that nothing comes close to the Starbucks t-discs I buy for the Tassimo. The Gevalia coffee is about as flavorless as you can get and virtually all the K Cups made for the Keurig are superior. Most of the K Cups brands I’ve bought for the Keurig are tasty enough that Starbucks is practically not necessary.

keurig delivers knock out punch

The K Cups Donut Store Coffee and Newmans Extra Bold are excellent. To save money, I buy the Newmans extra bold in 80-count k cup boxes at Costco for about $35.00. That’s 44 cents for a cup of coffee that’s almost as good as Starbucks. Without Starbucks for the Tassimo, the Keurig brewer choices blows away anything else that’s available for the Tassimo. Isn’t it unbelievable how the Tassimo company could lose their best business partner in Starbucks to a competitor that already has infinitely more coffee choices? Honestly, I haven’t even tried half of the K-Cups brands that are available at my own supermarket, let alone the dozens of other choices available online and at specialty retailers. Who is managing Tassimo’s business and how do they still have a job?  Or, do they still have a job?  I think Keurig has delivered the knock out punch with the announcement of the Starbucks K Cups deal. Enough crying over spilled coffee, let’s talk about what’s coming out for lucky Keurig owners this November:

Not only will Starbucks K Cups be available next month, we won’t even have to look very far to find them. The Huffington Post reports  that we’ll be able to find Starbucks at retailers like Walmart and Target.  For some odd reason, Starbucks will not sell the K Cups at their own store locations until next year and they won’t be available in Canada until March 2012. Looks like you’ll be able to get these K Cups in some of Starbucks most popular flavors: Breakfast Blend, Sumatran, Pikes Roast, French Roast and House Blend. Unlike Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee which for some dumb reason is only sold at Dunkin’ Donuts shops that don’t exist in most states of the U.S, Starbucks realizes they stand to make more money selling coffee at the major retailers. Oh, and they’ll even be making the K Cups Tazo tea available too. And I’ve found the answer to another one of my  question: It looks like you’ll be able to buy Starbucks K Cups in 10, 16 and 54-Count Boxes.  Hopefully, Costco will jump on the bandwagon and give me something that’s competitive with the 80-Packs I buy for $35.00, but I won’t hold my breath. Starbucks has always been expensive, but worth it.

I would expect Tassimo brewers and T-Disc sales to drop like flies while the sales of all types of Keurig brewers to break records in time for Christmas. Until we know the pricing on the Starbucks K Cups,  I won’t make any prediction about which coffee brand sells the best. Keurig has plenty of good choices.

Seattles Best Coffee

seattles best coffee

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I love Starbucks coffee and anything short of that has seemingly become a cheap comparison. I haven’t quite found a match for Starbucks whether it is whole bean for drip coffee makers or the Keurig K-Cups and/or Tassimo T-Discs Brewing machines. I’ve reviewed quote a few different coffees, but obviously there are quite a few brands I’ve never had the opportunity to try. Seattles Best Coffee isn’t one of them. I’ve tried it and I like it, but can it replace my standby, Costco, Roasted-by-Starbucks brand in the 2lb whole-bean bags? In reality, I believe the Seattle brand is a cheaper subsidiary of Starbucks.

Seattles Best vs Starbucks

If I love Starbucks so much you might be asking why I would even consider their Seattle brand. I’ll give you the answer in two words: Price and convenience. The Costco roasted-by-Starbucks brand comes in whole bean which are very inconvenient to take home and grind every night. Also, I think the quality and flavor of the Costco brand isn’t quite what it used to be. I’ve gotten tired of it. Unfortunately, though, the 1lb bags of Starbucks averages out to be $2.00 to $5.00 more expensive than the other, pre-ground gourmet brands of coffee beans. There has to be a compromise and that’s where Seattle’s Best Coffee has promise.  I’ve had Seattles Best before and liked it – just not as much as Starbucks. The reason is its darkness. Every blend of Seattles Best Coffee that I’ve tried is very bold to the point where it tastes like a French or Italian Roast. There is more smoke than actual coffee flavor. On the other hand, Seattles Best coffee is very smooth and low in acidity which makes it more tolerable for me than most non-Starbucks brands of Coffee. When I found the ground, Seattles Best Coffee at my local, King Sooper Supermarket for $6.00 a pound, I thought it would be worth giving this coffee another try.  I found four different varieties of Seattles Best Coffee:  Level-1, Level-2, Level-3 and Level-4: Okay, what do all these levels mean. I forced myself into a new level of comfort-zone and decided to read the explanation on the label. The level ratings our the Seattles Best Coffee roasters way of telling us how dark the roast. Level 1 is the lightest and Level 5 is the darkest. My grocer didn’t have the level-5 and being that Seattles Best always seemed a little too dark for me, I figured Level-3 would be the perfect compromise.

