I tend to prefer unflavored medium- and dark-roasted coffees. I'll make the occasional exception for a fantastic or intriguing coffee that falls outside my comfort zone. I have little interest in decaf pods (sorry!) because I'm practically immune to caffeine, but I'll try them if they're available. Questions and suggestions are welcome!
Most of my early reviews are based on an 8-ounce cup brewed using my Senseo. With the Senseo I would pre-wet the pods. I've now switched to a Grindmaster OPOD that does this automatically, as do the Bunn My Cafe MCP and MC Home models I'm testing out. Within a review for a given coffee, if the comments are based on an OPOD/Bunn brew they'll be either preceded by *OPOD*/*Bunn* or clearly associated with one or both of these machines. I usually take my coffee black, but I do occasionally add a squirt of half and half.
This may evolve further, but for the foreseeable future I'll limit myself to five tiers. Within a tier there's no explicit ranking. I'll stick to alphabetical order.
*FAVORITES* IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES (at the moment):
Dark: Baronet's 12-gram French Roast
Medium-dark: The Coffee Artisan's Artisan Blend and Brazil Dark
Medium: Fratello's Burundi Kinyovu
Light: The Coffee Artisan's Ethiopian Harrar and Papua New Guinea
100% Jamaican Blue Mountain: Marley Coffee
100% Kona: Baronet's Fancy (medium roast), with a very honorable mention for the Coffee Artisan's Extra Fancy (light roast)
Wow! (Not to be missed!)
Baronet 100% Kona Fancy - *OPOD*: Delicate. Light, woody flavor. Notably good body. Nice sparkle but less tangy than the Coffee Artisan's 100% Kona pod and smoother as it cools. Medium roast. Flavor better without cream. Thanks to EricBNC for the free sample.
Baronet French Roast - (formerly Cafe Invento French Roast Fanatic) *OPOD*: 12-gram pod. Wonderful aroma. Great, straightforward dark roast. Sweet. Smoother than the Sumatra. Fine black but delicious with cream. Espresso characteristics. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Coffee Artisan 100% Kona Extra Fancy - *OPOD*: Exceptional aroma, both before and after brewing. Lightly sweet. Bit of citrus. Hard-to-place flavor notes somewhere between molasses and aromatic wood. Really nice. Made Aloha Island's Diamond 100% Kona, my previous Kona favorite, taste flat afterward in comparison.
Coffee Artisan Ethiopian Harrar - *OPOD*: Blueberry dry aroma. Berry notes more subdued and buttery in the cup. Gentle sparkle. Very good body and depth of flavor given the lighter roast. Sweet. Upper-end flatness that might be construed as earthy. "Brown sugar" I get mostly in the aroma toward the end. Relative to Fratello's Ethiopian Idido Misty Valley (2009), more complex, less "in your face" with the berries, more pronounced acidity. Highly recommended at 7 oz. or less.
Coffee Artisan Papua New Guinea - *OPOD*: Sweet tobacco dry aroma? Smells "deep" when brewed if that makes any sense. Sumatra-esque. Full body. Refreshing sweetness. Agree that subtle fruitiness develops as it cools. Really digging this black though it's very good with cream also.
Fratello Colombian Villarrica Cup of Excellence - *OPOD*: Floral component to the aroma along with brown sugar. Nice long finish. Crisp acidity ("red apple" works for me). Delicious, shimmering flavor.
Fratello El Salvador Cup of Excellence 2007 - A fantastic full-bodied medium roast. Yum.
Fratello Ethiopian Sidamo Special Prep - Berry-laden wet aroma with more subtle fruit in the cup. In that respect, similar to the Coffee Artisan's Ethiopian Harrar (though Fratello's latest strikes me as closer to straw- than blue-). Brown sugar sweetness. Smooth and round, especially when brewed using the OPOD. Well-balanced acidity makes this a fine first cup of the day as well. Thumbs way up!
Fratello Honduras Las Amazonas Cup of Excellence - Wonderful. Understated in a way but truly great. Creamy. Delicious dark roast aroma along with lively fruit. Thanks to mattsense for providing the sample.
Fratello Honduras Marcala - Fantastic. Very flavorful. "Buttery and silky mouth feel"? You betcha.
Fratello Nicaraguan Fina El Limoncillo Pacamara Peaberry - Exceptional. Can't beat the original description: orange, pine, black cherry, cloves, apple, with grapefruit acidity.
Fratello Nicaraguan Los Milagros Cup of Excellence - Wonderful rich flavor. Extremely smooth. Would be fine black. Like the El Salvador COE but with a bit more depth. The roast tasted almost dark when piping hot.
Fratello Nicaraguan Los Placeres - *OPOD*: Tasting notes are right on: "Aromas of caramelized cherries and a delicate buttery body with flavors of milk chocolate and pecans. A clean grape acidity." Outstanding mouth feel; in that sense like a Honduras Marcala 2.0. Sweet. No rough edges whatsoever and yet not overly soft. As the name suggests, a true pleasure to taste/drink.
Higgins & Burke Black Pearl - Wonderful rich aroma. Bit of an edge. More aggressive (and darker) than their Midnight Mirage. Full-bodied even as it cools. Satisfying flavor that's hard to pin down. Especially good with cream. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Ahh (Satisfaction guaranteed)
Baronet 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain - *OPOD*: Smells fantastic right out of the package. Very complex, distinctive aroma in the cup. Smooth. Rich flavor without feeling overly light in the mouth. Medium roast. Crisp. Orange? Didn't need or want to add cream, but I tried adding a little squirt toward the end. With cream, surprising sweetness emerges. Orange, chocolate notes pop out. Simply wonderful the first time, but less so the second and third.
