Archive for May, 2012

The Best Uses For Coffee Grounds

What are the best uses for coffee grounds? Well, the best use certainly is to brew a delicious cup of coffee. But what to do with the grounds after you brewed your cup of joe? Toss them out? Well, let’s have a look at a few creative uses for used coffee grounds.

  1. Food for plants – Plants that prefer acidic soils will gladly use your used coffee grounds as their food.
  2. Fridge Deodorant – Simply neutralize unwanted odors in your fridge or freezer by using a bowl of dry coffee grounds inside your fridge or freezer.
  3. Cover up for furniture scratches – You simply steep the grounds and then take a Q-tip to apply some of the liquid (as much as needed) to the scratch in the furniture.
  4. Dye – Steep the used coffee grounds in hot water. It will make brown dye which you can use for paper, fabrics, or Easter eggs. Paper will get an antique look when you steep it in the dye for a minute or two.
  5. Cleaning of stain-resistant items – You can use grounds to remove grease and grime from any sort of stain-resistant tools and dishware. Use a cleaning rag or paper towel and simply place a few teaspoons of grounds on and use it to remove grease. Thoroughly rinse your items after use.
  6. Insect Repellant – Take the grounds and make a ring of them around your plants that you want to have protected. The grounds build a protective border that will keep ants and slugs away.
  7. Reduce dust from ashes – You simply sprinkle a few wet grounds over your ashes before you clean out your fireplace. The wet coffee grounds will keep the ashes contained and significantly reduce dusting from the ashes.
  8. Hand Scrubber – You can use the grounds as an exfoliant. It will remove dead skin and also take care of food related smells like fish or garlic. Simply rub a scoop of coffee grounds between your palms and you’re good to go.
  9. Improve vegetable harvest – Mix your seedlings with grounds before you plant them. This will most certainly increase the nitrogen levels and can help grow your vegetables stronger.
  10. Trap Cockroaches – Build your own cockroach trap. Simply take a jar and fill it with moist coffee grounds. To catch the bugs you simply line the opening of the jar with double-sided tape that’s extra-sticky. The scent of the coffee grounds will pull cockroaches into the trap.

Who knew what you can do with used coffee grounds. We’re sure there’s many other ways. Leave a comment to let us know what you do with used coffee grounds. You can certainly always use the used coffee grounds from your single cup coffee maker. Simply removed the grounds from their container after brewing and use them for any of the ten suggestions we outlined above.

Have a look at our One Cup Coffee Machine Reviews to find the best single cup coffee brewer for you.

Marley Coffee Launches Keurig-Compatible RealCup Portion Pack

The Difference is Inside!

Marley Coffee of LA announced that they will launch a new single cup coffee system that is compatible with the Keurig K-Cups. The Marley RealCup single cup coffee portion pack looks similar to a K-Cup. The difference is inside the container where Marley uses a different filtration system compared to the K-Cups from Keurig.

Marley Coffee RealCup

Marley Coffee RealCup

Marley Coffee will introduce four different coffee flavors at the beginning:

  • Get Up, Stand Up (light roast)
  • One Love 100% Ethiopia (medium roast)
  • Talkin’ Blues 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain (medium roast)
  • Lively Up 5 Bean Espresso (medium dark roast)

Marley Coffee CEO Brent Toevs said:

The introduction of Marley Coffee RealCup will extend our penetration in the growing single-serve coffee market and we believe open a door to tremendous opportunity for both retail and office coffee service sales.

You can read the full story of the Marley Coffee announcement at Marley Coffee To Launch Keurig-Compatible RealCup Portion Pack.

Check out our Single Cup Coffee Brewer Reviews to find the best one cup coffee machine for you.

Brewing A Single Espresso

What is Espresso?

The espresso was invented in the year 1884 in Italy by Turin based Angelo Moriondo. However, the hot beverage which is prepared with a higher concentration of finely ground coffee beans and by forcing hot water through it, gained popularity only by 1901. Due to high pressure brewing, espresso has a unique thick consistency and a lot more suspended particles with foam on top. Mostly espresso prepares the base for preparing cappuccinos, mochas, lattes and macchiato (Italian hot coffee beverages).

