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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, January 11, 2013

President's Choice The Great Canadian Single Serve Coffee Pod

My husband and I love our coffee.  By far we prefer coffee made in our vintage 1950's perculator which brews excellent coffee.  However, it is not convenient if only wanting to brew a single cup.  The Melitta Espresso & Cappuccino maker brews a lovely coffee but it is more for speciality coffees rather than daily use.  Several years ago, we bought a Melitta One:One single serve coffee maker that used round pods similar to Tetley tea bags.  The biggest problem we had was finding the coffee pods for the Melitta so when it started leaking, I splurged on a new Keurig single serve coffee maker in 2011.  As with our last house, the Keurig is one of two small kitchen appliances that have earned a place on the counter, never put into storage.

President's Choice The Great Canadian single serve coffee pods
I bought a My K-cup reusable filtering system for the Keurig with my initial purchase.  K-cups are expensive at about 80¢ per cup whereas using store bought or fresh ground coffee, the price goes down to 8¢ per cup.  My main concern with the K-cups has not been price, it has been waste.  The K-cups cannot go in the recycle bin although they can be emptied into the compost then the cup and foil top tossed.

K-cups are convenient.  I did find an online source that sold certain K-cups as low as 40¢ each and was happy with my order but after several high pressure emails followed by a multitude of spam from them, I won't deal with them again!  Sam's Club is the best price for K-cups followed by Bed Breakfast and Beyond but our local No Frills has been putting the K-cups on sale as well.  I was looking for a few extra K-cups for holiday entertaining and came across the President's Choice The Great Canadian single serve coffee pods.  A twelve pack was $4.99 (42¢) so I decided to try them even though I am a bit leery of cheap K-cups.  I brought back a package of Grove Square K-cups from Florida only to find out it's instant coffee!

comparison of K-cup to soft-bottom single serve pod
The President's Choice The Great Canadian single serve coffee pods are a unique soft-bottom single serve pod.  There is no hard plastic cup as in a K-cup (left).  If using a K-cup, it is placed in the K-cup holder then punctured top and bottom before the brewing process.  If using a My K-cup reusable filter system, the K-cup holder is replaced with the filtering system so nothing is punctured.  The soft-bottom pods are somewhat in between with the pod being placed in the K-cup holder but only punctured on the top.  Essentially, they are as convenient as K-cups, less expensive and have none of the mess of cleaning a reusable filter.  The box does indicate that the soft-bottom pods will work with most single brewers using Keuring Incorporated brewing systems but they are not affiliated with or approved by Keurig.  On the same note, I am aware of three other reusable systems other than My K-cup (Keurig) that can be used in Keurig systems that aren't affiliated or approved by Keurig.

K-cup and soft-bottom single serve pod after use
It's hard to get a picture of both puncture marks on the K-cup (left) but there is a puncture on the bottom as well.  Once the K-cup has been used the foil top can be removed and the coffee grinds put into the compost.  While there are many ways to reuse the actual plastic cup, in most cases they will end up in the waste because a lot of municipalities don't allow unmarked plastics in the blue bin.

The soft-bottom pod has only a puncture in the top and the bottom becomes firm as the coffee swells during brewing.  The foil top can be removed then pushing hard bottom to top the soft bottom and coffee will pop off the ring for the compost.  You are left with a small, plastic ring considerably smaller than the K-cup.  I'm sure I will come up with a few ways to reuse these rings but if tossing, they should be cut to prevent any problems with wildlife strangling.

storing K-cups and soft-bottom single serve pods
One of the biggest differences in the soft-bottom coffee pods is the package which overall is less than K-cups.  K-cups are usually kept in some type of rack right beside the brewer for easy access.  So you walk past the rack and all of a sudden want a coffee!  I usually buy K-cups in bulk from Sam's Club, occasionally buying a flavoured coffee on sale when I find it.  Neither of us are much into flavoured coffee but some of our guests are.  I have a couple of boxes and a plastic bin of K-cups so just restock the rack as needed.  However, the soft-bottom coffee pods cannot be stored in the rack for convenient use.  The reason being, there is nothing to stop the coffee from losing its aromatic flavour.

The soft-bottom coffee pods are packaged in a vacuum sealed, foil pouch inside a small cardboard box, both of which can be recycled.  The pods should be stored in the pouch, in the refrigerator for best flavour.  Another downside to the President's Choice soft-bottom coffee pods is the are only available in medium roast and west coast dark roast but both gourmet coffess made with 100% Arabica coffee.  I suspect they may introduce flavoured coffee pods but again, if you are looking for a nice alternative to K-cups, this coffee is good.

4 food lovers commented:

MikeMTL said...

I tried the President's Choice soft bottom K-Cups this morning- the first brew was drippy and over-strong with the machine asking me to de-scale. Without access to the bottom needle, they do not brew properly and a 10oz cup setting only produced 3 oz (!!) of coffee and undue stress on the pump.

Garden Gnome said...

It is good to hear how well the sof bottom K-cups are performing for others. I really didn't have any problems with the coffee brewing as it should. There should not be any more stress with the soft bottom K-cups than there is with the My K-cup reusable filter. It could be your Keurig was getting close to the de-scaling point but that is just a guess. I run white vinegar through my Keurig once a month.

Anonymous said...

I've used these for quite awhile, and they have been perfect so far. No issues whatsover. Highly recommend.

Jonathan Besler said...

I use these in a rather new Keurig and have had no problems. I've found I actually get more brewed coffee from the soft bottom cups, and I actually prefer the "clean" taste of the coffee from these to the less clean taste from the "hard" cups or filters. The reusable filters I find are in-between.