Baronet Tanzania Peaberry - *OPOD*: 10-gram pod. Labeled as "micro roasted." Smells robust and fresh out of the package. Wet aroma a combination of cherry, rum, and cocoa. Pronounced but balanced acidity. Subtly bittersweet finish. Decent body at 6 oz. Similar to Fratello's Bolivian COE re: compact flavor. Cream enhances the roasty nose. Thanks to coffeeortea for the free sample.
Coffee Artisan Artisan Blend - *OPOD*: Cocoa + fruit in the wet aroma, which is deliciously complex. Winey zing balanced by body/depth of the Sumatran component. No char to speak of. Spicy tingle to the finish. Bit of smoke toward the end of the cup. More full-bodied, heavier, livelier than the Dark Side.
Coffee Artisan Brazil Dark - *OPOD*: Smells like a dark roast lover's dream. Hint of spice. Good body. Robust. Chocolate starts to come on strong pretty quickly. Low-acidity, as advertised, and relatively sweet. Loved this both at 8 oz. and just under 7.
Coffee Artisan Celebes Kalossi - *OPOD*: Full-bodied. Earthy zing to it. Fruit in the finish. I get the "refined Sumatra" reference.
Coffee Artisan Dark Side - *OPOD*: Thoroughly enjoyed this black. Great everyday dark. Pleasant tinge of smoke. Subtle chocolate notes emerge with cream.
Coffee Artisan Indian Mysore - *OPOD*: Almost savory aroma prior to brewing (like a dry spice rub). Mild. Good body. A little scorched dark chocolate toward the end. Fun to taste.
Coffee Artisan Jamaican Blue Mountain - *OPOD*: Alluring aroma. Smooth. Delicate, well-balanced acidity somewhere between lemon and orange. Clean. Spicy. Light roast. Wonderful to drink black. Cream not necessary but accentuates cocoa notes. A treat, especially at this price!
Coffee Artisan Rwanda Ingoboka - *OPOD*: Aroma something special both before and after brewing. "Snappy mandarin acidity" is right. Winey citrus notes prominent. Lightly sweet. Preferred this with cream.
Coffee Artisan Zambian Terranova Estate Extra Bold - *OPOD*: 11.9-g. pod. Could well have the best wet aroma since Fratello's Colombian Villarrica COE; I get pine nut, dried pineapple, and baker's chocolate. Little zing of acidity. Smooth. Pleasant, hard-to-place savory flavors balance the coffee's natural sweetness nicely. Floral quality to the finish. Nuttier as it cools. Not overly dark at all in terms of roast. Can handle cream but better black. Reminds me in some ways of TCA's now-discontinued Malawi. One to savor. Thanks to Chad at the Coffee Artisan for the free samples.
Fratello Acid Jazz - *OPOD*: (2009 version with Colombian Huila Pitalito + Kenya Giathuga Nyeri) Sweet, earthy aroma. Enjoyable black. Smooth. Spicy. Bright. Kenyan beans balance out the acidity and add depth of flavor; (2008 version brewed using Senseo: Little bit spicy. On the thin side. Bright.)
Fratello Brazil Daterra Sweet Blue - *OPOD*: (2010 version) Just as good as last year's. A touch nuttier; (2009 version: Great aroma. Hint of citrus without being winey or all that bright. Prefer this with cream. Chocolate notes emerge especially as it starts to cool. Balanced. Little something extra in the finish. A coffee to savor.)
Fratello Brazil Sete Cachoeiras (Rainforest Alliance) - Nutty. Wonderful. Chocolate in the aroma. I drank half a case of this when I first stumbled into the pod world.
Fratello Burundi Kinyovu - *OPOD*: Dry aroma reminiscent of candied orange peel. In the cup, sweet and smooth with a well-balanced, citrus-leaning acidity and silky mouth feel. Cinnamon notes seem to come and go. A simultaneously complex and gentle coffee.
Fratello Costa Rican Calle de Copey Cup of Excellence - *OPOD*: Honey in the wet aroma. Something like "oatmeal" also when piping hot (understand that reference). Very clean, silky cup. Amazingly creamy. Light fruity acidity comes in after a few minutes. A treat to drink. As if someone took Fratello's Costa Rican Co-op Palmares and turned up the volume.
Fratello Costa Rican Tarrazu Rio Jorco - Smells rich like flaky pastry. Great sweetness and body (re: the latter, less so when brewed using the Bunn). I understand the "red apple" reference. Fresh-tasting. Some chocolate coming into focus late. Can imagine this pleasing many types of coffee drinkers.
Fratello Ethiopian Idido Misty Valley - *OPOD*: (2009) Intense blueberry aroma right out of the package that carries into the cup. Full, almost syrupy body. Amazing fruit. Clean. Touch of sweetness (amplified by cream). I might actually prefer this black. Great flavor goes on and on.
Fratello Godfather Espresso - *OPOD*: 10 grams of smooth, creamy, chocolatey goodness. Not as aggressive as expected, however, even at 7 oz. "Prune" is a perfect description for one subtle background note (thanks, Coffee Review). Cream amps up the sweetness and fruit, making this an "Ahh" in my book.
