October 15, 2008

Review: Van Houtte Apple Crumble K-Cups for Keurig

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Our K Cup correspondent S.H. of the wild white north has managed to get his hands on Van Houtte's Apple Crumble K Cups. Does he enjoy them? Do they have the taste of apple with all the crumble?

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Van Houtte have been pioneers in European-style coffee since 1919. Today, they're involved in almost every aspect of the coffee industry. They select and buy their own beans, roast and package their coffees, manufacture state-of-the-art single cup vending machines and market a wide range of unique products to retail, office, café and online customers. They even operate the largest coffee services network in North America serving more than 71000 workplaces in most major cities.

When brewing these Apple Crumble K-Cups, you're greeted with the warm aroma of cinnamon & apples plus very subtle undertones of dark chocolate. The body is medium, with a somewhat dark color usually seen in most flavored coffees but if held in front of a light source, hints of crimson red shine through. At first I thought this was the natural color but later learned some K-Cup manufacturers color their coffees to match the flavors (something I hadn't been used to with Tassimo T-Discs).

I chose the more robust 5.25oz brew size on my B50 Ultra so I could get the full flavors contained within this blend. The first thing I noticed was the obvious taste of apples & cinnamon but as with the scent, I discovered slight hints of dark chocolate. I'm not sure why this is present, but it adds a unique character to the flavor nonetheless. The only thing missing were hints of butter or brown sugar crumble & although that would have completed the as-advertised flavor experience, I still feel Van Houtte knocked it out of the park with this latest K-Cup variety.

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Unlike the Tassimo, most Keurig machines allow you to choose which brew size you want to use. The smaller the size, the stronger the taste and vice-versa. As a result, this adds a whole new dimension to the tasting experience since the flavor will vary every time depending which size you pick. I have yet to try this flavor at a larger size but can only imagine the inherently strong taste of cinnamon would carry through in an 8oz serving as would likely the taste of apple. All in all, a very good outing by Van Houtte.

  • Aroma – 9 – Spot-on, very vibrant tones of apple & cinnamon add an inviting scent to any kitchen.
  • Acidity – 5 –Surprisingly smooth, even at a stronger 5.25oz brew size.
  • Body – 9 – Medium body, dark color which reveals hidden hints of crimson red when exposed to light.
  • Flavor – 9 – It tastes exactly like you would expect. It's as if someone dropped a shot of hot apple cider into a light breakfast blend. Hints of dark chocolate are unexpected but add a unique twist.
  • Mouth Feel – 8 – Velvety & smooth, very well balanced. Mild aftertaste.

Coffee Drinker – Suited best for folks who like a mellow mid-afternoon coffee or an early evening pick-me-up. May also suit casual coffee drinkers who are always interested in trying new K-Cup flavors.

Overall Rating: 90 – Exceptional

Van Houtte is truly a major player in the Canadian coffee scene since they have massive displays in almost every grocery store, they've installed their own customized single cup vending machines in many businesses and are now supplying & distributing commercial Keurig machines to various offices along with their entire K-Cup line-up. So the next time you're at a gas station or picking-up groceries, have a look around for the Van Houtte logo and enjoy "a taste of Europe in your cup".

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Van Houtte Apple Crumble K-Cups will work in any Keurig models. Pricing is $13.75 USD ($15.75 CAD) for a 25-pack at www.vanhoutte.com.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 15, 2008 7:12 AM

Recent Comments

Nice review, Jay. I really like the new review format.


Posted by: MichFan at October 15, 2008 12:09 PM

CORRECTION: I would like to add to my review above that yes, I should have noted that you CAN manually adjust Tassimo beverages to adjust strength/taste. What I MEANT to say was that there are no PRESET options/buttons to do this automatically like on Keurig machines.


Posted by: SH at October 15, 2008 9:57 AM
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