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I confess. I almost snickered out loud when a dear friend started touting a K-Cup from a brand that, for years, my coffee-snob mentality had placed on ignore. Eight O’Clock coffee? Seriously? Good? Please.

But, I trust this friend with my palate, and I’m the one who originally steered her to the often-fantastic world of Keurig, so I wanted to take her seriously when she told me that Eight O’Clock made a terrific Dark Italian Roast K-Cup.

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I’m so out of the loop when it comes to Eight O’Clock coffee in any form that I didn’t even know if it was available in stores in my area. It is. And if you want to know more about the coffee that came in fifth according to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Rankings, then you can read about it here.

If you want to know what I thought of Eight O’Clock Dark Italian Roast, then please continue reading my review.

Eight O’Clock Dark Italian Roast K-Cups, $6.99 for a box of 12 at most grocery stores and mass merchandisers and online.

First look: It’s hard to miss the deep violet box that contains the Eight O’Clock K-Cups with matching vivid lids.

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The coffee is made with 100-percent Arabica coffee and is distributed by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The label touts that Dark Italian Roast offers up a European dark roast that’s “full-bodied and balanced with chocolate overtones.”

Good news: First, I have to say I’m pleased with the price. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the deal of the year, but I found it on sale and wasn’t sure what I would end up with, flavor-wise. I’m sorry I didn’t buy more. This coffee is surprisingly good, verging on fantastic. As it came out of the Keurig brewer, Eight O’Clock started developing a lovely little foamy head.

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Looks aside, Dark Italian Roast didn’t disappoint taste-wise. I like my coffee pretty much the way I like my red wine: brash and obnoxious, which is just a convoluted way to say dark and strong. And, hold the bitterness. That’s exactly what I got with Eight O’Clock Dark Italian.

I prefer a six-ounce cup, and with Dark Italian, I ended up with a bracing mug of morning joe that popped my eyes open, without making me wince as it slid down. When I brewed an eight-ounce cup, the flavor was tamer, but not to imply wimpy. However, I’ll stick to the smaller but richer, more assertive cup.

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So, why am I showing you an empty mug?

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Because Eight O’Clock leaves little to no sediment at the bottom of the cup. That’s a big fat plus in my book when it comes to K-Cups.

Bad news: Well, it’s still not as cost effective as Kirkland Signature Pacific Bold K-Cups from Costco. See my review here. And, while I can’t knock the full, deep coffee flavors of Dark Italian, it reminds me more of a French roast, which I think of as slightly lighter in flavor than an Italian roast.

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So, if you want to imagine yourself sitting in a little café near Portofino, sipping on a what you think a potent cup of Italian java might taste like, then Eight O’Clock Dark Italian Roast might not really take you there. (But this photo I took certainly will.)

Last words: If you like a robust, slightly smoky cup of coffee, and you find Eight O’Clock Dark Italian Roast K-Cups in your supermarket, grab a box and let me know what you think.

Note: A quick word about those Keurig brewers. Love mine, but I bought one for a friend exactly two years ago, and she just informed me that it went cups up. No way to revive it. Her brother bought one and it also went to the Keurig graveyard within two years. And another friend had the same sad tale. I’m not sure if they’re going to buy Keurig again or give up. Have you had issues with your Keurig brewer biting the dust before its time? If so, did you get it repaired? Buy another? Go to another brewer? Adore my Keurig, but I want everyone to have a great experience with this convenient appliance, so please share your Keurig story with me. Thanks.