Seattles Level-3 roast did not disappoint me. On the other hand, like all the others that I’ve tried, it’s a tad darker and smokier than I prefer. Still, for the money, this is a decent and more convenient coffee than the degraded, whole bean roasted-by-Starbucks brand I’ve been buying for years at Costco. The most encouraging news however is that if the level-3 is too dark, I still have 2, lower, levels of lightness to look forward to trying.  If the level-2 is still too dark, I’ll try the level-1. My guess is that either of those will be an improvement, because their coffee is consistently darker than any others that I’ve tried. On my next trip to the supermarket, I’ll pick up a 1lb bag of both the Level-1 and Level-2 Seattles Best Coffee. Can either of these Seattles Best  blends become my new, household, every-day favorite? <

Best Canned Coffee

best canned coffeeWhat is the best canned coffee? It is my new goal to find out. Why? Well, I have a couple of reasons: For one thing, my Krups Coffee grinder finally conked out after 25 years of faithful, dependable service. I have been using a combination Cuisinart Coffee Grinder/Brewer for three years. The coffee maker is so-so, but I don’t like the mess and noise the grinder makes. Whole beans are becoming a chore. And besides that, the last few batches of my favorite Costco, brewed-by-Starbucks brand in the green bag doesn’t taste so great to us anymore. I think maybe the recipe and/or quality of the beans has changed. When I’m in the mood for the best cup of coffee, I can always use the Tassimo Bosch Brewer which is stocked in my basement with plenty of Starbucks T-Discs. So, I’d like to go back to convenience with affordable, large quantities of pre-ground coffee. The key question: What is the best can of coffee for the money?

I suppose I should clarify what I mean by, canned coffee. A more appropriate term might be, grocery-store coffee: Or, cheap, pre-ground coffee. Folgers certainly qualifies as canned coffee even though it now comes in plastic cartons instead of cans. As you’ll see below, Folgers also ranks as one of my least favorite canned coffees.  Folgers in a plastic carton proves that it’s not the can that gives cheap, grocery store coffee that canny taste. It tastes equally bad either way. The other characteristic of canned coffees is the under-roasted, acidic flavor. In fact, some of this coffee is so lightly roasted to the point where it is yellowish in color. Unfortunately, even darker roasted grocery store coffees still have some of that same, cheap-coffee, sour aftertaste. I recently tried the Folgers, Dark-Silk K-Cup coffee for my Keurig brewer at the office. It wasn’t much better than the regular Folgers in the can – or carton. Despite the attempt at darker roasts, cheap coffees for the most part, still taste like, cheap canned coffee. Finding the best canned coffee will be an ongoing task for me. So far, I’m not impressed with the coffee’s I’ve tried. Here are my ratings on the canned coffee (grocery store pre-ground coffee) that I have tried so far:

 

Best Canned Coffee: 1-10 (10 is best)

  • Folgers: **
  • Maxwell House: **
  • Chock Full of Nuts: ***
  • Great Value (Walmart): ***
  • Eight O’ Clock Bean: ***
  • KirklandCanned: ****
  • Yuban: *****

I guess by default, I’ll have to give the best canned coffee edge to Yuban, though it’s a close call with Kirkland.  Yuban canned coffee has just a little bit more of a true coffee flavor; slightly darker and richer than the other brands. On the other hand, a 5 star rating is still an “F” Grade on the 1-10 scale. All of these coffees have that familiar, sour, tinny canned coffee taste with enough acid to cause severe acid re-flux problems for an entire day.  None of these coffees are good enough to be used as my every-day pre-ground drinking coffee, so the search continues. I did find some pretty good pricing on the small, 1lb bags of Seattle’s Best Coffee at Walmart. Seattle’s Best is defined by levels of darkness from 1-5. 2lbs at a time is only a little bit more expensive than the Roasted-by-Starbucks brand at Costco. I decided to try Seattle’s Best Level-3. Level-4 was the darkest my Walmart Store carried. If I like the level-3, I’ll try the level-4 to compare. Maybe I’ll just start buying 2 Bags at a time. At $6.00 for a 12 once bag, it is only a little bit more expensive than the Costco 2LB bags, of inconvenient, declining quality I’ve been buying. I’ll let you know how it works out. Meanwhile, if you’ve found a bulk or supermarket brand that is your choice for best canned coffee, please leave us your comments below.

