August 20, 2009

Review: Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups for Keurig

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Although we've reviewed it in the past, we decided to revisit what is normally a traditional flavor found around Thanksgiving and decided to try some leftover 2008 Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups on a lazy Sunday afternoon while digging around our ever-growing coffee stash. We had second thoughts about drinking a decidedly non-Summer flavor but seeing as how there was nothing good on TV and nothing else to do around the Single Serve Coffee kitchens, we figured why the heck not? The fact that we noticed there was still a few months left before the expiry date also "helped" us in our decision.

Green Mountain will once again make these K-Cups available on September 1st of this year, so unless you've got a stockpile stash like we do, you'll have to wait until then to get some. As with the plethora of pumpkin-flavored coffees on the market each year, familiar scents of pumpkin pie started to emerge during brewing... all-spice, nutmeg & very faint hints of pumpkin were present. The body was medium with a usual brown/amber color.

This yearly fair trade favorite among GMCR fans has been noted by visitors on their site as being too lightly roasted with a watered-down taste, but the first thing you notice upon your first sip is a load of nutmeg/all-spice. It's like a slap to your taste buds if you're not prepared for it. Watered-down? Yes, perhaps if you consider this coffee to be nothing more than nutmeg-flavored water. Which brings us to our main beef with all pumpkin-flavored K-Cups: the lack of its namesake flavor... pumpkin.


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Unfortunately, we'd have to say the same is true for this offering. It's moreso a hint in the background vs. the main flavor of spices... something we can only hope will change with the new batch this Fall. Come on guys! You can figure out how to make great exotic varieties such as coconut flavored coffee but not something as basic & traditional as pumpkin? In Green Mountain's defense, we did note the addition of creamer helped mellow the spices quite a bit to eventually yield notes of pumpkin buried underneath.

  • Aroma - 8 - Strong notes of all-spice & nutmeg dominate, similar to what you'd likely smell when baking pumpkin pie.
  • Acidity - 8 - At a 5.25oz brew size, some acidity is present but it's not that strong. The spices mask most of it.
  • Body - 7 - Medium body, brown/amber color. Some may critique the adding of coloring to their coffee, but it would be neat if they could add some hints of orange to keep with the pumpkin theme.
  • Flavor - 6 - Green Mountain would have scored higher in this category if only there were more pumpkin flavor instead of spices. Just because the word "spice" is in the name, doesn't mean it has to be the primary taste. All K-Cup manufacturers should take note of this.
  • Mouth Feel - 7 - Smooth, although the spices add quite the jolt at first. Barely any aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker - As with Timothy's version, Green Mountain's is best suited for folks who like added spices in their coffee or perhaps Mexican-style hot drinks.

Overall Rating: 86 - Good

Each person will have a different tasting experience, so use this review only as a guide. Whether or not you decide to buy a full box or borrow a few singles from a friend is totally up to you. As noted above, we found that if we added a bit of cream, it helped balance out the spices quite a bit although we're not quite sure we'd be willing to try this as an iced-coffee just yet.

Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups will work in any Keurig models and will be available September 1st, 2009 at Green Mountain Coffee, and seasonally after that.

Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice 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.

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 August 20, 2009 9:20 AM
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