Keurig Kcup Coffee Review- Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend


Back by popular demand- Friday Kcup reviews! Every Friday at Cross Country Cafe we host a flavor review.  Let’s face it the selection of K-cups we have to choose from is huge,  how do you pick the right one?  Who wants to buy an entire box and not like it?! Our goal is to describe how the coffee or tea tastes in simple layman’s terms so that you can determine if it suits your preferences. Let’s get to the review, up this week…Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend.

Daybreak Morning Blend Blend Keurig Kcup coffee

Daybreak Morning Blend is a light roast Keurig Kcup coffee brought to us by the experts at Caribou.  Yep thats right, you can enjoy the famous coffee shop best right in your own home.  This is great news for Caribou patrons in my area, unfortunately, several locations have closed.  But, never fear Caribou Keurig Kcups are here!

Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend K-cups are made with a lightly roasted blend of Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Colombian, and just a hint of Ethiopian beans.

This is a  Rainforest Alliance certified coffee. Rainforest Alliance is an amazing organization that makes a positive difference in source farming, the rainforest and tourism through the power of the consumer. Choosing a product with Rainforest Certification ensures sustainability with product origins and practices as well as higher standard of living in those areas. I love products with a purpose and this Keurig Kcup is just one small step towards the hefty goals of the RFA but, every small step counts!

I brewed my Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend on the middle setting of my Keurig brewer.  Generally, with a light roast Kcup coffee I would choose the lowest water setting but, the Caribou coffee have a fairly heavy body, I knew it could stand up to a little extra water.

Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend keurig Kcup coffee in mug

It is slightly difficult to see in this photo but, there was some translucency in the cup.  Good news for the light roast drinkers out there!

The smell and taste are very reminiscent of Green Mountain Breakfast Blend with a bit more depth and body.  GM Breakfast Blend has been described as watery by some, for those that agree, this is a great alternative.

The word woodsy comes to mind when I drink this coffee. It has a surprising amount of character and a pleasant lingering, nutty flavor.

I would highly recommend this to light and medium roast lovers.  If dark roast and flavored coffees are your favorite, this is not the Kcup for you.

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Keurig in the Classroom- a Teacher’s Must Have


gifts for teachers classrooms

Yes, I am sad to say, summer is coming to a close in my neck of the woods. The days are getting shorter and the pools close next weekend : ( Time flies when the sun is shining in Cleveland.

As our beloved teachers head back to their classroom, they are decorating their rooms to inspire learning and creativity in their students.  Organizing cubbies so that their work is easily accessible and celebrating important holidays with themed decor.  But, what about them.  Dont teachers deserve something special in the one room they will be spending the majority of their time in for the next 8 months? Of course they do.  Enter Keurig Kcup coffee.

There are so many reasons that a Keurig is perfect for a teachers classroom…

1) There is no mess. Unless you are a science or art teacher your probably do not have a sink in your classroom.  Good news, with a Keurig brewer you don’t need one!

2) You don’t have to leave your room to get recharged.  No more rushing to the teacher’s lounge in between classes or skipping your beloved coffee altogether because you can’t step away from your responsibilities.

3) Certain models of Keurig  brewers are UL approved for commercial use.  Many teachers are not allowed to have coffee brewers in their classrooms because of the fire hazard.  The B145 Keurig brewer is not only UL approved but also has an automatic off feature.

4) Parents and the PTO will know what to buy you for holiday and end of year gifts- delicious Kcup coffee to go with your Keurig (sorry no more holiday ornaments!).

5) You can get the kids involved!  Your kids would love a Keurig hot cocoa party as a reward for good behavior.  Of course the cocoa must be brewed with adult supervision.  Click here to read about a 1st grade Keurig hot cocoa party that was a huge hit with students.

The bottom line is teachers deserve it.  They work long hard hours and get very few breaks.  Their classrooms are without a doubt home away from home.  Why not make it as comfortable as possible and give them a well deserved treat.

PTO’s and parents I hope you are reading and formulating a plan to buy one for your favorite teachers!

