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K-cup coffeemakers

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by 4HiMarks, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

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    They're not in your neck of the woods (yet...) but Earth Fare has a great selection of roasted beans and they feature a lot of "local" products. So the stores each have some really unique varieties they bring in from local specialty vendors and are always very freshly roasted.

    I agree that the difference between fresh grinding and pre-ground is a much bigger difference than the fresh-roasting. Not to say the fresh-roasting doesn't kick it up another notch, but the fresh grind is several notches.
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, a fresh grind is very important. The reason is that air is the enemy of coffee and with preground coffee, once you open the bag or can, the freshness drops off dramatically. That even happens with whole beans, but not nearly as fast.

    The best combo is a freshly roasted, then properly age that roast which depends on the bean, and then grinding within a week or two of that roast. That's why the gourmet roasters can roast and send you a really good coffee, they wait until they have a fresh batch to send. So what you get is only a very few days old.
     
  3. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Nothing wrong with good ol Folgers.

    My wife has the Keurig and the Starbucks, I'm fine with the cheap stuff.
     
  4. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    So do the k-cups count as "fresh-ground" since they are hermetically sealed (presumably within seconds of grinding) until you are ready to brew?
     
  5. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Great question! I am sure the makers and their marketers will say yes, but I have my doubts. Devising a parallel test would be difficult at best.
     
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Not really.

    I've used the K-cups fairly often and there is no real fresh roasted taste there at all.

    And I've used the little roll your own adapter and used some of my freshly roasted and ground coffee and the difference was amazing. And I've used beans ground just in time from a gourmet roaster, with a much better flavor.

    But frankly, the Keurig doesn't get the water hot enough to make really excellent coffee no matter the source. And before someone jumps on me about that, most consumer coffee makers don't get the water hot enough either.

    Ideally the brew temperature should be 203 degrees and that is what good espresso machine and prosumer coffee makers provide. Of course that is a bit too hot to drink, so you blow on it or wait a bit for it to cool enough to drink comfortably.

    I use my Keurig when I want a really quick cup on the way out the door, otherwise I use my espresso machine.
     
  7. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    You are right to have doubts. It is nearly an impossibility to roast the coffee, package it in those small containers and get it to the store in a real short period of time and keep the price low enough to attract the casual coffee drinker.

    And regardless of seals, use of nitrogen and other ideas, coffee starts going stale from the very first minute out of the roaster. Some beans really gain some nuances in flavor from a bit of 'resting' time. Others not so much.

    Here's an example to contemplate. If you use a African Sidamo bean and roast it to a fairly dark roast, wait an hour and grind and make a cup. It will be good. But let it rest in a sealed container from 3-5 days and then try it again and you'll think you got a different bean! After that rest, the characteristic blueberry hint blossoms and is there for about 5 days after the rest. An interesting coffee bean all in all.
     
  8. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    I found that when I made drip coffee or even press pot, the differences between fresh ground and within a week or ten days was barely noticeable. But with an espresso maker, the differences between just ground and even an hour earlier are pretty big.

    Air is an enemy of freshness, and vacuum sealed and all helps, but can't do the whole bit. I wonder if anyone grinds and seals in an inert atmosphere, sorta like a clean room....?
     
  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    supposedly all of the major brands do nitrogen sealed into the containers, including the Keurig, Tassimo and Pod makers coffees. But it doesn't take very long at all for ground coffee to go stale once it hits air.
     
  10. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Yes, but I am wondering if any do inert gas through the grinding operation, conveying and tamping, not just after the fill point!
     
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I've not read anything that indicates that is done. From what I've seen they only use the nitrogen in the final packaging process.

    I would think trying to do that earlier in the cycle would be very cost prohibitive and drive up the price of coffee dramatically.
     
  12. trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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    No problems with our Cuisinart we got last fall at Costco. We grind our own and use a couple of these: http://amzn.com/B0051SU0OW

    Works well as the Mrs likes a mellow coffee while I prefer a bold like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Dark Sumatra.
     
  13. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The K-cup units here use hot water filtered through dry content K-cup units.

    I'm 99% sure there is no gas injection or similar process involved in the Keurig or Cuisinart K-cup coffee unit processing for coffee or other products.

    It's just hot water flowing through (with some simple air pressure ) through granular K-cup content.
     
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    We're talking about the packing at the mfg, not the coffee maker process.

    Here's what Keurig says about it:

    Each K-Cup® pack has a Best-Used-by-Date imprinted on the side. The Best-Used-by-Date is a guideline for optimal freshness recommended by the Roaster, it’s not an expiration date. K-Cup® packs are nitrogen-flushed, sealed for freshness and impermeable to oxygen, moisture and light.

    And the link to the full FAQ : http://www.keurig.com/customer-service/k-cups-and-beverages-support/frequently-asked-questions
     
  15. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting that.

    Yes...that is the accurate and comprehensive description.
     

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