April 5, 2011

Review: Van Houtte Butterscotch Coffee Flavored K-Cups for Keurig

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Companies are often forced to rethink packaging for products which either aren’t performing well or haven’t been grabbing enough attention on store shelves. Van Houtte recently decided to make a few such changes in their line-up, however, they went about it in a questionable way by renaming existing products (Hazelnut is now Vanilla Hazelnut) or putting existing products in new packaging (Old Kilimanjaro K-Cups are now in new packaging that simply says “Kenya” on the box). While this has annoyed us beyond all means, it has served to make us inadvertently purchase flavors we thought we had reviewed only to dig through our archives and realize that we hadn’t even tasted these flavors before. Such is the case with Van Houtte’s Butterscotch K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups result in rich notes of buttery caramel with hints of vanilla hiding in the background (at least the aroma was spot-on). Flavor was much the same as strong bursts of caramel & vanilla came forth with a touch of sweetness throughout. We can only assume that the caramel flavors would be further enhanced with a touch of cream.

Billed as a light roast, body was medium brown in color with shades of red in the foreground and amber in the corners when held to a light source, however, the colors kept changing depending on which angle we’d look. Nice chromatic effect. Acidity was present but did not overpower the flavors as we only noticed it near the finish & in the aftertaste. Mouth feel was smooth with a slightly syrupy consistency which brought back memories of maple syrup. Nice.

  • Aroma – 10 – Spot-on. Strong notes of caramel intermingled with vanilla & butter. Excellent.
  • Acidity – 6 – Present but didn’t overpower the flavors. Mostly noticeable on finish & rather mild.
  • Body – 9 – Medium brown with well-rounded shades of red & amber when held in front of a light source. Colors kept changing depending on angle of view, very nice.
  • Flavor – 10 – Much akin to the aroma with strong tastes of caramel & vanilla throughout.
  • Mouth Feel – 9 – Smooth with a slightly syrupy consistency, yet still enjoyable.
  • Coffee Drinker – This one’s best suited for light roast drinkers who enjoy strong flavors in their cup. Fans of caramel will likely enjoy this.

Overall Rating: 94 – Exceptional

While some people may not like the marketing tactics which we’ve noticed, such is the way companies are often forced to operate in order to keep a competitive edge in today’s markets. While (as we noted earlier) we were rather annoyed, we would never have stumbled upon this flavor had it still been in its old packaging (since we were sure we had already reviewed it). As a result, change isn’t always a bad thing and when it comes to these K-Cups, we’re glad to have “rediscovered” them once again.


Van Houtte Butterscotch 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, Cuisinart Keurig Single-Cup Brewer SS-700 and SS-780, and other Keurig K Cup brewers including the Keurig Mini Plus and Keurig Mini B30.

Van Houtte Butterscotch K-Cups are available in 24-pack boxes for $13.75 USD at www.vanhoutte.com and $15.75 CAD at www.vanhoutte.ca.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased a box of these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.

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

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

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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 5, 2011 7:43 AM
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