Monday, May 30, 2011

A Different Type of Brew

Today is Memorial Day which is a great day to kick back and relax with a nice cold beer. However, today's post is about a brew of a different type. I drink a good bit of coffee. I enjoy both the regular stuff and the coffee-based drinks that were invented in the cafés of Europe and made famous here in America by Starbucks and the like. My particular guilty coffee pleasure is the café mocha, but I have tried many of the other crazy drinks flavored with caramel, white chocolate, peppermint, and even pumpkin. I also enjoy hanging out in the local coffee shop and taking advantage of their free wireless Internet connection.

Last year, my mother gave me a Keurig coffee machine (a.k.a. K-cup machine) as a Christmas present. My sister and her husband have had a K-cup machine for awhile. They enjoy it, so they gave my mother and stepfather one as a present a couple of years ago. My mother and stepfather have found their machine to be convenient. I also learned to appreciate the machines during my visits to my sister's and mother's houses, so I was glad to receive a machine myself for Christmas. My machine is a Keurig Elite Brewer. Despite being "Elite", it is one of the simpler brewers that the company offers.

As much as I am not an expert on the different types of beer, I am even more of a neophyte in regards to the different varieties of coffee. I am working on my knowledge of beer, and the K-cup machine will help in regards to my coffee education. There are quite a few different brands of coffee available in K-cups with the list continuing to expand. Of course, each brand offers multiple different varieties. It seems that everybody has their particular favorite variety. My stepfather likes the Green Mountain Nantucket Blend. He and my mother also had most of a box of Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend K-cups. Since neither of them care for that brew, they gave the rest of the box to me along with my brewer. I liked both the Nantucket and Daybreak brews. My sister and brother-in-law prefer Newman's Special Blend Extra Bold which they buy in bulk from their local Costco.

The K-cup brewer came with a sampler pack of K-cups. I do not remember all of the varieties included in the sampler pack, but it included decaffeinated coffee, Half Caff, and even some tea. After finishing off the sampler pack and the leftover box of Caribou Daybreak, I bought a box of Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-cups at the grocery store. I later decided to buy a few K-cup boxes from Green Mountain's webpage (Keurig is subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee). My first purchase included Caribou Colombia, Diedrich Coffee Sumatra, Timothy's Coffee Kona Blend, and Millstone Breakfast Blend. I just noticed that Millstone and Diedrich Coffee products are no longer offered on Green Mountain's site. Also, the Sumatra is not offered on Diedrich Coffee's webpage, and the Timothy's Kona is no longer being produced.

I recently ordered a second round of K-cups from Green Mountain. This order included Timothy's Coffee Breakfast Blend, Tully's Coffee Breakfast Blend, Donut House, and a flavored variety pack from Gloria Jean's Coffees. The variety pack included French Vanilla Supreme, Swiss Chocolate Almond, Butter Toffee, and Mudslide flavors. Surprisingly, my favorite of the four is the vanilla with the chocolate almond being a strong second. I think vanilla is a great flavor complement (as opposed to compliment) to coffee. I do not care for the butter toffee which has a really buttery taste. I do not find that buttery taste goes well with coffee. For me, it is just not a pleasant combination. I also do not find the mudslide flavor to have a very good taste.

I have a friend who puts cinnamon in her coffee which I have also found to be interesting. Perhaps with my next order, I should try Donut House Cinnamon Roll or Timothy's Coffee Cinnamon Pastry.

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