May 16, 2011

Review: Van Houtte Mocha Java K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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As any Canadian who’s been out to a grocery store will notice lately, Van Houtte have been making a major push into the grocery retail market now that they’ve been acquired by Green Mountain. This is great news since new Van Houtte K-Cup flavors are popping up faster than we can keep track of them. While Americans are used to seeing K-Cup 12-packs everywhere from their grocery stores to Wal-Mart, this is a relatively new concept north of the border. We decided to review one of the last “new” flavors Van Houtte released prior to their acquisition, Van Houtte’s Mocha Java K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups result in rich earthy notes underlined with chocolate & faint notes of hickory. Billed as a medium roast, flavor was much on-par with the aroma as we detected faint smoky notes and dark chocolate lingering in the background.

Body was dark brown in color with shades of red when held to a light source. Acidity was milder than what we were expecting with a subdued splash of sour notes that allowed some of the coffee’s sweeter characteristics to shine through. We likely wouldn’t have noticed any of the sweet notes had the acidity been stronger. Mouth feel was somewhat on the watery side, but the flavor & acidity helped keep things together.

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  • Aroma – 8 – Rich earthy notes give way to underlying scents of chocolate & notes of hickory.
  • Acidity – 6 – Much milder than what we were expecting, but helped yield some unexpected sweet notes hiding underneath.
  • Body – 8 – Dark brown with notes of red when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 8 – On-par with aroma as flavors of dark chocolate meld with smoky notes in the background.
  • Mouth Feel – 6 – Somewhat watery but the flavor & acidity kept things in check & allowed for a pleasing cup.
  • Coffee Drinker – This one’s best suited for light roast drinkers who want to venture into something with a stronger taste. On the flipside, dark roast drinkers who want a lighter alternative in the night time might also enjoy this K-Cup.

Overall Rating: 86 - Good


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While not exhibiting anything extraordinary, this K-Cup still managed to impress us a bit as we went into the review thinking we’d be getting a lighter flavor with stronger acidity, but ended up getting the exact opposite. We think this K-Cup is a good alternative for a wide range of coffee drinkers as we noted above. The characteristics of this coffee allow it to be served in the morning as well as in the afternoon or at night. When compared to some of the other flavors in Van Houtte’s line-up, we’re sure we could find better options… but that aside, this K-Cup is still definitely worth a try if you ever get a chance.

Van Houtte Mocha Java K-Cups will work in all Keurig models and are available in 24-pack boxes, and are available at Van Houtte directly.

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 May 16, 2011 7:24 AM

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