It's been a rough morning. A morning when I really needed a good cup of coffee. I was ready for it, but then I poured my organic milk in it and ewww... it was sour. NO!! Unlike conventional milk, apparently organic milk does not warn you that it's bad by curdling in your coffee. It disguises itself and then BAM, you drink it and gag. Yep. That's what happened to me today. Not fun.
I admit it. Coffee is a big part of my morning routine. I'm not one who can't function without my first cup, but I sure do enjoy it.
That's why I was thrilled when Equal Exchange offered to send me some of their organic fairly traded coffee to review. They sent me three boxes of single serve cups to try. The problem was, I don't use a single serve brewer, mostly because of the environmental impact. I choose to use an old fashioned percolator -- no BPA, no waste. But I figured I could open the single serve cups and dump them into my percolator. And that's what I did. The result? Really good coffee.
Now, it doesn't make sense for me to review single serve cups that way, so I joined forces with my daughter, Bethany, to review the coffee. She, too, received three boxes of coffee to use with her Keurig coffee maker. This review contains both of our opinions about Equal Exchange Coffees.
Let's start with taste. Equal Exchange offers three varieties of single serving coffee:
|Organic Breakfast Blend|
|Organic French Roast|
|Organic Unwind Decaf|
Starting with the decaf, here's what Bethany had to say:
The decaf was really good. I have trouble finding good decaf in a K-cup.
I agreed with her about the taste of the decaf. It's really good. Since I love the taste of coffee, I enjoy a cup in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, within the past year, I can no longer drink coffee after 1:00 or so and still enjoy a good night's sleep. A good decaf is the answer to this problem and the Organic Unwind Decaf is perfect.
We both also enjoyed the Organic Breakfast Blend and the Organic French Roast, although I preferred the French Roast. So did Bethany's friend, Amanda. Here is what Amanda said about it:
Love, love, LOVED the French Roast coffee. It had the great taste of that first cup from a freshly brewed pot. I don't think I've had a K-cup that has that rich taste, so, Bravo!
That's quite an endorsement.
So, let's address the environmental factor -- the reason I don't like K-cups to begin with. The fact of the matter is that one quarter of Americans already use single serve machines already, whether at home, work, church, or school. So Equal Exchange decided to give them a better option. Their single serving cups are made with recyclable plastic with filters that are 88% compostable. Plus the lid is recyclable aluminum as well.
That's the plus side of this. However, I found it to be a bit inconvenient and wondered whether or not people would even bother with the process. After the coffee brews, you have to remove the lid and dump the grounds into your compost bin. Then you have to remove the filter, which is glued to the side of the cup, and add that to the compost. You have to rinse out the cup and, finally, you can toss the aluminum lid and plastic cup into the trash.
I found it to be tedious, but Bethany managed it without an issue.
The bottom line with this is whether or not you care enough to do it. For me, there's no question. I would go to the extra trouble to keep yet one more plastic K-cup out of the landfill.
Here's where Equal Exchange Coffees rise above the rest. The coffees are not only organic, but they're fairly traded as well, and that is important. When you choose fairly traded coffee, you are supporting small-scale farmers and their communities. And for those of you who have been following me for even a short time now, you know how much that means to me.
Please note that while these cups work with most single serve machines, they are not compatible with the Keurig 2.0 or the Vue.
Overall, Bethany and I give Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Coffee a green thumbs up. If we've piqued your interest, then you can take advantage of the current offer for free shipping in the contiguous US through 11/30/2014. This offer is limited to one coupon code (FREE25) per customer with any order of $25 or more. And all the single serve coffee is currently on sale, which makes this a perfect deal for holiday shopping.
Also, through 11/16, Mambo Sprouts is running a Greener Cup Giveaway. There are 3 winners per week and 3 winners at the end of the promotion. The Grand Prize is a $200 online gift certificate for the Equal Exchange website!
Coffee... it's what mornings are all about for so many. Now, if only we can turn the tide from wastefulness to environmental and social consciousness.
Reviewing it for you,
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for my honest opinion.