Review: Van Houtte Crème Brûlée K-Cups for Keurig
This week, we continue our tour of Van Houtte's flavored coffee line-up by trying their Crème Brûlé K-Cups. Crème Brûlée (as described via its Wikipedia entry) is "a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by caramelizing sugar under a broiler, with a butane torch or other intense heat source, or by pouring sugar on top of the custard".
A default brew size of 5.25oz revealed strong scents of caramel during the brew process. Closer inspection yielded undertones of vanilla. So far, so good... the scent reminded us of the real thing, however, it was more akin to a Crème Caramel where the softer caramel layer reveals a bit more of its natural, unmodified aroma vs. the burnt hard caramel layer of a Crème Brûlée. Regardless, since both desserts are so alike, no points are lost here. Quite pleasing overall.
The body was the usual medium-brown we've come to expect from light/medium roasts but this time, hints of amber were present instead of red. A nice touch & quite possibly a nod towards the actual dessert's caramel layer. The taste was paired to the aroma as strong notes of caramel were abundant, followed once again by slight tinges of vanilla. We wished the vanilla flavor would have been more present, but as is, it's still a good effort on Van Houtte's behalf. Well-rounded mouth feel helped finish off an enjoyable cup.
- Aroma - 10 - Large caramel scent with hints of vanilla. Spot on.
- Acidity - 8 - Strong acidity is present, yet it doesn't overpower the taste. Decent balance with a somewhat sour aftertaste.
- Body - 9 - Average medium brown but with hints of amber. Reminded us of the dessert's caramel layer.
- Flavor - 9 - Abundant caramel taste with notes of vanilla underneath. A bit more vanilla flavor would have earned it a 10.
- Mouth Feel - 8 - Smooth, well-rounded feel. Not too thick/syrupy yet definitely not watered-down.
- Coffee Drinker - Anyone who enjoys flavored coffees will likely enjoy this K-Cup and should give it a try.
Overall Rating: 94 - Exceptional
Overall, we feel Van Houtte redeemed themselves after a rather lackluster performance by their Pecan Praline K-Cup which we recently reviewed. All aspects were met properly this time around from the aroma to the flavor and in between. As a result, we think this K-Cup is definitely worth a try.
Van Houtte Crème Brûlée K-Cups will work in ill work in your Keurig Elite B40 Brewer, Keurig B50, Keurig Special Edition Ultra Elite B60, Keurig Platinum B70 Brewer, Breville BKC600XL Gourmet Single Cup Brewer, and other Keurig K Cup brewers including the Keurig Mini B30. Pricing is $13.75 USD for a 24-pack at www.vanhoutte.com .
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Posted by Jay Brewer at August 4, 2009 8:02 AM