Don’t get hooked on the Keurig Donut Coffees at Costco

While the Keurig is not as sophisticated of a coffee system as the Tassimo, they do have an impressive line of K-Cup coffee offerings. The system treats each pod the same so the many providers of the coffee options pick and choose which of their line will work best with the system. Several brands offer many of their regular drip coffee versions, while others may offer just a regular and decaf.

Costco carries the standard machine, packaged with a few of the coffees on the market to sample which you may like best. They also offer large 80 K-Cup boxes of a few coffees. Most notable has been the Folgers Gourmet Lively Colombia (medium roast).

Also in the ‘big’ box is The Donut Shop Coffee from Coffee People. Well, they ‘did’ offer it, for a couple months.

Many times at Costco, things appear and then go away a short time later. Sometimes this is because the offering isn’t as popular as hoped but many times it is because the product manufacture was just getting folks to try. Then, they pull the bulk product and the only place to buy is in smaller quantities for more money in regular retailers.

There is actually still ‘Donut’ K-Cup coffee at Costco, but it is “Donut House” Coffee.

There is nothing wrong with the Donut House compared to the Donut Shop coffee… we just found it interesting that Costco stopped a coffee and replaced it with a very similarly named product.

For those that care, the Donut Shop is a bit ‘stronger’ tasting, while the Donut House is more ‘bold’. Both are fine… and it’s always great to have new options to try.

As a side note, if Donut Shop did do a bit of test marketing at Costco, it worked. In a visit to Crate and Barrel this weekend, the K-Cup area had only the Decaf version of the Donut Shop coffee left. The counter person said the regular option is always out of stock due to popular demand, now.


Making The Switch: One Coffee Lover’s Experience Changing Coffee Makers

…AND Coffee Brands Simultaneously

Making the switch from my morning Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee to Coffee People’s Donut Shop K-Cup for Keurig was much easier than I anticipated.

I remember the day I bought my Keurig B70 single-cup coffee maker at Costco.  I had been thinking about making the switch from my automatic coffee maker to the Keurig for some time, and with the discount Costco had on the machines at the time made it almost impossible to pass up.

I was excited to load the Keurig machine into my cart, but as I approached the checkout counter, I hesitated.  Would I be turning my back on the brand I had been loyal to for over ten years? Did convenience finally win out over quality?  I didn’t know it at the time, but after trying about eight different brands of K-Cups, I eventually found a couple brands that matched the quality of the Breakfast Blend coffee from Starbucks that I had been drinking for years.

It’s hard to change your routine, especially a morning routine that you have been accustomed to for many years.  Waking up in the morning to your favorite cup of coffee is like waking up to an old friend.  The first morning I came downstairs to make my first cup of coffee with my Keurig felt like I was going behind a lover’s back (OK, maybe an exaggeration), but I did feel plenty guilty.

The Keurig machine I bought came with lots of K-Cups to try.  When I tried my first K-Cup cup of coffee, I was hugely disappointed.  I thought I had made a big mistake purchasing this machine.  The coffee was bitter and metallic tasting.  Would Costco take this machine back after it had been used?  After pouring the first cup out and trying another brand of K-Cup, I felt no better.  It was on the third try that I was in heaven.  I found Coffee People’s Donut Shop.  That was it; I was hooked.

Am I happy I purchased the Keurig?  You bet!  I look forward to coming downstairs in the morning to greet my new old friend.  However, I do get a bit nostalgic during the Holidays when Starbucks releases their “only for a limited time” Christmas Blend coffee.  Not to worry though–my local Starbucks is just a short drive from home.


Coffee Machines are becoming Espresso Machines

Coffee makers using open filters and your coffee grounds have always been available. Ten years ago, coffee makers that used pucks of prepackaged coffee broke onto the market. There was a couple that stood out and lasted the tests of time. Of course, a few where here and gone. Interesting to us was how few options there really has been.

We started talking about this the other day when at a Crate and Barrel. We noticed that while the coffee makers using pucks and cups of coffee flavors took a while to get started, that isn’t the case with Espresso makers. Home espresso machines have been around for a long time (remember James Bond had one built into his kitchen?) in their current form of adding fresh grounds and managing the pour and steam… plenty of options. The introduction of puck and cup style Espresso machines when from non to many options in what seems like over night.

This picture of one from Nespresso… cool looking, good pressure, lots of ‘instant’ features, a variety of coffee cups flavors and not very inexpensive. It shows a price of just under $350. The ‘artsy’ versions of NESCAFE we posted up a couple days ago where half this price. When shopping, keep an eye our for a few important points: pressure and availability of quality coffee. We went down one path and found that the pressure was good but the coffee options where many and low quality.

Nespresso’s fast, convenient espresso machine combines Thermobloc heating, 19 bars of pressure and automatic pump priming for the purest, subtlest coffee aromas and flavors and richest crema. Slim, retro-modern countertop presence in black; automatic capsule ejection, and removable water tank and drip tray. Use the two pre-sets or program your own cup volume. Integrated Aeroccino frother preps milk for cappuccino or lattes.

It would appear that the puck Coffee makers where sort of test for the Espresso machines. Let’s see if the Espresso machine options continue to grow or the market heads back to the Coffee versions.