Friday, November 22, 2013

Keurig K75 Platinum, Part 2

Continuing from part 1 :

Let's look at the programmable features of the Keurig K75 Platinum:

"Set clock."

"Set on time." You can pick any point on the 24 hour clock for the Keurig to turn itself on.

"Set auto off." You can also choose when the Keurig will shut off. Or you can leave the machine on all day, like I do. 

"Set auto off." The on and off features work independent of each other. I found the auto off option a little confusing at first. I thought "Wait, I can only choose the amount of time (one to nine hours) until the Keurig shuts off, but I can't choose the specific time ?" A quick look at the instruction book showed I'd misunderstood the auto off option. You can choose either an amount of time or the exact clock time. Disabling auto on or auto off requires a bit of toggling. You have to keep changing the time until it reaches 12:00 AM; the next command after that is "OFF." The auto on and auto off feature needs to be pared down.

"Set brew temp." The lowest temperature setting is 187 degrees.

"Set brew temp." The highest temperature you can choose is 192 degrees.

"Set brew size." The choices are Extra Small Cup (3.25 oz), Small Cup (5.25 oz), Small Mug (7.25 oz), Large Mug (9.25 oz) and Travel Mug (11.25 oz). I noticed that many Keurig reviews had comments about "The sizes are random. I only use two of those." I felt the same way after using the Keurig Platinum for a few days. I mostly use the 7.25 oz and 9.25 oz brews. The 3.25 and 5.25 oz drinks are smaller than I prefer. I'd love to make an 11.25 oz cup, but my large travel mugs do not fit under the brewer unless I remove the drip tray.

Another common complaint is that some Keurigs stop dispensing the correct amount of water after a few months. The instruction booklet says you'll need to descale the brewer every three to six months, to prevent mineral build up. The machine will flash "DE-SCALE" when this step is needed. I also tested out each cup setting using glass measuring cups. This is the Extra Small Cup (3.25 oz).

Small Cup (5.25 oz)

Small Mug (7.25 oz)

Large Mug (9.25 oz)

Travel Mug (11.25 oz)

Here's the changes I'd suggest to improve the Keurig K75 Platinum:
-Simplify the auto on and auto off features.
- Make a taller space for big travel mugs between the removable drip tray and the dispenser.
- Ditch the two smallest cup sizes.

Other than those three things, I am crazy about my Keurig K75 Platinum. It's fun and easy to use! I guess I will have to find a shelf to display my old kettles now.

*1/10/14: My Keurig has started making a squeaking sound when it dispenses water. Ack, so annoying! Anyone know how to fix that ?
*1/13/14: Ugh, now the Keurig stalls out before dispensing water *and* it stops and starts during the brewing process. The machine is not flashing "DESCALE" yet, but I will try descaling tonight to see if that helps. I do not look forward to trying that. 

Keurig K75 Platinum, Part 1

I must confess something: Up until a few days ago, I was one of those people who said "Why do you need a single cup brewer ? Can't you just put a kettle on the stove ?" Then I won a Keurig K75 Platinum brewer and three boxes of K-Cups in a contest. At first I was planning to gift or sell the Keurig to someone else. But once I tried the Platinum, I was hooked. Holy cow, this is my new favorite toy!

This review is picture heavy, so I'm breaking it into two posts.

Keurig K75 Platinum. Power button is behind the brewer. 72 oz water reservoir is on the left. If the Keurig runs out of water, the screen will say "ADD WATER." You'll need to empty and clean the reservoir by hand every now and then. Don't run it through the dishwasher. 

Programmable menu for clock, brew temperature, brew size and on / off times

"Caution: Sharp Needles." K-Cups (but never fingers) go here. You should also be careful removing the used K-Cups, since they can get very warm.

Removable drip tray. Not hard to clean!

The Platinum came with a water filter kit and 12 bonus K-Cups. The water filter is simple to install. Check your Keurig boxes for a registration form; fill it out to receive 2 free K-Cup boxes when you buy two boxes online. Sweet deal!

"Brews in under 1 minute." I like how quickly the Keurig produces a beverage for me. Much faster than heating water on the stove! The wait time from one drink to the next is mere seconds. After you've handed a hot mug of tea to a friend, the machine is already blinking "Ready to brew."

