The Ultimate K-Cup Guide (Sort of)

I like unnecessary organizational systems. They make me happy. In university, I would spend hours at the beginning of each semester coming up with a weekly and monthly schedule of every single reading or assignment I had to do. It was colour coded by course (duh). Once they caught wind of my insanity, I had friends asking me for copies.

When I bought a Keurig, it only made sense that I create an unnecessary organizational system. Initially it was my friend Mark’s idea, and since he’s a Guinness Book of World Records holder, I figured I’d follow suit. It’s been a few months, and it’s now time to share some results with you wonderful people.

So here it is: The Ultimate K-Cup Guide (Sort of)

Regular Coffee
Let the record show that dark roast coffee is king of my castle. My favourite coffee of all time ever is Kick Ass by Kicking Horse Coffee (three cheers for Canadian companies, fair trade coffee and swears). I grind this stuff and use my reusable filter. This is always my number one choice (and there’s no plastic waste). BUT, in a pinch, I’ve found some delightful K-Cup alternatives.

Consume:
Red Eye by Jetsetter – perfect for mornings that require an extra boost. And Jetsetter coffees all have cheeky and delightful names.
Black Tiger by Coffee People – what you’d expect from a bold roast coffee. Delicious.
Breakfast on Board by Jetsetter – maybe the best K-Cup coffee I’ve ever had. Big claim, but I’m sticking with it.
Classic Diner by Jetsetter – all my spreadsheet says is “Gooooooooood.”
The Original Donut Shop – you know that famous one with the sprinkles on the top of the cup? It’s famous for a reason. It’s nothing spectacularly wonderful, but it’s one of the best “staple” coffees out there.

Avoid:
Donut House by Green Mountain Coffee – it tricks you into thinking it will be as good as the ORIGINAL donut shop coffee, but it’s not. It’s really bad. My spreadsheet shows a red (bad) rating but an empty comment box. It wasn’t even good enough to warrant a “this is bad” comment. Based on my research, the only people reviewing this coffee online are a bunch of Paula Abduls. Don’t go there.

Flavoured Coffee
I normally hate flavoured coffee. I find the discrepancy between the delicious smell and the disappointing taste really frustrating. I’ve been lured into buying deliciously scented coffees one too many times. If something smells delicious, it should taste equally delicious. Why do you do this to me, flavoured coffee? Despite my apparent issues with flavoured things, I’ve found some that really rock my coffee socks.

Consume:
Wild Mountain Blueberry by Green Mountain Coffee – I bought a box of this based on an Internet review, and I was delighted. At first it’s confusing – BLUEBERRY coffee? But yes. Trust me. It’s light and sweet and delicious without being overpowering. My friends turned up their noses at first, but everyone who has tried it has had the same reaction. “Well it smells interesting. And…Oh. Wow. It’s…..I wasn’t expecting that. It’s REALLY good.”
Sweet Summer Raspberry by Timothy’s – This is Moyer’s coffee of choice at work and for good reason. Also, Moyer drinks a LOT of coffee, so she’s a reliable source.
Hazelnut by Timothy’s – who doesn’t love a good hazelnut coffee? This one is the best, and I’ve tried a bunch.

Avoid:
Raspberry Chocolate Truffle by Van Houtte – smells divine. Tastes just ok. It’s the trickery that upsets me more than anything.

Non-coffee
I do like non-coffee drinks, but…K-Cups are seriously lacking in this area.

Consume:
Nothing. Just. No.
If you find any non-coffee drink that is actually drinkable, let me know. And don’t be a Paula about it.

Avoid at all costs:
Chai Latte by Cafe Escapes – this chai latte just tastes like you’re drinking watered down sweetened condensed milk. There’s a LOT of sweet and no spice. Horribly disappointing. I have no idea why it has so many good reviews (shaking my fist again, Ms. Abdul). I’ve even tried brewing coffee and mixing the two, but it’s still disgusting. Anyone want the rest of this box?

Tea – No. As a self-proclaimed tea junky (my tea collection is significantly more developed than my coffee collection), I am certain that tea should not be consumed using this machine. Boil water in a kettle. Put a tea bag or loose tea in a mug and let it steep. Tea shouldn’t ever be this instant. It ruins the charm of tea. Just don’t do it. Ever.

What’s your K-Cup coffee of choice?

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7 thoughts on “The Ultimate K-Cup Guide (Sort of)

  1. Hooray for tea. I kinda just skimmed this. Coffee? Ick. I had a vanilla latte I actually didn’t hate once, but I don’t see the point of going so far as to buy/make something it’s likely I’ll hate when I love tea so much.