Fratello Guatemala Montecristo - *OPOD*: Wet aroma maple-ish (or brown sugary), as described. Clean, sweet, and round. Pleasingly light acidity. Strikes me as a perfect morning coffee. Performs well as it cools. My favorite Guatemalan pod yet.
Fratello Kenya Wamuguma - *OPOD*: Savory, rich (almost meaty) dry aroma becoming sweeter once brewed. Round, very full-bodied, and well-balanced. Surprisingly mild, refined acidity for a Kenya. Chocolate doesn't overwhelm but there for the noticing. Graham cracker? Yes! Cream not needed or recommended.
Fratello Panama Diamond Mountain Esmeralda - *OPOD*: Citrus and chocolate come through in wet aroma. First impression on tongue: not flat but thick (spreading out). Good body. Lemony sparkle in the background delicately held in check. Deep, satisfying flavor. Cream adds dimension especially to the aroma.
Fratello Tanzania Songea Peaberry - *OPOD*: Best aroma since Fratello's Colombian Villarrica COE. Fruit forward (peach/mango not far off). Lively and clean. Nice long finish. Good body. Compared to Baronet's Tanzania Peaberry: superior aroma, thicker mouth feel, more layers/complexity in terms of flavor.
JavaOne Rainforest Alliance French Roast - *OPOD*: Fresh dry aroma makes a great first impression. In the cup, boom! Dense and robust with scorched chocolate notes. Smooth despite moderate char. Prefer this with cream, which brings out a dark, mildly fruity sweetness. Thanks to Chad at the Coffee Artisan for the free samples.
JavaPodz Jamaican Blue Mountain - *OPOD*: Smells like sweet wood and chocolate. Light acidity becoming more citrusy as it cools. Smooth and full-bodied with perhaps the best mouth feel of the JBM pods (depending on freshness). Medium roast.
Marley Coffee Jamaica Blue Mountain - *OPOD*: Mellow, sweet, smooth, and just very, very good. Well-balanced acidity (Eric's "cherry" could be right). Great body and mouth feel (creamiest of all the JBMs). Chocolate in the wet aroma emerging in the cup as it cools. Thanks to EricBNC for the free sample.
Marley Coffee Kingston City Roast - *OPOD*: Very satisfying medium-dark blend of Central, South American, and African beans. Smooth and flavorful with well-balanced acidity. Chocolate notes abound. Reminds me of the Coffee Artisan's Dark Side. Try it with cream at least once even if you usually prefer your coffee black. Thanks to EricBNC for the free sample.
Reunion Island Brazil Ouro Fino Extra Bold - *OPOD*: 13-gram pod. The first natural-processed Brazilian coffee I've encountered, and it's a winner. Blueberry dry aroma carries into the cup. Understand the "maple" reference. Sweet. Great body for a lighter roast. Well-balanced acidity becoming slightly more prominent as it cools. Can handle a little cream & sugar (verging on lemony when tasted this way). I cupped the whole bean version alongside the pod, and the pod compared surprisingly favorably. Thumbs up! Thanks to ricoffee for the free samples.
Reunion Island Fair Trade Organic French Roast Extra Bold - *OPOD*: 13-gram pod. Simply awesome aroma. Sweet and rich. Tiny bite to the finish. Smooth. Takes cream like a champ. Chocolate notes + caramelized fruit.
Reunion Island Sumatra Ketambe Dark - Beautiful sweetness. Would be fine black. A classic.
Van Houtte Midnight Express - *OPOD*: Fat, symmetrical pod. OPOD had a little difficulty swallowing it. Shorter-than-average drop. Very robust, solid dark. Toasty. The k-cup version pales in comparison.
Solid (You could buy a box and probably not regret it)
Aloha Island Decaf 100% Kona Dark Roast - *OPOD*: Uber-smooth. Hint of aromatic wood. Little sweetness in the finish. Occasional bitter edge, but nothing to complain about. Enjoyed this black. Nice caramel notes with cream. Thanks to an anonymous donor for the free sample.
Aloha Island Diamond 100% Kona - Drank it black. Fantastic aroma. Intriguing ruby color. Extremely smooth. Flavor improved as it cooled. Quite a pod! Made every k-cup I drank for the next few days seem harsh.
Aloha Island Gold 100% Kona - *OPOD*: Nice body. More lively than the Platinum or Diamond. Good and earthy. Refreshing touch of sweetness. Preferred this with a spot of cream. Thanks to an anonymous donor for the free sample.
Aloha Island Platinum 100% Kona - Smelled fantastic. A treat. Good smoothness and flavor, but I wasn't totally blown away.
Barnie's Global Blend Fair Trade Organic - *OPOD*: 9-gram pod. Nice S. and Central American blend! Good body and flavor with sweet, dark choc. finish. "Solid" as they come. Thanks to coffeeortea for the free samples.
Baronet BLAST - (formerly Cafe Invento Ogopogo Ride) *OPOD*: 12-gram pod. Bold. Smooth. Would be fine with a larger-than-average drop. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Baronet Dark Kenya AA - *OPOD*: 12-gram pod. Nice and robust-smelling out of the wrapper. Wet aroma very similar to that of Baronet's French Roast. In the cup, espresso characteristics. Bittersweet finish. Smooth but with a light tingle/bite. Prefer this with cream. Could swear I got a whiff of banana toward the end. Thanks to EricBNC for the free sample.
Baronet House Blend - (formerly Cafe Invento House Blend) *OPOD*: 12-gram pod. Good aroma. Darker than I'd expected. Little bite reminds me of their Sumatra. Wanted cream with this one. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Baronet Sumatra Mandheling - 10-gram version. Pretty tasty. The Gourmet Cafe Sumatra doesn't have much of an edge over this one.
