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Drinks Now Trending Technology Video

Conservatives Smash Keurigs On Camera After Brand Pulls Sean Hannity Ads

Keurig machines have become one of the go-to ways to get your morning coffee fix in recent years. Sadly, not everyone who’s acquired one of the single-serve brewing contraptions recently will be enjoying them. Some conservatives have taken to smashing Keurigs they own in response to the K-cup company pulling ads from a Sean Hannity news program.

After Hannity defended and supported Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore in the midst of sexual assault allegations, Keurig was one of several brands to pull advertising from his shows on FOX News. In response, some Twitter users have called for a boycott of the brand. A fraction of those users have gone even further and used the boycott to practice their demolition skills, as can be seen in the below clips.

Not gonna lie, that last guy has a pretty impressive golf swing.

In response to folks smashing Keurigs, CEO Bob Gamgort called his company’s decision to pull ads “highly unusual” and apologized for “taking sides” in what Gamgort called “an emotionally charged debate.”

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Beer

You’ll Soon Be Making Beer At Home Thanks To Keurig And Anheuser Busch’s Collab

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Keurig’s been the king of instant coffee for a while now, but it sounds like they’re being a little more ambitious, teaming up with Anheuser-Busch InBev, meaning we might soon see them roll out instant alcohol makers.

According to CNN Money, the two companies are hoping to put together a machine that can instantly make beer, spirits, cocktails and mixers.

Just imagine making your own Budweiser, Corona, or even Shock Top, without having to run to 7-Eleven.

Unfortunately, while Keurig’s pretty much been the sensei of coffee makers, they haven’t popped off much with their other products. Their attempt at an instant soda maker didn’t exactly work out. They stopped making the “Kold” machines last June after only 10 months of production. Even then, in launching the “Kold” they were already behind the curve, as SodaStream ran with the concept years before them.

While the two work on their version of an in-home beer brewer, they’re behind yet again, as SodaStream made a similar product called a Beer Bar, in Europe.

We’ll have to see how the machine will look, but between the two mega companies, you have to think they’ll create something worth writing home about.

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Toasty

There Are Now Weed-Infused Coffee Pods That Work With Your Keurig

If you’re on a mission to try every single type of marijuana edible, you’ll be excited to hear that you can now make your own weed-infused coffee every morning.

Brewbudz put together a coffee pod with 10 milligrams of THC, and it works perfectly with your Keurig machine. The coffee itself is made by 100 percent Arabica beans and is available in a “Coast Roast” that comes in regular and decaf, with hazelnut and French vanilla flavors coming soon.

Get lost #brewbudz #goodformovement

A photo posted by Brewbudz™ (@brewbudz) on

While you might think adding weed in your coffee would mellow you out, and defeat the purpose of coffee’s pick-me-up, the cannabis is “sativa-dominant,” which means it gives an uplifting effect, as opposed to the calming impression “indica” cannabis presents.

But Brewbudz isn’t exactly hyping the high you get from this as much as it’s excited for its medical benefits. Medical users can get a bit of a stronger pod, which can have from 25 to 50 milligrams of THC.

“It is a discreet method to deliver the medicine you require,” Brewbudz says on its home page.

According to Westword, BrewBudz will be launching these coffee pods in six states by March, 2017.

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Alcohol Drinks Products Technology

This Machine Makes Instant Cocktails At The Push Of A Button

It was a whole process the first time I learned how to mix a martini. Though a cathartic experience, it would definitely be easier if I could push a button and have one ready to drink in seconds.

A new invention promising to be the Keurig of cocktails seems to have solved that, says Dose.

The Somabar is essentially a robotic bartender that will make cocktails for you the way a pod coffeemaker would. The machine operates six refillable “Soma Pods”, which are similar to K-Cups. Different kinds of liqueurs, bitters, syrups, and mixers are available to play with.

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The Somabar even goes one step further than a Keurig in that it is Wi-Fi operated. This means you can create your drink from anywhere in the house with your smartphone and just come pick it up when you’re ready.