Milk Frothing

Most brewing machines have a wand sort of attachment called “Tori”. It is attached to the front of an espresso machine and it uses hot steam to heat and froth milk for hot drinks like Cappuccino, Latte, Hot Cocoa etc. Some brewers have a double pump to brew an espresso shot and froth the mil side by side at the same time. This feature in the coffee just makes it so delectable that one can wish to have it several times in a day and having it from a café would definitely not be a treat to your wallet. This is when consumers consider buying a espresso for home or work.

The market is flooded with coffee machines from single cups to a pot brewer to flavorful brewing to simply frothing. Here, one needs to understand how to distinguish between a single cup espresso brewer from other single coffee brewers. An espresso pod machine is an expensive purchase and hence, prior to purchase, one should definitely look into the types of features that are required from a single coffee brewer.

High-End Single Espresso Brewer

The best espresso single brewing machines termed by the consumers is the Rancilio Silvia which ranks highest because of the brew quality, feasibility to use and functional features. The price is at around $650 for this single cup espresso brewer. For beginners, please note that frothing the milk takes a lot of practice before being able to get to the espresso that is served in a café. Also a separate adapter kit is required on this one, if you wish to use different kinds of brew pods (read different companies). The Adapter kit comes for around $90 more.

Budget Espresso Maker

The budget Espresso maker is the Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine with a body made of plastic. This one also has a “tori” for frothing, however, that is placed in a rather awkward style. But reviews say that the machine is able to provide a quite a thick froth to the espresso. The price for this home coffee brewer is around $60.

Check out our Single Coffee Maker Reviews to find the best single serving coffee brewer for you.

Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker – Are They Really Good?

What Keurig Stands For

Keurig is a Dutch word for excellence. As a company that leads the single cup coffee making in the US, it does not believe in the philosophy of brewing a full pot of coffee when all you drink is just one cup. In 1998, it launched the revolutionary concept of K-Cup Portion pack where the innovation encouraged people to prepare the perfect single cup of coffee without having to think about wasting a full pot, handling filters or cleaning up after brewing. How much better can it get, when you want the perfect brew in between a hectic day at work or morning rush hour to work!

Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker Selections

Unlike Senseo which has a reservoir for 5 cups, Keurig is available in three types of water source systems – Direct Water-line Plumbing, Pour-Over Reservoir and the third one with combined features. The reservoir capacity also ranges from 8 oz. to 90 oz. You can install the one that caters to you best at home or at work. The feature to adjust the brew size is available across most single cup coffee brewers over the counters.

There are a multitude of features that Keurig offers that clearly makes it a wise option to chose when installing single coffee cup makers for staff use. Keurig has an Adjustable Temperature to suit person to person, Digital Display for convenience, Energy Saving Mode that switches off the machine when not in use after a certain time as desired. The Coffee machine also has Multiple Language options; you can play with it to amuse your colleagues on a break. Another patent that Keurig Coffee Maker offers is a Quiet Brew Technology and compatibility with Vending machines.

Keurig – Any Good?

In the category of commercial single cup coffee brewing, Keurig definitely wins it over. The type of variety that Keurig offers is simply outstanding. It has over 200 varieties to choose from in the categories of coffee, tea, hot cocoa and even iced beverages. While some of these selections are available as Keurig as in developed in-house blends, while some are even co-brand developed and promoted. The category types remain the same as in Roasted, Blended and Caffeine content. So, if you are a Barista lover, you can try the Barista Prima Coffeehouse or for that reason, even my favorite recommendation is Twinings of London. All in all, the K-Cup concept from Keurig totally rocks the single sup coffee brewing world.

Want to know whether K Cups are better than Vue packs or the other way around? Have a look at our Keurig Vue V700 vs. Keurig B70 Comparison to see how they compare. You also might want to check out our single cup coffee maker reviews to guide you in finding the best one cup coffee brewer!

What Are Pod Coffee Makers?

Where do Pod Coffee Makers Come From?

The concept comes from nature probably, where in the pods contain seed of life and growth. Depending upon the brand that produces it, a pod may contain a measured amount of ground coffee, condensed milk or even added flavorings. The pods are usually vacuum sealed to protect its contents from outside moisture and oxygen which might tarnish the freshness of the product when finally intended for use. Pods are always intended for a single cup of coffee and work only in conjunction with single coffee makers.

Coffee Pod Makers

Pod coffee makers are coffee brewing systems that force required amounts of hot water through the pods to bring in the flavor in the beverage as per requirement. Various coffee companies have worked on this system to bring about frothing in the beverages to suit user to user requirements.