The 12 bonus K-Cups in the box. These included hot cocoa, tea and coffee. 

"Gourmet Coffee. Hot Tea. Hot Cocoa. Iced Tea. Iced Coffee."

Lipton Iced Sweet Tea. One of three K-Cup boxes the contest sponsors sent. The other flavors were green tea and black tea.

Lipton Rich Black Tea. I had never tasted buttery tea before. But boy is it delicious! The rich black tea is excellent with a slice of cake. I drink it iced, as I don't care for warm tea.

The Gevalia cups are from a free sample giveaway. The others are part of the bonus K-Cups in the Keurig box.

I love having a Keurig station in the kitchen. It's nice having my tea, powdered coffee and lemonade all in one spot. My favorite thing at the end of the day is making a refreshing drink in the Keurig. After setting up the brewer, I realized I had been keeping each beverage in separate areas of the kitchen. Ridiculous, right ?

Click here for part 2.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Numi Organics Savory Tea

I received a sampler of Numi Organics Savory Tea in the mail today. The packaging promises "real organic vegetables, wild herbs, decaf tea and aromatic spices for a satisfying experience" and "it's not quite a soup, but more than a tea." I honestly went into the taste test open minded. I had thought to myself "These teas must taste better than they sound. Like when you think tomato soup cake will be gross but it turns out to be delicious."

Unfortunately,  Numi Organics Savory Tea turned out to be the worst product I have ever reviewed here at AMW. It's that bad. The aromas were not appetizing, to say the least. I kept blanching at the smells, putting the cups back down and pushing myself to try a proper amount of tea. 

"Nourishing vegetable, spice and tea infusions"

"Here are several ways to enjoy a cup...as a satisfying snack alternative to hold you over...."

"6 Satiating & Delicious Blends!"

"Garden Your Tea Cup"
 

Tomato Mint

Ingredients: Organic tomato, organic onion, organic mint, organic lemon peel, organic parsley, organic cinnamon, organic black pepper, organic decaf black tea, organic allspice.


Heated tea scent: Minty black tea

Taste: Mint tea with spicy undertones and a tomato plant aftertaste. Probably the least offensive of the six teas. If you like mint tea (I don't), you might be okay with tomato mint. 


Broccoli Cilantro

Ingredients: Organic broccoli, organic celery leaves, organic allspice, organic onion, organic cilantro, organic decaf green tea, organic garlic, organic black pepper, organic sage, organic turmeric.

Dry bag scent: Oregano and sage

Heated tea scent: Really strong broccoli

Taste: Broccoli, with a cilantro aftertaste. Eww!


Beet Cabbage

Ingredients: Organic beet, organic cabbage, organic dried apple, organic decaf black tea, organic mustard seed, organic parsley, organic orange peel, organic coriander, organic clove, organic honeybush. 

Dry bag scent: Broccoli

Heated tea scent: Cabbage

Taste: Cabbage. Really, it's even worse than you're imagining right now. I had a lovely Coke with fresh squeezed limes at lunch today; had I seen where tonight was headed, I would've brought home a very large to-go cup of that fizzy nectar.


Fennel Spice

Ingredients: Organic fennel, organic celery root, organic orange peel, organic onion, organic dill, organic decaf green tea, organic honeybush, organic black pepper. 

Dry bag scent: Poultry seasoning mix

Heated tea scent: Fennel

Taste: Oregano. And a big mouthful of onion. Some of you may have a relative who brings the same godawful dish to Thanksgiving every year and everyone wonders how to weasel out of eating a helping; fennel spice tea is the liquid equivalent of such a catastrophe. Side note: None of my relatives cook horrible food. So I should probably offer a sacrifice of thanks at an altar very soon.


Carrot Curry

Ingredients: Organic carrot, organic curry, organic cilantro, organic onion, organic ginger, organic turmeric, organic decaf green tea. 