If the trend of turning any kind of beverage into a Keurig-like machine continues, we may never have to interact with a living person to quench our thirst ever again. Though, unfortunately, you will have to add garnishes and shake the drinks yourself.

Still, a bartender that won’t cut you off…

You can pre-order units for $429 at their website now.

Images: Somabar

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News

The Owners Of Keurig Just Bought Krispy Kreme, And F*ck, Starbucks Needs To Watch Out Now

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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts now has a new owner. The doughnut company was acquired by JAB Holding Company, along with a minority investor, BDT Capital Partners, on Monday.

According to the New York Times, Krispy Kreme was purchased for $1.35 billion. The billionaire Reimann family, who owns JAB, are heirs to the German consumer goods conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser.

The company is no stranger to coffee. In fact, they’re slowing building themselves a pretty formidable collection of coffee assets throughout the years. Currently, JAB owns Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Einstein Brothers Bagels.

Last December, JAB bought Keurig Green Mountain for $13.9 billion. A real power move.

Recently, Krispy Kreme has shifted priorities to selling coffee. While Krispy Kreme will still do their own independent thing, but will no longer trade in the public markets.

With so many coffee acquisitions under JAB’s belt, should Starbucks be concerned?

Photo: Krispy Kreme Facebook

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Definitive Guide To Subscription Services Of Major Coffee Chains (Part 1)

Coffee is in a constant battle against whiskey for the role of favorite personality-changing elixir in my life, but sometimes I can’t stand to wait in line at my local coffee shops. That being said, I don’t always have the time or patience to grind and brew/french press my way to happiness in the morning, but it always feels better making my coffee myself.

With Starbucks throwing its hat in the coffee subscription ring, it’s about time someone officiated the battle. This is the first of a three-part series tackling the dense subscription market and just how valuable it is to you, my dear readers.

From veterans and behemoths to the scrappy rookies, here’s the quick and dirty lowdown on some of the nation’s favorite roasters:

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*Starbucks and Caribou Coffee only offer frequency flexibility through their Build Your Own Subscriptions.

Dunn Brothers Coffee has some serious catching up to do in terms of their offerings, while Peet’s Coffee & Tea has been crushing the game.

The following chart is based on mid-range approximations for 12 ounces of coffee using 10 major coffee chains’ subscription service prices:

Jump to your favorite chain’s service in detail by using one of the following links: Blue Bottle Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Starbucks Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the following companies charge you only when your coffee ships; there are additional shipping costs.

Blue Bottle Coffee

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Founded in 2002, Blue Bottle Coffee has been experiencing substantial growth in the past five years. Falling into the realm of artisanal roasters, the company has a big business attitude with a few storefronts sprinkled in major cities.

They’ve been playing their cards pretty close to their chest lately, so either further success or immense failure is on the horizon.

Price Range

$11 to $46 per order

Half a bag (6oz): $11-13

One bag (12oz): $17-21

Two bags (24oz): $28-34

Three bags (36oz): $38-46

Product Loyalty: $12-42

Products Offered

Espresso: A selection of espressos, blends and origin coffees already available in any Blue Bottle coffeehouse.

Blend: A rotating selection of blends.

Origin: New single origin offering from Latin America, East Africa or the Pacific Islands.

Product Loyalty: A subscription to your favorite type of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4 increments)

How to Cancel

You can easily pause/skip or cancel using the Blue Bottle website.

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Caribou Coffee

Caribou

Caribou Coffee is a name known better in America’s heartland and has been fueling citizens for over 20 years.

Every new subscription account with Caribou receives a free (totally valuable, kind of useful, probably worthless) gift. All subscription types receive a 15 percent shipping discount and orders above $59 are allotted free shipping.

Price Range

$7.40-$31.98 per order

1/2lb $7.40-8.39

1lb $12.99-15.99

Two 1lb bags $21.98-31.98

Products Offered

Roastmaster’s Choice: You can choose from several different clubs including the self-explanatory Lighter Roast, Darker Roast and Decaf Lover’s, in addition to the Explorer’s Club which pulls roasts from all over the world. There’s also a club dedicated to replenishing your K-Cup inventory.

