December 17, 2009

Review: Van Houtte Candy Cane K-Cups for Keurig

Review Single Serve Coffee


Van Houtte is back in the flavored K-Cup market with a rather unique entry for the Holidays... candy cane. Yes, you read that correctly. On a recent trip to a local Tweed & Hickory store, we decided to purchase a box of Van Houtte Candy Cane K-Cups for the purpose of this review (although we have to admit, our curiosity was the main reason of purchase)

Upon brewing, you get a scent of peppermint and oddly enough, hints of chocolate. Flavor is definitely "minty" & even lingers throughout the finish while hints of chocolate are again present in the taste. We won't exactly call this a bold blend, but rather more like a medium roast which was left in the roaster a bit too long. We found the experience rather surprising as the minty sensation made it feel like we had just munched on some candy canes after each sip. Some people might be put off by this, but we found it was a rather cool feature, literally. Bonus points to Van Houtte for making this coffee somewhat "feel" like you're eating actual candy canes.

A quick look on Van Houtte's website reveals that this is indeed a medium roast although the flavor & almost pitch-black body has us leaning more towards this being a light-dark roast. When held to a light source, muted hints of red are revealed, which we suppose could represent the color of stripes on a candy cane. Acidity is on the medium side this time and as we noted before, the finish has a unique tingly mint sensation, not that much different than the sensation you'd get from drinking a strong mint-flavored green tea. That's got to be a first for a coffee though.

  • Aroma – 9 – Abundant notes of peppermint with hints of chocolate. Yummy.
  • Acidity – 7 –Medium acidity but nothing too overbearing. We think the mint sensation covers up any sour notes.
  • Body – 8 – Medium body, brown/amber color with hints of red hiding underneath.
  • Flavor – 10 – Decent taste of mint with more hints of chocolate underneath. Adding some creamer reveals a slightly sweeter mint taste.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Most likely the first coffee on the market which will give you a mild tingling minty sensation on the finish. Some may hate this, but we liked it & thought it was a rather neat feature.
  • Coffee Drinker – Anyone who loves mint will love this coffee. Dark roast drinkers might not mind this variety and for those of you who are still undecided, we think you should at least give this a try. If you don't like it, there's bound to be someone in your family who will.

Overall Rating: 94 – Exceptional


The more we drank this coffee, the more we couldn't help but think Van Houtte missed a marketing opportunity here... this coffee doesn't taste so much like a candy cane, but more like a York Peppermint Patty. Each gander at the design on the K-Cups had us envisioning York's classic blue logo with a silver foil background. Who knows, maybe next year? Regardless, this is a solid entry by Van Houtte & we give them Kudos for introducing this fun & unique flavor to the K-Cup market.

Van Houtte Candy Cane K-Cups will work in any Keurig machine. Pricing is $13.75 USD or $15.75 CAD for a 24-pack at

These K-Cups will 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 December 17, 2009 7:42 AM
Recent Comments

Quick question, this does have coffee in it correct? I am a regular Starbucks drinker, with my go too drink being a Peppermint Mocha. I am considering purchasing a Keurig maker, but before I do I am looking for a K-Cup with similiar flavoring, or a combination of cups. I have been testing out cups in a relatives Keurig. So far I have tried Dunkin Donuts Peppermint Mocha. While the coffee was decent, I tasted not Peppermint what so ever. Any suggestions?

Posted by: James at January 14, 2013 9:22 PM
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