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Keurig- The Perfect Gift For a College Student


Keurig is the perfect gift for a college student

Who loves coffee more than college students? Um…pretty much no one.  This generation has high standards when it comes to their morning brew.  What do you expect, they have grown up with a Starbucks on every corner and gourmet coffee in their homes.  Very few have witnessed their parents make instant coffee in the microwave (yuck) as I have.  Finding them the perfect “off to college” gift has never been easier, a Keurig is on every college students wish list.

Not only will the college student in your life be eternally grateful to have a Keurig in their dorm room, you can rest easy that you have made a wise buying decision for many reasons:

1) Junior will not be tempted to stop at the campus coffee shop on the way to class and blow $3-$4 of his or her limited budget.  I can completely attest to this, many years ago I worked at a college coffee shop and was amazed at the amount of money these students were spending everyday!

2) If there is not a kitchen or access to coffee near your students dorm, with limited transportation getting to a store may be near impossible leaving them coffee-less.

3) A Keurig is simply essential for all nighters!

4) They can brew a cup to go and be out the door in under a minute. Assuring that they make it to class on time (hopefully).

5) A Keurig minus Kcup coffee serves as an instant hot water dispenser, creating a dual purpose.  Your son or daughter can prepare instant oatmeal and ramen noodles with their coffee brewer.

Now the nitty-gritty, which one to buy.  Your instincts are going to tell you to buy the B31 Mini.  This unit is heavily marketed to college students and comes in a variety of beautiful colors.  I did have one of these units and loved it but, there are drawbacks.

1) The B31 Mini does not have a water reservoir.  That means it has to be filed with water every time you use it.  The chances of your students dorm room having a sink are between slim and none.  They are not going to enjoy running to the nearest sink every time they want a cup of coffee, who would? This concept completely destroys the convenience factor of the Keurig.

2) The Mini is not UL approved for a commercial setting.  Some dorms will not allow things such as toasters, coffee makers and microwaves for fear of a fire.

3) A travel mug will not fit under the brew spout of this brewer, eliminating on the go coffee.

To get the most for you hard-earned dollars we recommend the B145 Keurig brewer.  This unit is  commercial grade and UL approved. The B145 is sleek and stylish built with a heavy grade plastic and chrome accents.  It is not much larger than the Mini and the best part is you get more bang for your buck.The B145 is generally only priced $10-$20 higher than Mini units and significantly lower than Keurig’s that you see for sale in retail stores.  To read an in-depth comparison click here. A better brewer for less money?  Yep. Get this, it also comes with a 12 count variety pack of Kcups!

What about the Kcup coffee you say? I am glad you asked, we have the perfect solution.  Set up an automatic monthly coffee delivery.  You can choose a flavored coffee tour or traditional roasts based on their taste preference.  Two boxes will be shipped directly to their dorm every month and billed to your credit card.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

If your loved one would prefer to make their own coffee choices, an online gift card might be a better option.  You can purchase a gift card for any dollar amount and we will send it to them electronically to be used at their convenience.

It is clear that purchasing a Keurig for the college bound makes sense but, will they like it?  Two words- heck yes.  Take a look at these Twitter messages from actual college students:

“The fact that we have a Keurig for our dorm room makes me feel completely prepared for college now”

“Shout out to my parents for buying me a keurig for college!!”

“I’m just gonna take the keurig to college with me and hope mom doesn’t notice.”

“Now that my dorm room will have a keurig, I know I have a chance at surviving college”

“My parents think I can wait until college to use my keurig….HAHAHAHAH I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MACHINE FOR LIKE 3 YEARS COME TO ME BABY”

If you are ready to send little Johnny of to college armed with a Keurig and gourmet Kcup coffee, we have made it very easy for you.  Click here to take a look at the Keurig starter package.  This gift set includes a Keurig B145 brewer, a storage carousel and a variety of 42 Kcup coffees!

Have you considered purchasing a Keurig for the college student in your life?