Design Your Own: You can mix and match Caribou’s selection of coffee and K-Cups.

Cycles Offered

Roastmaster’s Choice: Monthly in open-ended subscriptions, three-, six- or 12-month commitments

Design Your Own: Weekly, every other week and monthly

How to Cancel

Cancel the Design Your Own subscription at anytime online. Since you’re only charged when the Roastmaster’s Choice ships, you should be able to cancel before they send your next batch.

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the arch-nemesis of our Starbucks overlords, has been holding its own in recent decades and has a diverse subscription service catalog to show for it.

Price Range

$7-39.95

Coffee (12oz): $8.95-39.95

Tea (20 tea bags): $8.75-20.75

K-Cups (16-count): $11.95

Powder (22oz): $11.95

CBTL Capsules (10-count): $7-11

Products Offered

Coffee: The coffee selection spans decaf and all the major staples, in terms of flavor and geographic cultivation.

Tea: A wide variety of teas is available in both bagged form and loose leaf.

K-Cups and CBTL Capsules: Either way your brand loyalty lies, Coffee Bean gives you two options to pop into your single serve coffee machine in the morning.

Powder: For those who need more pizzazz in their coffee, Coffee Bean’s French Deluxe Vanilla and Special Dutch Chocolate Powder are also available for purchase.

See Coffee Bean’s full selection here.

Cycles Offered

By the month (1-3 increments)

How to Cancel

Account suspension must occur six days before your estimated shipping date, which is emailed to you in advance, or else the suspension will only affect your next shipment.

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Dunkin’ Donuts

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One of the most well known names in the US coffee scene, Dunkin’ Donuts Regular Refills subscription service has existed for “more than 10 years,” according to Sherrill Kaplan, director of Digital & Loyalty Marketing.

Kaplan divulged that the brand America evidently runs on will be expanding its K-Cup offerings later this year, but here’s where the service currently stands:

Price Range

$5.99-$69.99 per order

Tea (20 bags): $5.99

Coffee (1lb): $8.99

2oz packs (48-count): $69.99

Products Offered

Tea: No-frills teas including black, green and decaf

Coffee: You can buy Decaf, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Dark Roast and Original Blend in their ground forms. The Original Blend also has a whole bean variety and a pack of 48 bricks of ground coffee.

Cycles Offered

By the week (4, 6, 8, 10 increments)

How to Cancel

Cancel anytime online using your account.

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Dunn Brothers’ Coffee

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Almost 30 years ago, in the heartland of America, the Dunn brothers opened their first coffeehouse. Ever since they’ve been serving our country pride, a variety of roasts, and a questionable online order form.

Price Range

$31.98-31.99 (2lbs)

Products Offered

Light Selection, Medium Selection and Dark Selection: Pretty self-explanatory choices where you get 2lbs of your chosen roast each month.

Three Month Subscription: Saving a penny a month, you can choose from any of the above selections or a roaster’s selection. On their website, choosing this option doesn’t actually allow you to make that selection or specify the type of grinds you would like. You just get sent to a checkout page with all three months’ worth of shipping tacked onto your first month.

Cycles Offered

By the month with an option for a three-month commitment.

How to Cancel

You can use your account to cancel your monthly subscriptions, but the three-month commitment self-terminates.

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Intelligentsia Coffee

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Though I’ve never had a terrific customer service experience at any Intelligentsia storefront, I found their website and subscription service to be surprisingly consumer friendly, albeit minimalist. Everything was where it needed to be and they have a pretty relaxed return policy (they’ll refund/exchange ANYTHING you weren’t satisfied with up to 30 days after purchase) for such a relatively small company.

Price Range

$14-106

12oz  $14-18

5lbs $80-106

Products Offered

Analog Espresso, Black Cat Project

Classic Espresso, Black Cat Project

El Diablo Dark Roast

El Gallo Organic Breakfast Blend

Frequency Blend

House Blend

In-Season/Direct Trade Select Offering

Decaf Librarian’s Blend

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4 increments)

How to Cancel

Cancel anytime online using your subscription account.

