1.20.2015

Do you own a Keurig 2.0 brewer? What do you think? Have they crossed the line to 'greed' and complete disregard for the customer?





I've done a couple 'informative' posts on the Keurig 2.0 brewer already but I've not put my own $.02 in since I've not purchased one.

I bought our first Keurig back in 2005 and have been a Keurig owner since.  I have many coffee brewers however (you can see them on 'I personally own' page) but I've never given in to the Keurig 2.  It's partly because I don't 'need' it, partly due to spending money on something I am not completely sold on, and partly because I tend to have a rebellious nature to me that I still haven't lost from my teenage years.

What I like about them;
  • The ability to brew more than 1 cup at a time if I have guests over, or if my husband and I both want to fill our travel mugs and leave at the same time, etc.
  • The flavor of the Keurig brews; a pot of coffee in a traditional brewer with a carafe and burner tastes... burnt.  I can't deny the flavor of a Keurig brew.  Especially since I've been a Keurig owner for almost 10 years now.
  • There are now re-useable cup options that use my own coffee

What I don't like about them;
  • The 'licensing' hold they have on the market of not only brewers but coffee pods
  • Filling the garbage landfills with plastic yet making it difficult for eco-cups that aren't theirs
  • A poor selection of coffee if you have brands and flavors you like
  • Your favorite brands of coffee can't sell compatible cups unless they pay Keurig for the license

Etc. Etc.

There is a re-useable cup that supposedly can be used in the Keurig 2 brewer, however the reviews are mixed.  I'm not sure how the opinions can be so black and white, but they are are.  People love it and say it works perfectly or they hate it and say it absolutely won't work.  There is much 'gray' area there!  So... how does the product work 100% perfect for some and "not at all" for others?

I can't answer; I don't own it yet myself.  I can only read the reviews.

 
Eco-Fill 2.0 Refillable Coffee Capsule for Keurig 2.0 and original Keurig brewing systems

• Use your favorite coffee for every cup - pick the flavors and quantity you choose
• Saves up to 80% over the cost of pre-filled single serve capsules
• Can be used with or without EZ-Cup disposable filters
• Compatible with Keurig 2.0 systems and most K-cup brewers
• Easy to use, rinse to clean, dishwasher safe
• Economical and Eco-friendly with no waste - Save the Environment and Save Money
• 100% satisfaction guarantee - Extra thick BPA-free plastic
• Permanent micro etched stainless steel filter with stylish Eco-Fill embossing
• K-cup holder stays in place, just insert Eco-Fill 2.0 as you would a K-cup
• Limited lifetime warranty with Proprietary patented design by Perfect Pod
Use your favorite coffee and save money too! The Eco-Fill 2.0 is the highest value and highest quality refillable single serve capsule on the market. The integrated micro etched stainless steel foil filter provides the best filtration possible from a permanent filter however paper filters are recommended for espresso grind coffees. The Eco-Fill 2.0 lid is attached with a reliable mechanical hinge that is guaranteed not to break. Use any coffee you like and enjoy your favorite blends.
If you have a Keurig coffee maker and a home coffee grinder you can make your own custom k-cups and get the perfect coffee pods. Our coffee filters make owning a Keurig more affordable. Now you have the choice of coffee blends, coffee grids and coffee brew strength. If you want your favorite cup coffee day after day or need a variety of individual servings our reusable coffee pods will improve your Keurig coffee experience.




I'm still tempted to purchase the brewer - taking a deep breath and getting past all the issues I have with their approach to not play nice with any other coffee companies or brewers even though they have obviously made a bazillion jillion kazillion dollars already and own the market in single brewers....  (see, that rebellious side of me).  But I would like to give it a go.  See what's it is about, review it and try it.

Do you own one?

What do you think?

Would you purchase one again?  
Have you had issues with it breaking down like the single cup Keurigs have a bad habit of doing?  
Do you have a hard time finding local coffee options for it?  
Do you have to order your coffee from them online?

Thoughts?  Please share!












Keurig 2.0 K350 Brewing System - Black

Keurig 2.0 Coffee & Tea Brewer Maker K560 - Bonus Set Includes 32oz Carafe + 48 K-Cups + 4 K-Carafe Packs + Water Filter & Handle
Eco-Fill 2.0 Deluxe for Keurig 2.0, K300, K400, K500 Series
Keurig K550 2.0 Brewer, Silver


1.18.2015

Coffee Caramels





 
All things coffee....  even caramels! 


1 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1 c evaporated milk
1/4 c double strength coffee or espresso
4 oz. butter, cut in pieces
1/2 t vanilla extract

Cook the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan to firm ball stage.  For those of who use thermometers, that would be 246 degrees - stirring often.  Combine the evaporated milk with the coffee and add it very slowly to the sugar mixture along with the butter.  Add it slowly so it continues to boil.  Keep stirring until the mixture is back to firm ball stage again.  (246 degrees). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pour into a buttered pan.  Let cool completely, turn out and slice.