Baronet Sumatra Mandheling - (formerly Cafe Invento Sultry Sumatra) *OPOD*: 12-gram version. Nice toasty aroma. Pleasant char. Sweet. Good flavor. Lively. Bold. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Black Mountain Gold Costa Rica - A little thin-bodied but nice. Spicy taste and aroma.
Black Mountain Gold Kenya AA - *OPOD*: Good flavor. Pleasant bite to this coffee but still smooth, relatively mild.
Black Mountain Gold Moka Java - Cooler spelling than the Fratello Mocca Java but not as good in the aroma or flavor departments.
Cafe Duran Premium Roast - *OPOD*: 9.6-gram pod. Fresh-ish (judging by aroma and oils atop the brewed cup) but ultimately just passable. Decent body and balance when hot. Woody. Good, simple flavor. Becomes harsher as it cools (possibly due to roast) with a top-back bite. Prefer this with cream. Thanks to Joe @ Shoffee for the free samples.
Cafe Halo Ethical Addiction - *OPOD*: 8-gram pod. Better-than-average dark roast with subtle smoke and bittersweet chocolate notes balanced by sweetness. NB: I can't recommend pods that aren't individually wrapped.
Cafe Halo French Roast - *Bunn*: 8-gram pod. At 7 oz., fine but nothing more. Robust. Handles cream fairly well. NB: I can't recommend pods that aren't individually wrapped.
Cafe Halo Sumatra Dark Blend - *OPOD*: 8-gram pod. Dry aroma somewhere between baggy and earthy. Wet aroma much more pleasing (good and dark). Easy on the char. Flavor lacking a bit (at 7 oz.), but acidity and body are fine (though not standing out). A low "Solid." NB: I can't recommend pods that aren't individually wrapped.
Cafe Rene Peru Bio - *OPOD*: 7-gram pod. Nice rich cup at ~5.5 oz. Sweet wet aroma (chocolate raisin) colors flavor. Toasty grain/malt notes also, possibly from roast, which seems medium-dark. Smooth. Very mild acidity.
Cafejo Adrenaline Explosion - Standout flavor. Still good the second and third times I had it but with less wow factor. This really made an impression on me as it was one of the first pods I ever tried after graduating from Senseo pods.
Cafejo Breakfast - Bright and sweet. Flavorful. Only the second breakfast blend that's impressed me in pod format. Very nice.
Cafejo Espresso Italiano Gold - Dark. Floral.
Cafejo Kenya - Didn't love this black, but with cream it was really good.
Cafejo Kona Blend - Nicely done. Distinctive flavor. Right up there with Timothy's at the top of the heap of Kona blends.
Cafejo Signature - Can't find anything wrong with this one.
City Steam House Blend - *OPOD*: 11-gram symmetrical pod. Appetizing wet aroma. In the cup, nice light acidity verging on peach. Body is fine. Uncomplicated but good flavor. Bready note? Touch of muted chocolate. Good with cream. A decent medium-roast addition to the sampler that comes with the new Bunn MCH and to podland in general.
Coffee Artisan Dark Side Decaf - *OPOD*: Tasty! No decaf aftertaste. Don't be scared by the "dark" descriptor. This one's rich and robust without any char. Very subtle smoky finish.
Coffee Artisan Kenya Dark - *OPOD*: In the cup, notes of chocolate and possibly blackberry. Mild earthy alkalinity. Similar to Fratello's old Kenya AA in its delicacy (for a darker roast). Nice mouth feel. Takes cream well (becoming more chocolate sundae-like). Try a shorter drop when brewing this pod if you're looking for more bite. Very close to an "Ahh."
Coffee Artisan Organic Mexican Altura Decaf - *OPOD*: Pleasing wet aroma. Solid flavor (toast?). On the thin side in terms of general mouth feel but enough body to handle cream. Soft and clean.
Coffee Sense French Roast - *OPOD*: Robust but easygoing. Wet aroma much more appealing than dry. Drank it black at 8 oz. and loved it. Very nice at 7 oz. too. Plain black JavaOne wrapper. Thanks to zrrrzzt for the free sample.
Coffee Sense Sumatra Mandheling - *OPOD*: Nice aroma, both dry and wet. Malty? Smooth. Little fruit. Medium-dark. Baker's chocolate finish with cream. Low-to-mid-range solid at 8 oz. Less enjoyable at 6 oz. Plain black JavaOne wrapper. Thanks to zrrrzzt for the free sample.
Community Coffee Breakfast Blend - *OPOD*: 11-gram pod. Acceptable, though still not my favorite breakfast blend. The pod seems to have been beefed up since I last tried it and has a more balanced acidity. Thanks to Blair at Community Coffee for the free samples; (previous tasting: 10-gram pod. Makes a good impression with respect to freshness from aroma to cup, but way too weak at 8 oz. Flavor and body on the thin side, allowing the otherwise enjoyable acidity to dominate unpleasantly (especially as it cools).)
Community Coffee Cafe Special - *OPOD*: 11-gram pod. Rich wet aroma. Fairly good body. Tiniest bit of chocolate in there. Smooth, sweet medium roast. Low acidity. Decent flavor (though nothing to exclaim about). Thanks to Blair at Community Coffee for the free samples.
