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K-Cup new and interesting varieties keep on coming

Being a K-Cup ambassador has surely opened my eyes (literally) and taste buds up to new and exciting flavors and varieties. There have been a few duds along the way, but for the most part, the items that the fine folks at Green Mountain have sent have been stellar.

Chef JimIn February, they delivered a sample pack of Donut House flavors–which included plain, chocolate glazed donut, cinnamon roll and decaf. The plain is very similar to the delicious coffee you might find in a donut shop–and I’m not saying that to be snarky! The cinnamon roll has a subtle, slightly sweet twist, and the chocolate donut has a nice chocolate undertone without being overpowering, but it’s a bit more than subtle as compared to the cinnamon roll. The decaf? I’m one who believes that coffee should be consumed to help me wake up, so the decafs are still sitting in our kitchen.

Chef JimMarch brought Tully’s Hawaiian Blend, and while I’ve never been to Hawaii, I imagine that the coffee there is always delicious (I also imagine shoe leather would be delicious against the backdrop of Hawaii, but I digress). This Hawaiian coffee is a darker roast but not too dark, and it has a hint of sweetness. It’s definitely one of the better ones they have sent so far.

Ah, we’re almost to iced coffee season. But first, here are some statistics courtesy of my K-Cup representative:

* Coffee consumption is on the rise! About 8 in 10 Americans (83%) are coffee drinkers, up from 78% in 2012

* Americans are switching up their brewing habits: 13% of surveyed coffee drinkers used a single-cup brewing system vs. 4% in 2010

* More people know about and own single-cup brewing systems, like the Keurig: 86% have heard of these, while ownership has grown to 12% from 10% last year! With more than 200 options for coffee, tea and other beverages it’s easy to see why!

Product review: K-cup catch up

It’s sure been awesome being a K-Cup Ambassador, but I’ve lagged behind a bit on trying all of the great new beverages they have been sending along. So here I’m going to catch up on some of the November and December installments with a quick wrap of some of the flavors I tried:

Cafe Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa and Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa–I’ve said that the convenience of the Keurig is one of its best features. In particular, this is true when making tea or hot chocolate, because who wants to bother boiling water these days? And if you put the water in the microwave, there is that point where it goes from tepid to scalding with no in-between. The K-Cup remedies that by brewing a perfect cup in like 15 seconds. Same is true of the hot cocoa. And both the milk and dark chocolate varieties are delicious, if maybe a bit thin. But you can add a splash of cream or half and half. Or better yet, some whipped cream.

Cafe Escapes Cafe Mocha–A jolting blend of chocolate and coffee, but for me the accompanying jolt of sugar was a bit too much. Still delicious and if you are a fan of mocha, you’ll love having it brewed in a few seconds.

Green Mountain Coffee Golden French Toast–You might think “ewwwwww” but you’d be wrong. The first thing I thought of was, “will be be egg-y like French toast?” Well, yeah, kind of but it’s not a bad egg-y and there is this hint of maple too, and somehow it just works. I really dug this one.

Green Mountain Coffee Gingerbread–I don’t know how these engineers do it, but again they have created a coffee that tastes like a gingerbread cookie. It’s literally like you dunked a gingerbread cookie in your coffee, and it’s an awesome snowy morning warmer-upper.

Green Mountain Coffee Spicy Eggnog–Here is another one that tastes like, you guessed it–egg nog. But while the French toast and Gingerbread varieties were pleasing, this one was a tad off-putting for me. My wife loved it, so there is hope for the flavor, especially because she does not like egg nog. Of course, I didn’t even think to try this one spiked with, you know, spiked egg nog–but I can imagine that maybe that would be more up my alley.

Finally, I will mention that the fine folks at Green Mountain sent along a K-Cup® Pack Countertop Storage Drawer with the December mailer. Since we have boxes of K-Cup flavors now coming out of kitchen cabinets and around the sink and counters, this was a really welcome holiday addition.

Product review: Sweet and Creamy Iced Coffee K-Cup packs

First off, let me say that I am thrilled to be a K-Cup Ambassador, having the opportunity to try new flavors of coffee in the Keurig brewing system. I used to be steadfast in my coffee drinking, that I would not drink anything other than “regular” flavor and that anything flavored amounted to “foo-foo.” But as you get older, you try new foods and drinks, and when I tried hazelnut coffee once, and it tasted like Cocoa Puffs, I was hooked and began to try different flavors. And so right on cue, the folks at Green Mountain Coffee have given me the opportunity to try their new K-Cup flavors each month.

The first installment is the Original Donut Shop Sweet & Creamy Iced Coffee K-Cup packs, which come in two flavors–Regular and Nutty Hazelnut. They are both delicious, with the regular packing the punch of coffee while the hazelnut one was more like a coffee flavored creamy drink and nice Cocoa Puffs undertone. But the best part? Have you ever made iced coffee at home? It’s a royal pain, waiting for it to cool down before icing, which could take an hour or more. But with the Keurig, you put ice in a sturdy plastic cup (they generously supplied one with a cover and straw), and brew right over the ice. Of course, it melts most of it and you have to add more, but all you do is that, which takes a minute or so, and shake it up. You have to do this in order for the sweetness to permeate the drink. But that’s it. You have iced coffee in literally two minutes. And since we’ve had record temps, even here in Wisconsin, drinking hot coffee in the afternoon is not the best option. So the K-Cup gives me (and you!) the chance to enjoy easy iced coffee as the hot climate continues.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Keurig, it is a home brewing system that allows you to make single cup servings of coffee. And if you have one and would like to order these Donut Shop iced coffee flavors, please visit www.BrewOverIce.com

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