I decided that breaking these up into groups of five made sense. If I can remember to do so, I'll do an index post at the end.
If anyone cares, this is ENORMOUS fun, even when some of the coffee pods aren't stellar.
K Cup Sampler Reviews I
K Cup Sampler Reviews II
Marley Coffee, Organic Lively Up! Espresso
Okay...my first thought about the brand was: Oh, no, it's not going to taste like ganja, is it? Which is of course, silly. And, yes, I like the music, but we're here to talk coffee. Marley Coffee has a great website... The Lively Up! K Cup required an extra splenda for me, because, hey, espresso is pretty potent, this one more than usual. Unlike most strong brews, this one tastes pretty good, even if I need help with it. Not much aroma, though. It might be psychological, but I'm pretty sure this stuff has a nice (fast!) caffeine kick. Definitely a morning drink. A Monday morning one, at that. Nice texture, real coffee. I would definitely recommend this for my dad who is big on black coffee. ETA: I got the coffee jitters from it. Yowzah!
Martinson Joe's Coffee, Vanilla Velvet
I am not a fan of the packaging - it looks cheap and dated - but let's talk about the contents instead, shall we? The aroma while brewing was fantastic - the coffee-ness of it all overwhelmed even the smell of curry in the slowcooker. That's aroma! Unfortunately, the coffee itself was mildly gritty with a lot of speckled floaters. I find that a little off-putting. You say vanilla bean; I say bug parts. No, not really, but that's how my mind workers when my coffee sports little spots. The taste was mild, but I could detect hints of vanilla, and not the chemical taste we call French vanilla. Just nice vanilla. It's a good, standard flavored coffee, but not terrifically special.
Copper Moon French Vanilla Cappuccino
Another one that's not link-able to a product page on Amazon. It's like voodoo when that happens. Anyway, this one advertises having probiotics and added vitamins and minerals. I am really BIG into that right now, so I've kind of been on pins and needles waiting to try this one. It has a very nice color, but shy on the aroma, which I guess is to be expected with a Cappuccino. I probably shouldn't badmouth French vanilla so much, because this one is yummy! Very sweet, creamy, and hints of caramel and vanilla and maybe, maybe nutmeg or very distant chocolate? It's got some complexity for a faux-coffee beverage. It longs to have cookies dipped in it or to be combined with rich chocolate ice cream. Very much dessert here. Again, yum!
Cake Boss - Buddy's Blend
I don't actually know who Buddy is, because I never watched the TV show, but I do know he likes really bitter coffee. How? I just drank it. Basically, it tastes like a cross between a donut shop blend and breakfast blend, although not quite as strong as the former. It's just a basic coffee with a guy carrying a rolling pin on the label. No big woohoo here. Not much aroma either. The texture was okay, basically. If someone wanted to give up flavored coffee and go old-school without too much palate-offense, this might work. Otherwise...just meh.
Wolfgang Puck Hawaiian Hazelnut
I am kind of giving Wolfgang the stink-eye on this one. It's gritty/speckled. We've talked about that, right? Not on! Plus zero aroma unless your nose is deep in the mug. The taste is mild, but not unpleasant. Not very hazelnut either. Unless Hawaiian hazelnut is blander on purpose. Then...goal. Not a terrible lunchtime coffee choice - it wouldn't class with food of any kind on account of not having much flavor. Just as a note - these pods tend to weigh a lot less than most others, so it could just be that there's not enough in them to produce a decent sample. If so, for shame on that one too. It's 13g compared to 17g of Crazy Cup or 19.5g of Barrie House. Just for the info.