Pod Coffee Makers vs. Drip Coffee Makers

Pod coffee makers are way better than the drip coffeepots. Although the pods are not re-usable, since all its contents get used in one cup, the pods are not self disposable. The outer packaging has to be removed from the coffeemaker and disposed off separately.

However, that is about all that needs to be done for a pod coffee machine, while on the other hand, filter coffee machines need to be emptied and cleaned which is far more work. Also Pod coffee makers are not as messy as a drip coffeepot. Even making multiple cups of coffee is easier with the Pod machine, since, it can cater to individual beverage requirements whether hot or cold, all in less than a minute, while brew-pots can cater to only one type of beverage. It is typical of the leftover coffee in the brew-pot to turn bitter after a while because of constant warming.

Disadvantages of Pod Coffee Makers

Biggest disadvantage of Pod coffee machines is that most companies custom build their pods for use with only their brand machines. Now, if the coffee pod producer does not have collaborations with the brand of coffee that you prefer, then buying a pod machine is of no use. This is the same if you already possess a coffee machine and are looking to try flavors from another coffee brand, then it is difficult to switch coffee machines, since they are so expensive. Another issue faced by users is that usually even the pods are expensive and for premium flavors, finding it on the shelf is difficult, so mostly pods need to be ordered online.

Have a look at our Pod Coffee Maker Reviews to find the best single serving coffee machine for you. Specifically, have a look at our Senseo 7832/55 Supreme Pod Coffee Maker Review to get information about one of the high-end pod coffee brewers available on the market.

Senseo Single Cup Coffee Maker

The Early Days of Senseo

In February 2001, in the Netherlands, the Dutch company Philips along with coffee roaster Douwe Egberts, developed a simple technique to brew coffee with a rich layer of cream on top. Senseo is a registered trademark for the entire coffee making system which prepares a perfect coffee with coffee and water perfectly balanced in a mild pressure. When the potion is finally put into the cup, there is a frothy coffee layer on top. This system gained immense popularity in the US just a few years back, when people could make their own coffee at home in exactly the same way they used to get it from a take-out.

Senseo Single Cup Coffee Machine

Senseo Single Cup Coffee Machine

Senseo Coffee Makers

The Senseo Coffee Machine designed by Philips has a great design as well as perfect no-worry solution of auto switch off after one hour. The machine is even easy clean, dishwasher-safe with its easily removable parts. With the push of just a button, the Senseo Coffee maker brews steaming hot gourmet coffee in less than a minute.

Then there is the Senseo Supreme – Single Serve Gourmet Coffeemaker. Although the price of this machine is almost 3 times that of the Philips Senseo Coffee maker, this machine has a patent on its single serve design. It not only brews coffee, but also cappuccino. An interactive LCD display advises users of the water level in the machine and provides adjustable coffee brewing. Hence you can customize your quantity on this single coffee maker.

“Magic” Senseo Coffee Pods

The Senseo Coffee Maker is just half the magic by itself. The other half is the “magic” Pods, which were specially designed by and roasted by Douwe Egberts which was founded in 1753. The Pods contain measured coffee amount to suit just one cup. Coffee brewed from these pods have a lovely aroma with a frothy top layer and with the Senseo Coffee Maker, it is so simple to brew a single cup with the reservoir still full to make yet another 4 cups more in quick succession or even in time bursts.

Senseo offers coffee pods in a variety of flavors which range from roasted specialties from all over the world like the Kona Coffee Blend, Kenya Blend, Columbian Blend, French Vanilla, Sumatra and others like a Dark Roast, Espresso, Medium Roast, Decaffeinated etc. Which ever flavor suits your mood, Senseo Coffee Maker has one to offer.

Senseo coffee machine and Senseo coffee pods can be ordered from retailers like, Walmart, Target, in the US or even online on the Senseo store.

Have a look at our Senseo Single Cup Coffee Maker Comparison to find the best Senseo single serving coffee machine for your kitchen. Check out our Senseo 7832/55 Supreme Single Cup Coffee Maker Review to get an in-depth look at one of the high-end Senseo brewers available on the market.

Coffee Talk – Coffee Break: The Impact Of Single Cup Coffee Machines

Single cup coffee machines are available across each brand today and over a price range starting at $20 to $1000 and even above. So, what is it that these single cup coffee machines are providing us really that we consumers are going crazy to get our own cups?

