4.19.2011

Via Instant Coffee by Starbucks; Ummm, Better Than Office Coffee (which is sad, really)

5:28 am - the day starts.

Starbucks VIA(TM) Ready Brew Colombia Coffee by Starbucks Coffee (12 pack) Bianca has Driver's Education Class before school so our days start at 5:30 am and unfortunately, today is also a 12 hour day at work as I have to cover a meeting tonight.  Good thing I bought Via by Starbucks at the grocery store this weekend.  Yeah, it does have an instant taste to it, but it's still better than 'office coffee'.  I keep an 8-count package in my purse for emergencies.  

Yesterday I wrote an email to the company that produces the Grove Square 'fake' coffee they are trying to pass off as real.   They emailed back to say they would refund my money.  You know, I wouldn't have a problem with their fake coffee if they put anywhere on the box, the fact that it was instant coffee.  (Amazon does now list it in some of their title descriptions for the product) but they have designed their product to deliberately mislead the consumer by picturing the Keurig k-cup design, saying it's designed for Keurig brewers and describing their product as if it were a 'real' fresh, ground coffee.  Only in very, very fine print does it mention the words 'microroasted and soluble' but never, not once does it say instant.  Buyer beware you are paying k-cup prices for cheap, instant, horrible tasting coffee.

4.18.2011

An alert NOT to purchase Grove Square brand Coffee for Keruig... it is terrible INSTANT coffee

Grove Square coffee for Keurig is NOT ACTUALLY REAL GROUND COFFEE!  Don't waste your money!!!

Yesterday I chose to visit Super Walmart so I could get household items and groceries in the same stop.  While shopping quickly to fill my cart I needed coffee for my Keurig and quickly scanned the choices that said "Dark Roast"  or "Bold Roast" on the box.  While I was happy to grab "Dark Magic" by Green Mountain, I spied a 'new to me' brand I hadn't noticed before;  Grove Square.

Cute box design with an old fashioned feel of nostalgia, it said on the box it was for Keurig brewers and was 'Deep Roast'.  I put it in the cart but noticed it felt lighter then the Dark Magic.  I compared the two, noted to my daughter that it felt funny, it rattled a little and was lighter.  She felt it as well.  I thought they packaged it wrong and perhaps only put 12 cups in instead of 18?  But checking three other boxes, they were all lighter.  Odd.  But glancing at the packaging it looked just like all the other K-cups we've bought and it was one of the few offered by our Super Walmart Coffee Aisle that said it was a DARK roast (verses the breakfast blends, medium roasts, decaf and light roasts).

In a hurry, I threw it in and went on.

Last night I was ready to relax with a cup of coffee and an old Doris Day movie for some 'me' time.  I brewed the Grove Square and smelled it.

It looked and smelled like...  INSTANT coffee.

Oh no.

That explains it.  The lightness of the box.  The rattling sound.

I got the box out to see if it said INSTANT on it.

It did not.

In VERY small print it said it was micro-roasted and it was soluble.

That was the ONLY clue that what I spend $$$ on and what I bought was a cheap imitation.

No one in their right mind would buy instant coffee for Keurig.  The fact that Keurig brews one cup at a time in a minute makes it almost like having 'instant' coffee only it's freshly brewed REAL coffee.

I checked out the maker of this product and it RIPS OFF 'REAL' foods for a living!  They have a 'quick' and cheap website thrown up just as fast as what they explain their business is...   http://sturmfoods.com/ will tell you on their homepage their business is;

"....  Sturm Foods is committed to innovate and rapidly introduce new products..."    Catch those tags?  Innovate and rapidly introduce new products.  In other words;  see what is hot in the market and then quickly make a FAKE product that LOOKS like the real thing in order to screw over as many people as we possibly can in as short amount of time as we can before someone sues us.  (Which I've read online this morning that Keurig is attempting to do!).


If you WANT instant coffee, purchase the little jar of Instant Folgers or even Via by Starbucks, but for heaven's sake, don't waste your money like I did!

4.13.2011

Coffee Time: Peel and Stick Decals for Your Kitchen



Coffee Cup Vinyl Wall Decals Stickers Art GraphicsWhen I moved into our current home I decided I wanted the theme of my kitchen to be 'coffee'.  At the time no one I knew personally had this theme, nor the colors of the kitchen I planned.  I used a dark burnt red for the walls and I had to search for coffee themed prints that were artistic, in my color scheme and not hokey or goofy looking, nor cheap looking.

