We’ve fallen in love with our Keurig for it’s constant supply of infinite cups of single-serve coffee. (A writer’s main fuel source . . .) You can’t beat the convenience of the supply-on-demand factor (although the coffee can be exponentially more expensive than brewing a good old-fashioned pot of the stuff).
So, in addition to keeping a stock of refillable k-cups on hand, I almost always purchase our coffee at Bed Bath & Beyond. (I get no commission for saying so; it’s simply the plain truth!) I do this partly because BB&B supplies super-size “economy” boxes of k-cups, but mostly because I almost always have a 20% off coupon on hand. (I never shop at BB&B without one! Insider Tip: Always keep those coupons, because BB&B will accept them even if they are expired!)
One day, however, I came across these awesome beauties on Zulily and just couldn’t resist! Although I assumed the coffee itself might be nothing special, I knew (as the superhero-loving household that we are) that I just had to try it. 🙂
I purchased a box of each flavor offered by Zulily: (Note: I’ve linked to Amazon here, because Zulily is a site for flash sales, and may not have the product available at the time.) The Daily Bugle Breakfast Blend, S,H.I.E.L.D. Hazelnut, Stark French Roast, and Gamma Espresso. (There’s also a Marvel Hot Chocolate available that we haven’t tried yet because Zulily didn’t have it at the time.) I was especially excited about the Gamma Espresso, because I can’t ever seem to find espresso in a k-cup variety, and espresso makes the best coffee drinks (See our “Skinny Gamma Ray Mocha” below.) (Although a recent search on Amazon did reveal a bunch of available espresso varieties. Now I know . . . 🙂 )
When I received the coffee from Zulily and opened up the boxes, I definitely felt like a giddy fangirl as I arranged them all in the cabinet and prepared to do a taste test.
I really enjoyed the art deco inspired boxes and the matching of coffee flavors with the appropriate characters. And we especially enjoyed the flavor of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hazelnut (that was our family favorite).
Unfortunately, the Gamma Espresso was a bit weak for espresso. Although I’m not sure if that’s really the fault of the coffee itself or the k-cup brewing system. There are some things that just don’t work well in the brewer. (For example, lose leaf tea. Don’t try to brew it in those refillable k-cups. The tea won’t have enough time to steep and won’t turn out right. Trust me – I’ve tried it. 🙂 ) But I won’t know for sure if that’s the real issue until I try some other espresso varieties.
Also, rather unfortunately, the coffee in general was, as I assumed, nothing terribly special. I suppose it was the fangirl in me that really wanted to be “wowed” by the flavors, but the coffee was just, well, coffee. It wasn’t bad. It just tasted like any other coffee. Which makes the “Marvel Comics” part of the coffee packaging just packaging – in other words, a gimmick to sell coffee.
However, I can’t really blame the coffee company for employing the gimmick – it certainly worked on us! And would I buy the coffee again? Probably! Especially because it comes in at approximately the same cost as comparable k-cups. (I probably would not buy it again if it was more expensive than others.) And even though the coffees didn’t give us superpowers, there’s still something fun about pulling out some S.H.I.E.L.D. Hazelnut or a Gamma Espresso in the morning. And who doesn’t need a little extra fun in the morning? 😉
So here’s my promised recipe for a Skinny “Gamma Ray Mocha” (or as I like to call it – a “Hulk Smash Your Eyes Open” Mocha – though that’s not quite as catchy. LOL)
Skinny Gamma Ray Mocha:
- Measure out 1/4 cup of Skinny Chocolate Syrup (see below) for a “I can drink this every day without guilt” mocha (or use regular chocolate syrup if you don’t want to make it “skinny”). Pour into the bottom of your mug. (I suggest using a 20 oz or larger mug, such as this Avengers one. This is the mug featured in our own pic. 🙂 )
- Brew 8 oz. of Gamma Espresso over the chocolate syrup. (Use the “strong” setting on your Keurig if it has one.)
- Meanwhile, heat 1/2- 3/4 cup milk in a glass (un-capped) mason jar in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Remove the milk from the microwave and screw the cap onto the jar. Then shake the jar until the milk is frothy (about 30ish seconds). (Also, you might want to wrap the jar in a towel while shaking to insulate your fingers from the heat.)
- When your coffee is finished brewing, pour the “steamed,” frothed milk over the top and stir to distribute the chocolate.
- Enjoy the burst of gamma caffeine!
Skinny Chocolate Syrup:
(Adapted from One Good Thing by Jillee)
3/4 cup Truvia (or preferred sweetener – the equivalent of 1 1/2 cups sugar)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli)
Dash of salt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together the Truvia, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the water and stir until powder is dissolved. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool, then pour into a glass container and store in the fridge.