Starbucks Vue Packs

Starbucks Vue Packs

Consumers are savvy about trying out new gadgets these days. There is un-ending curiosity to know and use all the latest technologies that are available in the market, suiting their price range and eases their daily activities. It is not just about the requirement to savour the beverage that one favours most and yet in the comforts of one’s home, that one gets a single cup coffee maker. With age coffee makers are now available with a multitude of features that amuse and thrill the coffee aficionado. There are endless options for customizing your coffee today just with the touch of a button.

Waste through Single Cup Coffee Machines

There is another side to using single cup coffee machines in workplaces. On the Oprah show, it was proved that there is so much waste of finances and disposable paper cups because of single cup coffee vending. But also Oprah made sure to convert this big disadvantage of single cup coffee brewing into an easy advantage.

Simply, “Bring your own cup” and all the permanent employees were asked by the management to bring their own cups and only interns were allowed to use paper cups. This system worked just great in eliminating the extra carbon foot prints that were generated due to the use of a single cup coffee machine. Single cup coffee machines are a great way, where you can use your own cup, drink you own beverage and save 10 cents a day per cup per employee.

Packaging Reduction

Another place where single cup coffee pod manufacturer are struggling is to reduce packaging. Coffee whether in the form of beans or grounded, whether mixed with flavourings or condensed milk needs to be stored in an airtight container until the time, it is used for brewing the beverage. For creating and maintaining such a vacuum sealed condition, foil and plastic packaging needs to be used for the pods.

This kind of packaging needs to be replaced by something which is easily decomposable and environmental friendly. Until today, constant research is being done to come up with a solution, but there has been no fool-proof solution for this problem.

Read through our single cup coffee vending machine reviews to find the best single serving coffee machine for your needs. Check out our Keurig Vue V700 One Cup Coffee Machine Review to see whether the latest single serve coffee system is better with regards to the environmental impact!

Breville Single Cup Coffee Maker

Background on Breville

Breville, an Australian company, founded in Sydney is a popular Kitchen appliances maker since 1932. Mostly, they have been making kitchen products almost similar to the products that are made by the best in their category. However, Breville appliances have very good reviews and in many cases almost better reviews than the best selling brand. For example the Breville toasted sandwich maker almost got people to refer to sandwich makers as “Breville”.

Breville Single Cup Coffee Maker

A Breville Coffee machine is said to be the best single cup coffee maker when compared to the likes of a traditional coffee maker brewing larger quantities. Infact this machine would even provide you with all the different kind of features on it too as available on the larger variety. It has a built in water-filtration system and digital display to go with which keeps the user abreast of any requirements in terms of brew or water.

Breville BKC700XL Single Cup Coffee Maker

Breville BKC700XL Single Cup Coffee Maker

Alike most other machines in this category the Breville has an automatic switch off feature. I think, most of the product designers are in sync with the consumer wanting to do their bit in saving a bit of the natural resources in terms of electricity. However, Breville has this special feature of a timer turn on. So if you have an alarm going at 6.00am then you can literally have the coffee steaming on your bedstead at exactly the same time! And to go along with, you can also chose your flavor to go with it, whether hot or cold in terms of beverage, since Breville coffee makers is built to sync with the K-cups. Now, that can most certainly be called the perfect start to the day.

Issues with the Breville Single Cup Coffee Makers

The most common disadvantage with a Breville Coffee maker is the unavailability of quiet brew option. If you are nature kind of person who soaks up the dawn and feels good to hear the chirping or adore the misty weather outside early in the morning, you would be disappointed with the noise the this single cup coffee brewer makes while brewing. Also, at times, the dispensing needle has shown symptoms of becoming clogged with use. This would need to be cleaned over time and all instructions are actually mentioned on the manual, which makes me wonder, if the manufacturers were aware of this problem and still produce the product without correcting this flaw. For all we want is our home coffee brewer to be hassle free too while serving our best roast whenever we want.

Read through our single serving coffee machine reviews to find the best single cup coffee maker for your needs. We would also suggest that you check on the latest price for the Breville BKC700XL Gourmet Single-Serve Coffeemaker!

Tassimo Brewbot

The Origins of Tassimo

The Tassimo Hot Beverage system as it is referred as by Kraft Foods was launched in the US in 2005. At that time, Kraft Foods was associated with the makers of Tassimo Coffee Maker only for providing the unique T Disks containing the contents for preparing the beverage. Then in 2008 Procter&Gamble/Braun & Kraft foods mutually ended their partnership and Tassimo Coffee Maker came completely under Kraft Foods.

