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The single-serve coffee pod was a revolution when it debuted, delivering the robust flavor (and glorious caffeine) of high-quality coffee in a convenient, quick-brew package. Morning routines everywhere — grim as a rule — found themselves that much brighter. But like most revolutions, this one had unintended consequences. In a world already awash in plastic, a couple hundred million more unrecyclable bits and bobbles was nothing less than an environmental disaster.
Enter Intelligent Blends Maud's Gourmet Coffee, a single-serve coffee and tea pod company that has served factory-direct pods straight to consumers since 2012. For years, Intelligent Blends, successfully produced millions of single-serve pods for dozens of coffee roasters and brands before striking out to offer its own products under the Maud's Gourmet Coffee label, mailed direct to consumers' doors.
And Intelligent Blends claims to do it all while doing good: championing the first certified recyclable pod, innovative designs that it says offers 43% better extraction than leading competitors and energy efficient facilities in San Diego.
But all those environmental feel-goods doesn't mean the company has skimped on flavor. Maud's Gourmet Coffee uses the highest quality blends, with 100% Arabica Coffee sourced from some of the world's premier growing regions and roasted to perfection by Jeff McIntosh, a fifth generation roastmaster.
And from May 21 to June 21, the company is running a special discount code for CNN readers: MAUDSCNN, which unlocks a generous $8 fixed discount or just 31¢ a pod.
With Maud's Gourmet Coffee you can save the earth one cup at a time. Here's where we'll be spending our savings:
Dark Roast Coffee Pods, 100 count ($39; shopblends.com)
Billed as a "Tall Dark & Handsome" Dark Roast, this blend takes the bold flavor that you expect from darker coffees and combines it with the silky texture and smooth profile you crave in a good cup of joe. Slight notes of toasted nuts round out the flavor profile. The people have chosen, too: This is Maud's most popular dark roast blend.
House Blend Coffee Pods, 100 count ($39; shopblends.com)
Your typical house blend distinguishes itself, paradoxically perhaps, by sticking to the middle of the road. This one is no different: It's well balanced, with the richness and brightness of South American beans locked in for a medium bodied flavor profile that works any time of the day or night. Maud's Gourmet Coffee convenient "Roast Profile" ranks this one a 6 on its 1-10 lightest to darkest roast chart.
Half Caff Blend Coffee Pods, 100 count ($39; shopblends.com)
This one ends up smack dab in the middle, rated a 5 on Maud's Gourmet Coffee "Roast Profile" ranking from lightest roast (at 1) to darkest roast (at 10). A blended mixture of Maud's delicious decaf medium roast "Mellow Mood Decaf" and the rich "Tall Dark & Handsome" dark roast blend, this half caff strips things down and brings us back to coffee basics: Fresh, flavorful and straightforward.
Maud's Coffee Variety Pack, 80 count ($35; shopblends.com)
The paradox of choice is real, which is why we appreciate an option that gives us all the good things, in one convenient package. This assortment of nine blends from Maud's Gourmet Coffee Collection is specially curated by McIntosh, to show off the range offered by Maud's Gourmet Coffee. We're talking everything from the lightly roasted flavors of "Bubbies Breakfast Blend" and "Dunk Your Donut Shop" to the ultra-dark "Espress-o Yourself" blend, and everything in between. Even flavored coffees get a shoutout with the scrumptious "Dreamy Creamy Salted Caramel." Time to start brewing!