September 7, 2010

Review: Green Mountain French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups

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With Summer drawing to an end and Fall settling-in within the next few months, we decided to try beating yet another heat wave recently by reviewing one of this year's new "Brew Over Iced Coffee K-Cups". What's so new, you ask? Why this first official iced coffee K-Cup, that's what. More specifically, Green Mountain's French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups.

Conceived especially for iced beverages, this K-Cup is a bit different than the previous generation of iced K-Cups since instead of using your Keurig's 4oz iced beverage setting (if it has one), you just brew the default 6oz size over ice (just remember to use a larger cup/mug accordingly). Aroma was as expected, light notes of French vanilla with a standard base of Arabica coffee in the background. So far, so good.

We opted not to add any cream or sugar at first so we could determine any tastes (or lack thereof) straight out of the box. We did add some the next time we brewed this flavor and adjusted our scoring accordingly.

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Our first taste yielded strong flavors of French vanilla with hints of caramel hiding underneath... reminiscent almost of a crème brûlée. The base of Arabica was a satisfying dark roast with a decent kick in acidity pushing through on the finish and throughout the aftertaste. Once we added some cream & sugar, the flavors mellowed together quite nicely and allowed the caramel notes to start shining through.

We were expecting a watered-down mouth feel but were blown away by the fact that even at 6oz, this was a full-flavored coffee with a smooth texture throughout. We were quite pleased overall and enjoyed this K-Cup plain on its own as well as when we added the cream & sugar. Dare we say that a Tim Horton's Iced Cap might be achievable with a generous helping of ice slush, sugar and some chocolate milk? Needless to say we've already got some of our staff "experimenting" on that idea.

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  • Aroma - 9 - Light notes of French vanilla are present with a typical Arabica coffee scent as the base. Not as subdued as we were expecting.
  • Acidity - 8 - Mostly present in the finish & during the aftertaste. We were surprised to see this coming out of an iced K-Cup.
  • Body - 9 - Nice tinges of amber/red when held to a light source. Takes on your typical beige iced-coffee appearance with the addition of cream & sugar.
  • Flavor - 10 - For an iced K-Cup, this exceeded our expectations. Strong vanilla taste in the foreground with a decent kick of dark roast in the background. Notes of caramel were also present & were only accentuated even further when we added cream & sugar.
  • Mouth Feel - 9 - Smooth overall. Definitely not watered down, even with a 6oz setting.
  • Coffee Drinker - Suited best for iced coffee drinkers. Darker roast drinkers might want to give this K-Cup a try since we were hard pressed to think of this as anything other than a strong medium or light dark roast coffee.

Overall Rating: 95 - Excellent

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We have to hand it to Green Mountain, they're constantly surprising us when it comes to the unexpected. You're expecting something watered-down or something that's lacking "oomph" and the moment you take a sip, BAM! You're hit with a truckload of flavor from all senses. Such was the case with this particular K-Cup. Whoever's in charge of flavoring at GMCR should get a gold medal in... uh... flavorology? or at least employee of the month... seriously.

Once again, the final results are on-par with something you'd get at Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons (we can envision our Canadian readers rushing across the border as we write this). This K-Cup is sure to be enjoyed as a nice refreshing drink on a hot afternoon or as a light alternative during your morning commute. Regardless of how you enjoy it, you can't go wrong.

Green Mountain's French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups are available in 22-packs for $13.95 USD at French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups or at various K-Cup retailers online and offline.

Green Mountain French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups will work in your Keurig Elite B40 Brewer, Keurig B50, Keurig Special Edition Ultra Elite B60, Keurig Platinum B70 Brewer, Breville BKC600XL/BKC700XL Gourmet Single Cup Brewer, and other Keurig K Cup brewers including the Keurig Mini Plus and Keurig Mini B30.

We would like to take this time to thank Green Mountain Coffee Roasters for sending us a box of these K-Cups for the purpose of this review.

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

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 7, 2010 7:55 AM
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