1.16.2015

How to make Pour Over Coffee

Americans always want what is 'new', even if it's old. That goes for coffee making as well.  Everything old is new again.  While some of the generations before us as well as many countries who aren't blessed with reliable power, electricity in every home or obviously, the coffee makers that most of us use every day use this method to brew their coffee because they have to or it's their culture; Americans are turning {back} to it because it's something 'new' and different again. 


Pour over coffee is an old-fashioned technique that, for me, is something useful when I have to  (camping without a coffee pot) or when I have time to sit and relax and totally enjoy the brewing process from start to finish.  It's not a method I used to choose to employ when I am rushing out the door in the morning trying to make it to the office on time.

So.... How to Make Pour Over Coffee?
The overly simplified version;

The process is easy;  you are simply pouring very hot water over coffee grounds in a filter of some style and letting it run through to your mug.

My Grandma would be smirking at us right now.

For the purpose of this blog post, I'm going to choose and use the Aerolatte Ceramic Coffee Filter mug as an example.

  • It's believed by many that a ceramic or glass filter container is best for flavor because the hot water doesn't run over plastic parts and impart any of those flavors into the brew.
  • I also want to mention; use good quality, cold water.  If your home as a water softener or has soft water, your coffee is never going to taste as good as coffee brewed with harder water.  Personally, I can taste 'salt' in all homes with water softeners (one of our previous homes as well) so I would invest in bottled water to make our coffee because that 'soft' taste really can ruin a perfectly good ground.
  • Lastly; choose your grounds wisely.  If you like the caffeine kick, choose a lighter roast.  If you like the robust flavor, go for a darker roast.  

You basically just place your filter holder on top of a coffee cup and insert a paper filter inside the (ceramic)  coffee filter and add your favorite coffee grounds, before slowly pouring hot water on top.

This particular model is the Aerolatte Ceramic Coffee Filter


Here is your grounds, in a paper filter, in the ceramic filter holder.


 Here it is (in a clear glass mug so you can see what's happening) in action.



How to make Pour Over Coffee
The more detailed version;

  1. Heat your water in a teapot on the stove, or even in the microwave if you wish.   I usually get my hot water straight from my Keurig machine which brews it at 192 degrees. I like to use about 8 oz water per 2 Tablespoons of grounds myself but you can adjust to your taste.  Heat about 2 oz. more water than you need, as you will want to wet the paper filter with it.
  2. You can use fresh ground beans (for best flavor) or you can use the pre-ground version you can buy in the stores as well.  
  3. Place the filter of choice (ceramic, glass, plastic container that holds the coffee filter) on top of the mug, and place a paper filter inside.  You can buy paper filters specifically for your choice of filter holder - check your instructions or if you are like, me, use the regular white paper filters and just fold them over to fit.
  4. Using about 2 oz. of the hot water, wet the paper filter and mug by pouring the hot water over the filter. This removes any 'paper filter' or chemical taste and heats up your mug - as a cold mug will reduce the temperature of your coffee!  (And I'm a picky-nut about my coffee being 192 degrees or I can't drink it.)
  5. (If your water is completely boiling out of the microwave or teapot, let it set just a moment to cool to about 195 degrees.)
  6. Dump the water that you poured through the filter into the mug to wet the filter and heat the mug.  Add your coffee grounds to the wet filter.
  7. Start to pour the water directly over the grounds to wet them.  Go slow, as it will foam up a bit at first.  Stop, let the foam go down in a couple seconds and then finish pouring slowly, in circles around the grounds until it's all used and all the water has dripped through, down into the coffee mug. Make sure your mug is big enough to hold the amount of water you chose, or you could have a spill over!

Enjoy your hot, freshly brewed, pour over coffee.






You might also be interested in these other similar products;

Grosche Austin Pour Over Coffee Maker
Zevro Incred 'a Brew-Direct Immersion Brewing System for Coffee
Melitta Ready Set Joe Single Cup Coffee Brewer
Melitta Coffee Maker, Single Cup Pour-Over Brewer with Travel Mug, Red (Pack of 2)

   







1.12.2015

The KitchenAid 14 cup Contour Coffee Maker in Empire Red or Silver


I was looking back through some product files I had in 'draft' and saw this brilliant red, KitchenAid brand coffee brewer that not only featured a glass carafe (a plus for flavor), but did I mention it's red and best of all, is a 14 cup pot capacity (and it's red!)

Since it was sitting in my files since 2012 I thought I'd see if it was still being sold.  It was not at the link I had found it at previously so I assumed perhaps they had stopped making it (at least in red), but a quick search online and I found a silver version on Amazon.  A little more clicking and I found they still had the red version available after all!