Green Mountain K-Cups Dark Magic Coffee

Green Mountain K-Cups Dark Magic Coffee

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Green Mountain K-Cups Dark Magic Coffee  is the most recent coffee I’ve tried for my Mr Coffee Keurig brewer and I’m not at all disappointed. My coffee roast preference ranges somewhere between medium and dark. Sometimes, coffees which are advertised as bold and dark remind me a little too much of French or Italian roast which tastes a little too burnt and smoky to me. For this reason, I was taking a little bit of a chance when I bought the Dark Magic Coffee at Walmart.

Since my two favorites: Green Mountain Sumatran and Newman’s Own Extra Bold are medium roast coffees, I was looking for a replacement similar to either of these two. Unfortunately, Walmart had neither. In fact, they did not carry any of the favorite K-Cups that I reviewed above. I tried the Nantucket (medium roast) by Green Mountain and found it to be a little bit too tart and acidic. The problem for me with the medium to lighter roast coffees is that they are often too acidic. The Newman’s and Sumatran are just about right. Of course, any flavor brewed by Starbucks Tassimo is always perfect, but there is currently nothing yet available for my Keurig. And as the linked article indicates, even Starbucks Tassimo is out of business. So, with the Dark Magic 18-pack being my best bet, I decided to give it a try. I’ll be honest, about this coffee: I really liked it.

Dark Magic Taste Test

Is Dark Magic a little bit darker than I’d like it? Yes.  Is too bold? No. Does it have some of the characteristics that I don’t like in French and Italian Roast coffees? Yes, but not overly so. I’m glad to say that the Green Mountain K-Cups Dark Magic coffee is good enough for me to drink every day. In fact, I’d rank it right up there as a close second behind either the Newman’s Extra Bold or the Green Mountain Sumatran.  Dark Magic is a good, dark, bold coffee which is very smooth and drinkable. While it doesn’t measure up to anything done by Starbucks, it deserves it’s place among the top of the Keurig K-Cups.  If you like a good amount of thick cream, Green Mountain K-Cups Dark Magic Coffee might quickly become your favorite choice.

 

Starbucks Tassimo

I Love Starbucks Tassimo
Verona T Discs

I love Starbucks coffee and I won’t apologize for admitting it. I am also not too proud to say their T-Discs are the best. Sadly, I won’t be saying that much longer since Starbucks has abandoned their relationship with the Tassimo Single Cup Brewing system several months ago.  This is a huge loss for Tassimo and fans of Starbucks coffee who own Tassimo Single-Cup Brewers. Drinking a cup of Starbucks Tassimo coffee at home is every bit as good as getting one of those piping hot cups of black coffee handed over the counter to you from your local Starbucks store, minus the heat sleeve. Countless times, I have tried other coffee roasts hoping to find a cheaper alternative to Starbucks and countless times I found myself going back to the Starbucks coffee shops and buying the big 2lb bags of Starbucks roasted coffee at my local Costco store. Nothing else measures up to Starbucks, so it is no surprise that nothing else measures up to my love for their Tassimo, either.

When I tried to convince myself that life without Starbucks Tassimo would work out okay, I was in for a rude awakening. The Tassimo marketing folks have really dropped the ball, here. There just isn’t a suitable replacement for their brewers that tastes even remotely as good as Starbucks T Discs. Unfortunately, there are so few choices at the local retailers. Tassimo searches in Google pull up gobs of information and sales on Gevalia Tassimo T Discs which about as bland and flavorless as the gourmet coffee I used to drink prior to my love affair with Starbucks. Maxwell House is okay – maybe even better than Gevalia, but doesn’t come close to Starbucks. There are some other T discs which cannot be found in retailers and are even a bit of a challenge to find online such as Carte Noire and Kenco. Hopefully, I will get the chance to try them and review them and compare them to Starbucks at a later time. For now, I love Starbucks and want to buy up as much of the remaining inventory that I can get my coffee stained hands on.