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Are Keurig Kcup Coffees Gluten Free?


gluten free coffee

Gluten has been a recent topic of discussion in my household.  At this point it is a simple curiosity, we have not taken the plunge to a gluten-free diet. However, we are becoming more aware and beginning to notice that it is in well…pretty much everything.  This of course has me wondering, are Keurig Kcup coffees gluten-free?

You may have noticed that the packaging of Keurig Kcup coffee really does not tell you much about the nutritional value.  That is because there quite frankly isn’t much to tell. In addition, products that do not state any claims such as “gluten-free”, “sodium free” etc. and have no nutritional impact are not required to include the standard nutritional facts on their packaging.  To prove this I sought out a Kcup label and found nothin’ but a bunch of zeros:

keurig kcup nutritional label

Although I was quite sure that this answered my gluten question, I looked for further confirmation from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters since they are the ultimate authority on Kcups.  I found this excerpt on their FAQ page:

Question
Do any of your K-Cup packs contain gluten?
Answer
All of the coffees offered in K-Cup® packs are gluten and gluten by product-free. The Café Escapes French Vanilla Café-au-Lait K-Cup® pack contains small amounts of wheat. The Timothy’s Lemon Blueberry Tea K-Cup® pack contains malted oats.

 

There you have it, Keurig Kcup coffees and teas are gluten-free- yay!

I am completely comfortable with advising consumers avoiding gluten to drink up and enjoy Keurig Kcup regular, decaf, flavored coffees and teas.  However, I would like to offer two areas of caution:

First, there are more and more renegade “Kcups” on the market.  These are not sanctioned by Keurig or approved for use in their brewers.  If it does not have the Keurig approved seal, I nor Keurig can speak to its contents.

Look for the seal people, it’s the only way to get the real thing!

keurig seal of approval

Second, Keurig = variety = new Kcups constantly.  It seems like every time I check my email there is an announcement of a brand new innovative Kcup coffee, tea or beverage.  With this comes new ingredients and process’.  I would strongly advise you to confirm that each new Kcup you try falls under the gluten-free rule. You are completely safe with regular, decaf or flavored coffees and tea.  When it comes to anything that has a creamy body or sweetness such as Brew Over Ice, you should confirm the nutritional contents.

In conclusion, those of you trying or needing to eliminate gluten from your diet, you do not have to sacrifice when it comes to your morning coffee. You can still enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures fresh, gourmet coffee!

 

Keurig Kcup Coffee Review- Island Coconut


Back by popular demand- Friday Kcup reviews! Every Friday at Cross Country Cafe we host a flavor review.  Let’s face it the selection of K-cups we have to choose from is huge,  how do you pick the right one?  Who wants to buy an entire box and not like it?! Our goal is to describe how the coffee or tea tastes in simple layman’s terms so that you can determine if it suits your preferences. Let’s get to the review, up this week…Island Coconut.

Island Coconut Keurig Kcup coffee

Island Coconut is a flavored, light roast coffee brought to us by the ultimate Kcup authorities, Green Mountain. In addition to being a seasonal limited edition Kcup coffee, this baby is Fair Trade certified.

As many of you know Green Mountain likes to tease us with a few of their best flavors at certain times of the year.  Island Coconut is only available in the summer months, leaving us wanting more every fall.

I was apprehensive about this coffee because it is a light roast and although there was quite a bit of translucency in the mug, it was far darker than I expected.

Island Coconut Keurig Kcup coffee in mug

From the second I hit brew a very strong smell of coconut was in the air.  As well as with the first sip.  This is one of those flavored coffees that is a bit more about the flavor than the coffee- perfect for those of you looking for a delicious afternoon treat!

I added a dash of cream thinking that milk would enhance the taste of the coconut even more and I was right on the money!

Island Coconut Keurig Kcup Coffee in mug with cream

If you are a lover of flavored coffee this is a dream come true for you.  I would also recommend this coffee to light roast drinkers.  I am on the fence when it come to fans of a medium roast coffee- this may or may not work for you.  All of my dark roast people, this is not the Kcup for you.