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Keurig Green Mountain

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The union of Keurig and Green Mountain brought together countless brand names in coffee, including Tully’s Coffee. Unfortunately, this union reigns supreme for K-Cup lovers; the company’s whole bean coffee offering pales in comparison to the wide array of K-cups available for auto-delivery.

Side note of immense bias: Tully’s Coffee = #RideOrDie

Price Range

$9.44-$56.99 (member pricing per order)

K-Cup Coffee (24- to 96-pack) $11.24-56.69

Coffee (10 to 12oz) $9.44-24.99

K-Cup Tea (16- to 24-pack)$10.34-19.34

Products Offered

K-Cup: All of them. Every K-Cup that exists whether it’s coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

Coffee: Green Mountain, Newman’s Own and Tully’s Coffee are all available for under $10, but Green Mountain’s Reserve Kona Coffee serves as a $25 outlier, even with member pricing.

Cycles Offered

By the week (2-12 increments)

How to Cancel

Edit or cancel at any point online; canceling back-ordered products requires a call to their customer center.

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea set the standard for coffee subscriptions, offering them as early as the mid-1970s and taking them online in 2004. This is the only service that also allows you to add confectionery food items to your order in addition to Peet’s significant selection of coffee, teas, K-cups and coffee accessories.

They also offer the cheapest shipping I came across with a flat rate of $2, orders totaling more than $59 shipping for free, and upgraded shipping receiving a 50 percent discount.

Price Range

$2.25-77.80 per order

Coffee: $12.95-24.95 per lb., Kona and JR Reserve Blend $24.95 per 1/2lb.

K-Cups (16- to 96-count): $13.99-67.99

Tea (loose and bagged): $5.45-77.80

Treats and Spices: $2.25-20

Products Offered

Coffee: Ranges from standard espressos and blends to curated roast selections.

K-Cups: They carry eight different coffee styles with a range of cup counts, but you have to specifically go to the K-Cup section to add a set to your subscription.

Tea: Dozens of standard teas in their bagged and loose forms, along with designer teas sold by the pound.

Treats and Spices: This section, also not found in the site’s subscription section, is generally stocked with candies, chocolates and cookies, but you can also purchase vanilla beans or extract.

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4, 6, and 8 increments) or you can choose a custom number of days.

How to Cancel

You can pause or cancel your subscription at any time using your online account.

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Starbucks Coffee

Bags of Starbucks small-lot coffee featuring the new "reserve" logo is on display at a preview of its new Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

Starbucks announced their coffee subscription service in February, making it the latest to join the game, despite being the most internationally popular coffee chain.

The subscription section of their website feels more like they were tardy to the party than fashionably late.

Price Range

$8.95-$288 per order

Whole Bean (8.8-48oz): $8.95-44.95

Reserve: $24-288

Verismo Cups & K-Cups (32- to 160-count): $23.95-109.95

Products Offered

Starbucks Reserve Roastery: You receive a small lot batch of specially selected coffee once a month.

Build Your Own: This much more flexible plan lets you add almost anything (excluding that month’s reserve selections) to your subscription at whichever frequency suits your lifestyle.

Cycles Offered

Starbucks Reserve Roastery: By the week (1-4 and 8 increments)

Build Your Own: Monthly in one-, three-, six- and 12-month commitments

How to Cancel

You can cancel the Build Your Own and ongoing Reserve option at any time, but you pay for the monthly commitments upfront.

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters

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Last, but certainly not least, we have the legends at Stumptown. Arguably one of the most prolific rising roasters in recent years, Stumptown began offering subscriptions in 2011.

Though they plan to revamp the service in the coming months, here’s how their current subscriptions work:

Price Range

$14-20 per order

12oz Favorite Coffee $14-15.75

12oz Roaster’s Pick $20

Products Offered

Favorite Coffee: If you love their Hair Bender Roast above all else, you can receive as much as you want (up to 10,000 12-ounce bags, according to their website) on whichever cycle matches your coffee drinking schedule. This plan is offered for all of their staple roasts.

