January 7, 2009

Review: Emeril's Vanilla Bean BAM! K-Cups for Keurig

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod Reviews

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Distributed by Timothy's World Coffees, Emeril's Vanilla Bean BAM! is one of 2 new Emeril's K-Cup flavors recently introduced to the single serve coffee market (we'll be reviewing Emeril's Organic French Quarter Roast in the coming weeks). Known mostly for his cooking shows on the Food Network and various food products available at most grocery stores, the coffee scene is a relatively new one for Emeril and his goal was to introduce a coffee which stood out among the rest as having a richer, heartier taste & character. This new vanilla flavor marks the first time he's gone with a medium roast vs. his usually darker varieties.

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We chose the 5.25oz brew size on our Keurig one cup coffee maker to extract the full flavors, and were greeted with a strong French vanilla scent which seemed stronger than any other vanilla K-Cup we'd tried before. As a result, we were expecting a stronger vanilla flavor from this smaller brew size but were surprised at how subdued & mild it was. The sweet taste of vanilla was present but was struggling to balance the sour nature of the acidity. We thought there would have been more "BAM!" (so to speak) in the flavoring overall and it left us wanting to throw in a few dashes of vanilla extract. We understand some people will likely prefer less flavorings in their coffee, but when a product is marketed as "having enough BAM! for Emeril himself", the final result is rather disappointing.

We think the "BAM! factor" (if we can call it that) is likely more with the coffee's darker than usual roast. According to the packaging, it's supposed to be a medium roast but has the characteristic punch of a darker roast. We wouldn't go so far as calling it a bold flavor, but it's not too far behind. Seeing as how most dark roasts usually aren't flavored, this may actually be a hidden market which Timothy's could tap into if they re-marketed this K-Cup flavor as a dark roast.

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  • Aroma - 10 - Strongest vanilla scent we've seen in a vanilla K-Cup to date.
  • Acidity - 7 - A bit stronger than we were expecting for a medium roast. Imparts a sour note to the final flavor but sweet vanilla flavoring helps keep things in check.
  • Body - 7 - Medium body, dark brown with shades of amber. A bit darker than usual.
  • Flavor - 5 - It's a little too bitter in our opinion and could have used more vanilla flavoring.
  • Mouth Feel - 5 - Starts off smooth, then the acidity adds a bit of a bite. Somewhat sour aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker - Suited best for folks who enjoy a flavored coffee which is a notch or 2 above medium roast yet not strong enough to be considered a true dark roast.

Overall Rating: 84 - Average

We're still trying to figure out what this coffee is supposed to be... a medium roast with a mild vanilla shot thrown in or a vanilla-flavored medium roast which was left on the roaster a few minutes too long. As we've noted above, this variety taste more like a flavored dark roast than anything else and we think it might have been better to market it as such. Despite that fact, you should still consider giving this a try. Who knows? Maybe a bit of vanilla-flavored creamer would help fix most of the issues we encountered although those who prefer darker roasts may find this to be a decent alternative to their usual morning coffee routine.

Emeril's Vanilla Bean BAM! K-Cups will work in your Keurig Mini B30, Keurig Elite B40 Brewer, Keurig B50, Keurig Special Edition Ultra Elite B60, Keurig B70 Brewer, Breville BKC600XL Gourmet Single Cup Brewer, and any other Keurig brewer. Pricing is $10.49 USD (current sale price at time of this review) for a 24-pack at www.coffeewhiz.com, $21.00 for a 2 pack totaling 48 cups at Amazon.com, or $13.99 CAD at www.tweedandhickory.com.

Read how we review and rate single serve coffee and other single serve coffee beverages here.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 7, 2009 8:10 AM
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