Have you tried any of the Green Mountain seasonal coffees?  Which is your favorite?

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First Date: Coffee or Cocktails?


The hard part is over, you finally worked up the courage to ask for a date, great job!  But, now what?  What is the best place to go for your first get together?There are two options that come to mind right away; cocktails or coffee.  Which should you choose?

There are pros and cons to both, let’s sort it all out…

(Keep in mind, I am the absolute last person you should take dating advice from but, this question was recently posed to me and I thought it would be a fun topic of discussion!)

first date coffee

Pros

– You are more likely to maintain a clear head.  You probably wont go into a coffee drunken stupor and say or do things that you may regret on the morning.

– Coffee is a cheap date!  Why spend bookoo bucks when $20.00 will go a long way on coffee and a pastry?

– Observing your potential mates ordering method is an excellent tool in judging their character.  Do you really want to pursue a courtship with someone who requests a non-fat, half-caff, vanilla, almond, soy mochiatto with an extra shot of espresso?

– The amount of time spent on a coffee date is easily adjusted.  If you are enjoying the company of said first date, you can easily ask if they would like more coffee or even move on to dinner.  On the other hand chugging your latte is always an option in an emergency situation.

– I have never heard the term espresso goggles so you can rest assured that your perceptions are clear.

– The quiet environment of a coffee shop bodes well for conversation.

– Coffee dates are generally casual, if you prefer a little more formality I suppose this should move to the con list.

– Coffee turns your brain on, you will be alert and attentive.

Cons

– Slightly boring and a bit old school for the younger dating crowd.

– Nervous jitters x caffeine = extremo nervous jitters.

– Coffee breath.

– Is this a date or are we friends? This line is not clearly defined with a coffee shop meet up.

– The quiet environment can amplify lulls in conversation.

cocktails for a first date

Pros

– Liquid courage! We are all a little more brave with a drink or two under our belt.

– Helps to alleviate awkwardness.  I suppose this falls under the liquid courage category as well.

– Conversation flows more easily.

-You are more open to consider someone you may have crossed off the list right away otherwise. This point could appear on the con list as well.

– Generally cocktails are served in a fun, upbeat environment.

– With a louder environment conversation breaks are more acceptable.

Cons

– Sloppiness in what you say and your actions.  I don’t mean the obvious fall flat on your face drunk, even with just a few drinks you may not put your best foot forward.

– You may become a bit too touchy feely and send your date running for the door.

– The loud environment does not bode well for conversation.

– A cocktail rendezvous tends to be costly.

What do you think…coffee or cocktails?  Which makes a better first date?

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Staff Picks- Our Favorite Keurig Kcup Coffee


Keurig Kcup Staff Picks

Think about the last book you read or movie you watched.  I am willing to bet that a friend or family member tipped you off. How many times have you been at a social event and been told about a great restaurant, with amazing food? The point is, word of mouth is a powerful tool in your decision-making process, how else would you narrow down the massive choices we have for entertainment or food in this land of plenty?

Think of Cross Country Cafe as your Kcup coffee friends and family : ) We are here to offer you our real life opinions and share our favorites.  You will hear from our president to our summer interns and everyone in between!

Lets give a warm welcome to:

Monica V ~ Accounts Receivable Phenomenon

Staff picks our favorite Kcup coffee

My favorite Keurig Kcup coffee is Jamaica Me Crazy by Wolfgang Puck. I love flavored coffee, but Wolfgang Puck’s Jamaica Me Crazy is my all time fave.  Not only is the aroma delightful, but the flavor is excellent as well.  It leaves you wanting more.

April S ~ Yours Truly

Staff Picks our favorite Keurig Kcup coffee

My favorite Keurig Kcup coffee is Golden French Toast but, when that is out of season I turn to Cinnamon Roll by Donut House Collection. Despite being a light roast, Cinnamon Roll has a full, satisfying body.  Cinnamon enhances the coffee flavor creating a truly delicious cup of coffee!

I hope our input helps you find your perfect Kcup coffee!

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