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Taste test: Single-serving coffee

For a long time, I resisted the idea of owning a coffeemaker that made single servings. But, after pouring half a pot of coffee down the drain each morning, buying paper filters and washing the carafe every day, I decided it was worth a try. I waited, though, until I could buy the coffee at my grocery store. When you run out of coffee, there's no time for ordering online or waiting for a specialty store to open. My pot is a Keurig, although area grocery stores sell the coffee pods for other single-serving coffeemakers as well. Admittedly, once I started brewing coffee a cup at a time, I was hooked. I was even more sold on the coffeemaker when we found eight brands of coffee on grocery store shelves. We tried dark or bold-strength coffees, and brewed one cup of each brand. Coffee has no nutritional value and is not required by the Food and Drug Administration to have nutritional food labeling. We do know that the coffees had no calories, or negligible amounts. And because coffee drinkers are particular about their brews, we allowed each panelist to add milk or sweetener to each cup, depending on their personal preferences. The results were stirring. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/score

(out of 100)

Newman's Own Organics/73

Timothy's Melange Italien/62

Folgers Gourmet Selections Black Silk/61

Serving size

1 cup

1 cup

1 cup

Judges'

comments

Newman's Own

Newman's coffee was dark, smoky-flavored and strong. Judges loved the deep color and smooth texture. One described it as sharp. "This tastes like my favorite gas station coffee, and that's a good thing," one panelist said. Another described it as "bold and sassy."

Timothy's

Judges said this coffee gave them the biggest wake-up call. They said it was strong without being bitter. One said it was powerful enough to sip hot or stirred over ice. "It's definitely the one for that 5:30 a.m. flight from Tampa International Airport," said another.

Folgers

Perky was the word judges gave Folgers coffee. They liked the bronze color, the powerful aroma and the slight jolt they received from the caffeine. One said it was sharp and edgy. A couple of judges detected a slightly bitter aftertaste, but not enough to put their cups down. "This is definitely comparable to any cup of my favorite 'morning joe' brewed at home," said another.

Would

they buy?

Newman's

Three of the five judges said yes.

Timothy's

Three of the five judges said yes.

Folgers

Three of the five judges said yes.

Shopping information

Newman's

$9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of 18 from Target.

Timothy's

$9.88 for a 6-ounce box of 18 from Walmart.

Folgers

$6.99 for for a 3.4-ounce box of 12 from Sweetbay.

Also sampled: Tully's Kona Blend ($9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of 18 from Target, 60 points); Caribou Coffee ($9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of 18 from Target, 53 points); Green Mountain ($7.59 for a 4-ounce box of 12 from Sweetbay, 48 points); Grove Square ($7.98 for an 8-ounce box of 24 from Walmart, 51 points); and the Original Donut Shop ($9.95 for a 7.1-ounce box of 18 from Target, 45 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietician; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute in St. Petersburg; Janet Peterson, consumer and mother of two; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island.

All foods were tasted blind.

For a long time, I resisted the idea of owning a coffeemaker that made single servings. But, after pouring half a pot of coffee down the drain each morning, buying paper filters and washing the carafe every day, I decided it was worth a try. I waited, though, until I could buy the coffee at my grocery store. When you run out of coffee, there's no time for ordering online or waiting for a specialty store to open. My pot is a Keurig, although area grocery stores sell the coffee pods for other single-serving coffeemakers as well. Admittedly, once I started brewing coffee a cup at a time, I was hooked. I was even more sold on the coffeemaker when we found eight brands of coffee on grocery store shelves. We tried dark or bold-strength coffees, and brewed one cup of each brand. Coffee has no nutritional value and is not required by the Food and Drug Administration to have nutritional food labeling. We do know that the coffees had no calories, or negligible amounts. And because coffee drinkers are particular about their brews, we allowed each panelist to add milk or sweetener to each cup, depending on personal preferences. The results were stirring. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Newman's Own

Organics: 73
Timothy's Melange

Italien: 62
Folgers Gourmet

Selections Black Silk: 61
Judges'

comments
Newman's coffee was dark, smoky-flavored and strong. Judges loved the deep color and smooth texture. One described it as sharp. "This tastes like my favorite gas station coffee, and that's a good thing," one panelist said. Another described it as

"bold and sassy."
Judges said this coffee gave them the biggest wake-up call. They said it was strong without being bitter. One said it was powerful enough to sip hot or stirred over ice. "It's definitely the one for that 5:30 a.m. flight from Tampa International Airport," said another.Perky was the word judges gave Folgers coffee. They liked the bronze color, the powerful aroma and the slight jolt they received from the caffeine. One said it was sharp and edgy. A couple of judges detected a slightly bitter aftertaste, but not enough to put their cups down. "This is definitely comparable to any cup of my favorite 'morning joe' brewed at home," said another.
Would

they buy?
Three of the five judges said yes.Three of the five judges said yes.Three of the five judges said yes.
Shopping information$9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of

18 from Target.
$9.88 for a 6-ounce box of

18 from Walmart.
$6.99 for a 3.4-ounce box of

12 from Sweetbay.


Also Sampled: Tully's Kona Blend ($9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of 18 from Target, 60 points); Caribou Coffee ($9.95 for a 7.3-ounce box of 18 from Target, 53 points); Green Mountain ($7.59 for a 4-ounce box of 12 from Sweetbay, 48 points); Grove Square ($7.98 for an 8-ounce box of 24 from Walmart, 51 points); and the Original Donut Shop ($9.95 for a 7.1-ounce box of 18 from Target, 45 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: Single-serving coffee 01/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 5:31pm]

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