October 31, 2011

Review: Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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We continue our review of Dunkin Donuts’ series of K-Cups today with their Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla K-Cups.

Upon brewing these K-Cups, a sweet aroma of vanilla fills the room. It was more of a light scent and didn’t have any other aromas hiding underneath. Just straight-up vanilla & nothing else. Made for a bit of a change from the norm since most French vanilla coffees always end up having other scents mingled within. We wish the aroma would have been a bit stronger, but that’s a minor nitpick at most.

Acidity was present since we could taste some of the sour notes similar to what we saw in the Original Blend K-Cups, but the flavoring helped mask most of the harshness and kept things in check. As a result, we noticed a clean finish with barely any sour notes, so to recap… slight sour notes at first sip, barely any sour notes during the finish. Body was medium-brown with reddish notes when held to a light source.

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Billed as medium roast, flavor was much akin to the aroma since the only notes we tasted were primarily of vanilla & nothing else. We tend to like it when other flavors reveal themselves in the background, but this actually made for something different. Not too often you get a K-Cup that actually tastes solely like its primary flavor and we have to admit, this one does it pretty well. It’s been a while since we’ve tried the regular grind version or ordered a cup in-shop, but from what we can recall, this is pretty spot-on (flavor-wise) to those versions.

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Think of it as a lightly-flavored version of Original Blend, minus much of the sour notes. Mouth feel was smooth although almost on the watery side of things but the clean finish with virtually no aftertaste helped carry things through. We’d have to say that’s the most surprising characteristic of this coffee… clean finishes on both the acidity & mouth feel. We can’t recall the last time we’ve seen that.

  • Aroma – 9 – Straight & to the point. Nothing but vanilla aroma present here. We wish it would have been a bit stronger since it seems rather light when compared to other French vanilla K-Cups we’ve had in the past.
  • Acidity – 9 – While you can tell there’s some sour notes of the Original Blend swirling about in the cup at first sip, you don’t notice it anywhere near as much thanks to the flavoring. Surprisingly clean finish that barely had any sour notes present.
  • Body – 8 – Medium-brown with reddish notes when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 9 – Once again, straight & to the point. Nothing but light notes of vanilla here, but it’s done quite well. Could have been a bit stronger.
  • Mouth Feel – 8 – Smooth, yet seemed almost on the watery side. Very clean finish with virtually no aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – If you like a lighter flavored variety of coffee & are a Dunkins fan, you’re sure to like this. While we wish aroma & flavor would have been a bit stronger, we’re glad to see that the only flavor present here was done effectively well. They claim it’s French Vanilla & that’s exactly what you get. Suited best for medium roast flavored coffee fans.

Overall Rating: 93 – Exceptional

Like we said earlier, we don’t always order flavored coffee at Dunkins, but from what we can recall, this is pretty close to what’s offered in-shop & according to customer reviews on Keurig.com, this one seems to be a fan favorite. We like the fact that the flavoring helps kill most of the sour notes in the acidity since that was our main beef with the Original Blend and we know that some people prefer lighter, more delicately flavored versions of coffee vs. some of the more mainstream stronger flavors. As far as straight-up vanilla flavored coffees go, we feel this one’s a solid choice that’s at least worth a try.

As previously reported… Our Canadian Correspondent, SH, checked with a few Dunkin shops across Montreal, Quebec and they confirmed they’re in early negotiations to import Dunkin K-Cups into Canada soon. No further details were provided. Until then, Canadians will have to rely on American friends or relatives to ship them a box by mail.

Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla K-Cups will work in all Keurig brewers and are available in 14-packs for $11.99 USD at most Dunkin Donuts coffee shops nation-wide. These K-Cups are not currently available in Canada, but may start appearing in Canadian Dunkin shops soon.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased 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.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 31, 2011 7:55 AM

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