I don’t know about you, but I live for my morning coffee. I could care less about breakfast until about, well, supper, but I want to wake up to a bracing cup of black coffee. And, lately, nothing says “Good morning, Sabine” like a strong cup of French or Italian roast dribbling all steamy like from my Keurig brewer.

But have you noticed how costly each of those little K-Cups are per cup? I admit that I’m always looking to save money on K-Cups.

For a long while, I’ve been hooked on Starbuck’s Café Verona Dark, which is the closest I could come to a rousing French Roast for a decent price. About 64-cents per K-Cup at Costco.

Then, one day, as I was aimlessly perusing the aisles at Costco, I came across a big box of San Francisco Bay French Roast for the K-Cup brewer priced at just over 30-cents per cup. I snatched a big box of coffee at an amazing price.

But, let’s face it, it’s got to taste good to really be a deal. So, I put both the Starbuck’s Café Verona Dark and the San Francisco Bay French Roast to the test. Check out my findings.

Starbuck’s Café Verona Dark, $34.99 for 54 K-Cups at Costco stores.

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First look: The K-Cups come as white plastic cups that fit neatly into the Keurig single-cup brewer.  The coffee contains caffeine and no artificial flavors.Starbuck's 002

Good news: This makes a smooth, strong cup of java. It’s not wimpy, even on a larger cup setting. And if, like me, you brew it on a small cup setting, the coffee is potent but still smooth as silk, without any harsh aftertaste. Starbuck’s leaves you with a nice, polished finish.

Bad news: C’mon, Starbuck’s, I know you’re making a mint, could you please lower the price of your K-Cups? Other than the price, there’s nothing for me to complain about.

Last words: When I want to indulge in a stout cup of joe, Starbuck’s Café Verona Dark doesn’t disappoint. You’ll know when I’m flush, because this is what you’ll find in my pantry.

San Francisco Bay French Roast K-Cups, about $25 for 80 single-serving cups at Costco. Also available online.

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First look: Unlike other K-Cups that come as white plastic cups, San Francisco French Roast one-cup serving coffees are more bare bones. They come without a plastic cup and look more like a modified tea bag.

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Good news: Well, it’s pretty hard to ignore the price, which is much lower than Starbuck’s K-Cups. The coffee offers up an assertive cup of joe, and one that will wake you up.

Bad news: This is a murky cup of coffee. It always sticks to the side of the cup. (See photo below. San Francisco coffee on the left and Starbuck’s on the right.) And it leaves a lot of sediment on the bottom of the cup. Also, you can see more oil floating on the top of the coffee. It finishes with a slightly harsh aftertaste.

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Last words: It’s not perfect, but the price is right, so when I want to save a few bucks, I’ll probably pick up a box of San Francisco French Roast single-serve coffee cups.