Community Coffee Dark Roast - *OPOD*: 11-gram pod. Better than I'd remembered. Cream still improves the cup. Thanks to Blair at Community Coffee for the free samples; (previous tasting: Passable. Smells good in the cup. Preferred this with cream due to slight tang while cooling. Flavor has a malty bite to it. Wouldn't miss it much if I were from LA.)
Cool Beans San Francisco Blend - A top-shelf dark. Lopsided pod construction though.
Distinctively Yours Decaffeinated - *OPOD*: Nice aroma. First sip felt thin, so not the most full-bodied medium roast out there. Smooth. No decaf bitterness. Detected some fruit with cream. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Distinctively Yours European Dark - *OPOD*: Seems to be roasted to just short of French. Hint of char without any butterness. Somewhat flat/one-dimensional. Reminded me of Coffee People's Organic k-cup. A low-end "Solid." Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Donut Shop Classics Donut Shop - *OPOD*: 9.5-gram pod. A nice, no-frills cup. Light caramel notes. Smooth to the last drop. Held up just fine at 8 oz. Thanks to wingznut76 for the free sample.
Dunkin' Donuts Dark - *OPOD*: (dated 10 SEP 21) Fat, symmetrical 10-gram pod. Smells fresh right out of the wrapper. Little baker's chocolate in the wet aroma. On the sweet side. Decent mouth feel. Good but simple and not overly dark flavor profile. Bit of an earthy finish. Had the impression that the cup improved as it cooled. Prefer this with cream, which it takes well. Thanks to mattsense for the free samples.
Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend - *OPOD*: (dated 10 SEP 20) Reminded me of the Fratello Bolivian Cafe Central Organic COE (dusky tomato notes). Medium-bodied but can handle cream. Slightly tea-like finish when brewed in the Bunn at 8 oz. The OPOD brings out more fruit. Smooth as it cools. Surprisingly good. Bonus review: my wife is a huge DD fan and enjoys this pod quite a bit. Thanks to mattsense for the free samples.
Eldorado Costa Rican Tarrazu - *OPOD*: Relatively bright/tangy with darker fruit in the background. Chocolate aroma. Almost chewy body. Not as mild as advertised. Nice long finish. Reminds me of Fratello's Panama Diamond Mountain Esmeralda a bit. Thanks to ifonline for the free sample.
Eldorado Colombian Popayan Supremo - *OPOD*: Small symmetrical pod. Initially too bright for my taste, but grew on me. Smooth and fruity. Decent body. A lower-tier "Solid."
Eldorado French Quarter Blend - *OPOD*: Strong and spicy (from the chicory?) with a little bite. Handles cream well.
Eldorado Kenyan AA - *OPOD*: Dry aroma nutty with wisps of sweet tobacco. In the cup, bright but balanced. Good body. Light, citrusy finish. Becomes somewhat sharper as it cools. Chocolate notes emerge and tobacco resurfaces. Thanks to ifonline for the free sample.
Eldorado Mocha Java - *OPOD*: 11-gram symmetrical pod. Medium-bodied. Sweet finish. Acidity builds after the first few sips. Wet aroma of subdued citrus, cocoa, blackberry. Blend heavier on the African beans. Takes cream but much prefer this coffee without. Thanks to ifonline for the free sample.
Eldorado Organic Guatemala - *OPOD*: Sweet, round, and smooth. Light acidity building as it cools to a definite citrusy tang. Didn't get much of the smoke advertised. Thanks to ifonline for the free sample.
European Roasterie Breakfast Brew - *OPOD*: One of the better breakfast blends. Pod on the small side but well-made. Nice aroma. Lively little snap. Light but enjoyable. Thanks to Chad at the Coffee Artisan for the free sample.
European Roasterie Colombian Supremo - *OPOD*: Smells wonderful out of the package. Great cup. Nice black. Can handle cream. Medium-bodied. Thanks to Chad at the Coffee Artisan for the free sample.
European Roasterie Velvet Hammer Blend - *OPOD*: Little sharpness to it. Good but not exciting. Not getting much smokiness. Roasty cocoa aroma at the bottom of the cup. Very low "Solid." Thanks to Chad at the Coffee Artisan for the free sample.
Fratello Bavarian Dutch Chocolate - *OPOD*: Simple cocoa aroma and flavor. Not overpowering.
Fratello Bolivian Cafe Central Organic Cup of Excellence - *OPOD*: Hard-to-place dry aroma (sweet + fruit + spice). Caramelized ketchup? Wet aroma includes floral component (could be jasmine). Smooth. Pronounced acidity. Nice long finish, as advertised. Best to drink black. Chocolate notes emerge with a smaller drop.
Fratello Bolivian Telmo Cahuana Cup of Excellence - First sip had cherry, winey notes. Chocolate in the aroma. A kind of neat, compact flavor that might be what people call raisin (combined with nuttiness).
Fratello Cerro Alto - Would be great black. Apricot in the aroma? On the light side but very nice flavor. Super easy to drink.
Fratello Coconut Fiesta - One of the few flavored pods I'd try again. Surprisingly good. Coconut notes not strong or cloying at all.
Fratello COHO Dark Organic Fair Trade - Really interesting texture to this coffee. Husky. Little smoke in there? Like it a lot.
Fratello Colombian Alvaro Losada - *OPOD*: Smells exceptional, like brown sugar and waffle batter. In the cup, agree with Don that it's hardly the smoothest Colombian ever. A walnut flavor predominates. Somewhat winey acidity. Not a favorite, but good.