Roaster’s Pick: For a slight cost bump, you can receive a roast specially chosen each month. You have free rein with quantity and frequency, but, regardless of the cycle you choose, the coffee will not change until the month does.

Cycles Offered

Favorite Coffee: By the week (1-4) or weekly for an entire year

Roaster’s Pick: By the week (1-4) at three- or six-month commitments

How to Cancel

You can cancel or pause your subscription anytime using your online Stumptown account, regardless of subscription type.

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Corporate coffee not your thing? Stay tuned for a (tl;dr) local edition featuring the most notable roasters from a major US coffee city near you.

Categories
Products

A Coffee Pod War Is Silently Brewing in Your Keurig

keurig-freedom

For anyone who has walked past their Keurig machine in the middle of the night and thought that it’s hiding something, you’re absolutely right. Turns out, the K-Cup machines hold a special DRM (digital rights management) sensor that only allows the machine to brew “real” K-Cups and not homemade ones.

The sensor visually identifies a unique ink on the lid of the K-cups. So any cup, off-brand or homemade, without this ink is rejected by the machine.

Contesting this impasse, the owners of Gourmet-Coffee.com have produced what they aptly call the Freedom Clip to bypass Keurig’s design. Essentially, the clip attaches to a Keurig machine and fools the sensor into thinking each cup is an approved K-Cup.

The Rogers Family Company, which runs Gourmet, says they believe in consumers’ right to choose. For this reason, they developed the Freedom Clip. The clips are offered, at no cost, at the Gourmet Coffee site.

Who would have thought there was a war silently brewing in your coffee machine?

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Technology

Revolutionary Kitchen Appliance Debuts at CES, Pitch Presentation Is Cringe-worthy

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Twin sisters Haidee and Helen Chen co-founded Sereneti Kitchen in 2014. The company has been working on prototypes of the Cooki, an appliance that cooks your food for you. No, it’s not just a crockpot; it actually stirs your meal and adds ingredients over time.

The Chen sisters are 18 years old.

When the sisters approached their older brother, Timothy Chen, a robotics professional, with an idea for an appliance that could cook for you with the push of a button, he was skeptical. He asked them to show him a clearer vision of the product, so they came back with a Keurig coffee maker, spatula and the iTunes application.

“Music is the same as food,” Timothy Chen, now Sereneti Kitchen’s CEO, remarked. “The score is the recipe and the musician is the chef.”

Modeling their business plan after this romanticizing of a kitchen appliance, Sereneti Kitchen has been working on numerous prototypes for several months in order to present the Cooki at TechCrunch’s 2015 Hardware Battlefield, a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) staple event.

“Music is the same as food. The score is the recipe and the musician is the chef.”

Jesse Rosalia, the fourth co-founding member and CTO, had a rough go of it during the team’s presentation when the Cooki wouldn’t function (1:56 below).

“I thought, well, this is just some performance anxiety,” laughed Rosalia, regarding the first malfunction. By the third non-start, he committed to a (pretty good) improvisation of how the Cooki would be performing.

Cooki’s nerves didn’t affect its critical reception and it’s been running smoothly ever since on the CES floor.

The coolest aspect of Sereneti Kitchen’s business model is the meal plan that accompanies the Cooki. For $5 or less a meal, the company will ship fresh ingredients to you in pre-portioned and prepared trays, which you simply have to slide into the Cooki. You can then control it from a smartphone application.

This primary iteration of the Cooki is geared toward single servings for college students lacking culinary skills. Though it currently lacks the ability to schedule meals, Rosalia spoke passionately about integrating the feature in the near future.

For $5 or less a meal, the company will ship fresh ingredients to you in pre-portioned and prepared trays.

At the moment, recipes are limited to pastas, soups, salads and rice dishes due to the singular pan, but Timothy Chen notes that you can make about 60 percent of the world’s cuisine with just one pan.

Sereneti Kitchen’s crowdfunding campaign to transform their very industrial-looking prototype to the Keurig aesthetic that started it all will launch in spring 2015. A preliminary IndieGogo campaign is live until 11:59pm PDT January 9, 2015.

Picthx TechCrunch