At the time most people were into decorating with a wine, apples, grapes or Italian kitchen theme so I loved that out of all our friends, family and neighbors, our kitchen was different.  Now, of course, almost 7 years later I have neighbors that painted the same colors, friends and at least 1 extended family member that used a similar theme and one of my kids friends loved our kitchen so much she convinced her Mom to redo their entire kitchen in the same theme and style.

And?  I don't mind at all.  It's a fun theme!  The only thing is, it's far easier for people to find coffee themed... well, everything these days.   I thought of this when I found these coffee decals this morning on Amazon.

RoomMates RMK1254SCS Coffee House Peel & Stick Wall Decals This particular pack was only $12.99 and comes with 31 decals that are easy to apply - you just peel and stick.  They stick on almost any smooth surface, whether it's a wall, tile, cupboards, glass... and are completely removable or repositionable without leaving a sticky residue like a sticker would.

Other decal packages include large coffee cups, and quotes like "life's too short to drink cheap coffee". 

Vinyl wall decals are so affordable and fun that you can change them out as often as you like and still stay in even a college student or newlywed's budget. 

4.12.2011

What I'm currently reading...... The Rapture by Liz Jensen

The Rapture 

Started to read The Rapture by Liz Jensen on Monday night and I have to admit that I was interested when I read the book jacket but by the time I got to page 10 I was regretting my decision.  By page 20 I was thinking this particular writer sucked and around page 40 was thinking the story seemed pretty good but it was too bad this author was hacking it to death with a writing style that grated on my nerves. 

From Publishers Weekly:

Apocalyptic global climate change fuels Jensen's terrifying near-future tale about the human will to survive or, in the case of Bethany Krall, a psychic psychotic teen who stabbed her mother to death, the will to embrace death. Bethany, a patient at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital in Hadport, England, forms a strong bond with her wheelchair-bound psychologist, Gabrielle Fox. As Gabrielle treats her patient, the world outside the hospital suffers natural disasters foreseen by Bethany after ECT shock therapy. Meanwhile, Bethany has been traumatized by the Faith Wave views of her father, Rev. Leonard Krall, who believes the Rapture is approaching. Since Bethany is convinced she bears the mark of the beast, she fears she won't go to heaven. Gabrielle seeks help from Frazer Melville, a physicist who takes Bethany's catastrophe calendar seriously. In gorgeous prose, Jensen (Egg Dancing) paints a depressing but oddly hopeful portrait of a modern doomsday scenario. (Aug.)

Obviously others thought it better than I did (here are two reviews from the Amazon site);

"Combining the tensions of modern psychology with scientific speculation and social analysis in a speedy plot, Jensen put me rather in mind of Margaret Atwood …a cracking good read." --Sunday Telegraph

"Excellent...beautifully structured....an engaging thriller about a relevant contemporary issue while still respecting the reader’s brain cells… you’ll be gripped." -- Irvine Welsh, The Guardian

So I carried on.
Am now about 3/5 of the way through and I'm glad I stuck with it.  Perhaps I'm getting used to the way this particular author writes or perhaps I'm just sucked into the basic premise of the story but I certainly feel I have to keep reading to see how it ends. 

I'll let you know.





4.10.2011

Tully's House Blend K-Cups for Keurig... Not for Me but I Bet the General Population Would Like Them (Chocolate Mentioned)

Tully's Coffee House Blend 4 Boxes of 24 K-Cups When you purchase a new Keurig coffee brewer, it often times (depending on the model) comes with a variety of coffee's to get you started.  Yesterday we had to get a new machine and it came with a handful of coffee's, one of which was Tully's House Blend .

Most house blends I've found to be similar to breakfast blends;  light and generally easy to sip to make the overall population happy.  This house blend however, surprised me.

At first I couldn't put my finger on the undertone flavor that made it unappealing to me.  I noticed the flavor was a bit different than my normal bold, dark roasts and there was something that gave my tongue and mouth a 'dry' feeling after swallowing.  I decided it was a coffee I thought my husband would like better than I.

It was only after coming to Coffee Talking to post about this flavor coffee that I looked up the link on Amazon and read the description.  The mystery of the undertone I was detecting was solved and also the reason my mouth was a bit dry and I didn't care for it as I do other coffees; 

This coffee boasts a distinct brightness in the forefront, yet it is well rounded throughout. The bitter chocolate flavor is calmed by sweet caramel undertones and finishes with a lingering astringency. This coffee is friendly enough to drink black but just as friendly with a touch of milk and sweetener.

Dark chocolate.  Bitter chocolate.

As soon as I read that in the description I knew they nailed it.  Although you can't taste the chocolate, it's there, lingering.  And as all my regular readers know, I do not like chocolate.  Especially dark chocolate.  Unlike many people (my own family included) I don't crave it, like it nor eat it and I don't care for dark chocolates in the least.