Fratello Colombian Huila Pitalito - *OPOD*: Livelier than the original Colombian Supremo. More fruity notes. Green apple edge to it. Slightly thinner mouth feel as a result.
Fratello Colombian Huila Suaza - *OPOD*: Sweet, rich aroma. Uber-smooth with great body. Light acidity verging on orange (more lemony with cream, which you likely won't want or need). Understated elegance.
Fratello Colombian Supremo - Great sweetness. Really full body. Very happy with this one. Beats Cafejo's Colombian Gold easily in my opinion.
Fratello Colombian Tolima - 11-gram pod. I get brown sugar/toffee/caramel mainly in the wet aroma and not so much in the cup. Tangy fruit finish. The OPOD brings out more body (welcome) but yields more muted acidity and flavor than the Bunn delivers. Increasing complexity as it cools. Nevertheless, fails to impress overall.
Fratello Costa Rican Co-op Palmares - *OPOD*: Apt description from Fratello's cupping notes: "Thick body of milk chocolate fudge and a clean silky finish." Almost too clean! Wonderful, hard-to-place aroma. Apple acidity only hinted at black (absent with cream, which I don't recommend for this one).
Fratello Costa Rican Coopedota Tarrazu - Smooth, light without becoming too thin-bodied. Clean. Creamy. Little caramel in there?
Fratello Dixie Voodoo Organic - *OPOD*: (new organic version dated 09/30/10) Still a smooth, full-bodied, chocolatey dark roast, but somewhat less spicy and exciting than before; (previous incarnation: *OPOD*: Definite aroma of burning cedar. Exciting coffee. No bitterness, but an intriguing aftertaste similar to baker's chocolate; Senseo: Smoky and a little bitter. Needed cream.)
Fratello Ethiopian Sidamo - Bright and fruity. Could drink this black. Not quite the Peet's Ethiopian Supernatural equivalent I was trying to find in a pod, but good nonetheless.
Fratello Ethiopian Sidamo Ardi - *OPOD*: Familiar but not overpowering "full natural" berry aroma (both dry and wet). Chocolate-covered fruit flavors. Good body. Lightly astringent acidity. Nice with cream.
Fratello French Saigon Dark - On the easy side for a dark roast. Solid.
Fratello Gunsmoke - *OPOD*: (batch dated 12/22/09) *Really* enjoyed this with cream. Smoky cocoa finish more noticeable without though; Senseo: Was almost surprised to like this after all the talk of smoke. One of the better darks. Pleasant smell of char while brewing (and afterward) without a burnt taste. If smokiness weren't an acquired taste I'd have put this pod in the "Solid" tier.
Fratello Hawaiian Hazelnut - *OPOD*: Off-putting first sniff while black (chemical nuttiness?), but primarily coconut flavoring more subdued in the cup. Not bad at all with cream.
Fratello Highlander Grogg - *OPOD*: Strong butterscotch aroma but subdued flavor in the cup, allowing the coffee to assert itself. Decent black. Even better with cream and/or sugar. Hazelnut notes. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Fratello Kenya AA - *OPOD*: ("newer" version with date code 07 03 2008) A delicate dark. Nice subtle flavor. Clean. Very little "snap." Would make a good morning coffee; (older version from different batch: Middle-of-the road dark. Didn't complement the chocolate I ate with it well at all.)
Fratello Marachesh Blend - Velvety is right. Very good. Lively. Great aroma.
Fratello Mocca Java - *OPOD*: (2009 version with Ethiopian Kembata + Sumatra Tabu Jamu) Lively. Well-balanced medium roast. Nice depth of flavor. Earthy aroma. Subtle berry notes; (2008 version brewed using Senseo: Solid blend of the Sidamo and Sumatra.)
Fratello Moka Sanani - Almost too light of a roast but the fruitiness compensates. Body rounds out with cream. Earthy, savory aroma.
Fratello Nicaraguan Free Trade Organic - Smooth and very sweet. Delicious. Straightforward.
Fratello Nicaraguan Mama Mina Estate - Chocolate aroma. Good body. Crisp.
Fratello Peru Organic Decaf - *OPOD*: Good and strong. Robust flavor. Fine to drink black.
Fratello Rwanda COOPAC Fair Trade - *OPOD*: Smells like chocolate-covered raisins. Good body. Rich. Sweet. Mild flavors that aren't super-distinct but that combine well. Nice lingering finish. Not far from an "Ahh."
Fratello Snakebite - Wow. A really robust dark. Good body. More straightforward than the Gunsmoke. Smells like roasted beans.
Fratello Sumatra Organic Fair Trade - *OPOD*: (Aceh Organic, dated 11 03 10) Relative to the previous version, somewhat thin-bodied (agree with Don) with comparable spice (agree with Pat) and flavor profile. A bit of chocolate halfway through the cup. Caramel notes emerging late. Recommend a shorter drop with this one; (older version with different base coffee, Tabu Jamu, dated 03 09 09: Woody aroma. Subtle but distinct black pepper notes. Nice flavor balance. Decent body but not "syrupy." Would have preferred a darker roast than Full City.)
Gourmet Cafe Breakfast Blend - *OPOD*: Pleasant, mild flavor without feeling weak or excessively thin-bodied. Not my favorite breakfast blend, but still very nice.
Gourmet Cafe Colombian Supremo - *OPOD*: Another good Colombian pod. Slightly more thin-bodied than Zavida's version. Preferred this black.
Gourmet Cafe Estate Costa Rican - More mellow than I'd hoped for, but still a great cup.
