Archive for April, 2010

Summertime Fun

April 10, 2010

What’s your pleasure? Grilled Hamburgers, smoked Pork, freshly grilled veggies or just a butter herbed beer can chicken. In any case the flavors are your own creation! Get out and enjoy the grill!

Keurig Beverage System Review

April 6, 2010

The Keurig Platinum Brewer arrived on my doorstep two months ago from MS&L Group North America for demo purposes regardless of my reviews, and it has been performing perfectly since I set it up. Right out of the box it was easy to set up and took only 15 minutes to clean, fill with water and get it ready for my first cup of coffee. One really cool feature you noticed right away was the blue lighting under the water reservoir and the blue display LCD Control Panel.

The LCD panel is the brains of the operation, you can decide what cup size to brew, small cup, small mug, large mug, travel mug or iced beverage setting. Each one brews to a specific amount of fluid so you can tweak your desired strength of beverage to your personal taste. Now, you become the barista and decide how you want your coffee, and without the wait or hassle! If you wake up dragging your feet perhaps you need a small cup of espresso or maybe you the sun is shining and birds are singing and you are looking for a light, full-bodied large mug of Morning Roast coffee. In either case with a simple touch of a button, adding your special K-cup blend and pressing the handle brings you a fresh cup of coffee your way!

The cleaning of the unit is also very straightforward. The drip tray holds 12oz of overflow and is easy to remove, rinse and replace. The K-Cup holder Assembly simply snaps out and back in and can either be hand washed or placed onto the top shelf of a dishwasher. Once in a while you may need to clean the Funnel or Exit needle but a simple clog due to grinds can be expressed with a small paperclip pushed up into the needle to loosen the clog. If you live in a heavy lime area instructions to handle De-scaling are included and require you to use white vinegar run through a few brewing cycles and the machine will be good as new.

Enough on the setup and procedures, the real reason this review is being written is to discuss the wonderful beverage selections possible with the Keurig beverage System. There are over 200 varieties of K-Cups so you will never tire of the same old coffee or tea day after day. I prefer to experiment with the blends and actually create some flavor profiles of my own. For instance I like to mix a small brew of Green Mountain Mocha Nut Fudge with Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend. The flavors blend well together and give you almost a liquid snickers bar taste. The blends I’ve found most flavorful were from Caribou Coffee, Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy’s, Tully’s and Gloria Jeans. They do make a reusable coffee filter but with so man choices why bother unless you crave that special blend needed to get you through the day.

That’s not to say that the other blends out there are not superb in their own way, I just prefer the medium and light roasts of the blends previously mentioned. Once in a while I’ll build up to an Extra Bold or Dark Roast for that extra kick in the pants, but not too often. There are also some really wonderful teas in the K-Cup line and I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the subtle flavors that emanate from the freshly steeped tea. Twinings, Bigelow, Gloria Jeans, Timothy’s and Celestial Seasonings all have some really nice tea profiles.

I will say that I’ve been sadly disappointed with the Hot chocolate blends and honestly disgusted with Timothy’s White Hot Chocolate. The box states ”…decadent white chocolate infused with hints of cream and vanilla…” but that is far from the truth. Imagine an overly sweetened cup of warm milk with a white chocolate Easter bunny left to melt in the cup, and that’s being nice! The flavor was way too sweet, and looked like skim milk as it was being brewed. The Green mountain Hot Cocoa certainly wasn’t this bad but it too was very sweet and lacked any depth of chocolate flavor. My suggestion is to stick with packets of your favorite hot cocoa and brew hot water into your cup from the Keurig and then add the cocoa and stir.

To sum up the entire review and testing of this machine I would say that it earns 10 whisks out of 10 on Chef’s Scott’s demo rating system. The machine is easy to setup, and clean, wonderful to operate and maintain and allows you to create individual flavor profiles without the large brewing mess. Now each guest can have his or her specific blend without brewing pot after pot coffee or tea. You will not be disappointed with your purchase of this machine and I look forward to coming back in a few months with an additional review to let you know how it’s been performing. Until then – happy brewing!