We’re huge coffee fans here- big enough into java that our editor actually started and runs a coffee shop in New York City. We’ve tested out roasters and every sort of coffee brewing machine, from the inexpensive and excellent AeroPress to the very expensive and superlative Bunn Trifecta MB. But one of our favorite ways is the most convenient of all- the solid Keurig K-Cup system, of which we’ve tried many models, including their new Vue line. We’ve taken a taste of many of the available brews too- actually, just about every single one over the years. But today’s are extra-special: limited edition cups that are now sold out widely but currently still on sale from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
The Special Reserve coffees are a rare treat from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the parent company of Keurig. They’ve had a busy year so far, with Coca-Cola coming aboard as both a major investor and strategic partner, teaming up to release a cold soda machine in the future. Their stock is even now part of the S&P 500! Vue customers are still a bit left out though- these coffees are only available as traditional K-cups at the moment. Which was fine for us, as we primarily use the older machines in the office.
The Special Reserve 100% Kona is from Hawaii, and one of the most prized coffees in the world. We actually started out as a Hawaii-based publication, and have tried hundreds or thousands of cups of coffee from the small plantations on the Big Island (and even some from Honolulu). And it was nice to see a single-origin coffee, since most Konas available in the mainland are actually blends, rarely containing more than 10%. Both coffees that we tried come with classy, distinctive lids, and this one comes from Greenwell Farms. It’s fairly mild, pretty balanced, and quite smooth but doesn’t have the strong character we missed, a little too lacking in body. Complex aromas, but it couldn’t quite satisfy our cravings for the islands.
The Green Mountain 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain was a bit better, a very easy-to-like, light-roast coffee that didn’t need even a bit of milk or sugar to drink and enjoy. This one is from Mavis Bank, and like many exported Blue Mountain coffees, it tends towards a fruitiness. There’s little acidity, which is nice, but it also can come across as a tad weak for those more used to bolder, French Roasts, Italian Roasts, or even medium blends from Kenya or Sumatra. On it’s own, it would be a very solid choice, one of the better all-around K-cups we’ve tried. Both boxes run about $33 a piece, which means you’re paying quite a bit though- around $2 a cup. Granted, we challenge you to find these coffees just about anywhere for near that price.