May 10, 2011

Review: Newman’s Own Organics Newman’s Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups

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Today we decided to dig back in the archives and look at a K-Cup which has been LONG overdue of a proper review. How far back, you ask? Hmm… how about one of the first K-Cups that came out with the very first Keurig brewers? Yep, it’s finally time for us to review Newman’s Own Organics Newman’s Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups. Not only does the Newman's Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cup hold a record as being one of the oldest/longest running K-Cup flavors in Keurig’s line-up, it probably also holds the record as having the longest K-Cup name.

Nell Newman decided to partner with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and ever since, they’ve been in charge of sourcing & roasting the coffee beans which go into this coffee. As most of you are probably aware, Newman’s Own coffee is so popular that McDonalds USA decided to make it their official coffee brand several years ago and some locations in the New England area even had a special blend created just for them a few years ago, but enough about history… let’s get on to the review.

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Brewing these K-Cups results in a pleasing blend of somewhat earthy chocolate notes. This could likely be due to the pairing of beans from Central America & Indonesia (hence the “special blend” name) but regardless, it works to serve up a decent aroma. Most dark roasts have some sort of chocolate aroma but we found it to be more pronounced with this particular coffee.

Billed as an extra bold pairing of medium & dark roasts, flavor was rather pleasing with complex hints of dark chocolate & smoky notes blended with touches of molasses. We really liked how the flavor was strong like a dark roast yet smooth like a lighter roast. You’re really getting the best of both worlds here and we feel this would serve well as a morning coffee as well as a good overall cup for anytime in the day.

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Body was dark brown in color with shades of red when held to a light source. Acidity was definitely present this time around, but only near the end of the palate/end of the tasting process and throughout the slightly sour aftertaste. Mouth feel was surprisingly smooth and didn’t leave any indication of watery notes which would be more typical in lighter roasts. We feel this coffee would hold up considerably well to cream & sugar but to be honest, we loved it served black as we were able to enjoy the subtle nuances hiding within the cup.

  • Aroma – 9 – Most dark roasts have hints of chocolate but this aroma was more pronounced. Quite pleasing.
  • Acidity – 8 – Definitely present but it didn’t get in the way since it was predominant only in the aftertaste.
  • Body – 8 – Dark brown with notes of red when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 10 – We have to give this one a solid 10 due to the complexities of smoky chocolate & molasses. Pairing the 2 beans from different regions really did wonders here.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Probably one of the smoothest dark roast-tasting coffees we’ve had to date. Great all around.
  • Coffee Drinker – This one’s rather unique. We feel that lighter roast drinkers might appreciate the smoothness of this coffee while getting a stronger taste and think darker roast drinkers will be surprised to get similar strong taste while experiencing a smoothness not typically found in the dark roast extra bolds they usually prefer.

Overall Rating: 95 - Excellent

We can understand how McDonalds decided to make this their main coffee across USA. The complex flavor notes, smooth mouth feel and its likelihood of standing up well to cream & sugar make this a true “Swiss army knife of coffees” which is sure to please a huge variety of coffee drinkers any time of the day. As for us, we just can’t believe how long we waited to review this outstanding K-Cup. Just goes to show that old dogs may be able to do new tricks after all.

Newman’s Own Newman’s Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups will work in all Keurig models and are available in 24-pack boxes and 80 count boxes. Currently Newman's Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups are in short supply due to Fair Trade coffee being hit hard this year.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank Green Mountain 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.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 10, 2011 7:55 AM

Recent Comments

I really love this coffee and I am totally shocked to hear that McDonalds is serving Newman's. From any visit in the last 5 years or so, I would have guessed it was Kingsford. I have written it off as McDonalds trying to be more like Starbucks; and like Starbucks, I go elsewhere for my coffee.


Posted by: WJThomas at May 12, 2011 12:43 AM
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