Where to Buy

Starbucks Tassimo T DIscKnowing that JC Penneys at one time carried Starbucks for Tassimo. I went to my local mall which is being demolished. (except for Sears and Penneys). Much to my pleasant surprise there was an assortment of Starbucks Tassimo Coffee which was marked down from $16.99 to $10.99 for 12 Pack T Discs. There were even three varieties: Melange Maison, Columbia and Verona.  I grabbed as many packages of Starbucks T-Discs that would fit into my arms and feeling like I still didn’t get enough. How long do Tassimo T Discs last, I wondered?  I explained to the cashier why I was buying so many: “I love these T-discs and they don’t make them anymore”, I told her.  She was no fool and mentioned that she regretted buying a Keurig when she tasted how good the Starbucks for the Tassimo tasted. Then she said with a teasing little smirk that she no longer has to regret that decision. There an infinite number of Keurig Coffee flavors at the retailers and though they aren’t as good as Starbucks Coffee, they are significantly better than Gevalia and Maxwell House. I came home and immediately brewed a cup of the Melange Maison which I had never tried before. It was delicious, but so was the Verona and Columbia that I had this morning. Of all my favorites, I think I love the Starbucks Tassimo Columbia flavor the best. There is also a very popular, highly rated Tassimo T Disc flavor that can only be found online, called African Kitamu which I have never tried. If you’re looking for Tassimo Starbuck T-Discs online, there is still time to find all of these different flavors – and none of them will disappoint.

Best K Cup Coffee

best k cup coffee
Sumatran Green Mountain Extra Bold

You won’t find the best K Cup Coffee in a can

If you’re looking for the Best K Cup Coffee think outside of the can. I learned my lesson on my last K Cup purchase. Gourmet coffee doesn’t come in a can and anyone who makes coffee in a can is not likely to make a very good, bold cup of coffee regardless of the coffee maker, brewer, blend, flavor, coffee beans or price. Since getting a Keurig Coffee Maker, I’ve only tried 5 different K Cup Coffee brands and flavors, so don’t get the idea that this is an exhaustive K-Cup Coffee single cup review. The beauty of the Keurig Brewing system is the number and variety of K Cups brands; more than any other coffee pods type brewing systems. The six I’ve tried probably represent less than 5% of the K Cups market. To begin the best k cup coffee taste test, let me list the 6 K Cup Coffee brands that I’ve tried to date:

5 K Cup Coffees Tested

  • Folgers Black Silk
  • Van Houtte Kenya Kilimandjaro
  • Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend
  • Donut Shop Medium Roast
  • Newman’s Organic Extra Bold
  • Green Mountain Coffee Sumatran

My tasting and reviewing of these five different Keurig K-Cups brands has taught me not to judge a brand on only one flavor. I tend to like medium to darker roast coffees, so my opinions here are not necessarily an indictment against one particular brand, unless of course we’re talking about Folgers.

The Worst K Cup Coffee?

folgers dark silk k cups coffee
Dark Silk

Don’t be fooled into thinking a canned coffee maker like Folgers has a different formula for its K cups. Upon the recommendation of my brother, I tried the Folgers Dark Silk. They should call it, Dark Soot. In fact, it was the sour, cheap canned aftertaste from my first cup of Folgers this morning that prompted me to do a quick review on them all. Normally, I can drink one or two cups of coffee without getting the jitters, but for some reason, canned coffee like Folgers cuts that amount in half. So much for Dark Soot. This one gives a bad name to the single cup coffee maker invention and brewers in general. Now, on to the rest.

K Cup 5th Runner-Up: Van Houtte Kenya Kilamandjaro

van houtte kilimandjaro k cups coffee
Kenyan Kilimandjaro

I love African Coffees, particularly Kenyan, so I got excited about trying this one. My enthusiasm ended after the 2nd or 3rd sip. For a coffee that is supposed to be bold, there is very little flavor to the Van Houtte Kenyan. If they can’t get an African coffee right, what can they do right? For this reason, I doubt that there is another variety of Van Houtte that I could ever consider the best k cup coffee.

 4th Runner up: Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend.

Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K Cup CoffeeGreen Mountain Coffee breakfast blend is really a pretty decent tasting cup of coffee. My only problem with this brand is that the roast is a little lighter and therefore slightly more acidic than I like. There is nothing out of the ordinary about breakfast blend that would make one boast about the quality of a single cup, k-cups brew and it’s at least 2-notches below the best K Cup Coffee I’ve tried to date.

