A K-Cup Transformation

In the past, when a customer asked, “Hey Frank, what do you think about K-cups?” I would say:

“K-cups are against G-d. If you have a K-cup machine or you were gifted a K-cup machine, bring it to the police station along with your guns during amnesty week.”

That would elicit a smile, perhaps a small chuckle, but I meant it…at the time. Most K-cups are purposefully staled. When our fresh roasted coffee leaves the roaster, it begins the degassing period where carbon dioxide leaves the beans for about 3 weeks. Did you know that 70-80% of the taste of any food is its aroma? When your olfactory system is a bit wonky due to a cold or a smoky bar, you are unable to fully taste your food. Therefore, when your fresh roasted coffee stops degassing or in other words, when the carbon dioxide that is releasing the coffee aroma is fully spent, the coffee is stale. The problem with putting fresh roasted coffee in k-cups is that most macro roasters need their k-cups to stay on the supermarket shelves for months, if not years. Eventually, if you don’t degas the coffee completely, the K-cups will explode because the carbon dioxide will have nowhere to go.

Chazzano K-Cups

Chazzano K-Cups are now on sale at Chazzano

In fact, various national publications have queried me on my belief about the future of K-cups. I would gamely respond, “It will never compete with specialty coffee.” But then came the day that I ate my words, or rather I drank my words. I was cold called, or cold emailed, by Ground Level Packaging  who told me that they can package K-cups in smaller quantities without staling the coffee. I was incredulous but curious. I drove 2.5 hours to Clare, Michigan to sample Chazzano Coffee as a K-cup. I brought with me about 5 different pounds of fresh roasted coffee with vastly different flavor profiles: Sumatra Mandheling, Tanzania AA, Ethiopia Mokasida, Nicaragua San Juan de Rio Coco, and Brazil Sao Paolo. The hospitality at this family owned business was warm. On the spot, they were able to make small batches of K-cups with various amounts of coffee in them. The  main question that I had while tasting the different K-cup brews was: “Does this k-cup brew taste like a cup of Chazzano Coffee?”

Our favorite K-cup contained Ethiopia Mokasida. The mouthfeel was somewhere between a French Press and a Vacuum Syphon, maybe even a richer pourover. The chocolate and berry notes that we covet in the Mokasida were shining in the cup. We had a winner.  But will the fresh roasted coffee cause the sealed foil top to pop or even explode? Over three weeks later, the comically bloated k-cups have not exploded. We would love to print on the cases, “Please brew within 3-4 weeks to prevent a coffee explosion.” I’m sure that our specialty market accounts would not appreciate that funny disclaimer.

This would have been considered a sacrilege at Chazzano Cafe in past years. Ground Level Packaging allowed us to borrow a K-Cup machine to test our various coffees.

This would have been considered a sacrilege at Chazzano Cafe in past years. Ground Level Packaging allowed us to borrow a K-Cup machine to test our various coffees.

Thanks to Ground Level Packaging, we are now selling Ethiopia Mokasida K-cups in 12 cup cases. Remarkably, we’ll have the only K-cup in the market with the roast date on it. So, just purchase enough K-Cups for the next three weeks to ensure the freshness of each cup.

I am a changed man, but not completely. Although our K-Cups taste great, I will often prefer the richness of a French Press brew, the rich, balanced mouthfeel of espresso, or the clean, crisp body of a Vacuum Syphon brew. I love the immense flexibility and variation in brewing methods that expose certain flavor profiles with Cold Brew, Pourover, Coffee Soda, and the other ten ways to brew coffee at Chazzano Coffee.  Life is short, no one should drink their coffee only one way.

We want to make it easy for you to enjoy an awesome cup of fresh roasted coffee at home, the office, or at your favorite restaurants. Now, with the addition of our Chazzano Coffee K-cups, you have another way of enriching your life with a great cup of coffee.


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