Gourmet Cafe French Roast - Very good but not exceptional.
Gourmet Cafe Kona Blend - *OPOD*: Mild and sweet. Kona flavor profile comes through somewhat.
Gourmet Cafe Sumatra Mandheling - *OPOD*: Fantastic black, at least piping hot. Medium roast. Low acidity. A bit thin with cream as it cools; (Senseo: Smooth. Very good, but not my favorite.)
Higgins & Burke Midnight Mirage - *OPOD*: Very dark roast. Smooth. Robust. Thoroughly enjoyed this with cream. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
JavaOne Estate Costa Rican - *OPOD*: Simple but satisfying enough. Nice black (though subtle bitter notes develop while cooling) or with cream.
JavaPodz Australia Mountain Top Extra Fancy: *OPOD*: Nutty aroma out of the package. In the cup, smells like dark fruit and earth with a touch of orange. Smooth. Good flavor. Subtle cocoa notes. Agree with the sweetness advertised but not the smoke. Acidity builds to a mild zing as it cools. Medium-bodied. Reminds me in some respects of the Coffee Artisan's Papua New Guinea. Almost an "Ahh."
JavaPodz Blueberry Cobbler - *OPOD*: Drinkable black, amazingly. Definite buttery berry aroma. Works well with cream. Thanks to goheels for the free sample.
Kienna Mission Bridge - *OPOD*: Nice aroma. Smooth. Flavorful. Decent body. Medium-dark.
Kienna Royal African - *OPOD*: 10-gram pod. Described as a dark-roasted blend of 3 African beans. Toasty notes obscure origin for the most part, but some nice acidity does peek through. Good aroma. Takes cream well. If you like any Kenya Dark, you'll probably like this as well. Thanks to Ian at Kienna for the free samples.
Lavazza Caffe Filtro - Tried this at the Hilton and liked it. Very smooth and tasty, even when made in the crappy Cuisinart pod machine that was in my room.
Molto Espresso Roast - I might never have tried this but for a free sample they sent. Really liked it. A great everyday dark.
Monoprix Gourmet Ethiopian Sidamo - *OPOD*: 7-gram "pod in a bag" sold in France. Wet aroma sweet and floral with a wisp of citrus. In the cup brewed at 6 oz., relatively bright. Full-bodied. Juicy. Flavor reminiscent of dark citrus and red berry. Chocolate notes develop late. Thanks to Elisa for the free sample. NB: I can't truly recommend pods that aren't individually wrapped, but this one is the best of the bagged pods I've tried, and its bag seals with a zip.
New Hampshire Morning Blend - *OPOD*: Aroma verging on sweet dry and chocolatey wet. In the cup, lively but balanced. Quick finish becoming not unpleasantly bittersweet as it cools. As breakfast blends go, better than the Eldorado but not as good as the Parks & Co. Thanks to Bill at New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Co. for the free sample.
Nossa Familia Teodoro's Italian Roast - *OPOD*: Nice and clean. Medium roast leaning toward dark. Not bold but flavorful. Quick finish.
Parks & Co.ffee House Blend - *OPOD*: Borderline earthy wet aroma. Above-average house blend at 7 oz. Lively but balanced. Neutral without veering off into dullness. Thanks to Holli Bertrand at Parks & Co. for the free sample.
Parks & Co.ffee Molten Lava Java - *OPOD*: 10-gram symmetrical pod. Sumatran. Spicy, fresh dry aroma with continued spice in the cup. Sweet and smooth. Medium-bodied. Cereal quality to the flavor. Subdued berry notes emerge. Just short of Italian roast. Thanks to Holli Bertrand at Parks & Co. for the free sample.
Parks & Co.ffee Papa's Prime Roast - *OPOD*: Billed as their darkest roast and smells like it. First sip heavy on the bittersweet finish. Bit of a cereal aftertaste. Enjoyed it more as it cooled. Cream recommended. Reminds me of the Community Coffee Dark Roast, which I liked less. Thanks to Holli Bertrand at Parks & Co. for the free sample.
Parks & Co.ffee Sunny Side Up Breakfast Blend - *OPOD*: Sweet-toned first cup with caramel wet aroma. Well-balanced. Above-average body for a breakfast blend. Should satisfy the "just give me a coffee" crowd. Thanks to Holli Bertrand at Parks & Co. for the free sample.
PODhead Italian Blend (8g.) - NB: This is a 44mm. pod that's not designed for the Senseo (too small and thick). Still, the coffee is good enough that it might be worth your time to finesse the pod if you don't have a Melitta One:One machine. See my post at the top of the third page of this thread for details. Recommended method for Senseo: 10-12g. in a T-sac using the double pod holder. Your choice as to 4 or 8 oz. drop. Great aroma. Nice little tang. Robust flavor. Reminds me of the Cafejo Espresso Italiano. Thanks to yobob for the samples.
PODhead Sensation Milano Espresso Roast - *OPOD*: Big symmetrical pod. Could barely get OPOD to latch using normal pod holder. Robust. Toasty. Smooth.
PODhead Sensation Narragansett Blend - *OPOD*: Big symmetrical pod. Nice acidity. "Snappy." Great aroma. Medium roast. Nutty finish.
Reunion Island Bolivia Oriente Dark Organic Fair Trade - *OPOD*: Quite a nice dark. Roasted nut notes with dark chocolate emerging later. More lively than expected. Acidity takes on light citrus qualities as it cools. Full-bodied at 8 oz.