3rd Runner Up: Donut Shop Medium Roast

Donut Shop K-Cups Coffee
Donut Shop Medium

I don’t know much about real donut shop coffee, but this particular K-Cups brand is really good. They advertise that Donut Shop K-Cups is made from 100% Arabica beans – and I can tell.  The Medium Roast seems ever so slightly acidic to me, but it’s easily as good as the coffee you’ll get from most coffee shoppes and it’s plenty strong enough.

2nd Runner Up: Newman’s Own Organic Extra Bold

 

Newmans Extra Bold K Cups Coffee
Newman’s Extra Bold

This one was so good when I tasted it at Costco one day that it caused me to buy one of their $69.00, Mr Coffee Keurig Coffee makers. Newman’s Own Organic Extra Bold is robust, smooth; with no sour or sooty after taste of other dark coffees. I’m always hesitant to buy an extra dark coffee, because sometimes they end up tasting more like a cheap French Roast; smokey and ash flavored. Newman’s Extra Bold is an excellent dark cup of coffee. Now on to the winner:

Best K-Cup Coffee to Date: Green Mountain Sumatran

Green Mountain Sumatran K-Cups Coffee
Sumatran

My so-so impression of Green Mountain Breakfast Blend made me a little hesitant to try this one at first, but since I love a good cup of Sumatran I had to give this one a try and it ended up being the best k-cup I have tried thus far. Like the Newman’s, the Green Mountain Sumatran is dark, rich and smooth. The reason I like it better is two reasons: Slightly stronger and more complex and deeper in flavor. To date, the Sumatran from Green Mountain is the Best K Cup Coffee I’ve tried.

Final Ratings

  1. Newman’s Own Extra Bold K-Cup
  2. Green Mountain Sumatra K-Cup
  3. Donut Shop Medium Roast K-Cup
  4. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-Cup
  5. Van Houtte Kenya Kilmandjaro K-Cup
  6. Folgers Black Silk K-Cup

The beauty of K-Cup Brewers is that there is no shortage of brands and varities; you can even make tea. One of the more popular brands of K-Cup coffee is Timothy’s World Coffee which I haven’t tried yet. For now, the best K-Cup coffee award goes to the Green Mountain Sumatra.

 

K Cups Cheap Coffee Review

K Cups Cheap Coffee
Newmans Bold

I’d be lying if I said the only secret to life is finding cheap, but good K-Cups coffee. There is more to it than that. The secret is to find really cheap k-cups that actually make a great tasting cup of coffee. The first cup of coffee I ever tasted from my Mr Coffee Keurig, was the Newman’s Own Organic  Extra Bold brewed for me by the Costco demonstrator. Boy, was I impressed. Though the Newman’s K Cups were on sale at Costco, I decided to try some other K Cups Cheap coffee – cheap, meaning the 20 included cups that came with the Costco Mr Coffee Keurig coffee maker. Here is my impression of what was included:

Cheap K-Cups Brands

Green Mountain Breakfast Blend

Cheap means, about .50 per cup and this isn’t bad. I had about 15 free cups of this included with the coffee maker. This is actually a very rich and tasty coffee for the price. It’s a tad too acidic and light tasting for me, but I think Green Mountain Breakfast Blend will appeal to a large number of Keurig Coffee drinkers:

If you’re a Kona Coffee drinker, you know how expensive it can be. At the prices above, you’ll really appreciate having a Keurig where you can enjoy the “K Cups Cheap” version of a quality Kona Coffee.

Green Mountain Kona

Kona Coffee is not for everyone, whether it’s priced cheaply or not. The K Cups Cheap Kona is not a bad coffee at all, but it does have a distinctive taste that not everyone enjoys. I found the Kona to be very rich, light tasting and acidic. None of this is necessarily bad, if you like a very tart coffee with a bite.

As you can see, with some frugel shopping, k-cups cheap, get even cheaper…but, I keep going back to that first cup of coffee I ever had from my Keuric Mr Coffee maker. For me, the Newman’s Organic Extra Bold is awfully hard to beat.

Newman’s Extra Bold

This one is my favorite. Newman’s extra bold is indeed a very bold tasting coffee, but not overly bitter like a french roast. This is the type of fresh-roasted bold flavor you can get from your favorite cup of Starbucks.