Tassimo Single Cup Coffee Maker

Tassimo Single Cup Coffee Maker

Tassimo introduced the Brewbot which was the first of its kind that was advanced and programmed to make seven different kinds of beverages ranging from hot to cold and lattes to cappuccinos to teas all at the touch of just one button.

Tassimo T Disks

The Tassimo single cup coffee maker works with a unique pod called the Tassimo T Disk. This pod works exclusively with this brewer. The disc’s contain coffee, cocoa, tea or concentrated milk creamer or in a combination as required by the nature of the beverage. The quantities in the T disc are all pre-measured with precision and quality sealed. A unique barcode on top of each Disc programs the Tassimo Coffee Maker to add required amount of water and set the temperature for brewing to provide the specific beverage that the user wishes to have. This single cup coffee maker is indeed a maestro at beverages in your home or at work. And all this happens within a minute! And, we were thinking of spending 30 minutes to actually get that favourite latte from a café.

Tassimo and Kraft Foods has collaborations with the best brands for preparing the T discs. Few others are Milka, Twinings, Gevalia, Maxwell House, Jacobs, etc. Single-handedly the coffee maker is able to provide an option for over 40 different types of beverages ranging over a close to a hundred different types of flavours.

It is however impossible to duplicate a T Disc, though several failed attempts have been made and it is strongly recommended that one uses the original brand for the best brewed taste at all times.

Tassimo and the Environment

Tassimo consistently works towards reducing their carbon footprints in many ways. The most likeable step is that Tassimo’s T disk manufacturing facilities are certified as “Zero Landfill”. Also, operations in the facilities run on wind-power from windmills installed on the facility’s roofs. Kraft Foods is the largest buyer of Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) cocoa and coffee beans world-wide. Hence you can brew that coffee from a disc that has much lesser carbon footprints than its competitors.

Read through our one cup coffee machine reviews to find the best single cup coffee maker for your needs. We would also suggest that you read through our Tassimo Single Serve Coffee Brewer Comparison!

The Next Generation In Single Serves

Marco is an Irish company that specializes in water related beverage systems. It is equipped with a thinking forward team for product design development and product life-cycle management of mainly filter coffee brewing and tea infusion systems. The design team currently hold two projects under its belt – “Uber Grinder” and “Uber Boiler”. They are involved with the Gold Cup Program with SCAE focusing mainly on research and development.

Uber Boiler

The “Uber Boiler” is the next Generation in single coffee brewing systems that would eliminate the existing cons of a one cup coffee maker and bring in new features that would make life even simpler for the consumers. Some of the “uber cool” features that Marco brings into this next gen coffee brewer are:

  1. Uber Boiler is a single cup coffee machine designed to manually brew a cup by controlling small quantity requirements with precision.
  2. Uber Boiler gives total control of critical parameters to the Barista to maintain the right temperature and the coffee to water ratio.
  3. There is no tank that needs to be filled in this brewer and works on the principle f continuous fill mode.
  4. The Ecosmart under-counter range fills the gap between single serve machines with water towers. Here there is digital control for dispensing and filling.
  5. The machine comes with a Fahrenheit temperature display and other features that can be controlled by the Baristas like temperature, pressure, portion sizes, dispensing and delivery.
  6. Obstruction between the Barista and the consumer is complete reduced since most of the machine is under the counter.
  7. The accuracy of temperature in the measuring gauge has been termed as incredible by the users.
  8. The machine can brew any type of gourmet coffee that is required by the consumers and is available as a comprehensive interface for ease of the Barista.
  9. The temperature stability provided by the Uber Boiler is unparalleled in the single cup coffee makers industry.

The machine was built with great about of precision and thought. It completely fulfills most of the cons that other single cup coffee machines that are available these days. Uber Boiler has style and finesse and caters to the usage demanded of by the Baristas for their consumers. Uber Boiler is the brainchild of Marco in collaboration with James Hoffman and Stephen Morrissey. The brewer has gained popularity in some parts of the US, wherever it has been introduced.

Read through our single cup coffee brewer reviews to find the best one cup coffee maker for your needs. If you’re looking at an affordable line of one cup coffee makers then make sure to read our Keurig One Cup Coffee Machine Comparison!

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