March 29, 2011

Review: GMCR Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups

Review Single Serve Coffee


We embark upon this review with a "better late than never" attitude since yes; we forgot to review Green Mountain's Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups back when they were first released. We really like their Donut House Extra Bold K-Cups and even found that they reminded us a bit of Denny's house blend coffee, so we were anxious to see what this flavored K-Cup would be like.

A sweet aroma of spicy cinnamon quickly fills the room upon brewing with faint buttery notes hiding underneath a complex layer of vanilla frosting. Not exactly as intense of a smell you'd find at a Cinnabon kiosk, but pretty damn close. We call this one spot-on.

Billed as a light roast, flavor had good hits of sweet cinnamon throughout and although we didn't notice any hints of vanilla frosting, we did get some faint buttery notes in the background. Timothy's Cinnamon Pastry K-Cups in comparison seemed to have more of a hardcore cinnamon-only flavor, although to be honest, it's been quite a while since we had that particular K-Cup, so a head-to-head comparison may need to be done in the near future just to be sure. We still can't help but wonder what this Donut House K-Cup would have been like as an extra bold. Hmm... maybe GMCR should consider that an option during future revisions?


Body was by far the lightest we've seen in a K-Cup to date. So light in fact, that we could clearly see our LED flashlight behind the cup (we can't even recall the last time that happened). Shades of very light brown gave way to shades of a crystal-clear reddish orange when held in front of said light source. This was a bit off-putting since it reminded us of severely watered-down instant coffee our parents used to consume when we were kids. Thankfully the flavor wasn't anywhere near as bland as the body would lead us to believe. Acidity was... um... well, non-existent or perhaps it was just the cinnamon taste which was masking it completely? We couldn't tell. Mouth feel wasn't quite watery, but was on the verge had we attempted to brew anything larger than 6-8oz.

  • Aroma - 10 - Had us checking the oven expecting the real thing to magically appear. Excellent aroma.
  • Acidity - 2 - Sorry, we just weren't detecting anything. We prefer at least some sort of sour bite in our coffees in order to keep things lively.
  • Body - 5 - You know how they say don't judge a book by its cover? The same applies to this K-Cup. The body was alarmingly clear, but thankfully the flavor wasn't as light-handed. Extra points awarded for that fact alone.
  • Flavor - 8 - Hits of cinnamon with a buttery background. Wish the vanilla notes would have followed-through into the flavor, but not as much as we were wishing for an extra bold label on the box.
  • Mouth Feel - 7 - Not exactly watery, but we'd definitely recommend against brewing anything larger than 6 or 8oz.
  • Coffee Drinker - This one is best suited for those who prefer lighter-tasting/bodied coffees. Dark roast drinkers best avoid this one and wait until GMCR releases an extra bold version.

Overall Rating: 82 - Average

While the aroma had us jumping for joy, the final taste of this K-Cup left us longing for an extra bold version and if we had to suggest anything other than that to GMCR, we'd have to say "try adding a smidge of vanilla flavoring in with the cinnamon". If we could have tasted what we smelled in the aroma, this K-Cup would have scored considerably higher. Still, if you're the type who doesn't like dark roasts or overly strong-tasting coffees, this might be right up your alley.

Thanks again to Green Mountain for sending us these K-Cups to review.

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 March 29, 2011 7:43 AM
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