Dry bag scent: A really strong version of Knorr Chicken Flavored Rice Sides

Heated tea scent: A really strong version of Knorr Chicken Flavored Rice Sides

TasteKnorr Chicken Flavored Rice Sides and canned chicken soup. If you're a camper / hiker who can hold your nose while eating (and I do recommend such an action, as the smell is rather off putting), you might be able to eat carrot curry tea as broth. Maybe. As a last resort. If you run out of food, your team never comes back with help and you can't tell wild berries from poison berries. 


Spinach Chive

Ingredients: Organic spinach leaves, organic chives, organic dried lime, organic dill, organic onion, organic decaf tea, organic coriander, organic turmeric, organic garlic

Dry bag scent: Canned spinach

Heated tea scent: Chives

Taste: Wendy's baked potatoes, a wheel barrow of chives and starchy boiled potato water, all mixed into one hellish concoction.  The most disgusting tea of all for sure. I had tried to drink the spinach chive tea first; I ended up gagging, choking and spitting it out from shock / repulsion and had to come back to it later. If anyone eats a Wendy's chive baked potato around me in the next week, you'll be cleaning vomit from your car. Just a friendly warning.

As you can already guess, I will not be purchasing Numi Organics Savory Tea. My kitchen still reeks of faux broth teas. The thought of soup or vegetables right now gives me a stomach ache.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Klondike The Candy: Mint & Caramel

You guys know I loved limited edition products. As soon as I see one on the shelf, some part of my brain goes "You must buy a few now! In case they change the recipe or stop making this product next week!" Well, today I was standing at the checkout line at Super Walmart and got quite a surprise: Klondike Ice Cream Bars are now available in candy form! (Unilever's Klondike Bar site does not mention Klondike Candy).The candy packets were on the right side of each checkout stand, under the Slim Jims, Combos and Oreo snack cups. And of course I immediately scooped up 8 of the mint chocolate chip and 4 of the caramel. You know, just to be on the safe side. 

"New! Klondike The Candy. Mint Chocolate Chip"


"4 Pieces Per Pouch"


Klondike The Candy: Caramel
"Caramel Center Covered In A Milk 
Chocolate Flavored Coating"



Each 1.4 oz packet of Klondike Candy contains 4 pieces of candy. Klondike Caramel smells and tastes like a Milky Way bar with slightly thicker, toffee flavored caramel. The caramel was chewier than I care for, although the toffee aftertaste was nice. The milk chocolate coating was neither good nor bad. The caramels were just average to me. I would skip buying this flavor again. Although someone else told me today "So-and-so bought the caramel Klondike candy and she said it was amazing!" So YMMV.

Klondike The Candy: Mint Chocolate Chip
"Mint Chocolate Chip Center, Covered In A Dark Chocolate Flavored Coating"



On the other hand, I absolutely fell in love with Mint Chocolate Chip Klondike. This package had the aroma of York Peppermint Patties. The green filling is thicker than Peppermint Patties, though. The middles are dead ringers flavor and texture wise for pastel colored nonpareil mints. Yum! Paired with the smooth dark chocolate coating, this flavor is a winner for me. The chocolate chips are basically chocolate streaks that don't stand out; but I'm willing to overlook that.

I can honestly say that Klondike The Candy does not remind me of Klondike Ice Cream Bars at all, aside from the outer wrapper. And I was a little disappointed to find out this candy did not have a delicate crunchy shell + a soft, gooey filling. That aside, I would definitely buy Mint Chocolate Chip Klondike again. They are a great alternative to my usual York Peppermint Patties!

*ETA: ZOMG Candy noted that Klondike The Candy is a licensed by Flix Candy. I agree with the points about the greasy spots and how real chocolate would've been better.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dean & DeLuca: $75 Ice Cubes

One of my guilty pleasures is Dean & DeLuca. Browsing their website usually makes me think "Wow, their food looks delicious! I need to splurge on those yummy chocolates. And maybe that picnic basket set...." However, I came across something rather silly today in the Dean and DeLuca e-newsletter: luxury ice cubes. $75 gets you 10 Glace Luxury Ice Cubes with a longer "dilution rate." I'm assuming that's code for "we added salt to the water before freezing", but that's just my guess. 

Dean and DeLuca notes that it takes up to 24 hours for the ice to ship. If the cubes show up melted, do you get a refund or does customer service politely suggest refreezing the water yourself ?