    I did see a green tea “pod” for a coffee machine once when I was shopping (okay, so I was working, counting them, but anyway) and I had to laugh. Instant tea? Tea isn’t instant enough?

  2. Since I was the one that gave her the idea – here’s what’s in my spreadsheet ;)

    Black Tiger (Dark Roast, Coffee People): Full-bodied dark roast, with a rich, bold flavor and characteristic dark-roast bitterness. Not quite as sharp as a typical Italian roast, but otherwise very nice. Has some powder-like finish, but maybe it was just the k-cup I used.

    Brooklyn French Roast (Dark Roast, Brooklyn Bean Roastery): Not as full-bodied as 1, which makes it smooth and easy to take. Good flavor, no residues left, etc.
    Red Eye Dark Roast Jetsetter Strong, dark roast – a little bit on the bitter side. A good breakfast “wake me up” coffee

    Medium Roast (8 o’clock original): Really nice – not quite as potent as the dark roasts, but still has a hint of bold, and an enjoyable rich flavor

    Nicaraguan (Dark Roast, Timothy World Coffee): Not my favorite of the dark roasts (especially as an “extra dark”), but still enjoyable. Would probably be good as a “Cream and sugar” coffee, but on its own there really wasn’t much in the way of dark-roast flavor or aroma to make me really want it.

    Sumatra (Dark Roast, Van Houtte): Now that’s dark! Extra rich, extra bold and very aromatic. A bit bitter, but otherwise fairly well balanced.

    Arabica (Dark Roast, Second Cup): Very good overall – very close to the taste and texture of the in-store blend. Only complaint is the amount of powder residue in the bottom of the cup.

    Costa Rican (Light Roast, Brown Gold): Not that great. Wouldn’t buy again.

    Dark Roast (Dark Roast, Martinson): Bold, earthy flavor – a nice strong dark roast.

    Lively Up! (Dark Roast, Marley Coffee): Very unoffensive, not really too memorable as a result. I’ll have to give this a second attempt.

    Donut Shop (Medium Roast, The one with the sprinkles): Very reminiscent of Tim Horton’s or PC’s Great Canadian. Flavorful and smooth.

    Donut Shop Blend (Medium Roast, Martinson): Pretty good, not unlike the entry above. I’d say the “sprinkles” version is better.

    Jet Fuel (Dark Roast, Coffee People): Really liked this one. A “lighter” dark compared to some of the other roasts, but it tasted great, and had the kick you’d expect for a coffee called “Jet Fuel”

    Express-O (Dark Roast, Brooklyn Bean Roastery): Pretty good – a little too bitter, and a bit gritty tasting. I prefer their French Roast.

    Double Black Diamond (Dark Roast, Green Mountain): I really liked it – super strong, super dark, but still a well-rounded flavor. Would buy again

    Italian roast (Dark Roast, Tulley’s): Probably my favorite so far; a really, really good dark!

    Nantucket (Dark Roast, Green Mountain): Not overpowering, nice flavor for a dark. Walked around the neighborhood with this in a thermos and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  3. Well, Sweet Summer Raspberry, obviously, but that blueberry you gave me was in fact my second favourite. German chocolate cake from Timothy’s also worth noting. And chocolate raspberry. But under no circumstances should anyone try the President’s Choice Candy Cane. It just tastes like disappointment.

  4. I love flavored coffee (and my Keurig!) so I can’t wait to try some of these flavors! Blueberry is my fav… I love the cinnamon-y sweetness, especially in the summer. A long time ago, 7-11 used to sell Passion Fruit coffee and I loved it, too!

    I love the Keurig to brew tea… but I use a regular tea bag and just run the water through to heat it (I live in a travel trailer and try to conserve propane for the stone as much as possible). Perfect amount, perfect temperature every time! (And sometimes I stick fruit or spice in the reusable brewer cup to infuse the tea with a little extra flavor).

  5. Funny you sound like me Amanda. That is how I got through doing my whole degree on-line while working full time and taking care of family at home. I had a schedule I could not deter from in order to get my degree done in my specified time. I am still an annoying list maker but I don’t know if I would organize my coffee like you did. Maybe if I had a Keurig I would. Fun :)

  6. I don’t drink coffee but I love chai tea lattes and your comment about the Cafe Express chai teas made me laugh because I drink one every single day. Can we still be friends? Apparently I enjoy watered down sweetened condensed milk.

  7. my country, Kenya, is majorly a coffee and tea producer and exporter.
    the stuff almost literally grows in our backyard hence I fail to understand the near cult like fascination Americans and Canadians have with it. And, flavouring it to me is like giving butter another shade of butter that isn’t butter.
    so, chai or kahawa anyone? it’s fresh and unadulterated :-D

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