Reunion Island Brazil Bahia Blue - *OPOD*: Intriguing sweet tobacco aroma out of the package. Noticeable acidity (could pass for orange). Smooth. Good flavor. Lingering sweet finish. Subdued chocolate mostly in the nose. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Reunion Island Colombia Las Hermosas - Smelled great right out of the package. Flavorful. Nice mineral quality to it. Decent body.
Reunion Island Donut Shop Blend - *OPOD*: Fruity aroma that carries into the cup. Roast is light but flavor isn't. Would be good black. Can hold up to a little cream.
Reunion Island Espresso - The most memorable aroma in quite a while. Almost floral. Delicious.
Reunion Island Fair Trade Organic French Roast - *OPOD*: A lighter French Roast. Good flavor. Refreshing. Caramelized aroma but no hint of char in the cup.
Reunion Island Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Koro - *OPOD*: Spicy aroma out of the package. Smooth in the cup. Not as dark as the Sumatra Ketambe. Good body. Bit of a cherry finish. Burnt cocoa notes. Earthy. Preferred this without cream.
Reunion Island Holiday Blend Extra Bold (Rainforest Alliance, Organic) - *OPOD*: 11.9-gram pod. Nice! Smooth and tasty. Not as dark of a roast as I'd expected. Good mouth feel. Quick, somewhat thin finish though. Wet aroma on the limp side but decent overall. Loses a negligible amount of structure as it cools. Takes cream well. Thanks to ricoffee for the free samples.
Reunion Island Kona Blend - *OPOD*: Nice dry earthy aroma. Mild. Woody. Sweet. Drank it black.
Reunion Island Maple Cream - *OPOD*: 10.4-gram pod. Subtle maple wet aroma. Equally subtle and fairly "true" maple flavor in the cup with a hint of nuttiness. Not overly bright. Good body. Drinkable black. Also nice with cream and real maple syrup. Thanks to ricoffee for the free samples.
Reunion Island Privateer Dark - Very nice. Let it sit a moment before drinking.
Reunion Island Privateer Dark Extra Bold - *OPOD*: 12-gram pod. Cocoa notes more noticeable. Medium-bodied. Bit of char.
Reunion Island Rainforest Alliance Organic Flores Green Dragon Extra Bold - *OPOD*: 11.7-g. pod. Absolutely not a morning coffee, in my experience; otherwise, very good. As whole bean there's a lightly edgy acidity that's nice but leaves me a little thirsty, like a diet soda. That plus the chocolate notes make for a very interesting and drinkable cup. Anyway, the pod version preserves enough of this character. Enjoyable body. "Dried fruit" is right. Subtle nuttiness and vague florals in the wet aroma. Cream not recommended. About as high of a "Solid" as I can imagine. Thanks to ricoffee for the free samples.
Reunion Island Rainforest Alliance Guatemala Dark - Eye-opening cinnamon spice in the aroma. A good cup. Wanted more body but tasty enough.
Reunion Island Rainforest Alliance Guatemala Dark Extra Bold - *OPOD*: Still good! More full-bodied than the non-bold version.
Reunion Island Sweet Unity Farms French Roast - *OPOD*: Unusual dry aroma of sweet tobacco + fresh earth? Enjoyed this black. Can handle cream. Gentle for a dark roast when piping hot with more char developing and aroma and flavor becoming less complex as it cools.
Reunion Island Sweet Unity Farms Mahale Highlands - *OPOD*: Smells great. Little brighter than I'd like in the morning (in that sense recognizably E. African) but not excessively so. Nice underlying flavor. Sweeter with cream.
Reunion Island Sweet Unity Farms Tanzania Medium Roast - *OPOD*: Smooth, light, and tasty. Citric finish (more so as it cools). Appetizing aroma. Could probably be improved with a shorter drop; (first try, possibly from different batch, brewed using Senseo: Bright acidity. Heavy on the winey notes. Way too sharp until it cooled and settled down a bit. Smelled great though.)
Reunion Island Vanilla Hazelnut Cream - *OPOD*: Subtle flavor. Allows coffee to shine through. Nice.
Timothy's Breakfast Blend - Smelled like caramel. A good light roast (gasp!). My wife loved it.
Timothy's Decaf Colombian - Shared this with my wife. Liked it black. Good body.
Timothy's Kona Blend - Good in a k-cup, good in a pod. A keeper.
Timothy's Parisian Nights - *OPOD*: Bold and dark. Uncomplicated. Tiny bit of pleasing char in the finish.
Timothy's Rainforest Espresso - A winner. Dark and dependable.
Van Houtte Colombian 100% - *OPOD*: 11-gram symmetrical pod. Almost citrusy wet aroma (lemon?). Tangy first sip. Acidity quickly settles down but remains somewhat lively. Decent body at 8 oz. A good medium-roast cup with no rough edges. Creamier as it cools. Thanks to EricBNC for the free sample.
Wolfgang Puck Sorrento Columbian - Nice fruitiness. I prefer this to the WP Fair Trade Columbian Organic.
Wolfgang Puck Sumatra Kopi Raya - Dark without being toasty. A nice tang. Chocolate in the aroma.
Zavida 100% Colombian - *OPOD*: Good flavor. Could easily drink this black. A solid, no-nonsense cup. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Zavida Viennese - *OPOD*: Nice roasty aroma and flavor. Medium-dark. Smooth but with a bite to the finish. Pod mostly sealed but coming apart in two small places. Thanks to starryeyes for the free sample.
Last edited by jbviau
on Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 334 times in total.