November 23, 2009

Review: Van Houtte Pink Ribbon K-Cups for Keurig

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Van Houtte recently decided to promote breast cancer research & awareness by releasing their new Pink Ribbon K-Cups. Billed as a medium roast "with good acidity, slight floral flavor & no bitterness", Van Houtte goes on to note that all funds raised through the purchase of these K-Cups will go towards their goal of donating $50,000 per year to breast cancer research. Logos in promotional material have even been redesigned to replace Van Houtte's white ribbon with a flowing pink ribbon design.

We decided to support the cause & purchase a box for the purpose of this review from a local Van Houtte supplier and although we're sure most coffee roasters have some sort of charity donation program in place, this is the first time in recent memory we've noticed a K-Cup dedicated solely for this purpose. Hats off to Van Houtte for taking this initiative.

Upon brewing, we noticed usual aromas of typical Arabica and earthy scents associated with medium roasts. This is not a flavored coffee nor is it considered a specialty roast or single origin, so the closest thing we could compare it to would be Van Houtte's House Blend K-Cups. Flavor is a bit more pronounced than their House Blend, but nothing out of the ordinary. Plain and simple, it's just a really balanced medium roast with good flavor overall. We did not add cream, but feel a slight amount wouldn't hinder the final flavor as this roast should keep things in check.

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A medium body shows some brown/amber notes with hints of red hiding underneath. Acidity is as stated, very well balanced & enjoyable. Mouth feel is standard fare & definitely not watered down. Aftertaste is very muted & practically non-existent. We feel this coffee will appeal to a broad range of coffee drinkers with the possible exception being those who favor darker or bolder roasts.

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  • Aroma – 7 – Standard aroma with slight earthy notes you'd come to expect from a medium-roast Arabica.
  • Acidity – 9 – Probably one of the best aspects of this coffee. Very balanced & not overbearing.
  • Body – 7 – Medium body, brown/amber color with hints of red hiding underneath.
  • Flavor – 8 – More pronounced than the House Blend, although we didn't notice the "floral taste" advertised on the box. Still good nonetheless.
  • Mouth Feel – 7 – Smooth, consistent. Not watered-down at all. Barely any aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – Should suite a wide variety of coffee drinkers although some dark roast fans may find this coffee too light for their tastes.

Overall Rating: 88 – Good

As we've stated before, although this coffee doesn't have anything that stands out except for its great acidity balance, we still feel this is a very good product which we wouldn't mind having on a daily basis. The roast is such that it makes for a good breakfast or afternoon coffee and the fact that you're supporting such a great cause is only further incentive to at least give these K-Cups a try. We'll occasionally receive free boxes for our reviews, but we thought the cause was definitely worth supporting, so we decided to purchase a box of these K-Cups on our own, and would like to thank our local Van Houtte supplier once again for allowing us to do so.

Van Houtte Pink Ribbon K-Cups will work 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 or $15.75 CAD for a 24-pack at www.vanhoutte.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 November 23, 2009 7:26 AM
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