I was surprised a 'house' blend would use chocolate and caramel as even though it's light, it's still there, and those of us who like our coffee bold and black would not appreciate given flavored coffee.  But it's a lesson learned for me.  While I do think the general population might like this coffee as the chocolate and caramel undertones are slight and would appeal to most peoples tastes;  for those of us who spurn flavored coffee's in general and like a deep, rich, bold, black coffee, this is not one for us.

4.09.2011

Keurig number... five? I've lost count. Why don't they work!?

 

Last night as my husband was unboxing our latest Keurig, fresh from the store, I had to laugh and I asked him, "WHY DO WE LOVE OUR KEURIGS SO MUCH???"

Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing SystemYes we are on our 4th or 5th machine now in oh, what has it been dear readers?  Two years?  Maybe three.

Our latest replacement  Keurig Special Edition comes after I started to notice about a month or two ago that sometimes our machine seemed to be making the 'sucking sound' as if it were sucking up water to heat and then brew the coffee, but the water in the reservoir wasn't going down as it should and I would get random amounts of coffee in my cup.  I always choose the largest, 10 oz. size but I would get anywhere from 3 to 8 oz.   Since this was randomly happening and other times it worked fine, we didn't do anything about it.

Over the past two weeks however, it started to leak.  At first I thought perhaps we were just spilling the water as we poured it into the reservoir but I would be very careful, testing this theory and it didn't pan out.  The amounts puddled on the front and side of the machine varied;  from small 1-2 inch wide strips to a huge 10 inch by 10 inch puddle.  Usually found in the morning after it had sat all night or when we arrived home from work in the evening.

Twice, our mail that was sitting nearby got wet and finally, this week I had printed two restaurant coupons out for restaurants I knew we might visit for my birthday and when I arrived home from work they were completely drenched and ruined, as well as the ink smeared all over my white counter top.

It was official.  Our Keurig leaked far too much to ignore.

Luckily we had purchased a service plan with it so we are able to return it to the store.  Yesterday that baby went back and last night we got our fourth or fifth Keurig...  to be honest I've lost count.  Darn it all that we love the taste of Keurig brewed coffee this much!  When it works; it's worth it.

4.04.2011

The Solofill Cup - an alternative to the My K-cup for Keurig Coffee Makers

This morning, like most, I am enjoying freshly brewed coffee but because k-cups for my Keurig are so expensive I only let myself use 2 of them.  If I want more coffee I make myself use the My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter with regular store bought coffee so I'm not using up all our k-cups.  (This even after I do my own little personal 'half spin' replace and reuse at the 6 oz. size on the original cup - thereby filling my mug to the top and getting 2 uses out of the little cups).

I like the My K-cup alright but it does tend to make weak coffee (I like mine bold) and it sometimes adds grounds to the cup if I don't get them all off the mesh basket and of course the cleaning of the mesh basket is a pain.  You wouldn't think so, but it is.

Solofill Cup, Refillable K-Cup For Keurig BrewersThis morning I see they have another choice in reuseable k-cups.  This one is called the Solofill and looks to be much better made for the task at hand.  Instead of shooting water straight down like the My K-cup does, the Octaflo-Plus spray head system evenly distributes hot water throughout the cup; ensuring all ground coffees are steeped to perfection. It also features a unique one piece unibody design with integrated hinged lid and best of all in my opinion?  You don't have to remove the plastic cup holder each time.  You simply drop it in just like you would your k-cup.  Quick and easy.
  • No need to remove or swap out the filter holder; Built-in permanent stainless steel micro mesh filter
  • Use your own favorite coffee; save money while reducing our environmental impact
  • Solo fill Cup is 100% BPA free
  • Note:  Not compatible with Keurig: Mini B30, B130, B150 & B155

We got my FIL a Keurig for Christmas and I'm thinking with this new design I believe I have just found him his birthday gift as well.



4.03.2011

Newman's Own K-cups for Keurig - a Blend of Medium and Dark Roast Beans

I was sipping Neuman's coffee this morning and noticed that overnight our trees have gotten green buds on them.  I was so excited!  (Just this week we had snow again.)

I took a freshly brewed cup of coffee and headed out to the backyard patio and sat on a bench in the warm breeze and enjoyed a nice, quiet morning.  I wanted to share it with my husband so I called him at work and he had me put the cellphone up to my coffee mug so he could inhale the aroma and enjoy the moment with me.  LOL.


A hearty, full-bodied blend of medium and dark roasts. Bold yet refined. Strong, yet smooth. A Fair Trade Certified, organic coffee that tastes great and the chance to make a difference.
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