KitchenAid  14-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker



Great tasting coffee starts with fresh water.  This 14-cup Contour Coffee Maker from KitchenAid is designed to make sure your coffee is fresh and piping hot. The combination of multiple showerheads and a flat bottom brew basket promotes even saturation for uniform extraction and maximum flavor. And, the 1 to 4 cup brew cycle automatically adjusts the brewing process to maximize flavor, even when you’re not brewing a full pot.

The Brew/Pause feature stops the brew cycle, conveniently allowing you to pour a cup of coffee before brewing is finished. A clean alert and self clean cycle help keep your coffee machine at its finest. And the time since brewed feature lets you know when the last pot was made, so you can have the freshest coffee. The removable water tank provides easy access for filling. It’s also easy to clean, so you can always make your coffee with the freshest water.

Features:
  • Easy-to-fill and clean removable water tank
  • Refined brew process for optimal coffee flavor
  • Digital display with variable brew strength selector
  • Brew/Pause feature
  • 14 cup feature 14-c. (1.9-L.) carafe
  • Self-clean cycle with clean alert
  • Selectable auto shutoff 24-hour programmability
  • Time since brewed feature




"The KitchenAid 14-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker 
helps you brew coffee just the way you like it. 
The variable brew strength selector allows you to 
choose between regular and bold brew strengths. 
And the variable warmth control lets you choose how 
hot you want to keep the coffee for up to four hours."




From Amazon:  someone asked about replacement filters;

Can someone please tell me which replacement filter to purchase? Have tried the compnay website and searched the web but can't find the information.... HELP!  

Another kind soul answered;
The filter model # is KCM22WF. I purchased them on Amazon in a 3 pack box.




KitchenAid KCM22WF Water Filter Pod - 3 Pack

1.05.2015

Jitterbeans and Crackheads - Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans


 


Crackheads
single purchase; approximately $2.50 per box
Crackheads, a chocolate-covered espresso candy introduced in 2004. Since 2008 there’s also been Crackheads2, which contains coffee beans and guarana seed extract, a potent source of the stimulant. At retailers wary of the suggestive name, Crackheads2 are sold under the name Jitterbeans.

Product Description
Jitterbeans® is a highly caffeinated gourmet chocolate covered espresso bean with a candy shell and a Caffeine boost! Superb taste and hugh pick me up, guaranteed! 
 
About the Brand
Osmanium was officially incorporated in late 2006 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin along with the release their first product, Crackheads®. Recently in October of 2008, Osmanium released its newest highly caffeinated gourmet products, Crackheads2® and Jitterbeans®! Osmanium's products are sold in the United States, Canada, and England.

The idea for Osmanium was planted when John Osmanski, Osmanium’s founder, was completing his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the time and ran across an electronic book highlighting methods to pay for college. There was a section on creating and selling candy at local fairs that struck a cord with him. After being awed by the tom foolery of some of his roommates he exclaimed that they were a bunch of fricking Crackheads(John doesn't swear much apparently). Shortly thereafter he started thinking about the name Crackheads® and what it meant to him and to others. It was always a comedic term meaning someone was acting goofy, crazy, and/or odd. The paradigm shift probably happened due to comics such as Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Will Farrell, and many others. John also remembered his teachers, professors, parents, and friends who drank coffee every single day often times become stuttering, impulsive lunatics when they missed their morning cup. T! hey often got called Crackheads or goofballs by their peers. After the idea of a product called Crackheads® engulfed John's mind he decided take his love of candy, caffeine, belief in health holistic food ingredients, interest in manufacturing, and inquiry about society to guide the creation and implementation of Osmanium’s product lines.

After months of product development using his local supermarket, kitchen, Kinkos, lots of test subjects, and asking a lot and lots of questions, Crackheads® was born. The first customers of Crackheads® were local supermarkets, convenience stores, and coffee shops in the downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. After a successful inception of the product locally, and after finishing school, Osmanium has been growing and growing. We now sell internationally and continually propel the company forward. Osmanium looks to continually grow and release more confectionery products that are functional, gourmet, and good for you.

Ingredients

Dark chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor (processed with potassium carbonate), cocoa butter, butter oil, lecithin (an emulsifier), pure vanilla, white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, cream, natural flavor, soy lecithin (emulsifier), pure vanilla), fresh whole bean coffee, sugar, corn syrup, tapioca dextrin, and confectioner's glaze




Links to purchase Crackheads, Jitterbeans and Crackheads2 online;

Crackheads Candy
Jitterbeans Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans, Highly Caffeinated Candy, 1.40-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)
Crackheads Chocolate Covered Espresso Coffee Beans, White & Dark (Pack of 12)
Crackheads2 - 12-Pack