Marley Coffee – “The Undisputed BEST BRAND”

September 28, 2013

Marley Coffee’s new single-serving cups were just crowned “the undisputed BEST BRAND” in the category by!

Here’s the full review:

We come to the end of our Marley Coffee Real Cup series with what is likely the most anticipated flavor to ever hit the Real Cup format and a flavor which many K-Cup fans thought they’d NEVER see – Marley Coffee Talkin Blues Coffee, 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain, Single Serve RealCup for Keurig K-cup Brewers. People asked, begged and demanded that Keurig & Green Mountain release this flavor but such never came to pass and people were starting to give up hope. Just what was this much sought-after flavor? Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Billed as one of the World’s finest coffee varietals it has even been considered to surpass the ever-popular Kona coffee in taste & quality (although we’re sure that could be debatable).

When we heard Marley Coffee would be coming to the Real Cup format, the first thing that popped to mind wasHmm… wonder if they’ll release their Blue Mountain flavor? We were expecting a 10% blend at best but were completely floored when they announced this would be 100% Blue Mountain and NOTHING ELSE, no fillers, no blends. If there were any tremors felt in the Boston area late last Fall, it wasn’t an earth quake… it was the collective thud of every staff members’ jaws hitting the floor simultaneously. Never before had a 100%rare single-origin K-Cup been released… it was always a blend that contained conventional Arabica and only a measly 10% of the single-origin coffee. To get this in a 3rd-party knock-off product wasn’t only unexpected… it was unheard of.

Marley Coffee

Green Mountain soon realized their mistake & lost opportunity as they’ve now recently released their own 100% single-origin K-Cup coffee and one that’s even rarer than Jamaican Blue Mountain… they decided to get Colombian Geisha coffee which is the same varietal that Starbucks famously sold last year for over $7 per cup. We managed to get a box and will have a review soon but our primary focus today is on the Real Cup that beat GMCR to the 100% rare single-origin punch… Marley Coffee Talkin’ Blues Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in mild earthy notes tinged with faint hints of cocoa & spices similar to cinnamon or cardamom. After a few minutes we also started detecting very mild & sweet floral aromas but couldn’t pinpoint any exact floral scent in particular. Billed as a medium roast, flavor was an interesting mix. It started off somewhat sour & oily with some smoky hints touched by notes of dark chocolate. Then once we explored further, we started noticing more familiar notes of molasses tinged with faint hints of cinnamon and more very mild floral notes in the background leading into a sweet finish near the end of each sip. It was a changing blend of oily & sharp to smooth & mild which made for a very perplexing cup that was all the more difficult to describe.

Marley Coffee

Acidity was balanced to point of not being overly strong and not being too weak, so there were no fears of anything being washed-out one way or the other and made itself felt more near the end of each sip. Body was medium to dark brown in color with shades of orange & red when held in front of a light source. Mouth feel was smooth and substantial without any watery or oily notes whatsoever and made for a pleasant experience. Finish was again on the sweeter side with a mild smoky & chocolaty aftertaste.

This also marks a special occasion here at as this is the FIRST time that an ENTIRE brand’s line-up have all scored in the Excellent category! We can confidently and proudly say that Marley Coffee is the #1 undisputed BEST BRAND in the Real Cup format. You can feel free to quote us on that & if we were handing out awards, they’d get the gold medal. No doubt about it.

  • Aroma – 10 – A pleasant blend of mild earthy notes touched by hints of cocoa and spices which later developed into very mild floral aromas.
  • Acidity – 10 – Perfectly balanced and only noticeable near the end of each sip. Not too strong yet not too weak.
  • Body – 9 – Medium to dark brown in color with shades of orange & red when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 10 – A perplexingly interesting mix which kept changing over time. Things started off sour & oily with smoky notes of dark chocolate then things morphed into familiar notes of molasses touched by faint hints of cinnamon and more very mild floral notes in the background. Our final impression was that this was an exceptionally smooth & mild coffee with a few interesting surprises upon first sip.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Smooth and substantial, no watery or heavy oily notes whatsoever. Finish was on the sweeter side with a smoky & chocolaty aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – Suited best for medium roast fans who want something exceptionally smooth & mild with an ever changing flavor profile that melds from sour & oily into something mild & sweet. The price point may deter some from giving this a try, but we still recommend giving these a try if you’ve been on the fence about it.

Overall Rating: 99 – Excellent

As we just noted above, the #1 thing which will deter most people from trying these Real Cups is likely to be the price. At roughly $30 to $35 regardless if you buy them in USA or Canada, most people might not be able to justify the expense. You only realize you’re getting a slightly better deal if you start comparing these Real Cups to other similar products. GMCR’s Geisha K-Cups are priced at roughly $32 and you only get 18 K-Cups instead of 24 Real Cups. If you want to keep it all in the family, you can compare to Marley Coffee’s pod version of this Blue Mountain coffee which again, is only available in 18 packs for roughly $18 to $20.

It’s a significant price different as a whole but broken down into individual servings, you get 6 more servings with the Real Cups which work out to only $0.36 to $0.45 cents more per serving vs. what you’d get with the pods. Compare that to Nespresso’s Kona capsules which clocked in at a shocking $20 per sleeve of 10 and you’re actually saving up to $0.55 cents per serving. It all boils down to a simple fact… these coffees are produced in limited quantities seasonally and are only grown in select regions around the World. This makes them more or less rare and if something is in limited supply, you can pretty well bet it’ll come at a premium cost. Is it worth paying the extra cash to give these items a try? Only you can decide that for yourself. We just try to describe our tasting experiences as best we can and let that serve as a guide for your final decisions.

Let’s not forget what these Blue Mountain Real Cups are… a rare single-origin coffee which was produced in a 3rd party format. It wasn’t Keurig who were the first to produce it, it wasn’t Tassimo, it wasn’t even Nespresso whom we were betting on as the front runners (until they went the Kona route)… it was a 3rd party company. Up until now, everyone’s first impressions of 3rd party K-Cup knock-offs were that they were cheap in quality and that some had questionably cheaper taste/flavor but the fact that a competitor, not Keurig or GMCR themselves, were the first to market with a 100% rare single-origin coffee for Keurig’s K-Cup systems is just astonishing and certainly wasn’t anything any of us were expecting. So whoever says competition isn’t worth it clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. If it means we can end up getting outstand products which weren’t previously available, then the more the merrier in our opinion and we couldn’t care less what format it comes in… if it’s compatible with a Keurig brewer and doesn’t taste like freeze-dried sludge soaked in wet cardboard, that’s fine enough by our standards!

Marley Coffee Talkin Blues Coffee, 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain, Single Serve RealCup for Keurig K-cup Brewers work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available in Canada in 24-packs for $34.99 CAD (Not sold individually) at These Real Cups are also available in 24-packs at for ~$32. Please also note that Real Cups will NOT work with Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that these Real Cups were supplied by ECS Coffee for the purpose of this review.